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Staying connected to the social side of technology.

Upsie app offers warranty options

You've decided to buy the new television. Now, how about that warranty?

There will probably be a sales pitch from a salesperson at the store. But Clarence Bethea, CEO of the Minneapolis-based app Upsie, wants you to look to your phone instead. He says Upsie can sell you a similar warranty for a lower price -- and help you keep track of it by storing it within the app on your smartphone.

"Our main focus at Upsie is to give consumers another choice," Bethea said. "A lot of consumers don't know that you don't have to buy at the register. You can go home, think about it, and not have to feel that pressure from that salesman who's pitching you really hard so he can make a commission off of it."

With Upsie, users can look up warranties by name of the product or use the app to scan a barcode and pull up warranty information. The warranties, offered through Texas-based New Leaf Service Contracts, cover an assortment of electronics, appliances and tools. Users have up to 60 days after purchasing a product to buy a warranty through Upsie.

Bethea said Upsie's warranty prices are cheaper because the app's markup, about 15 percent, is less than what most retailers charge for similar coverage.

"We are the company that takes the margin out and makes the experience better," he said.

Upsie, free to download for iOS and Android, launched in November. Bethea declined to say how many people are using the app, but said many of the users so far are Millenials or moms. And what have they been buying warranties to cover? Smartphones and televisions.

(Photo provided by Upsie.)

Cameron's Coffee wants you to #CrushtheCups

Say you're in the mood to destroy something. Or maybe you want to win a trip to Hawaii.

Minneapolis ad agency Olson has cooked up a social media campaign for Shakopee-based Cameron's Coffee that could let you do both. How? #CrushtheCups.

The pitch, which focuses on Cameron's Coffee Filtered Single Serve Coffee, takes aim at the plastic cups commonly used for brewing single servings. (The Cameron's offering brews through a filter.) Find a creative way to crush one of the plastic cups, take a photo or record it on video. Then upload it to YouTube or tweet it with the hashtag #CrushtheCups. In return, you get a digital coupon for a free box of Cameron's filtered single serve coffee.

The top five submissions will win a year's worth of Cameron's Coffee. The best video will earn its maker a trip for two to Kona, Hawaii, including a tour of a local coffee plantation. To see examples and get contest details, check out CrushtheCups.com. The deadline to enter is Dec. 22.