Friday, December 10, 2010

Now We Have a Gift Card Queen--$6 Holiday Shoppping*--Here's How One Hollywood Mom Did It

From the Sun Sentinel. *She did it just like the Thanksgiving Dinner for $1
did it--by spending countless more money (and sacrificing her privacy to marketers) just to earn the gift cards. See for yourself.

"How did she do it?

"I saved gift cards all year long," she said. Specifically, gift cards given as rewards by retailers.

There's no question the 31-year-old Hollywood woman is an avid deal shopper. She strategized all year to take advantage of Black Friday deals."


"She detailed her expenses to the Sun Sentinel, and it turns out she spent even less, $6.32.

Colon did most of her Christmas shopping on Thanksgiving evening and Black Friday, strategizing her purchases ahead of time. As soon as she spotted a deal on a website or in an advertising circular, she wrote down the price and retailer on her list.

"I cannot get sidetracked. I have my plan a week ahead," she said.

Colon saved gift cards she received for making certain purchases from retailers; birthday gift cards from retailers to whom she has given her e-mail and mailing addresses; and reward cards for filling out consumer surveys online. Only the birthday gift cards have expiration dates.

Her Christmas shopping bonanza began at Target, where she received gift cards for buying certain products, such as two Gillette razors or five Glade products. By year-end, she had nine gift cards: two worth $10 and seven worth $5.

She used the Target gift cards to buy DVD and Blu-ray movies, pajamas, a flashlight set, kids' beach sandals, a calendar, lotions and bath towels."

So she used her hard-earned cards to buy crap instead of buying APPRECIATING ASSETS. This woman lives in Hollywood, for crying out loud--didn't she even bother to get HIGH-END crap?

"Colon also regularly takes online surveys on sites such as, earning about $20 a month in gift cards for answering questions such as "Are you going to buy a car this year?" She received Amazon gift cards as rewards. With those, she purchased toys and other gifts, all of which qualified for free shipping.

She also collects "extra bucks," bonus coupons for buying certain items at CVS."

So you have it--she had to spend countless OTHER DOLLARS and give away her private information (even her opinion) just to earn a few cards. I wonder how much her TRUE total was for all that so-called cheap Christmas shopping? It's just like the Thanksgiving Dinner guy--he had to spend thousands (I'm sure) in other purchases just to get his coveted Thanksgiving Day dinner items "cheap." Add this to your FALSE ECONOMY list.

She could've gone online and gotten discounted gift cards, and used these in the sales, netting here a DOUBLE DISCOUNT. She could've gotten discounted cards and used them for APPRECIATING ASSETS (think stocks for the kids) or TAX-DEDUCTIBLE ITEMS, which would've paid her twice, but no. This "queen" is missing a few prongs on her crown.

UPDATE: did she even think to save any gift cards for the after-holiday markdown bonanza coming up? She could've started her NEXT YEAR holiday shopping with a well-discounted bang (clearance prices + earned gift cards), but no--she's probably too blonde to think that far ahead. She could've also done her shopping all year 'round, when stuff goes on sale throughout the year, but no. It's people like this that give holiday shopping the bad name and stigma it deserves.


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