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Issue Date: Vol. 49, No.12, December 2009, Posted On: 12/16/2009


Stretching Dollars In The Recession - And Having Fun Doing It


by Dave Levine
vending, vending machine, Dave Levine, MB Media Brokers, vending operator, vending route, coin-op news, vending news, bargain hunter, online deals for business

I have to admit that I have a secret addiction -- I like getting good deals on things, and finding out about deals that not many people know about. In today's economy, we all have an incentive to look for bargains; the good news is that it is now easier than it has ever been.

In fact, I think that bargain hunting has turned into something of a sport. I am not affiliated with any of these websites, but I honestly think that using certain sites to find great deals not only is easy to do, but also leads to substantial savings. This may help you in your vending business, or maybe just save you some money on your holiday gifts. Without further ado, here are some of my favorite deal sites.

Bradsdeals.com. I think this guy (Brad Wilson) sits around all day finding great deals online. Sometimes they don't even last a day, but every once in a while you find a real screamer.

Fatwallet.com. Fatwallet is interesting because they post all kinds of deals that they find, along with deals that users find. Some users have found loopholes that combine multiple deals on the same product.

Techdealdigger.com. If you are even thinking about getting electronics, go here. I like this site because it is updated frequently with good deals, and they are rated by users. Like other sites, they sometimes point out bizarre, multi-step loophole deals that lead to much lower-than-average prices.

Woot.com. This site is fun. Every day they have a different item that they liquidate. Sometimes the items are truly useless, while other times they are things that you'd really want. Either way, you tend to get good deals, and the shipping usually is cheap also. Their "customer service policy" is hilarious.

Beatthat.com. This site has recently been changed and is now MUCH better. Users try to win $100, which is the daily prize for the best deal of the day. Deals are verified by staff members. There is a lot of free stuff on this site, and also restaurant deals that can be good.

Gottadeal.com. This site is famous for its Black Friday listings; they have a site that gives the most extensive Black Friday info I have seen. Black Friday and Cyber Monday, in my opinion, are the best days to buy things online all year -- plus you don't have to wait in line. The Friday and Monday after Thanksgiving have become a true circus, with many online retailers selling product at or below cost just to get attention. To give you an idea, forecasters this year were predicting $499 42-in. 1080p LCD televisions during the frenzy, as well as $149 24" HD computer monitors.

Bing.com. The real reason to use Microsoft's bing search service is to buy things online. Go to bing, then go shopping through bing and get cash back -- sometimes as much as 15%. A lot of the above sites find great deals and combine them with bing cash back to yield even better deals. This technique is called "user paid search" -- and I think that it will give Google nightmares. After all, if Microsoft is going to pay you to use their search engine to shop and Google won't, do I really need to use Google all the time?

I hope you have fun with this list. Just remember, getting a napkin out of a dispenser in a fast-food restaurant is free, but opening up the napkin dispenser and taking all of the napkins home with you is stealing.


DAVID LEVINE is a former financial advisor and vending company owner. He now runs MB Media Brokers (Phoenix), which specializes in low-cost wireless retrofittable signage for vending machines. Founded in 2005, MB Media Brokers was born out of Levine's conclusion that the vending industry's potential is impaired by the current perception of vending. He believes that this problem can be addressed while providing additional revenue to operators. His solution is to use digital signage to convert the existing machine base into a massive network of digital billboards, capable of both broadcasting and advertising.



Topic: Guest Columns

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