Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Just in time for the Holidays...an EVIL new scam!

What a gift from our neighbors to the north, a bumper crop of new con artists. This is so prevalent that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have created a task force to handle this crime wave. They call it Economic Fraud. It is international because they operate in Canada at phone banks, and pass themselves off as a sweepstakes administration agency for a BIG company here in the USA. I go into more detail at my personal blog at: www.toma-talk.blogspot.com . Check out today's post. If you get any type of mail claiming you've won a prize, please, PLEASE check it out with your local better business bureau or your bank can verify whether a check is authentic or a fraud. If they ask you not to tell anyone about the letter, etc. please DON'T listen! I had a neighbor get ripped off in a similar way for $10k over 10 years ago and she never recovered financially from it. I was suspicious when they suggested I deposit by atm only so I could draw on the funds immediately. The agent had excuse after excuse about why I should lock up the letter and tell no one and not deposit through a teller and only use an atm. I dodged a bullet of almost $5k in fraud. We are in such dire straits that our meager funds that would have bought a whopping $15 itunes card for our teen daughter's Christmas present and maybe a stocking stuffer under $5 for the two of us, had to go in the kitty to get our minivan operational (barely). We still have a tire nearly shot and other minor repairs. We eat one main meal a day at supper, toast or a small snack for breakfast so we can take our meds. If there's not enough food for a noon meal, we can always take a nap, since we're disabled. If it weren't for food pantries, we wouldn't be able to do even that. We get the oh so generous stipend of $91 per month food stamps to feed our family of three. The vicious fiends prey on the neediest and most desperate at holiday time, because we hope against all odds for a Christmas miracle for our families. Please be vigilant and keep hope alive for your family this holiday! God Bless and Merry Christmas

Monday, December 21, 2009

BZZing UP!

Congratulate me, I am now a worker bee! You see, I love FREE! Anything free! I love it even more when my feedback can influence changes or development of new products. That's why I became a BZZagent! I started like everyone else as a SOLITARY bee. It seemed to take forever to reach that first BZZcampaign and my current status. It took time, more than I expected. I got to try and evaluate L'Oreal's Revitalift Eye product. To be honest, I am always skeptical of anti-aging claims of products, even though I did direct selling for Avon for 10 years. I loved it, but if you can't get around and don't have a decent warm list, you can't afford to keep going for long. I loved doing Avon. I am just incapable of the physical demands of door to door. I didn't have a large network to draw on for relationship selling and workplaces discourage it these days, so I lost most of my market. I was drawn to opportunities offered on the internet. I joined a few legitimate survey sites as well as BZZagent. I have tested a variety products from cat food and cat litter to toilet paper and macaroni and cheese and have received a small remuneration for it, usually $2 to $5. I have been in one major research study and that paid a little better. Seriously though, you will not get rich doing survey work. And beware of "Participation Required" surveys. There is fine print that will scam you out of ridiculous sums of money. One such program charged $75 for a so-called free skin care trial that was supposed to be shipping and handling only. What is very hard to discern is that you have 14 days from the date they issue to decline it and return unused portions or they can charge you! Talk about an expensive lesson! I have been trying to find legitimate product testing panels for computers, cell phones, etc, that don't involve these participation scams. I am sure they are out there, and I know some bloggers are getting things like free refrigerators for using and reviewing products in lieu of cash payments. I just haven't made the right connections yet. So far, compensation is pretty much minimum wage comparable for the time involved, but for a disabled person, I can use consumer goods like cat food and litter and skin care despite my disabilities. I can take surveys and evaluate products online because all computers these days offer accessibility options, I just need to get a good microphone/headset to voice train for when my hands are bad with the diabetic neuropathy. If you don't participate in BZZagent, I recommend it. It is time consuming to get started, but it is legitimate and a great way to promote your favorite products and even locate coupons once in a while. BZZ!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I LOVE a good coupon!

I love a good deal. If I don't save at least 45% on my groceries, between coupons, store sales prices, customer loyalty cards and electronic coupons attached to loyalty cards, I pout. Yes, I am an adult and should be ashamed, but I take great pride in the day I saved 94%. Then there was the trip that got me 10 packages of bacon free!
If you don't already belong to sites like redplum.com, coupons.com, or couponmom.com, check them out. Also, grocers like Kroger (which operates under different names in different states), Marsh, and others offer customer loyalty programs/cards that can get you special deals, coupons attached to card numbers, or coupons by mail to combine with deals offered in their circulars.
I also, like the electronic coupon sites like Upromise.com which lets you set up college savings accounts(529's) for kiddos in your life, or shortcuts.com which let you register your store loyalty cards and have manufacturer's coupons attached electronically. You can also reap college monies from your drugstore loyalty card from the likes of CVS or credit cards by registering them at Upromise.com, too.
I worked at a grocer that was bought out by Kroger/Hilander for 5 years. I learned all the tricks of the trade. I was lucky then that our store used ad matching as well as manufacturer's coupons. Kroger stopped the ad matching not long after absorbing Scotts stores. Wal-Mart still honors ad-matching but only accepts face value of coupons. I try to use coupons that are not eligible for double/triple coupon programs there, especially if I find items on clearance that are eligible.
Check with your local store's policy. Also, most mass retailer's policies are posted on heyitsfree.net. "Hif" also posts new coupon links usually once a week.
I registered for a lot of freebie sites, and most freebie samples come with a coupon to encourage you to keep using the product. Hif is good about avoiding scam ridden so called freebies and has links to other good freebie sites.
These are just a few of my favorite tips. will post more later.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I have strong opinions!

When it comes to my money, I have STRONG opinions. I tweet. I roar! If you give me lousy customer service or a lemon of a product, rest assure, the WORLD will know! I follow another blogger nickname dooce, who showed me the true power of twitter when it comes to customer service. I encourage you to check out her posting on 08/28/09 at http://dooce.com. She is a powermom. I hope to offer guidance to the novice shopper and to band together with other shoppers in warning the shopping world of bad service and inferior products. Check back soon for reviews of sites, products, my shopping experiences. I may also do some compensated reviews of products, but rest assured, honesty is my number one goal. I do companies no favors if I gloss over flaws, so I will be brutally honest with them and you. After all, if they don't know when there's a problem, they can't fix it, can they? Join me in my efforts to make the shopping world a more honest, better place to be!