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Posts Tagged ‘shopping

                                                                                                     

Spring wedding season is just around the corner and the planning is in full swing.  Brides-to-be are busy counting heads, finalizing every detail and of course, getting those wedding invitations in the mailbox. 

There is now a one-stop shopping place for all your invitation needs, and you don’t even have to leave the comforts of your own home to get it done.

Check out Invitation Box, (http://www.invitationbox.com/), a company with all the flare for a blushing bride.  From simple and elegant, to elaborate and fancy, Invitation Box has it all.  Whether you are looking for invitations for a Bridal Shower to all the invitations for your wedding, this is the place to shop!  You can even order your menu cards and place cards all without stepping away from your computer! 

I remember putting together all my wedding invitations not that long ago, and I know how important time becomes when trying to organize all the pieces!  So why not let Invitation Box help you out with many of those steps, at once!

Mr. Rebates

I will never shop online again with out going through this web site first.  With Mr. Rebates you can shop at all your favorite stores and earn money back.  I have already earned $25.00 this month by just doing my regular Christmas shopping!  Not only can you get better deals but you can get some money back as well.  Mr. Rebates also lets you know which coupons are available online.

Example:  If you want to buy a toy, then go to the website and look up “toys”.  Then a list of companies will show up and you can see which ones will pay the highest rebate and the best price.  It is that easy! 

And if you sign up today you get a $5.00 registration bonus!!!! You have to try it and see for yourself.  There’s no gimmicks, just a smart way to save – and even earn- a few bucks.  To check out Mr. Rebates, click here.

For the second year running, this will be a make or break holiday for retailers, as many cannot survive another season of suppressed sales.  With total gift sales forecasted to decline 2.6 percent this Christmas season, “necessity gift” like clothing will be the only growth category, according to industry research IBISWorld.

“Clothing is the only gift category to see growth this year because it serves a dual purpose,” said Toon van Beeck, senior analyst with IBISWorld.  “Parents are using this Christmas season as an excuse to update their children’s wardrobes, still filling space under the tree and ultimately saving money in the long run.”

As the biggest retail category, clothing represents 18.6 percent of total Christmas gift sales in 2009, at $81.91 billion.  Discount and convenient retailers like Zappos and Kohl’s will continue to see strong sales volumes, as consumers move away from higher-end goods to more value-added purchases.

However, brand name products and celebrity labels are going to fare poorly this year, while basic clothing items are expected to perform well.  Overall, clothes are expected to rebound from their dismal performance a year ago – which was among the worst Christmas retailing seasons this century.

So you can’t wait for Black Friday to jump-start your holiday shopping?  Well, Old Navy will be open on Thanksgiving day from 12 -7 p.m.  

It’s called Gobblepalooza, where shoppers will enjoy great deals (50% off all outerwear, $15 sweaters for the entire family and buy 2 t-shirts get one free) and fun in-store festivities (Rock Band anyone?).  Also,  The first customers in line will receive a free Rock Band guitar! Plus everyone can enter to win a $200 shopping spree.

And starting Black Friday, Old Navy will open at 3 a.m. until midnight.  For more details on participating stores and hours, click here.

With inventory levels expected to be low this year, according to industry research firm IBISWorld, savvy shoppers will need a leg-up on the season to ensure they get all the gifts on their list.  Otherwise, the last-minute shopper could be left in the dust.

I’m usually a big fan of Nordstrom, but my recent transaction with the company has made me NEVER want to shop there again!  Why you ask?  Because it took six weeks, ten phone calls to customer service, three calls to UPS and a letter to Nordstrom’s corporate headquarters to get the coat I purchased!!

I don’t know about you, but I find that sort of service unacceptable.  I ordered my coat on Sept. 20 and didn’t receive it until Oct. 30 , when I was told it would arrive in 5-8 business days! 

So what went wrong?  Apparently the coat left the Nordstrom’s warehouse via UPS.  From there, UPS “tried” to deliver the package to my second-story apartment but couldn’t find my unit (out of an eight-unit building).  Shocking, I know. 

Seeing that the UPS carrier was too lazy to walk up a flight of stairs – that’s a story for another day – there was no package notice left to alert me that the coat was sent back to Nordstrom. 

So, Nordstrom sent out ANOTHER coat and the cycle with UPS started all over again.  But here’s the kicker…Nordstrom failed to inform me (the customer) of the status of my order.  So in the meantime, I’m calling the company’s customer service and getting the runaround.  On three occasions customer service promised me the package would arrive the next day and it never did.  On two occasions they promised me a return phone call and never called back – infuriating!

Finally, four weeks after my purchase I got a UPS slip on my apartment door saying the package couldn’t be delivered.  I called UPS and they said the package had been sent back to Nordstrom.  So I called Nordstrom and they finally explained the troubles they were having with shipping and asked me for an alternative address to ship the coat (which they should have done weeks prior).  I gave them my work address and the package still didn’t show up for another 10 days!

The most disturbing part of this whole story is that I probably would never have received my coat had I not been such a squeaky wheel.  Also, I had asked for a refund for all the time I spent tracking down this coat (40 days) and Nordstrom wouldn’t give me one.  If I were you, I’d think twice when ordering from this company.  Unless you have the time to order you swimsuit in February so it’s there by June.

And let’s not let UPS off that easy.  The icing on the cake is that I got a UPS delivery a week later to my second-story apartment.  What’s that all about?!  Do their carriers pick and choose the packages they want to deliver?  If Nordstrom was smart it would switch to Fed-Ex.

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Rather than brave the crowds and long lines this Black Friday, many consumers will do all their shopping from home.  According to Deloitte’s annual holiday survey, 3 out of 5 consumers plan to use social media to find big discounts and coupons this holiday season. 
 
For consumers looking for the most affordable options this year (from electronics to home decor and clothes), CheapTweet addresses a big need by harnessing the power of Twitter to help make consumer dollars stretch further. 

CheapTweet scans Twitter for the best deals, coupons and sales that people are tweeting about. Deals are then consumer-rated and delivered via the Internet and Twitter, so users are able to find the best deals catered to their needs.  Every day, CheapTweet filters through more than 15,000 deal tweets to add 6,000 new deals to the site.
 
Essentially, it takes the hard work out of online shopping and brings the deals to you. CheapTweet launched back in November 2008 and since then has seen an outstanding growth in traffic, over +500%! And big brands are signing up to partner with CheapTweet, like Toys R Us, Barnes & Noble’s and Best Buy.

Reese Witherspoon hits SATINE for some shopping.  She purchased the Rebecca Minkoff Brown Croc Clutch ($340).

Kim%20Kardashian-FVD-000006

According to E! News, Kim and the entire Kardashian clan went shopping for potential diamond engagement rings.  Kim’s boyfriend, Reggie Bush (NFL player for the New Orleans Saints), hasn’t proposed yet, but Kim is preparing in advance.  She explained to the media:

“He definitely knows all of us went ring shopping. I definitely scared him and told him it was probably way more expensive than it is, just so that when he goes he feels like he’s getting a good deal. He knows what it looks like. I think I’ve emailed him enough pictures!”

Sources close to Kim have mentioned that she picked out something that was just $20 million?

What kind of ring do you think Kim decided upon?

memorial spending

This Memorial Day it’s all about savings, as consumers look to cut costs while still maintaining a fun three-day weekend.  Fortunately savvy shoppers, who purchase store brands over brand-name products, stand to save 16.3 percent on their total holiday grocery bill, according to IBISWorld research to the left.

“In essence, store brands turn the clock back two to three years,” said Toon van Beeck, senior analyst with IBISWorld. “Without inflation, store-brand groceries this Memorial Day weekend are comparable in price to brand-name groceries during the 2007 holiday.”  

 Based on the average holiday shopping cart above, the 16.3 percent savings puts about $10 back into consumers’ pockets.  That means with approximately 117,641,000 households in the U.S., the nation could save about $1.18 billion if everyone celebrated Memorial Day in the same fashion and went the store-brand route as opposed to the brand name route.

Photo by bjearwicke

Photo by bjearwicke

According to the Wedding Channel’s Charli Penn, there are five things a bride should know before shopping for her dream gown:

Determine Your Personal Style
Before you make an appointment with a gown salon, take your time and research popular gown styles so you can determine what you’re really looking for in a wedding dress. Which silhouette is right for your body type? Trumpet? Ball gown? A-line? Are you partial to a certain neckline? Sweetheart? Strapless? Halter? You don’t have to make a decision before hit the store, but be you should be familiar with what’s out there, what you want, and what you’re willing to spend.

Keep the Theme in Mind
Planning a formal wedding? Keeping it beach-casual? A gown that’s appropriate for a black-tie affair (floor-length, with intricate detailing) looks much different than a dress that’s perfect for fun in the sun (shorter, with lighter fabric and minimal embellishments). Plan to limit your selections to gowns that are appropriate for your wedding theme. Consider the season as well. Lighter fabrics, like silk tulle, organza, and charmeuse, and tea-length skirts are fine for spring, but winter weddings call for heavier fabrics and longer lengths. Once you’ve narrowed down your style, scour the web and magazines for pictures of your favorite gowns. Bring them along to your appointment so the sales associate has a better idea of what you’re looking for.

Think About Your Hair
Though we’re not recommending that you book a pricey salon appointment before your first dress fitting, it is a good idea to wear your hair in a style similar to the one you’re planning to have on your wedding day. Your hairstyle, along with your accessories, will complete your bridal look. If you try on a gown while your hair is down and love the way it looks, you might wind up unpleasantly surprised with how much the look has changed if you end up opting for an updo.

Go Au Naturel
The day you’re headed to the bridal salon, ditch your usual scent and makeup. As much as you may want to look (and smell) good that day, cosmetics can actually stain or damage gown samples. Messy deodorant is another gown-shopping no-no. Wear an invisible or clear type and opt for a gel instead of a powder. The same goes for your first official fitting. (The last thing you ever want to do is damage your dress before you’ve worn it, right?)

Go Lingerie Shopping
There is no one bra or pair of panties that will work with every gown, but if you have a pretty good idea of what you want to buy, bringing the right bra is a plus. Have your heart set on something satin? Choose a contouring bra and panty set to ensure your body has a sleek silhouette. Have a large chest? Wear a minimizer to make your bust appear smaller, or your best push-up bra to add curves. If you don’t want to wear a body slimmer, consider bringing a good pair of control top pantyhose instead — they can work miracles!


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