Friday Flip – Nespresso Latissma Plus

nespressoThis edition of Friday Flip is coming to you on Saturday because I was lazy yesterday and didn’t want to write.  This week I’m posting my most profitable deal of December. By most profitable I mean the item that made me the most profit in terms of dollars rather than the item that had the largest profit margin.   It is much quicker for me to look at my spreadsheet and see which item made the most money than it would be to calculate my profit margin on each item.  There is probably a way to have the spreadsheet automatically calculate my profit margin, but I haven’t looked into that yet. My spreadsheet skills are limited.

My most profitable item in December was the Nespresso Latissma Plus Nespresso Capsule System which is a fancy coffee maker. I bought this item on Black Friday from Bloomingdales for $239.99 which was a $160 discount from their usual price. Making this deal even better I had an Amex offer for $30 off at Bloomingdales bringing my total cost down to $209.99.  I sold the Nespresso on Amazon for $338.95. The Amazon fees were rather high at $60.77 since this is a heavy item. After selling fees I was left with a profit of $68.19. This item sold the day arrived at Amazon providing me with a quick return on my investment.

My second most profitable item in December was also a Black Friday deal. I didn’t go too crazy buying Black Friday items since I’d read that a lot of these items become unprofitable after Amazon is flooded with them from all the other FBA sellers. Apparently I did pretty well on buying stuff that wasn’t also being bought by a ton of other FBA sellers. I think buying more expensive and heavier items reduces the competition. I’ll test that theory on Black Friday this year.

Next week I will share my least profitable item of December. I did have a few items I sold for a loss last month.

Windfall Wednesday – Discounted Gas Cards on Ebay

Mr. RebatesThis week’s windfall is discounted gas cards on eBay. I previously wrote about discounted gas cards on eBay in my post, “How I Get Quadruple Savings on Gas.” At that time I was buying gas cards at a 10% discount. The discount is now 5% which is still pretty good considering that buying a gas card at a third party marketplace such as Raise you only get a 1% or 2% discount.

Ebay currently has Exxon and BP $100 gas cards on sale for $95. There is usually some type of gas card on sale every week. The BP gas card works for me since there are BP gas stations locally, but there aren’t any Exxon stations. If I were to buy a BP gas card my savings would be as follows. I’d save $5 due to the discounted price of the gift card. I’d earn just under $2 cash back (2% of $95) from Ebay Bucks. It is possible that eBay will have a promo for increased eBay Bucks before the gas card sale is over which would make this an even better deal. I’d also get 2% cash back from my Fidelity Amex that I’d use to purchase the discounted gas card. Lastly, I’d go through a shopping portal such as Swagbucks which is offering 2 SBs to the dollar on eBay purchases. With the various cash back and discounts I’d end up paying $89.30 for the $100 gas card.

That wouldn’t be the end of my savings though. I’m also a member of BP Rewards which gives me ten cents off per gallon for every $100 spent. Following these steps allows you to save 10% or more off the cost of gas.

I won’t be buying a BP gas card from this sale though because I already have one that I need to use up. Also, Discover and Chase Freedom will be offering 5% back on $1500 in gas purchases for the first quarter of 2016. Since I am currently getting double cash back at Discover that gives me an easy 10% savings on gas. Therefore, I’ll be using my Discover card for gas purchases after my current discounted gas card is used up. Since I plan on driving for Uber a lot more in 2016 the 10% off gas savings will add up.

Windfall Wednesday – 10% Cash Back at Amazon with Chase Freedom

Multnomah Falls Windfall Wednesday is the start of a new semi-regular series of posts. The purpose of these posts is to share ideas that will make you money or save you money on normal expenses.

The Chase Freedom card is currently offering 10% cash back at Amazon.com. You need to have a Chase Freedom card and have activated your fourth quarter bonus categories to be eligible for this promotion. The offer is good through the end of the year and is for up to $1500 in purchases. That gives you the chance to put $150 in your pocket.

The easiest way to maximize this promo would be to buy a $1500 Amazon gift card. That is what Jon at MyFrugalMiser did. By buying the $1500 gift card you have maxed out on the promo with one purchase and don’t have to worry about tallying up your purchases to see if they are over $1500 or not. One potential drawback to this approach is that if you don’t spend much at Amazon it would take you a long time to use up the gift card.

The method I used to maximize the promo took a bit more work and the process is still ongoing. I bought $300 of Staples gift cards from Amazon and then a $1200 Amazon gift card. I’ve already received my $150 cash back from the Chase Freedom card and used it as a statement credit. I’ve also made about $275 in profit from reselling items I purchased from Amazon and Staples using the gift cards. I still have about $500 of products left to sell so my final profit should be a bit higher. I’ve already received a 28.3% return on my money in less than a month which I’m quite happy with. That return isn’t quite as good as it looks since I did also have to do some work to resell the items.

Most of you probably aren’t looking for items to buy and resell. In that case you can look at the third-party gift cards available for sale on Amazon if you know you won’t be spending $1500 at Amazon. They have a wide selection of cards so you can probably find a few you like. Of course, you don’t want to spend money that you wouldn’t normally spend just to max out the promotion. If $1500 is more than you are comfortable spending just spend what you want and be happy with the 10% cash back.

I realize that most of you probably don’t have a Chase Freedom card and even for those of you who do there isn’t much time to take advantage of the promotion. Therefore, I’m sharing a bonus deal “Get $25 in LivingSocial Deal Bucks by Using MasterPass” that most people should be able to use.

If you would like to apply for a Chase Freedom card I can send you a referral link. You wouldn’t get the card in time to take advantage of this deal, but they are offering a $150 bonus when you sign up for a new card and spend $500. I’d get $50 for referring you as well. Leave a comment and I’ll send you and email with a referral link.

Gift Card Deals from Staples, Sears, and Ebay

This time of year there are lots of gift card promotions. I prefer the gift card deals that put money in my pocket. Here are three gift card deals that can save you money.

Staples $20 Gift Card with $300 Visa, Mastercard, or Amex Gift Card Purchase. I’ve already done this deal and I’ll make about a $14 profit from it if I value the $20 Staples card at $20. I might make a lot more than that if I get the Apple Pay bonus.

Staples $50 ePromo Card with the Purchase of $300 in Staples eGift Cards. This is a roughly 14% discount. I most likely won’t be doing this deal since I get a better discount with my Apple Pay bonus and the Discover double cash back promotion. Direct link to promo.

Sears is offering a $10 Sears eAward card for a $50 – $99 Sears Gift Card purchase, or a $20 Sears eAward card for a $100 or more Sears Gift Card purchase. Some cash back portals pay for the purchase of Sears gift cards which can make this an even better deal.

Ebay has a bunch of discount gift cards. Some of the deals are $100 Exxon/Mobil cards for $92, $100 CVS card for $88, and a bonus $20 card with the purchase of a $100 Carnival Cruise card. There are a lot more discounted gift cards, just click through this affiliate link to see more deals.

Buy Discounted Gift Cards with Discounted Gift Cards and Save up to 62%

Mr. RebatesOne way I save money when buying stuff for Amazon FBA and for my general spending is by buying discount gift cards at places like eBay or Raise.  Getting discounted gift cards is a good deal and they can be a great deal when you buy discounted gift cards using a discounted gift card.

I’ll show you a recent example to illustrate how this works. A couple of weeks ago eBay was offering $100 eBay gift cards for $95. I bought one of these cards for a savings of $5. Most shopping portals don’t pay cash back for buying eBay gift cards on eBay but it doesn’t hurt to click through from a site like Ebates or Mr. Rebates on the chance you get paid for the purchase.  A few days later was offering $200 Target gift cards for $185. I used my previously purchased discounted $100 eBay gift card, a free $25 eBay gift card from Swagbucks, and a bit of money from my credit card to buy the discounted Target card. I again went through a shopping portal to make the purchase. At this point I have spent $155 ($185- $5 -$25) for a $200 Target gift card. In addition I’ve earned $3.70 in eBay bucks and at least $5.55 in cash back from the shopping portals and another $2.10 from my 2% cash back credit card.

I then  used the discounted Target card to buy a $100 eBay card from Target.com on Cyber Monday. Shop Your Way was offering 30% cash back on Cyber Monday for Target purchases. Unfortunately, the Target.com site was not working very well on Monday so I’m not sure if that purchase will track to get me the $30 in SYW points. I then used the eBay card purchased from Target to buy a $100 gas card for $95 on eBay once again earning eBay bucks and cash back from a shopping portal.

I now have a $100 gas card, $100 remaining on the Target card, $5.60 in eBay bucks, about $40 of cash back and points from shopping portals (hopefully), and $2.10 from my credit card. That is about $247.70 of value for my $155 spent.  That is a great return on my money in just a couple of weeks and I can still get more value from the $100 Target card. For instance I could buy another $100 eBay gift card from Target.com using the Target card which would earn me shopping portal cash back and then buy a discount gift cards on eBay to earn more eBay bucks and shopping portal cash back. Perhaps, there will even be another discounted Target gift card and I can keep this chain of discounted gift card purchases going even longer.

You won’t always be able to keep buying discounted gift cards with discounted gift cards like this, but when you can it adds up to a lot of savings.

This post contains affiliate and referral links. I do appreciate your use of these links and all proceeds will go towards paying down my student loans.

Save on Cyber Monday Shopping With These Deals

Ebates Coupons and Cash BackThere are a ton of deals available this Cyber Monday. I’m sharing a few of the best deals I’ve found. I wish I hadn’t already spent my shopping budget since I’m finding even better deals today then on Black Friday.

Probably the best deal is that Shop Your Way is offering 30% back in Shop Your Way points when you shop through their link at select stores.  Some of the stores include Walmart, Target, Staples, Best Buy, and Home Depot. You probably have something on your Christmas shopping list to buy from one or more of those stores. Shop Your Way points can be spent at Kmart or Sears. I’ve gotten lots of “free stuff” from these stores using my points. Minimum of $20 in purchases (except $25 for specific brands) and maximum of $50 back in points per offer activation. The rest of the details are available on the Shop Your Way page, but it looks like a pretty straight forward deal. I haven’t had trouble getting my SYW points in the past and don’t anticipate a problem with this promotion.

Raise.com is offering $10 off $100 in gift cards with code CM10. Raise sells already discounted gift cards. This offer will allow you to get the gift cards even cheaper. If you sign up through my referral link we will both get $5 in Raise Rewards to spend on future purchases. I’ve bought several gift cards from Raise in the past and have had a good experience with them so far. The one time a gift card was lost in the mail they promptly refunded my credit card.

Another way to save money is to shop through an online cash back shopping portal. Shop Your Way is currently offering the highest percentage back at many stores but they offer SYW points back rather than cash. If you would prefer cash back, or want to shop at a store not listed at SYW, or you’re reading this after Cyber Monday then Ebates may be a better deal for you. They’re offering some pretty good Cyber Monday deals with up to 10% cash back at eBay and Amazon. Plus, if you sign up and refer three friends you can get a $100 bonus. Visit their site for the full details. If you’re not a member yet I’d appreciate you signing up through my referral link. I could use the $100 to pay my credit card bill after saving money on all these deals. 🙂