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Saving Money: Online and Travel Deals

04/17/2012

Brad Wilson, founder of BradsDeals.com says there is a deal out there to save you money on 90 percent of all your purchases! Don't believe it? Brad stopped by to share all of his insider tips and tricks to help save you money.

For more money saving tips from Brad Wilson, visit www.BradsDeals.com

Exclusive Deals for Windy City LIVE Viewers:

Diamond Mother's Jewel Pendant in Sterling Silver
http://www.bradsdeals.com/deals/1-4ct-diamond-mothers-jewel-pendant-49-p96564.html
Retail Value: $99.74
Pricing for WCL Viewers: $49

Sony MHS-FS2 Bloggie Duo HD 4GB White Camera Camcorder w/ 2 LCD Screens
http://www.bradsdeals.com/deals/sony-bloggie-duo-camera-95-shipped-p96553.html
Retail Value: $169.99
Pricing for WCL Viewers: $103

SlingBox
http://www.bradsdeals.com/deals/sling-media-slingbox-solo-119-p96559.html
MSRP: $179
BD Exclusive Pricing: $119

Star Magazine (3 year subscription)
http://www.bradsdeals.com/deals/three-years-of-star-magazine-30-p96551.html
MSRP: $513.24
BD Exclusive Pricing: $29.99

Brad's Expert Tips on Finding The Best Deals Online:

1. Free Shipping is the Rule
Many big stores like Amazon.com, Walmart.com and Target.com are automatically doing free shipping right now on most items. If your store does not offer free shipping, there is most likely a coupon code for it or find the item on another website and purchase it there!

Other ways to get free shipping:
- "LIKE" the store on Facebook. Stores will often give special deals out to their fans
-Sign up for their consumer email
- Sign up for every catalog that you can

2. SHOPPING ONLINE SAVES CHICAGOANS ALMOST 10 percent IN SALES TAX
-Did you know that outlets like Amazon, Overstock.com, Buy.com, Zappos.com, Shoes.com and many other big online stores don't collect sales tax from IL shoppers? It can really save you a lot of money in the long run! Here is the rule: any store that does NOT have a physical store location in Illinois, will not charge you sales tax.

3. YOUR CREDIT CARD MAY BE A FREE EXTENDED WARRANTY
-Most American Express cards, for example, include a warranty extension service that doubles your warranty automatically for up to one year for any items purchased with the card. Nobody wants to pay for the extended warranties that are offered in stores. It's adding on more money to what already might be an expensive purchase! Having the right credit card can save you money.

4. LOOK BEYOND RETAIL SHOPPING
-There are coupons for things like travel and restaurants, too.

5. DON'T FORGET THE COUPON CODES OR PRINTABLE COUPONS!
-Our average shopper takes less than 90 seconds to find a coupon and saves 24 percent. (Statistic from Brad's Deals users). On any given day, there will be an active coupon for about 90 percent of all retailers.


-6. ONLINE APPS = IN-STORE SAVINGS Make sure you have an app like Amazon's PriceCheck before heading to stores. The app is amazing! It lets you snap a photo of a product's barcode. It will then tell you what the item is being sold for on Amazon. Amazon is SO competitive, so their prices are usually the lowest.

Let's say you're in a Best Buy, looking at a TV. You scan the barcode, and you see it's available on Amazon for $50 dollars less. You can actually use that as a bargaining tool at Best Buy. Stores like that have more negotiating room than you realize. Tell the store manager/sales person that you see it's offered for less. They'll usually lower the price for you.

7. PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE
-Ideally, you need 2-3 weeks to find the best deal. Prices are very fluid so if give yourself time you'll be rewarded when they drop.

Brad's Top Travel Tips:

1. USE FREQUENT FLYER MILES FOR TRAVEL
-I have over 5M frequent flyer miles all earned on the ground! I could literally sit you down and have you sign up for a bunch of credit cards -- that would give you a half-million frequent flier miles right there.

2. USE EXPERTFLYER.COM TO USE YOUR MILES
-Finding award seats to spend your miles on is tough; use a service like Expertflyer.com and setup alerts for when seats become available. Let's say you have points available to redeem a free airline seat. Well, the problem is that most airlines make it very tricky for you to use those! There are only so many of those seats offered for each flight  and they go QUICK!

3. IF YOU DO PAY FOR TRAVEL, DON'T USE STANDARD TRAVEL ENGINE SITES
-Use Google.com/Flights. It's much better than Travelocity, Orbitz, etc. It's new! They bought a company that was in the data business. They ended up building this tool  quicker, easier, travel. It's cleaner and easier than other websites like Orbitz. It lets you move between days; much easier experience.

4. ALWAYS CHECK FARES ON TUESDAYS
-There's been pretty good analysis of airline ticket prices. Of the seven days, on average tickets go on sale on Tuesday.

5. STOP USING CASH BACK CREDIT CARDS!
-Instead of a penny per dollar in cash back, get a point or a mile because you can make them worth $0.05 or $0.10 or more. Amex Starwood is my personal favorite, because the points are valuable and can easily be used toward flights and starwood hotel stays.

6. DISCOUNTED GIFT CARDS = EASY SAVINGS
-For example, most Chicago Costco locations are currently selling American Airlines gift cards for 10 percent off, which really adds up.It's a no-brainer thing, but people don't' really know about it! I wouldn't recommend you sign up for COSTCO JUST for this perk& but if you're already a member, you should know it's there!

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