The Best Deal I Ever Got

Today is a great day for everyone. For me, I got a snow day. As I’m sure you’ve heard, we’ve been experiencing snowmageddon here in D.C., but I wasn’t able to participate in the joy because I’ve had work every day this week. Until now. So I’m going to catch up on some work, pay some bills, and get a little extra sleep.

For you, I have a great post. My favorite posts are ones where I teach a lesson by using a personal example. And that’s exactly what I have for you today.

A friend told me he was looking for a new camera, so we did a little investigating and found something reasonable. Our only requirements were that it was small, look sleek, and have a rechargeable battery. Several camera fit the bill, but the Canon SD 1200 was the best of the bunch. It was rated better than the other cameras, but that quality also came with a price: $180.

I use several different ways to find great deals. My first stop is Google shopping. I organize by price and see what the lowest going rate is. $160 for the camera. Slightly lower than Staples, but nothing to brag about.

My second stop is Slickdeals. These people don’t leave any rock unturned and have the best deal. Since these are users submitting deals, you know you’re getting the sneakiest, best deals around.

Using Slickdeals, I found the camera for $180 at Staples, but it came with a $50 VISA debit card. Realistically, that dropped the price to $130.

But these people weren’t done yet. They also mentioned a rebate for people who had previously bought and registered a camera with Canon. Since I had the Canon SD1000 I was eligible for $20 off. That bought the realistic price down to $110.

$70 off the sticker price was great, right? My friend was ready to make the transaction, but I told him patience was a virtue and that I’d look for one more thing.

With all the sneaky deals these people thought of, they did leave out one possibility: getting a coupon from the store. While I didn’t have any Staples coupons, I was able to find a $30 off $150 coupon that I could buy for $3.49. I wasn’t sure it would work out, but I bought it anyway because it’s a low risk, high reward type of transaction.

So this is how it worked out: From $180, the $30 off $150 coupon was applied first, bring the price down to $150. Then the $50 debit card brought it down to just $100. Finally, the $20 Canon rebate reduced the price to $80. Add in the $3.49 to bring the total price to $133.49 in return for the camera and a $50 VISA debit card, or a net $83.49.

My friend was ecstatic and I was very proud of myself for helping out. I’ve gotten great deals before, but a 53% discount for a total of $96.51 off was something even I’m amazed at.

What tools do you use to find great deals?

8 Responses to The Best Deal I Ever Got

  1. Wow! That is really a great deal. I haven’t checked out SlickDeals, but will definitely give them a go now. I usually buy coupons off eBay, and search for coupon codes online before purchasing anything. You never know what deals are out there. It’s silly not to do a little investigating.

    Stay warm today! I don’t want to gloat, but it’s going to be close to 70 in SoCal! Of course, that means I have to go to work :( Maybe there are benefits to living in snow.

  2. Monevator says:

    Great work. Do you ever wonder where it will end though? If I’m going out to a chain restaurant, I automatically scan for some sort of deal now and I nearly always find one. I hope they don’t just bump the prices up to compensate eventually, so if you *don’t* sleuth about you have to pay more. :(

  3. debtmaven says:

    Wow. That’s amazing. I just bought 4 canon SD 1200s for work in the last month and the best deal I got was $149, free shipping, no tax, and a free SD 2 Gig card. I still have to buy a few more, but due to economic slowdowns right now (and lack of cash flow), we can’t have any more non-essential spending for the rest of the month, if not longer, so I’m going to have to wait to buy 4 more.

    I will definitely have to try that site!

    Monevator, I’d love to hear what you do to find restaurant deals. Oddly enough I just wrote a post yesterday about my results with restaurant.com (having bought a year’s worth of $25 coupons at 80% off). Other than that, what else do you use for coupons?

  4. Monevator says:

    Maybe it’s a UK thing but throughout the recession you’ve just had to go to one of the discount coupon aggregation sites and type in a name. Sometimes you’d get a list of several options! This only works for chains, but some pretty classy ones have been doing it.

  5. Kyle C. says:

    That is a damn good deal. Another place to stop by when you are shopping like that is retail-me-not.com. Like slickdeals they use user submissions but they take online coupon codes. I like to stop by there before I purchase anything to see what savings they have. It saved me $90 on one purchase over the holidays.

  6. You’ve got me beat… on anything new. In the last year my perspective has changed though and I am finding myself much more open to previously loved merchandise. Last year I got a refurbished PC with more power and memory than I’ll ever need for $90 with a 1 year warranty off eBay. I’ll never buy another new PC again!

  7. mschachle says:

    Great ideas. When I decide to buy something, I enjoy searching the internet to find the best deal. A few other options are http://www.fatwallet.com and Bing cashback.

  8. Crystal says:

    I’ve been buying discount gift cards off of Ebay and using Discover cash back rewards for places we were going to shop anyway or for gifts for people who suggest specific gift cards.

    I find most of my great deals on new stuff at Amazon.com or Ebay. I also google for coupon codes and check our Entertainment book before buying anything. I find the best deals for used stuff on Craigslist.

    For example, we are looking into getting a freezer for the garage so we can start stocking up on good meat deals. My parents suggested getting one that has auto defrost…they start new at $450 around here. I’ve found several on Craigslist for $150-$200 that are less than a year old (mostly because people are moving). Even a basic small chest freezer starts new at $170 but is only $50 on Craigslist.

    I will totally bookmark Slickdeals, Retail-Me-Not, and Fatwallet, thanks!

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