Here's another reason I love online shopping during the holidays: After I make a purchase I can get a price adjustment with a simple phone call instead of going into a store.
During the Black Friday to Cyber Monday weekend, I purchased items online at Eddie Bauer and Crate & Barrel. Both were holiday themed items that were 15 to 40 percent off. Since then I have received emails from both companies indicating that holiday merchandise was now discounted 30 to 50 percent.
The Eddie Bauer Pendleton Christmas stockings are now discounted 50 percent, so i called and got a price adjustment saving me about $8 in 10 minutes' time. (Translation: Paying myself about $48 an hour).
The Christmas stocking hooks at Crate & Barrel that were 15 percent off are now discounted 30 percent, a $14 savings for me in about 10 minutes spent checking the price and calling customer service. (Translation: Paying myself about
$84 an hour).
You could argue that waiting until after Christmas I'd save even more but I, ahem, wanted to enjoy them during the holidays.
In general, request a price adjustment within 14 days of purchase, but it doesn't hurt to ask even after two weeks. The exception is that few if any retailers allow price adjustments after Christmas.
If you're wondering about why I included the info about paying myself an hourly wage, it's a trick I learned from Amy Dacyczyn, author of the now defunct Tightwad Gazette. She encouraged people to learn to put their savings in context. A person might say, "I'm only saving $5. Why bother?" But if it takes you only a few minutes to gain $5 in savings, it's the equivalent of paying yourself $100 an hour.
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