Category Archives: Shopping

Tips For Finding the Cheapest Home Insurance

What are some of the best homeowners insurance discounts to take advantage of? How can one easily find a cheapest home insurance? Whether buying a car, shopping for furniture or paying for a college education, most everyone is looking for a discount of some sort. Knowing where to go, what to look for, and how to prepare are all essential in order to get the best deal. It is the same with finding discounts on a homeowners Insurance policy. With the proper knowledge and guidance in the direction you should go, you can take advantage of many discounts without sacrificing excellent coverage.

Often the time to best consider homeowners insurance is before you buy the house. Knowing what factors will affect the cost of your home insurance premiums can help you choose the right house that will allow you to purchase a very affordable homeowners insurance policy. Read on to learn some of the factors that will affect the cost of your home insurance policy and then learn some of the discounts that you can take utilize to lower your rate even further.

FACTORS THAT AFFECT THE COST OF HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE PREMIUMS

Location. In purchasing a business or real estate we have already heard the primary factor to take into account is location, location, location. It is also an item that homeowners Insurance companies take into account. If the area has a history of crime, fires, hurricanes, flooding, and other natural disasters, you will be looking at increased premiums. Over time they can add up to a considerable sum.

Age of Dwelling. The age of the home is taken into consideration because many older homes have outdated electric and heating systems. The older wiring throughout the house does not meet many of the electrical codes that are required in newer homes and the heating units do not have the safety features of today’s systems. As a result the possibility of fire and damage are greater and yes, you guessed it, higher premiums.

Type of construction. The material that your house is mainly constructed of will also be a factor in amount you pay for premiums. Remember the Three little Pigs? It was only the house made of brick that withstood the wolf’s huffing and puffing. Likewise when it comes to houses withstanding damage, homes made of brick, block and masonry receive a better rating than those made of wood. Fire and wind damage are just naturally a greater possibility with a home constructed mainly of wood.

Fire protection. Many factors are taken into consideration win the area of fire protection. The distance to a fire station, whether a fire dept. has up to date equipment, the training level of its firefighters, and finally that particular fire stations response history. I recently talked with a man whose father’s home burned to the ground because the fire department arrived 35 minutes after the call for help was sent out. (The fire station was less than five miles away.)

Number of living units. Owning a townhouse or condo can mean a more expensive insurance policy. Multi-family dwellings cost more in premiums because although you may take all the steps to keep your dwelling in good repair and free from safety hazards, your neighbors may not be so conscientious and what affects one dwelling will in all likelihood affect the homes that closest to it.

Age of the Homeowner. If you’re under the age of 55 and still working you’re out of luck in being considered for a discount. A “Mature Homeowners” discount is often available for those who are over 55 and retired.

The above are often factors that you have no control over, you can’t change your age, the age of your home, or the location of the fire station; they are what they are (unless of course your are in the market for a new home – then you can certainly be on the lookout for homes that lend themselves to cheaper homeowners insurance rates). However, there are some proactive measures that you can put into place in order to be eligible for discounts on your homeowners insurance policy.

COMMON HOME INSURANCE DISCOUNTS

Protective Devices. Installing different security devices can earn a discount on your premiums. A security alarm system that is hooked up to alert the local police station is considered a good deterrent to theft and will reduce the amount you pay in homeowner premiums. (Even installing dead bolts on all the outside exits will usually earn you a discount.) Also, fire protective devices such as smoke alarms, sprinkler systems and fire extinguishers are all items that qualify you for a discount.

Consolidating Your Insurance Needs. Many Homeowners Insurance companies also offer Auto Insurance. Almost all of them will offer you a nice sized discount if you will insure your autos along with your home with them. An added advantage for you is that you are dealing with a single insurance agency.

Keep a Good Credit History. Advertising in all the different forms of media are constantly bringing to our attention the necessity of having a good credit history and the need to frequently check on its standing. However, there may be certain aspects of maintaining a good credit history that you may not be aware of. You should not apply for too much credit. Credit that is checked several times in a short period of time can make your credit look bad. If you’ve just moved into an area and there are suddenly numerous stores you’ve never had access to before, be careful about going hog wild in acquiring their charge cards. Also, gas and airlines offering you perks for using their card mean more credit checks. Strangely enough, or should I say fortunately, credit checks made by insurance companies have no ill effect on your credit rating. By law (in most states) homeowners insurance companies are allowed to check your credit record, note whether you pay your bills on time and use that information to determine the cost of your insurance policy and even make a decision as to whether they will offer you coverage on your home. However, although some state laws allow homeowners insurance companies access to a person’s credit history, it does state that an insurer may not make a decision based solely on your credit report.

Take the Highest Deductible. By raising your deductible to $1,000 or $2,500 you can save as much as 20% on your premiums. If you’re willing to pay that higher deductible should the need arise, there’s a good chance you will come out ahead.

COMPARE DISCOUNTED HOME INSURANCE RATES

With the above information in mind, be sure to ask your insurer about the factors that could reduce your premiums. Questions are free and if they net you a discount that might otherwise have gone overlooked, who cares if the agent thinks you are a bit driven. After all, driven to find the best discount is a good thing. A timely put question could be just your ticket to the cheapest home insurance!

Tips for Flawless Shopping

Christmas is almost here. You can feel it practically everywhere – in the smell of snow and Christmas trees spread in the air, in the happy children faces you see while walking on the street, and of course, in the Christmas gifts every one of us is looking forward to get. However, there is no need to panic if you have not started your Christmas shopping yet. Our Christmas shopping tips are here to help you. Moreover, having these a few strategies in mind will help you avoid a budget blow-out over Christmas and also, if the thought of fighting crowds while doing your shopping drives you crazy, these tips will help you avoid common hassles. Let us start with the first and most important tip:

1. Make a list

This is our top tip. Make a list of all people you want or need to give gifts to. Our advice is to include in this list first of all your family and closest friends. Then put friends that are not so close to you, neighbours, colleagues, the mailman probably. Think about all these people’s interests, what they may like and prepare a budget you are ready to spend per person. Now you are fully prepared to recognise the perfect gift when it crosses your way. Which takes us to the next step:p

2. Buy wholesale if possible

There are kids in your family and also in your friends’ and colleagues’ families? Or the list of people you are buying presents for is quite long? Then why don’t you buy them all toys and gifts wholesale? And to make it easier for you, you can purchase wholesale gifts and wholesale toys online. Moreover, when you purchase from a wholesale gifts and toys supplier, it is very likely to get a discount. So what more can you wish for? You buy discount gifts and toys for all your friends, family members and colleagues, you do it online – without moving from your comfortable seat and last but not least – save your money. Sounds like a wonderful idea, isn’t it?

3. Make sure you secure your online shopping

Well, you agree with me that online buying gifts online is a wise idea, don’t you? But still you have to take into consideration one very important aspect of online shopping – security concerns. It is highly essential to make sure you are shopping on a secure site. This way you know that your personal and credit card information is secure.

And finally, why don’t you reward yourself with a present for the good job done? Ackerman Online is the perfect online shopping experience for all of you. It offers a huge range of wholesale gifts and toys, wooden toys, fancy goods, garden gifts and accessories, Christmas gifts, decorations and toys which they continuously update to keep their range exciting, fresh and unique. Everything you need to make your Christmas holidays an experience to remember.

Selling Products Online

Selling products online is one of the things that you can do to make money online. In fact, if you can run a successful business online, you can actually make this a full-time business that make you good income even if you are working at home.

Especially if you are business-minded, putting up an online store can be a lucrative business, but you have to know the tips and tricks in selling products online so you can make the best profits and you can sell your products fast. Here are a few things that you might want to consider in selling products online.

– Sell your items in eBay and other online auction sites.One of the good things about online auction sites is that, the price can go high depending on the number of people who are interested in the item. However, you also have to keep in mind that tough competition can also be a challenge in online auctions as some sellers can offer similar products at a very los starting price which can also take away some of the interested buyers away from your product’s page.

Sell in social network sites. You can create a business page on social networks, post some pictures on the products on the page and sell them online through your networks. What is good with social networks is its wide coverage and of course, it is easy for your business to get an exposure. One more thing is that, you can also be at least assured that you can identify your buyers through their profiles.

Sell your products in fix prices in online marketplaces. You can also sell your products online in fix prices if you don’t want to put them in online auction sites. There are actually a lot of sites online that will allow you to post your products for sale at a fix price and although some will ask for a minimal fee, you can however get the most exposure you want for your product.

Sell in local directories. Another important venue where you can sell your product is to sell them in local directories such as Craigslist. This is especially great if you have products that are difficult to deliver to far places or products that are targeted for local areas only.

– Sell on your online store.Put up a website that will serve as your online store. This can be good especially if you have a lot of products to sell online. Although this can be a good way in selling products online, it can also take time to put up. Among the things you have to consider are your online payment mode, your online shopping cart, online customer service, as well as other mechanisms that will allow you to have a safe and secured website for your customers.

These are just a few of the things that you have to consider in selling products online. You can actually find a lot of other ways to sell online and you just have to do your homework and find ways to sell item fast at the best price.

Starting an Online Store

This is the perfect time for starting an online store. This is because more and more people are shopping online, which is convenient, fast and time saving experience. This is one of the main reasons why so many offline businesses that do not have e-commerce websites are quickly losing customers. Simply put, online shopping is great for both the shoppers and business owners.

The biggest advantage of starting an online store is that it allows small businesses to compete with big companies. Not to mention the fact that it’s much easier to start an online store than opening a retail space.

The good news is that online retail stores can be incredibly profitable. Numerous businesses that were on the brink of failure became very lucrative once they opened online stores. However, starting an online store can be overwhelming for many people. In this article you will learn the basics of setting up e-commerce stores as well as some solutions that make building online stores super easy and fast.

Tips For Starting an Online Store

– Do not open a general store. There are thousands of these on the internet and it will be very hard to compete with them. Your store should be focused on just one niche and sell only products that belong to this niche. Using this method, you will be viewed as an expert. This is a huge advantage over those stores that offer all kinds of items, such as Amazon.

– When building your online store, you can choose between several platforms. Every one of them has its own benefits and drawbacks, but there is one e-commerce website builder that is my first choice. More about it at the end of this article.

– The best thing you can do is to set up your store on your own domain. This will give you much more control than creating your store on sites such as eBay, Amazon and others. Pay special attention to selecting a good domain name. Think about the word choice and make it something that people will remember. Also make sure that it is relevant to your store. Be creative and don’t come up with something boring like “Bobs Store.” All this will help you in the long run.

– Your next job is to build up inventory. You may be tempted to sell every product you can find that belongs to your niche, but do not do it. It will be much more profitable if you have a good selection of products. So, offer only the best items.

– Another crucial aspect of your store is the layout and design. Please do not use generic templates offered by various platforms. It is very important that your online store has unique and clean design and layout. It means that your customer needs to put little effort to find the product that he/she wants to buy. For this reason, include the product search bar on top of every page.

– You need to provide the right amount of information about the products you are selling. Your customers must have enough information to make a buying decision.

– When it comes to pricing products you are going to sell, it is good idea to check out the prices of your competitors. This will help you avoid pricing your products too high or too low. Do not forget that the cost of the products can be dependent upon size, quantity, etc.

– At this point you should choose a payment plan. You can have a payment gateway or a merchant account. The best option is to have both. A payment gateway is service that authorizes payments for your online store. A good example is PayPal. When you set up a merchant account, you are able to accept credit or debit card payments on your e-commerce website.

– You also need to think about your shipping method if you are selling tangible products. There are three methods for shipping items: free shipping, flat rate shipping and variable rate shipping. Free shipping is usually for purchases over $100. Another option is to use a drop shipper if you don’t want to pack and ship your orders.

– Once you are finished with starting an online store, your need to start promoting it. This means getting visitors to your store. You can do this by optimizing your site for free search engine traffic, setting up a Facebook page, or using Google’s advertisement service AdWords.

If you do all the steps correctly, you should start earning a decent income very fast. You need to keep promoting your store. In addition, treat your customers properly. Pay special attention to repeat customers. They are your most important asset. Do all you can to make your customers happy and your business will grow.

Estate Costume Jewelry Shopping

Let’s face it – us women love to and buying that estate jewelry is no different. Buying estate costume jewelry is a whole lot of fun. Now that said it can also be exciting and very confusing and especially if you are searching for quality affordable estate costume jewelry.

Whether you are shopping for an estate jewelry gift for someone very special or you’ve decide it’s time to treat yourself, you need to know how to get the best estate costume jewelry on the market. These 10 tips will help you get the best buy on the market.

1. If you are looking for an estate costume jewelry piece that is specific you need to be sure to shop around and do some price comparison. By purchasing online you can save a lot and find a great deal. Chances it will be much lower than what local prices can offer.

2. Even estate costume jewelry comes in a variety of qualities. Some very high quality made with the best materials including rhinestones, Swarovski crystals, and sterling silver. Others are made from cut glass, plated metals. Or a host of great materials that are affordable.

3. If you don’t know the return policies ask. Don’t assume anything. If you are buying online read about their policies and if you can’t find them then you need to email and ask.

4. You can buy awesome faux pearl estate costume jewelry and it will fool your toughest critics. And you can relax and wear your fabulous pearl pieces without worrying about loss or damage. Just enjoy them.

5. If you are purchasing designer costume jewelry pieces like Grosse, Trifari, or Cine, ensure the pieces are authentic and you are paying fair market price. Shop around and make sure to shop online.

6. If you aren’t familiar with the company do your homework on the company before you buy. Make sure that you are comfortable with the policies of the company.

7.If you are purchasing online from a company you are unfamiliar with or unsure a good rule of thumb is to never spend more than you are willing to loose.

8. Make sure you have all the details on the estate costume jewelry so that you aren’t surprised. For example don’t assume something is sterling silver unless you’ve been told as such.

9. Make sure you understand the warranties. Many companies give only store credits and will not return your cash. If you don’t like the warranty don’t buy. Their store their rules.

10. If you are purchasing online ask how they ship and when you can expect delivery. This is especially important if you need the fashion costume jewelry for a gift. You don’t want it to arrive late.

Now that you’ve got these 10 tips for estate costume jewelry shopping you should be getting some great buys. So what are you looking for?

Women and Shopping Tips

Shopping is something that most women love to do. Window-shopping is a great past time. The woman takes her time to go from store to store to research and compare store prices. Most women don’t need expert shopping tips because shopping is so natural to them. However, there are some that do.

I think shopping is a talent. Women have even made personal shopping a career where they do other people’s shopping for them and get paid. Doing something that you already love to do and getting paid to do it is truly a dream come true for a personal shopper.

The mall is a popular place where women go to shop for clothes, shoes, jewelry, gifts, phones, and household items like bed linen, bathroom rugs, pots, pans, and lamps. Women are passionate about this past time and take pleasure in spending hours and load of cash on buying items that peak their interest or that can fit.

People shop at certain times of the year for gift items. Christmas, Birthdays, Valentines, Easter, Mother’s day and Father’s day are some special occasion that calls for shopping for loved ones, friends and coworkers. For birthdays, women shop for their husbands, children or boyfriend. Birthday gifts range from books, clothing, games to spa treatment or dining out. Children’s birthday gifts are easier for women to buy because they usually know that toys, games, books, and clothing are what most children love anyway. Valentines shopping comes with flowers and chocolate as well as a night out on the town.

Christmas is where most women spend their money on family and friends. This is where commercial shopping meets credit card payments. Women go all out to buy items for Christmas gifts and do not consider the aftermath of the bills that follow. The day after Thanksgiving is also a big shopping day for most American women. They get up early in the morning to join a long line of shoppers to purchase discounted items especially jewelry. This sale prepares them to fill up the Christmas gift wrappers and avoid spending more money than necessary. It is sometimes amazing to watch women stampeding and pushing each other the moment the store doors are opened.

Easter is mostly bunnies, eggs, gift baskets and cards. This is the time of year when women get sentimental and get involved with Easter because of their children and because they love the season. Children love to paint eggs and have egg-hunting contest. Women will purchase the eggs and make the pretty gift baskets and bunnies to make their children look good at the school event.

Mother’s day and Father’s day are more personalized. Depending on what the woman’s mother or father loves, that is what she will shop for. A mother may love diamonds, household goods, a mother’s day card, gift certificate, flowers, and a variety of other selections. Fathers may like things like jewelry, apparel, gift certificates and much more. Each woman will know what her parents love and may even shop for something different on occasion.

Holiday Shopping Tips

HOLIDAY SHOPPING TIPS
When shopping for that perfect gift this Holiday Season, don’t get confused by all the sales talk. Here are some definitions for you to keep handy:

Store Policy: Many stores are now required by State and Local Consumer Protection Laws to prominently post their rules regarding sales, returns, and exchanges. Look for the sign (usually behind the cash register desk), read it, and thoroughly understand it before you buy anything. You don’t want to buy a gift for someone if they cannot return or exchange it.

Final Sale: Final means final. Once you buy a final sale item, it cannot be returned. If you are unsure, don’t buy final sale items as gifts. In most stores, it is always final sale on swimsuits, lingerie, and sleepwear.

Me “Look”: Leather-look doesn’t mean leather, silky or silk-like doesn’t mean silk, a suede finish is not suede. “Designer” doesn’t necessarily mean it was designed by anyone you ever heard of. Watch out for such descriptive terms – and take a closer look before you buy.

As Is merchandise has been roughed up by previous customers. Expect missing buttons, broken zippers, falling hems, split seams, snags, tears, and generally bad condition. Sales are final on as is merchandise, and you wouldn’t want to buy anything “as is” as a gift anyways.

BE – JEWELED
A splash of jewelry can brighten any Holiday outfit, even casual ones:

Jewel Necklines: Chokers that are dramatic and equal in size all the way around create a sensational, tailored look.

Scoop Necklines: This neckline is perfect for spotlighting vintage chokers, as well as chains, pearls, and drop pendants. A scoop neckline can also be worn with long chains, but always wear your necklace at least 3-4 inches below the neckline.

V-Neck Necklines: A V-neckline is the perfect frame for 18″ drop pendants. Wearing them creates a repetition of the V neckline, a characteristic of the popular classic style.

Collar: For a casual look, open the collar and wear a simple choker or 18″ chain. For a dressy look, wear a longer necklace tucked under the collar, or button the collar and wear a pin.

Turtleneck: This neckline is usually found on solid colors, which makes it great for showcasing dramatic jewelry. The best choices for this neckline are 24″ and longer. Don’t wear a necklace that’s too short.

QUICK TIP
Create a quiet space in your room; even if it’s just a corner that is purely for relaxing- like writing in your journal, or mediating. If you have a place to unwind before bed, you’ll sleep better and wake up more refreshed.

Great Shopping Tips

Sure, I enjoy stuffing my car trunk with bags of fabulous finds on occasions. But finding fabulous finds without breaking the bank brings greater pleasure. Let’s face it, it’s a new economy and many are looking for creative, cost saving ways to spend less while scoring more. That’s why I thrift. I make. I retail (in that order… lol). Here are 5 tips to help you score fabulous finds and build that fabulous wardrobe at a fraction of the cost.

1. Shop Off Season – Some of the best deals you can ever score happens when you scourer the racks at your favorite stores off-season. This means shopping for summer clothes in the winter. Applying this basic shopping principle can save you anywhere from 50-75% off the original price. The downside to this is that your options may be no easy pickings. Often times, these racks would have been rummaged through before you would have had you chance. Calling your favorite stores to find out when they do their off-season mark downs could help you get first dibs.

2. Consider Thrifting – Thrifting or consignment shopping is part of my fashion shopping routine. I find great pleasure in scouring the consignment universe for fabulous vintage and designer items at exceptional steals. If the concept of finding amazing fabulous finds on a budget soothes your soul as well as your wallet; then thrift or consignment boutique shopping is certainly for you. While thrifting isn’t for everyone, if you have patience and are willing to leave any preconceived notions behind—-you can walk away with fabulous fashion finds. Online consignment boutiques like Thredup.com, Therealreal.com, Poshmark.com, Liketwice.com and Threadflip.com have amazing deals and inventory.

3. Shop Red – The first stop when I enter a store is the clearance rack. I’m going straight to those racks seeking out those price tags with the red line going straight through the original prices. Many times I fulfill my retail therapy right in the clearance sections; making it easier for me to avoid the rest of the store.

4. Invest in Staples – Investing in staple must-haves provide more styling flexibility and more options in your wardrobe building process. There are some items that you absolutely need readily available in your closet. These make up the basis of your wardrobe; they’re the must haves, no matter what your style – they are the wardrobe essentials. They are versatile, classic and of great quality. Items such as a pencil skirt, black blazer, great pair of jeans, a LBD and a classic black handbag all fall under this category. Starting out with these staple basics gives you the opportunity to mix-and-match, while creating the illusion of an expansive wardrobe.

5. Shop Discount Designer Stores – If you love bargain shopping like I do, you may want to consider frequenting some of these discount retail stores when going on your next shopping spree. Stores like TJMaxx, Bluefly.com, TheOutNet.com, Yoox.com, Neiman Marcus Last Call and Marshalls to name a few are great bargain stores with fabulous designer brands at exceptional prices.

Saving Money Grocery Shopping

With inflation and food prices rising, saving money grocery shopping can seem like an uphill battle. However, there are certainly a few key tips you can use to make sure you stick within your budget with money to spare. Here are 5 of the best tips for saving money at the grocery store…

1. Stick to the Perimeters

Healthy eaters already know that the perimeters of the store are the places to be, but this applies double to people trying to save money grocery shopping! Instead of cruising the center aisles for pre-packaged and processed items, stick to the sections on the outer edges of the store where raw or unprepared ingredients are sold. These include the produce section, the meat counter, the bakery, and the dairy.

2. Don’t Shop Hungry!

I’ve worked at a grocery store, and I can’t remember how many times I’ve heard shoppers say, “I shouldn’t have come here hungry!” Make sure you have a full stomach when you go to the grocery store, so you don’t end up shopping with your appetite instead of your brain. You’ll avoid impulsively buying tasty-looking items that you don’t really need.

3. Sales, not Coupons

Clipping coupons is fine if you have the extra time, but it’s not nearly as good for saving money grocery shopping as simply looking out for sales. You can save 30, 40, and even 50 percent on your grocery bill if you stick to buying the produce items and cuts of meat that are on sale that week. If you eat a lot of meat or fish, ask your butcher about upcoming sales so you can plan your meals accordingly.

4. Buy in Season

In the age of preservatives and quick transportation, you can get almost any fruit or vegetable year-round. However, that doesn’t mean you should! If you want veggies that are both delicious and affordable, learn the basics on seasonal produce and shop accordingly. You’ll end up with more delicious fruits and veggies, as well, since stuff that’s grown closer to home has more time to mature on the vine, in the ground, or on the tree.

5. Be Flexible

Most people trying to save money on grocery shopping make a list and rigidly stick to it every time they go shopping. This discipline is all well and good, but it may not be necessary. As long as you have a basic but flexible list of the things you need and the meals you want to make, you’ll avoid making impulse buys. You should remain flexible on the details to take advantage of sales you see when you arrive at the store. Just because you have ground beef on your list doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of the 3.99 per pound sirloin steak sale!

Black Friday Shopping Survival Tips

It’s the hugest, silliest and craziest shopping day of the year and it’s almost here. This time of year is exciting & thoroughly exhausting all at the same time. There will be aisles jammed with steal mongers and long lines leading to department stores’ cash registers to purchase those once a year bargains. Follow our top 5 survival tips for Black Friday shopping (you’re going to need this):

1. Catalog and web plus size retailers (such as Woman Within and Roamans) do pay attention to both Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so that usually means a whole weekend of great deals on plus size apparel. Watch for some amazing coupons as our insiders say this Black Friday will be spectacular! Visit Plus Size Steals for sale announcements.
2. Avoid midnight department shopping. Stores love to use sales starting at midnight as marketing stunts but often times those sales disappoint. We want to make sure we have a good night’s rest for early morning shopping.
3. Have a game-plan. Start by mapping out the store the day before Thanksgiving. Let’s say you’re looking for a limited stock 45 inch TV- it’ll be useful to know where the electronics department lives within the store.
4. Create a ‘grocery list’ of items that you’re targeting. Having a hand written list is always helpful with time management.
5. Bring friends. Shopping is a social experience so why not enjoy it with friends? Besides, you’ll need someone to complain to about the pushy people and long lines!

Follow these tips and you’ll have a clear advantage on Black Friday.