Dollars & Sense columnist John Ewoldt searches the Twin Cities and beyond for bargains and strategies to spare you time, money and hassles.
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Deals on rugs, "Xanadu" at Chanhassen, and $3 Vikings tickets

Posted by: John Ewoldt under Going-outta-biz sales Updated: September 7, 2012 - 2:26 PM

 

 

It's a boo-hoo shame that larger audiences haven't found "Xanadu" at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, the goofy spoof of the awful 1980 film with Olivia Newton John. It's closing September 29 but going out with a BOGO. Receive two-for-one dinner AND show tickets if you call the box office at 952-934-1525 and ask for the 2-for-1 special on "Xanadu." 

Ticket prices range from $61 to $81 each depending on the day and time. 

 

Grand Oriental Rugs (Centennial Lakes, 7433 France Av. S., Edina, 952-844-0696) will close Saturday. Currently nearly all rugs are 75 percent off although a few are discounted 50 percent.

Rug shoppers may remember that when Bloomingdale's closed, it brought in rugs at an 80 percent discount and I was still able to negotiate an extra 10 percent discount on top of that. It's the same thing at Grand's sale. Chances are that you can negotiate a better deal than 75 percent off.

You might even want to take a picture of the rug and its price tag to shop around at other stores. (I'm looking for an 8 by 10 Kazak pattern made in Pakistan). Don't feel pressured to buy because the store is closing. Chances are that you could negotiate a deal almost as good at another store that's not going out of business. By the way, the store is officially closing Saturday but one manager said that the store would be packing things up Sunday and would still take offers.

Before buying, check the quality of the wool. Rub your hand back and forth briskly across the surface. If the rug sheds lots of fuzzy fibers, it's a low-quality wool. Better wool feels softer and sometimes almost greasy because of the lanolin in it. To test color fastness, rub a damp cloth on the rug.

Don't make a big deal about knot count unless you're comparing virtually identical rugs: Generally, the higher the knot count, the better.

Some Oriental rugs, usually those of lower quality, may have used illegally employed child labor: Consumer Reports recommends looking for GoodWeave, Kaleen or the Wools of New Zealand labels. Unfortunately, these labels are rare. The most reliable way to avoid supporting child labor is to buy a machine-made rug, according to Consumer Reports.

Want a really cheap seat for Sunday's noon Viking's game against Jacksonville? It's a nosebleed seat, slightly obstructed view seat near the top but it's only $3 or so at Ticketnetwork, a secondary ticket market. The handling fee is $15 but it's still pretty fair deal since face value is $20 to $45. Better seats are also available at a discount too at the website.
  

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