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The coolest drones you can purchase today

By Guest Blogger
at 9:30AM Wednesday April 16, 2014
under Stuff We Like

Okay so I just filed my tax return and I have my heart set on what I'm going to spend it on: baby, I'm getting a drone.

Here are a few things I know about drones:
  1. Drones are the colloquial term for any unmanned aerial vehicle, or UAV.  
  2. Besides killing suspected terrorists and unarmed innocent people who happen to live in bad neighborhoods, drones are also a popular device for spying on people  
  3. Amazon said they could deliver packages with drones, and I'm very onboard with that  
  4. One time, in 2002, an Iraqi drone fought an American drone in the skies above Iraq. It was the first ever drone-on-drone combat. The Iraqi drone won. 
  5. "Drone" is a fun word to say. Drone, drone, drone, drone. If you wanted to drone on about drones to me, I'd say drone on, brother, drone on.
  6. Although you can't buy a military-grade predator drone that could murder people or your neighbor's dog, you can buy a very affordable drone and there are some solid options.
Read More »

Majorly expensive wedding favors Kim & Kanye could offer at their wedding

By Guest Blogger
at 9:51AM Wednesday April 9, 2014
under Stuff We Like

Kimye. Kamberly. Whatever you refer to them as, the fact is that they exist.

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's love story is a tale as old as 2012. Now we're lucky to be alive to be witness to their wedding, or at least witness to the blogs that will be covering the wedding, an event that is shaping up to be one of the most extravagant celebrations of love and excess and love of excess.

We already know a few details of their special day. Let's review: Read More »

Cheaper knock-off brands are stupid and helpful and also dangerous

By Guest Blogger
at 8:30AM Wednesday April 2, 2014
under Stuff We Like

Knock-off brands always make me laugh. I'm not sure why they're so amusing. I guess it's because knock-off brands have that desperate quality about them. Was it Judy Garland or Jeff Bezos who has that oft repeated quote: "Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second-rate version of someone else"? Knock-off brands strive only to be a second-rate version and that disparity between what they want to be and what they actually are is always good for a few chuckles.

Knock-off brands typically present themselves as less-expensive alternatives to the brand you actually want. These are great options when you're shopping on a budget. For example, Mountain Lightning from Wal-Mart is half the price of Mountain Dew. If you're going to be buying gross green soda, why pay full price just for the brand name? Although for the dollars you save, you end up paying more when you factor in "explaining to visitors that Mountain Lightning is basically the same thing as Mountain Dew." Still, these can be great alternatives and by the way, as far as weather events happening on mountains, lightning is way cooler than dew. Read More »

Chipotle's guac scare another example of clever advertising

By Guest Blogger
at 9:00AM Wednesday March 26, 2014
under Stuff We Like

Chipotle has been building their brand very effectively since formally rejecting traditional advertising techniques in 2010, and they're not afraid to use a bit of good old-fashioned fear mongering in their bold strategy.

Recently, Chipotle made headlines by announcing that they would stop serving guacamole if nothing were to be done about the climate crisis. Well, in so many words.

In truth, the burrito brand says they were simply warning investors that extreme weather events "associated with global climate change" may potentially affect the availability, and therefore the price, of some of their key ingredients, including guacamole. If prices were to rise, Chipotle isn't sure that they would pay the extra amount, as that would likely raise their prices. They aren't getting rid of guacamole or anything though, so don't worry. They were just saying, that's all. Read More »

I pretended to be insane and Aaron's still offered me a loan

By Guest Blogger
at 9:00AM Wednesday March 19, 2014
under Stuff We Like

Recently, we've been getting our collective rocks off making fun of Aaron's new "Max Your Tax!" ad campaign to bring in customers looking for ways to unwisely spend their tax refunds. As it turns out, companies like Aaron's and Rent-a-Center are in the Rent-To-Own industry, a service the government characterizes as a service of predatory lenders.

The way their business model works is they market themselves to low-income people with credit problems, let you walk out of the store with big ticket items without putting much down, then hope you are late on a payment by being difficult to reach in order to aggressively shake you down for late fees, sometimes even showing up unannounced at all hours of the night.

Before we go any further, let me clarify that I love free stuff. Free stuff is my lifeblood. I'm not taking any issue with free stuff. But it makes me vulnerable. The Rent-To-Own industry capitalizes on suckers like me who love free stuff as equally as we hate responsibility. Read More »

So when did Warren Buffett become the weird Willy Wonka of basketball?

By Guest Blogger
at 9:00AM Wednesday March 12, 2014
under Stuff We Like

Perhaps you've heard: Detroit-based Quicken Loans has joined forces with Warren Buffet and Berkshire Hathaway to offer a prize of One Billion Dollars (OBD) to any person who fills out a perfect bracket for March Madness.

My only dream in life is to win a preposterous amount of money in some insane contest. Well, alright, Warren, I hear you. I know this is your weird "Billy Madison" way of testing me to make sure I deserve the money. Calm down, I'll take your billion dollars. You're saying all I have to do is fill out some sports bracket about the hoppity ball? You know what, sorry to be so condescending. I know it's called basketball. I didn't need to exaggerate my ignorance. Read More »

Dept of Commerce says people prefer to shop in-person? Not on my watch!

By Guest Blogger
at 11:01AM Wednesday March 5, 2014
under Stuff We Like

Hello, it's me, Grant, the guest blogger for savingsdotcom who has brought you such guest blogs as Other Things You Can Do With Your CVS Receipt; Asking Customer Service Reps What Their Most Expensive Item Is; and Absurdly Expensive Things Can You Buy on Ebay. Here's a little something you should know about me: I love commerce. It's kind of my jam. Buying things is the best, right? It's just so good. My ideal vacation would be: me, anywhere, with an unlimited cash pile, an internet-connected device, and some of my favorite online retailers, just making purchase after purchase after purchase. I wouldn't even use or enjoy most of the things I would buy. That part is irrelevant to me. I just love the thrill of the chase, and also the thrill of clicking "Yes, I am a returning customer."

Check this out: Data recently released from the Dept. of Commerce shows the percentages of retail sold in stores versus online, and the even though it feels like online shopping has become this monolithic enterprise in the way we make our purchases, the truth is that people overwhelmingly still prefer buying their goods in person. Read More »

Absurdly expensive things to buy on eBay

By Guest Blogger
at 9:00AM Wednesday February 26, 2014
under Stuff We Like

Last week, I checked in with some of my top merch bros, Target, Walmart, and Amazon -- pretty much your standard dream team of online sellers -- to identify the most expensive items they sell that I could buy. The results weren't completely satisfying to me.

You see, ever since infancy, my only desire in life has been to accumulate a vast amount of wealth and then spend it recklessly online. I would be enjoying my toddler years by running around on wobbly legs when my parents would ask me, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" And I would tell them, "the means for me are irrelevant. I want money, mother, I want obscene money and it doesn't much matter to me how I get it." Naturally, this alarmed my parents and in fact most people within earshot, but everyone assumed it was just a phase I would grow out of. Read More »

I annoyed several customer service reps to try to find the most expensive things online

By Guest Blogger
at 9:00AM Wednesday February 19, 2014
under Stuff We Like

For no better reason than to have a reason to write an article online about one of my favorite activities - online shopping - I decided to investigate a few of my favorite online retailers to identify the most expensive thing you could buy from each of them. I don't know where this impulse came from, but we're exploring it anyway.

You know how you hear stories about very wealthy people who made their fortune from nothing but the grit under their fingernails, and they always have that same anecdote about framing the first dollar they ever earned, or writing themselves a check for a million dollars and then one day being able to cash it? Maybe I'm subconsciously setting goals so that when all this freelance blogging pays off with all the riches nobody promised, I'm going to be able to e-march into all of my favorite e-shops and purchase #TheMostExpensiveItems #ForNoGoodReason and worry no more.

My first target is Target.com because it seemed like a good Target. After a few minutes of browsing the site, I can't find a "Search By Most Expensive" search parameter and just searching "expensive" isn't getting me anywhere so I decide to help myself to some good old fashioned analog Customer Service telephone representatives. Read More »

Other fun things you can do with those ridiculously long CVS receipts

By Guest Blogger
at 9:00AM Wednesday February 12, 2014
under Stuff We Like

CVS, or Heaven's Commissary as I like to think of it, has made headlines recently as the first national pharmacy to cease cigarette sales at all locations. It's a pretty brave move, plus it makes it look like maybe Walgreens and Rite-Aid support lung cancer, which is a plus for the CVS brand. Personally, I support this move from CVS. Smoking cigarettes is like wearing a fedora: you only think it looks cool because of the black and white photographs. But you don't live in a black and white photograph and you just look like a loser when you do it.

The other thing CVS has been known for recently, and you may know this if you've shopped there at all, is that if you swipe your Extra Care card at checkout, you're subject to receiving an extraneously long receipt with multiple coupons on it. It's great for deals, but these coupons actually have many uses that you may find helpful. Read More »