I Could Get Used To This Instore Pickup Option

Ordering online and picking up in store has really picked up, it seems.  More stores seem to offer this option than ever before.  Many attribute the change to Amazon, as they need to compete with their convenience factor.

Two Stops In One Trip

I had the opportunity to use it twice the other day.  It just so happened that both stores were right down the street from one another.

Both shopping trips originated from Slickdeals.  I have an RSS feed of new deals and two deals came up that I was interested in:

  • Lowe’s had a big bag of grass seed for over 30% off.  I like to keep this on hand for overseeding and bare patches.  This should last a couple of years.
  • Kohl’s had their ‘Big Pillows’ on sale for less than $3

Both Were Easy

The ordering and the pickups were both easy.  Both let me know that my local store had the item in stock.  The

Image from morguefile courtesy of krosseel

option was free for both.  In both cases, I got an e-mail upon placing my order and another when it was ready.  Both times, the e-mail came within 20 minutes.

Picking up the items was easy as well. In both cases, I was able to go right to the service desk.  This saved me walking through the store as well as standing in line.  At Lowe’s, I did have to wait behind three other people, all of whom were making returns.  Still, I was in and out in less than five minutes.

Do Consumers Spend More Or Less Money?

My wife and I have slightly different thoughts on whether this saves you money in the end.  I think that you save money because you don’t buy anything else.  How many times do you walk through to get the item you want and end up with something else?  By taking this away, I think you save money.

My wife, on the other hand, thinks you might spend more.  By having this option and making it so easy, she thinks people will buy items that they might otherwise wait or skip altogether.

I can see both sides.  For me, I would have been buying both items regardless.  I’ve been griping about my pillow for awhile.  Plus, I’m almost out of grass seed.  Now, on the seed, I might have waited until the spring.  But, if I had, I almost guarantee I would have paid more.

Readers, what do you think about ordering online and picking up in store? Do you think it saves money or encourages more spending?  Does it save you time? Let me know what you think in the thoughts below.

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

Friday Favorites – October 6, 2017 Roundup

Remember how a couple of weeks ago I talked about the leaves changing early? Well, apparently we’re done with that.  We had a long stretch of days in the 80’s and 90’s.  I guess that slowed things down, so now we’re on track.

Aw, Nuts!

Now all we have to deal with is walnuts.  Lots of them.  We have several mature walnut trees and this is a bumper crop, apparently.  I’ve noticed that the number of nuts varies by year.  This is probably the most I’ve ever seen.  So much that I’ve had fantasies of chopping them all down.  Just dreams!  So far I’ve not gotten bonked in the head, though I’ve probably just jinxed myself.

At least the squirrels are happy burying them all over the back yard.  Hey, it’s free lawn aeration, right?

Here are some favorite reads over the last couple of weeks.

Have a great weekend.  And, if you’re near any walnut trees, keep an eye in the sky!

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

6 Items On Our Money Checklist

Things are pretty stable these days with our money.  This means that we don’t have anything really pressing.  However, just as in life, there’s always stuff to do.  Here are a few items that I want to mark off our money checklist.

Combine High Yield Accounts

I have two accounts that pay better than a normal savings account.  Both had reasons of their own at one point, but now some of those reasons have gone away.  Both pay about the same amount of interest. It’d be one less account to keep track of if we combined the two.  Plus, these days, that’s just one less risk of account fraud!

Switch Insurance

I’ve been with Allstate for twenty years.  Sadly, I think that time is coming to a close.  They have kept raising my rates, this past year over 10%.  All this and I haven’t filed a claim in probably ten years!  They claim they can do nothing for me.

I have a quote from another company that’s about 15% less.  I want to do some research on the company, as well as do some additional shopping around.  But, yeah, it’s time to save some money.

Update My Tracking Spreadsheet

Our finances are tracked in a homegrown Excel sheet that’s evolved over the last 15+ years.  It works well but needs some updates.  I’d like to trim out some old data, streamline some formulas, and simplify some areas.

I know what it looks like in my mind.  I just need to take the time and make the revisions.

Revise Emergency Info

I handle most of our finances.  One of the elements in the tracking spreadsheet are detailed instructions in the event that something happened to me.  It contains account information, locations, payment methods, etc.  95% of it is up to date, but I need to just run through and clean it up.

Review And Update Beneficiaries

Most accounts have beneficiaries noted.  At least I think they do.  I want to run through every account and make sure we’ve set these up and that they’re correct.

Plan A Will Or Trust

I’m embarrassed to admit, with two kids, that we don’t have wills.  We need to take care of this.  Ideally, I’d like to set up a trust, but even a basic will would be a good first step.

Readers, what are items on your money checklist?  How pressing are your needs?  Let me know in the comments below.  Thanks for reading!

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

How To Be A Successful Flipper

Flipping isn’t just for houses anymore.  House flipping sure got all the attention, but flipping opportunities are endless.  Fifteen years ago, I went to California to visit an old college buddy.  His apartment was full of hockey jerseys and boxes.  He found them at local discount stores and sold them on eBay at a big markup.  His ability to be a successful flipper helped him pay for medical school!

So what are the things to know before you get started?

Be An Expert

Whatever it is your flipping, you want to make sure you know the ins and outs. Whether it’s houses or hockey jerseys or even shoes, know your product.  Know what sells and what doesn’t.  Know what’s in demand.  Not only that, but know whether there’s opportunity for high demand product.

Have Passion

If you’re in it just for the money, you might do OK.  But if you really have a passion for what you’re doing, you’ll have a better shot to hit it big.  Many of the biggest real estate flippers found success because they already loved real estate.  Love what you do is a common workplace phrase.  It stands to reason that it applies in flipping.

Know Where The Deals Are

The deals aren’t going to come to you.  You’ll have to know where to look for them.  Also, you’ll want to know where the best chances are to find deals.  If you’re flipping shoes, for example, you won’t find deals at the high end mall.  The prices will already be too high and your margins won’t work.  Knowing where the deals are will help reduce the time spent building inventory.

Know What Sells

My buddy that sold hockey jerseys could spot deals not just on price, but on product.  He’d pay higher for some team jerseys because he knew they were more popular.  Some team jerseys he would avoid altogether because he knew they wouldn’t sell.

Build A Good Reputation

Once you start selling, word will get out about you as a seller. Whether you’re flipping houses or selling something online, build a good reputation.  Follow up with customers.  Be prompt on delivery.  Verify your orders to make sure they’re correct.  These will encourage high ratings and even potential repeat business.

Look For Opportunities

If you develop a niche, you might find other opportunities fall into your lap.  If customers buying Product A keep asking if you sell Product B, take notice.  There might be an untapped opportunity to expand your business or develop a referral partnership.

Flipping items for profit can be a lucrative way to make extra money.  Some people even make a living full time.  In order to become successful, make sure you do it right.

Readers, have you ever tried to flip something for a profit?  How did it go?  Any experiences or  tips would be appreciated in the comments below.  Thanks for reading.

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.