Archive for the ‘web’ Category

Thrifty Thrills

February 23, 2011 - 1:30 pm 2 Comments

I love saving money. But even more than that, I love saving money effortlessly. And I’m not referring to the $50 coupons you find in your Express shopping bag after just having spent $150. That’s a hook, not a discount. I’m talking about catch-free, bonafide savings. I’m talking about social buying websites that usually promise between 40-90% off.

I recently joined BuyWithMe.com after a friend showed me that day’s deal for discounted yoga classes with a studio I had previously expressed interest in. I received a 5-class voucher for the price of 2 classes. Can you say $CHA-CHING$?

Top Social Buying Sites

How They Work:
Each social buying website has its own specifications but generally you become involved because you are interested in that day’s deal, someone recommended it to you, or you just read this blog and are finally in tune with what you’re missing!

In any case, you sign up for free and “purchase” whatever deal you are interested in by selecting it and entering your card info. This does not necessarily mean that you automatically get the discount. Each deal has a minimum number of people that have to “purchase” it in order for the deal to go live. Once that minimum is met, everyone’s card is charged and you receive your discount voucher by email.

Benefits:
Aside from not having to track down deals by scouring the paper for coupons or surfing the net, some of these sites allow you to choose what categories you are interested in viewing discounts for. For instance, when signing up for Groupon they allow you to filter your deals based on categories such as: Health & Beauty, Food & Drink, Retail & Services, etc. Under each of these categories, you can specify up to 5 specific subcategories. For instance, under Retail & Services, you can choose from Automobile, Clothing/Fashion/Accessories, Groceries, Home & Garden, or Pets.

Some of these sites offer referral incentives, which credit you a specified amount every time you refer a friend to the site and that friend makes a purchase. My roommate mentioned that he had a ton of things to send to dry cleaning but didn’t want to spend that money all at once. I caught a daily deal for 50% off dry cleaning with a $100 value at a dry cleaner in our neighborhood. Once I referred him, I received $10 to spend on my next BuyWithMe purchase. Amazing!

For a full comparison of the top social buying sites like Groupon, BuyWithMe, and LivingSocial, click here!

Looking For Love Online

February 8, 2011 - 9:46 am 5 Comments

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I am marketing myself online. By Valentine’s Day, I will have been on three dating websites for 7 months, 10 days. These sites contain more information about me than most people would know after meeting me face-to-face. Why did I do this?

Last summer on the day of our national independence, I decided to declare my freedom and enter the world of dating after 20+ years of being off the market. One night I went out to dinner with my girlfriends and broached the subject. As they are all married, they excitedly latched on to the idea of being my “voyeurs,” so to speak. After looking through about 300 profiles, they choose the candidates they liked best and bam! All of a sudden this became very real.

My profile actually took the least amount of time to do. Within ten minutes, I wrote my story and posted my pictures. Hello, world. I am out there in dating cyberspace. Within hours I had men contacting me.  Maybe it’s the marketing mind in me, but I could not help critiquing their profiles. Now what do you do and why would I contact you without a picture?

Here’s the thing about marketing yourself online. I think it only works if you are real and honest. Someone once said that when it comes to online dating, you have to send out your representative. I dismissed this advice without a second thought when creating my profile. The last thing I wanted to do was project an unrealistic image of myself or pretend to be someone I’m not. Wouldn’t that go against the entire point of online dating to begin with?

The men I responded to were the honest ones, the ones that threw it all out there for the world to know. When I met these men for various coffees and dinners, they were exactly who they said they were. No surprises. When one man said, “I’m on Match to get off Match,” it struck me. When you meet great people who share similar interests, the likelihood of leaving online dating behind increases. You don’t want to be the “dream you,” but rather the “real you.” Now that’s how you market yourself online.

Screen shot 2011-02-08 at 11.42.59 AMTHE SKINNY ON DATING WEBSITES:

With all of the sites out there, it gets exhausting! Which one do you pick?

Match – This is a great website if you’re actively seeking out other people (although they do have an optional matching system).

eHarmony – Website matches you with candidates based on deep compatibility found in successful relationships. For a scientific approach, this is your pick.

Chemistry – With a very accurate personality test, Chemistry helps you learn more about yourself before you learn more about others.

Millionaire Match – Obviously geared towards the more financially stable bunch. If you’re looking for a millionaire mate, here’s the site. Warning: they do run credit tests.

Perfect Match – Uses the Duet Total Compatibility System to match the “whole you” with people who are similar to you or complement you.

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