Monday, March 26, 2007
Companies have known from the beginning of trade that a free sample is a great way to get new customers.
Never has it been so easy for you to find free samples and just plain free products as it is today with the internet.
My favorite way to find these free offers is with freebies.about.com. Here is a great starting place for you to find freebies including: teacher freebies, computer freebies, beauty freebies, gaming freebies, etc. Personally, I stay away from the pharmaceutical freebies.
Once you start going down the links on this site you may never find your way back. It's lots of fun.
I really like this site because the Guide always lists out what risks there are to signing up for the freebie.
If you are fussy about getting extra email, then I do suggest that you get yourself an email address that you use JUST for freebies.
So, set your browser to www.freebies.about.com and find yourself some great freebies. You can sign up for the email newsletter and you will be reminded to go and check for new freebies when they are posted.
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Here is one of my favorite treasure hunting stores.
The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in downtown Los Angeles has a Scholarship Store on the Los Angeles campus. You never know what you will find at this store because the merchandise comes from over 400 manufacturers, alumni and students of the Fashion Institute. The money that is made at the store goes to the scholarship fund.
I have found the most unusual merchandise at this store. One side of the store features "street" clothes and accessories. The other side features formal wear - wedding dresses for $50!!, mother-of-the-bride dresses, prom gowns. Great, great, great bargains!
The link to their site is: http://www.fidm.com/resources/scholarship-store/
919 S. Grand Avenue (at 9th Street)
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Hours: Monday-Friday 9:00 am - 6:00 pm Saturday 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Timing is everything... you've heard this before. It holds true in many areas of life, and it certainly holds true in bargain hunting.
Here's a great example.
You need an air conditioner. You REALLY need the air conditioner in the middle of a blazing heat wave in the middle of the summer. Imagine what a window air conditioner will cost when the weather outside is above 100 degrees. IF you can even find one to buy...
Now, think SNOW... think FREEZING... think hats and gloves, sweaters and snow boots (you folks in Southern California, think... long sleeved shirts). What do you think an air conditioner will cost during this weather? BIG difference!
This difference even holds true at Yard Sales (my favorite shopping place). During the hot months an air conditioner will be snapped up at a Yard Sale. During cold weather, that same air conditioner will go for almost nothing.
Why? Don't know. Maybe people forget that it will ever get warm again. Maybe the person selling the item doesn't think of it as having any value. But, I tell you... this is TRUTH!!
Yes, yes, yes... I know that there are SALES during "the season." But, I hardly ever find REAL bargains during a "Season Sale." There ARE bargains to be had during the "End of Season Sale." I just bought a fireplace grate at Home Depot for $2.50... it retailed last month for $18.95.
So, when it is cold, buy things for warm weather.... air conditioners, pool supplies, bathing suits, patio furniture, bar-b-ques, etc.
When it is warm/hot, buy things for cold weather ... space heaters, winter coats, flannel pajamas, ski equipment, etc.
And of course.... when to buy Christmas decorations? The day after Christmas, of course.
As always, let me know your bargain finds. You can email me at: Bobbisbargains@hotmail.com
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
I just found out about this FABULOUS twice-a-year sale. This is a kids - infant through pre-teen - products sale. (clothes, strollers, books, toys, maternity clothes, etc.)
The person that holds this sale, Kristen Nelson, will take your consignment items in advance, then sell them and then you get some of the money. Just like a regular consignment store... but the entire sale is just one weekend.
There are over 15,000 items and around 275 consignors.
What a great find! Got this just in time to let you know about the Spring Sale this coming weekend.
Wish my kids were little so that I would have a better reason to go to this sale.... but believe me, I'll go anyway... I'm sure I'll find something that is a bargain!
Here is the link to find out more: www.lakidsconsignment.com
Let me know if you go to this sale and if you got some good bargains.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
That is all you have to say to ANYONE that has ever shopped at a Gabes store.
What is Gabes? Officially, Gabriel Brothers, a unique off-price retail company that gives shoppers fantastic deals on a wide selection of name brand merchandise.
Gabriel Brothers has been in the discount clothing retail business for more than 40 years. The Gabriel style of merchandising actually dates back to the 1920s, when Lebanese immigrant Z.G. Gabriel peddled merchandise in the tiny coal towns scattered throughout Fayette County, Pennsylvania.
Gabes now has has more than 30 locations throughout West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Virginia.
I was in my first Gabes when I was about 8 years old. It was at the end of an alley in a small, crammed shanty of a house. There were piles of work clothes (this was coal mining territory) at REALLY cheap prices.
Now each Gabes store is about 50,000 square feet of selling space crammed with high quality name brand merchandise. It is a bargain hunters dream.
When I go East to visit my family, I always take an empty (large) suitcase with me. It will be full of Gabes bargains on the return trip.
I was once in a chiropractor's office in Boston, Massachusetts. I was talking to my daughter and I mentioned that we would "go to Gabes when we were at grandma's house." This other lady in the waiting room excitedly said, "Are you talking about Gabes?" I said, yes. Well, she went on and how about how wonderful Gabes is and that there is nothing in the world as great as Gabes, etc.
And ... she was right.
When you shop at Gabes, you expect to buy name brand blue jeans for $7.99 (retail $65). Liz Claybourn dresses for $11.99. Designer suits for $24.99. I mean this is REAL bargain shopping.
Now, here is the drawback. Gabes stores are ONLY located in the mid-east coast of the United States: Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia. (a big boo-hoo for West Coasters) However, if you are even close to one of the stores, it will be worth it to drive, fly, carpool to the nearest store and buy clothes for your entire family (you can buy household items also.)
The other drawback is that you MUST look closely at the items before you buy them. Does the zipper work? Is there a stain or rip or is the back of the shirt sewn on upside down? You CAN return the items (except clearance items ending in .00 prices) but it is a drag to get home and discover that your great bargain is irreparably flawed.
Now, just so you know what I am talking about.... when I go to Gabes and power shop, (and it DOES take hours, ... don't think you can just zip in and out of Gabes) I leave with two or three GIGANTIC bags of stuff for my entire family for under $200.
WARNING: If you can't deal with rows and rows of racks that are out of size order.... if you can't try on clothes in cramped dressing rooms.... if you can't dig for bargains.... then I suggest that you go to the mall and PAY RETAIL!!! Only a shopper with nerves of steel, eagle bargain finding eyes and comfortable shoes can shop at Gabes.... but, if you have what it takes... you will have the best wardrobe in town for the least amount of money.
Go get 'em bargain hunters!
Check out Gabes at: www.gabrielbrothers.com
And... if anyone in the Los Angeles area knows of a store with real (none of this puny 10% discount stuff) deep brand name discounts, be sure to let me know. Write to me at: Bobbisbargains@hotmail.com
I use Craigslist so often that it is hard for me to think that there are people that I know that don't know about Craigslist... but it is true.
So....let me enlighten you: (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
"Craigslist is a centralized network of online urban communities, featuring free classified advertisements (with jobs, housing, personals, for sale/barter/wanted, services, community, gigs and resumes categories) and forums sorted by various topics.
It was founded in 1995 by Craig Newmark for the San Francisco Bay Area. After incorporation in 1999, Craigslist expanded into nine more cities in 2000 (all of them in the U.S.), four each in 2001 and 2002, and 14 in 2003. As of November 2006, Craigslist had established itself in approximately 450 cities all over the world.In December 2006, Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster appeared at the UBS Global Media Conference in New York and perplexed Wall Street analysts by telling them Craigslist has little interest in maximizing profit from the website but instead prefers only to help users find cars, apartments, jobs and dates."
So, this is one AMAZING international "help" website. I have found my house, car parts, garage sales (the best!), free stuff, jobs, a videographer for my son's skateboard video (http://www.ifilm.com/profile/Dannyrk/video/2829906), the most FABULOUS floor to ceiling library style bookcase for about 10% of original price, a 14 foot trampoline for $35, stained glass repair specialist, etc.
You can find just about anything on Craigslist... even a date (if that sort of thing is what you are looking for). You can certainly find out about events in your area. And of course, YOU can list items to sell, give away or barter.
So.... bargain hunters, set your browser to: www.craigslist.com and find your local area. Enjoy!
As always... let me know what kind of great bargains you find.
There is an international network called "Freecycle." Their motto is "changing the world one gift at a time." There are groups all over the world. At this time there are almost 4,000 groups and over 3 million members. Just looking at the list of countries and members is fascinating.
Here is how this works: you sign up to be part of the group closest to you. You receive emails on a daily basis telling about items that people are offering. You email them back and arrange to get the items. You do the same thing when you want to get rid of something. The only rule is that the item must be absolutely free.
I have gotten furniture, books, craft items, and clothes. I have given away moving boxes, furniture, clothes, toys, books, a large piece of broken glass (hey... someone wanted it and I didn't have to haul it to the dump), computer monitor, etc.
This is one of the greatest recycling projects on the planet and sooo much fun.
So, now you go to www.freecycle.org and sign up.
Keep me infoed. I'm curious to see what kind of wonderful goodies my friends get from this gigantic giveaway.
Monday, March 19, 2007
The time has finally come for me to go global with my bargain tips.
I AM the queen of bargains. I have been a stay-at-home mom for over 15 years. It has been a labor of love and bargain shopping.
I read some of these NEW and WONDEROUS ways to save money and I wonder.... WHO is PAYING retail for these unnecessary items and then putting them on credit cards that have 23% interest.
Egad! The world needs my advice.
So... I have started my blog... Bobbi's Bargains.
Those of you in the Los Angeles, California area will be the big winners on this site, because that is where I am located at the moment. But, I have lived on both the east and west coast and I have helped all my friends become MUCH better bargain shoppers.
So, grab your wish lists and let me show you how to "Live Large for Less!"
Check back often. Let me know what kinds of bargains you are looking for and I'll find them for you.