Why I Love Getting Cash For Presents

Some people don’t like getting or giving cash as a present.  People use reasoning along the lines that it is impersonal and doesn’t show a lot of thought going into the gift.

Depending on the person, I completely disagree.

What do I mean by ‘depending on the person’?  Simple, if you know the person feels that way, don’t give them cash.  But, if the person isn’t of that mindset, I see no reason why cash isn’t a great gift.  My wife and I would never give each other cash, for example.

Personally, I love getting cash.

For my last birthday, my parents gave me cash as a birthday gift.  They will ask me for a list, and if there’s stuff I really want, I’ll send it over.  Sometimes, they’ll come up with the gift, other times they’ll give cash so that I can buy something, or if there’s nothing I want specifically, they’ll just give me the cash with the instruction that I spend it on something for myself.

My parents know me well.

This past birthday, I really had nothing specific I was looking for so when I got their money, I set it aside.

This was great and worked out well just a few short weeks later.

My wife and I spent a couple of days on Mackinac Island.  For those who aren’t familiar, it’s a great little island with lots of fudge shops and great views, and amazing scenery located in Up North Michigan.  It’s also notable in that there are no cars allowed on the island.  All transportation must be done on foot, on bike, or on horse (or for those brave enough to weather a Michigan Up North weather, snowmobiles are allowed).

It’s a great little place and we went up there a while back  to celebrate our fifth anniversary.  We actually went a few weeks after our anniversary, right at the end of September.

As such, many of the shops, especially those who were selling clothing, were clearing out their inventory for the season.   This meant some pretty nice deals.

I had been looking for a new fall/spring jacket for awhile.  The one I have that I wear regularly is a few years old and is definitely starting to show some signs of wear.  It wasn’t a high priority, but for the right deal, I was definitely open.

We walked into an outdoor clothing shop and saw that pretty much everything in the store was 40% off.  I looked around and found that they had a great selection of jackets, including some North Face jackets (I became a North Face believer fairly recently), and including one that looked great on me.

Things on ‘the island’ are typically marked up a little bit, which is pretty much expected because of the transportation costs of getting things there.  Plus, it’s touristy.  So, I found that this jacket would normally retail for $149 in most stores and was regularly priced at $155 in the store on our trip.

But, with 40% off, that suddenly made it $93.

Now, $93 for a coat isn’t cheap and isn’t something I am normally used to paying.  I’ve lately realized that North Face makes a pretty darn good coat, they stay in style, and they hold up very well.

So, this was a great deal!

And having some money set aside from the cash that my parents gave me for my birthday made this easy when it came to figuring out if I could afford it.  I absolutely could!

So, I am now the proud owner of a new fall/spring coat that I also got at a great deal!

Thanks to my parents for the amazing gift of cash which I turned into this amazing coat!

How do you feel about giving or getting cash as a gift?

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.

Great Products Plus Great Customer Service Equals A Resounding Success

It’s so much easier to write a blog entry about a complaint than it is to share a good story, but when a company steps up to address a problem in a way that thoroughly satisfies a customer, they deserve to hear the kudos associated with that.  Today’s story is about North Face.

I fought North Face for a long time.  It seemed everybody I knew or didn’t know was wearing a North Face jacket.  For years, I was willing to stick it out with knock offs, figuring I was wiser and more financially responsible than anybody who would have wasted their money on those coats.

Then I tried one one.  My wife got me in a moment of weakness and handed me this ‘winter coat’ that was half the thickness of the one I was used to wearing.  I wondered how this could keep anybody warm.  Then, I put it on and was instantly to the point where I almost passed out from the immediate warmth.

(Hey, we were indoors, after all)

I decided to give it a try and asked for one for Christmas last year.  I liked the coat I got but I actually wanted a warmer one, so I traded it for a ‘better’ model using some gift money to cover the difference.

Loved it.

Earlier this year, my wife and I found a seasonal store that was selling everything they had at 40% before they closed for the year, including fall jackets.  We both found coats that we loved, and we both used gift money that we had not yet spent to pay for our coats.

All was well until a couple of weeks later when Mrs. Beagle called and said that one of the zippers on the pockets had broken.  She was disappointed.  I came home and took a look and sure enough, the zipper was only attached to one side and there was no way to reattach it.

My wife looked online and found that there was good news and bad news. The good news was that they would repair coats for the lifetime of the coat.  They did specify that the repairs would be within reason, meaning you couldn’t trash the coat and then send it off to them expecting them to fix it.

The bad news was that you had to pay to send the coat in.  On top of that, they highly suggested that the shipment be insured and that you pay to have signature verification on the package.  When I looked at the USPS website for their pricing, I estimated that this would be roughly $15.  In fairness, they do pay for the costs associated with returning the coat to you.

Now, we saved $45 on the coat (give or take) with the great price we got, so I was not really excited to give up a third of that to pay for a repair on a coat that was less than a month old and had probably been worn less than half a dozen times.

So, I contacted their customer service department (via e-mail), explained the situation, and they agreed to send us a shipping label so that the cost would be covered.

It was easy as can be.  I printed the label, we packed the box, had FedEx grab it, and we had it back within a week and a half, with a repaired zipper.

I love when companies step up and take ownership in situations where it makes sense for them to do so.  All too often, you hear of stories where a company wants to argue their point, all for a little cost.  I see their point in that they just can’t bend over backwards to address every complaint, but at the same time, they have to strike a balance between saving a buck and the lost sales that could result from turning a customer away.

North Face seems to have that down pat.  I’m very pleased to be a North Face customer.  Hats off for a great experience.

Have you had a great customer service experience lately?

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.