questionshow cheap are you?

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My best deal was also a black friday deal only. I camped out for my wife a new laptop. She runs high end GIS software in her graduate program. The files and processes are unbeliveable so she obviously needed something a bit closer to top specs. It had 8GB of Ram (upgraded to 12GB) a 1TB HDD, quadcore i7 processor and slimmer/lighter than anything else I've seen with the same specs. It sits on the shelf now for $500 more than I paid :-)

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I stink. I am always a day late and a dollar short when it comes to finding a REALLY good deal.

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I'll continue driving my 10 year old car another 10 years to avoid paying for another one.

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I think there is a difference between being cheap and wanting to get a good deal. Just because I use $3 HDMI cords instead of paying $50 does not make me cheap in my mind. I just don't want to pay more than I have to for something.

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A Geo Metro. I got it for almost half of what they were asking by showing the dealer I could get one that was 1 year newer for much much less then he was asking. Taking my time.
The 1 year newer model sounded like crap, was rusting, and made a funny sound when it shifted but the other dealer did not need to know that.

HP touchpad for $149 32gb I wanted on end tried and tried. I asked my sales rep if he would hold one... I got the call, wish now I ordered 4.

Air ionizer, $10 garage sale. $150 on ebay. Someone messaged me rudely saying that I was not allowed to sell this on ebay. I reminded him politely I was in the USA and his opinion did not matter to me.

Xbox MT Dew free (caps) sold for $300 on ebay x2.

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I got a surveillance system in a bag of crap once and sold it for $140 on craigslist. Now I see them all the time and realize I ripped the guy off.

I also won an iPad in a drawing at a work convention. It was from a company that sells a product I do not, and never will, use. I'm sure it's a great product, it just has nothing to do with my particular work. Also, I only won because I tweeted about the product with my twitter account that is set up only to be used for such occasions.

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A local grocery chain used to sponsor an enormous food fair. Hundreds of vendors handing out samples at the Civic Center. The vendors all had coupons, and most were really good coupons, 25-50% off regular price. They were just stacked on tables and you could take as many as you wanted. The weekend of the event, the store doubled the coupons from the event. One year I was pretty broke and took the opportunity very seriously, collecting usable numbers of good coupons for every product I could really use. Then I trekked to the supermarket and filled two carts with groceries. In some cases (like Progresso soups, Wolf Chili, Swanson broth and bags of popcorn) the product was .99 and they doubled the .50 coupon, so they were actually paying me to take it. My initial total was about $186, and after all the coupons I paid $12.41, to the awe and wonder of everyone around me. The guy in line behind me asked me to marry him.

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@coondogg97: In my lexicon, the three main keys to being an alpha hunter:
1. Knowledge. Know how much things cost. Be familiar with everything that's important to you about products, so you can make on-the-spot judgments about whether something is a good value or not.
2. Initiative. When you find a good deal, take it. Don't dither around, think about it for a couple of days, talk it over with friends. If you have mastered 1., you don't need research or affirmation.
3. Will. If it's something you want, but 1. is telling you it isn't a good deal, walk away. Very, very rarely is a deal passed on genuinely lost forever. Trust your instincts and if it doesn't feel right it probably isn't.

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@moondrake: Excellent advice.

My best deals were $12.50 for a loveseat couch I bought at a garage sale the summer before I went to college. It was ugly as anything but very comfy and fit perfectly in my dorm room and I used it all through college. Great little couch.
Next best deal was a CRC Mathematical Handbook I bought at a garage sale for $0.25 when I was like a sophomore in high school. I didn't know exactly what it was for but my freshman chemistry teacher swore by his CRC Chemical Handbook and I figured it would make a good reference book for later on when I got to math with the weird squiggles and stuff (summations and integral signs mostly). By the time I was in college I took to calling it my "Magic Green Book". I don't know how many hours and how much frustration that book saved me.