Can You Get An Adjustment From Amazon If The Price Goes Down?

mb-201311policyWe had an interesting situation pop up last week that I thought I would share in relations to Amazon’s price change policy.  In 2008, Amazon stopped issuing adjustments if the price of an item went down after you had purchased it.  From Consumerist:

Only orders placed before September 1, 2008 are eligible for a price difference refund under the Post-Order Price Guarantee policy. As of September 1, 2008 we are no longer offering discounts if prices change on our website after you make a purchase.

It’s been quite a few years, but I do recall requesting a refund and getting one if the price went down within a few days of placing an order.

When they changed the policy, I sort of understood why.  Amazon changes prices all the time based on demand for an item, as well as supply that they have available, and I would imagine that competitor pricing is also taken into account. As technology has advanced, all of these variables can be tracked and likely adjusted by computers.  Responding to price adjustment requests requires a human to review and issue the refund, which sort of defeats the purpose of maximizing their use of technology, which is one reason Amazon has been able to grow to the levels that they have.

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Holiday Gift Giving Is About Creativity, Not Made For TV Moments

Today I am proud to present a guest post by Brock, who writes at Clever Dude, one of my favorite personal finance blogs. Brock has done a great job of writing about clever ways to save, spend, and budget, all while keeping a personal spin on his topics.  I hope you enjoy his post.

If you haven’t seen one yet, I’m sure they’ll be popping up during commercial breaks everywhere before you know it.  You know what I mean, those commercials where a person opens their front door to find a luxury SUV sitting in their driveway with a big red bow draped across the hood.  Or how about the scene where a woman holds a hand over her mouth in complete surprise as she opens a jewelry box to find a ring with a diamond big enough to use as a piece of sidewalk chalk?

Do these things really happen?

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Make Targeted Advertising Work

As a consumer, I’m exposed to varying sources of advertising on a constant basis.  Whether it’s advertising on the internet, commercials on TV, or jingles on the radio, there’s a pretty steady stream of information intended to drive me towards a particular service or product.

One other source of targeted advertising is your mailbox.  I’m not talking your e-mail account, I’m talking the actual mailbox where letters, bills, and of course, ads get delivered.

In addition to the catalogs and other types of products, one thing you surely receive if you have a mailbox is ads and flyers, often bundled with a local paper or shopping ad.  I’m sure a lot of this goes right into the recycling bin for many people, as it does for us, but there are instances where I’ve found that this type of advertising is effective in our household.

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We Ordered A New Dishwasher Two Years After It Sprung A Leak

I wrote a post in January 2012 titled “We Need A New Dishwasher.”

I just ordered it yesterday!

In the referenced post, I noted that I had discovered a small leak under the dishwasher, thanks to a water sensor that I had placed there.  When I first discovered the leak, I figured that was it, that it needed to be replaced.

Then, I got to thinking about it, and decided to do a little investigating.  The water spot on the floor was pretty small, so I thought that I’d take a better look and see just how it was leaking.  I improvised, and found the lid to one of the storage totes that everybody has these days, and was able to slide it under the dishwasher.  I then ran a cycle and was able to observe that it did leak, but only a few drops during each time the machine was adding water.  All told, it probably leaked a grand total of a quarter cup of water.

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Why I Will Not Miss Blockbuster Video

If there was ever as stunning a fall for a retail giant as Blockbuster, I can’t recall.  At one time there was a store on every corner, it seemed like.

My first remembrance of a video store was not a Blockbuster.  My dad was always on the cutting edge of technology, and had one of the first VCRs ever made.  The thing was actually made of two pieces, and together had to weigh at least 50 pounds.  I’m pretty sure the remote control was attached via a wire.  (I do have to give my dad credit for picking the ‘right’ technology, as I’m reasonably sure there was still the VHS vs. BetaMax issue which had not fully resolved by that point).  Still, my dad joined a local store, though it was one of many that lasted but a few years following the later proliferation of Blockbuster and other chain video stores.

I was never a fan of Blockbuster for a variety of reasons.

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3 Famous People I’d Like To Meet And What I’d Ask Them

When it comes to celebrities, there are quite a few people I enjoy for various reasons, but if you were to ask me about celebrities I’d like to meet, the list would be quite small.

It comes down to admiration.

mb-201310hollywoodI recently wrote about how we should make sure that our kids don’t turn celebrities into heroes, and that touches upon why many celebrities I enjoy watching or listening to or reading, I’d never want to meet.  These are three celebrities that I have a touch of admiration towards, so I would take the step to meet them if given a chance.

Here are three celebrities I would like to meet, why I would like to meet them, and wht I would ask them if I had the opportunity to ask them only one question.

Read more3 Famous People I’d Like To Meet And What I’d Ask Them

What’s New This Week? (Plus A Roundup)

A few updates and random thoughts, followed by some great posts I hope you check out:

  • A few weeks ago I wrote about how our IT department is being insourced.  We have received a few more details.  Our official offer letters should be arriving any day now.  They were promised by the 15th, so if that still holds, I’ll know what’s what in a week.  We did find out that our years of service will be credited from when we started, so I’ll come in with six years of service.  This means I’ll get roughly the same amount of time off as I do today, and has a few implications for benefits and such.  There is a lot of nervousness that they’ll be coming in offering less pay than we make today.  I think that’s just normal jitters, and I’m staying optimistic that it’ll be the same or better as what I am getting today.
  • Did you hear about the Walmart glitch on Wednesday where the website had prices mb-201311mistakeof various items at outrageously low prices?  I sure did.  I found a 55″ TV for $329, and while it was sold out online, it said that my local store had one.  Which, when I called, they confirmed that they did.  But, they were already aware by that point that the prices were a mistake (they had $800 treadmills ringing up for $33, computer monitors for $9, and new release video games for $17), and were not honoring those prices.  I read a few forums where people said they got in and picked up stuff right away, so it sounds like a lucky few were able to take advantage of the glitch, but sadly, we did not find an easy way to replace our damaged TV.
  • As a Ford stockholder, I’m a little annoyed at the activity on the stock.  Ford beat earnings a couple of weeks ago, and hit over $18 per share.  Since then it’s been on a somewhat steady decline, around the mid-$16 range, all on virtually no news.  I think institutional investors want a dividend increase, and are passively letting Ford know that they need to increase the payout.  Hopefully the stock reverses course soon!

Read moreWhat’s New This Week? (Plus A Roundup)

Get The Best Software For An Online Store

The following is a guest post.

Often when you set up a store online, you have different expenses than a local brick-and-mortar store might have. You have no building that you must pay rent or taxes on, no electric bills, and often you don’t have employees you must pay if you run the site by yourself. However, this doesn’t mean you don’t still have expenses. When you run a business online, it’s best to make sure you have electronic software that can help make your job easier.

There are many factors you need to consider before purchasing software like whether you want to keep track of sales, the number of hits to your website, if you need to order more product, or to keep track of invoices. Knowing what you need and how much you should pay for it can make or break your business, and must be thought about carefully.

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Tips For Responsible Gambling

Given the huge number of people who enjoy playing slots and table games like poker and blackjack at online casinos, it is important that people know how to do so in a responsible way. These tips should ensure you have fun at the casino without losing your shirt.

Work out a budget

The single biggest tip for responsible gambling is to know what you can afford to bet (and lose) before you start playing, and make sure you stay within that limit. That way it won’t matter too much if you have one of those nights where the gaming just isn’t going your way. However much you trust yourself it can still be a good idea to set aside your monthly gambling budget in a separate bank account. It is easy to underestimate just how exciting casino gaming can be when you are in the heat of it.

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It’s Been Two Years Since Our Refinance

Two years ago we completed the re-finance of our house.  I thought I would go through some of the numbers and things that have happened.

Original Loan: 30 year mortgage, 5.875%, closed July 2007
New Loan: 15 year mortgage, 3.375%, closed November 2011

Increase in monthly payment: $157.69

Reduction in total term: 10 years, 8 months

Principal paid on new loan in the first 24 payments: 10.67%
Principal paid on old loan in prior 24 payments: 4.97%

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