Search found 1025 matches

by rjbraun
Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Alternative
Replies: 59
Views: 5719

Re: Amazon Alternative

Once you pay for Prime, it is hard to order from other places. That was the genius of Bezos. Even when I don't need something for a week or month, you get used to "needing" everything in 2 days. Though I occasionally order from other sites (Newegg, eBay, Target, Costco, etc.), Amazon is my go to. A...
by rjbraun
Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Alternative
Replies: 59
Views: 5719

Re: Amazon Alternative

I don't know if its a function of more automation and kinks being worked out, or other issues, but packaging from Amazon has been horrendous for me as well - sometimes beyond comical. Beyond some items taking days longer to arrive, some recent examples - a small item, about the size of a pack of pl...
by rjbraun
Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Alternative
Replies: 59
Views: 5719

Re: Amazon Alternative

Thanks to everyone! I did end up getting a resolution I've had success using the chat interface in the past but it looks like both email and phone got me the result I desired. Item refunded. :happy Congrats! Amazon isn't perfect, but your positive result is more in line with my past dealings with t...
by rjbraun
Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Alternative
Replies: 59
Views: 5719

Re: Amazon Alternative

I was pleasantly surprised when I ordered from jet.com yesterday. The site interface seems to have been totally overhauled from when I last accessed it, recently. As another poster said, it pays to compare prices (mainly vs. Amazon, as I didn't want to spend / waste lots of time). Still, the jet.com...
by rjbraun
Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: gift cards - caveats
Replies: 41
Views: 1971

Re: gift cards - caveats

In the past, I've sold unwanted gift cards on websites that trade cards. The site I used seems to be in decline now, so I will not recommend it. These days, if I have a Visa gift card, I find it most useful to immediately buy an Amazon credit refill with the card . I never have to carry the gift ca...
by rjbraun
Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: gift cards - caveats
Replies: 41
Views: 1971

Re: gift cards - caveats

I hate receiving gift cards. Why give a gift that causes headaches for the recipient? That said, the Visa ones are probably the least bad since they can be loaded onto Amazon and you don't have to track the balance or carry them around. I've only given them out for kids who specifically requested i...
by rjbraun
Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: gift cards - caveats
Replies: 41
Views: 1971

Re: gift cards - caveats

We received a Target card two years ago that we haven't used because the nearest store is 25 miles away. I asked my wife when she was going to buy something that she wouldn't buy for herself. Her response isn't appropriate for this site. DMW Perhaps you could buy stuff online from Target. I would t...
by rjbraun
Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: gift cards - caveats
Replies: 41
Views: 1971

Re: gift cards - caveats

In the past, I've sold unwanted gift cards on websites that trade cards. The site I used seems to be in decline now, so I will not recommend it. These days, if I have a Visa gift card, I find it most useful to immediately buy an Amazon credit refill with the card . I never have to carry the gift ca...
by rjbraun
Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax Prices
Replies: 171
Views: 21149

Re: TurboTax Prices

A Mac version will only work on Mac. You can download it onto more than one Mac. As you know, almost everybody owns a few gadget nowadays. I downloaded my PC version onto two PCs because I prefer to have access to the software in two places. Think about it this way. You installed it on Mac #1 but i...
by rjbraun
Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax Prices
Replies: 171
Views: 21149

Re: TurboTax Prices

Perhaps a silly question, but if I buy TurboTax for Mac download, does that entitle me to load TurboTax on only one Mac? If I have a second Mac would I need to buy the tax package a second time?
by rjbraun
Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: gift cards - caveats
Replies: 41
Views: 1971

Re: gift cards - caveats

In the past, I've sold unwanted gift cards on websites that trade cards. The site I used seems to be in decline now, so I will not recommend it. These days, if I have a Visa gift card, I find it most useful to immediately buy an Amazon credit refill with the card . I never have to carry the gift ca...
by rjbraun
Thu Dec 28, 2017 2:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: gift cards - caveats
Replies: 41
Views: 1971

Re: gift cards - caveats

In that case, I assume that the charity needs to spend down the card before the fees start to kick in as well. I suppose a well-run charity will know to do this, but the more I learn about these cards the more furious and outraged I feel. :annoyed :annoyed :annoyed No, I don't donate the card to th...
by rjbraun
Thu Dec 28, 2017 2:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: gift cards - caveats
Replies: 41
Views: 1971

Re: gift cards - caveats

These days, if I have a Visa gift card, I find it most useful to immediately buy an Amazon credit refill with the card. I never have to carry the gift card around, or get stuck with odd amounts on a split transaction. For us, this works well because we buy stuff at amazon frequently, and can easily...
by rjbraun
Thu Dec 28, 2017 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: gift cards - caveats
Replies: 41
Views: 1971

Re: gift cards - caveats

I really don't have an issue with prepaid cards. When they come in, we just pre-pay the internet bill for a few months. That seems like a decent move, though in my case I think any bills I can pay via credit card with no additional fee are already set for auto-pay. So, any other bills paid with a c...
by rjbraun
Thu Dec 28, 2017 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: gift cards - caveats
Replies: 41
Views: 1971

Re: gift cards - caveats

VictoriaF wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:05 pm
rjbraun,

Thank you for starting this thread and prompting helpful recommendations. Good luck with using your cards!

Victoria
Thank you, Victoria. Hope you are enjoying the holiday season (and maybe got some gift cards you can put to good use!).
by rjbraun
Thu Dec 28, 2017 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: gift cards - caveats
Replies: 41
Views: 1971

Re: gift cards - caveats

For cards you are unlikely to ever use or are inconvenient to use you can sell them to the gift card resellers. Depending on the card you'll probably get 60 cents on the dollar but it's better than nothing. Yeah. Fortunately, the cards I've received have come from people who know me well enough to ...
by rjbraun
Thu Dec 28, 2017 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: gift cards - caveats
Replies: 41
Views: 1971

Re: gift cards - caveats

I almost never get store-specific gift cards, and I agree those can be a pain to manage/carry/use. As for Visa gift cards, I end up with those instead of paper checks when I get rebates on purchases. I hate them because I hate to carry them and remember to use them before the monthly fees kick in. ...
by rjbraun
Thu Dec 28, 2017 2:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: gift cards - caveats
Replies: 41
Views: 1971

Re: gift cards - caveats

I get the occasional gift card (various types) when attending various functions. My wife spends them. Such cards tend to be more difficult to use for things like "pay at the pump", hotels and (sometimes) restaurants. This is more the case when there is a small amount left on the card. My wife is ad...
by rjbraun
Thu Dec 28, 2017 2:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: gift cards - caveats
Replies: 41
Views: 1971

Re: gift cards - caveats

These days, if I have a Visa gift card, I find it most useful to immediately buy an Amazon credit refill with the card. I never have to carry the gift card around, or get stuck with odd amounts on a split transaction. For us, this works well because we buy stuff at amazon frequently, and can easily...
by rjbraun
Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: gift cards - caveats
Replies: 41
Views: 1971

Re: gift cards - caveats

These days, if I have a Visa gift card, I find it most useful to immediately buy an Amazon credit refill with the card. I never have to carry the gift card around, or get stuck with odd amounts on a split transaction. For us, this works well because we buy stuff at amazon frequently, and can easily...
by rjbraun
Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: gift cards - caveats
Replies: 41
Views: 1971

Re: gift cards - caveats

These days, if I have a Visa gift card, I find it most useful to immediately buy an Amazon credit refill with the card. I never have to carry the gift card around, or get stuck with odd amounts on a split transaction. For us, this works well because we buy stuff at amazon frequently, and can easily...
by rjbraun
Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: gift cards - caveats
Replies: 41
Views: 1971

Re: gift cards - caveats

I get the occasional gift card (various types) when attending various functions. My wife spends them. Such cards tend to be more difficult to use for things like "pay at the pump", hotels and (sometimes) restaurants. This is more the case when there is a small amount left on the card. My wife is ad...
by rjbraun
Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: gift cards - caveats
Replies: 41
Views: 1971

Re: gift cards - caveats

There’s a kiosk at my Safeway where you can get partial cash for many gift cards. I’ve migrated to giving “United States treasury federal reserve note” gift cards with pictures of Ben franklin on them. For variety this year I added a $1 president Eisenhower coin (note: the coinstar machines can’t h...
by rjbraun
Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: gift cards - caveats
Replies: 41
Views: 1971

Re: gift cards - caveats

A couple of additional items for your list: 1) Learn the term "Split Transaction": Regarding the price of the card exceeding your hotel bill - you could have asked the person to do a "split transaction" - if they don't know how their manager should - you should have been able to put part of the tra...
by rjbraun
Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: gift cards - caveats
Replies: 41
Views: 1971

gift cards - caveats

I don't think I've seen this exact topic posted so figured I would do so, particularly now that we're in the holiday season. I understand that gift cards can be a desirable way to give a gift to someone, especially when you may not know exactly what to get the recipient. I have received a number ove...
by rjbraun
Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Holiday Tipping
Replies: 30
Views: 2420

Re: Holiday Tipping

Hello Bogleheads always nice to chat with you. My wife and I were discussing how to tip this holiday season. We have read some articles and wanted to know what the forum thought. We are planning on tipping the following folks and wanted to know how you determine what to tip; newspaper delivery pers...
by rjbraun
Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Holiday Tipping
Replies: 30
Views: 2420

Re: Holiday Tipping

Anyone in a condo complex or apartment building care to share how holiday tips are handled? Our experiences come from a major NE city downtown apartment building, 60 units, with a staff that does it all: always a concierge, someone valet's the car in/out, delivers packages, changes light bulbs, unc...
by rjbraun
Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why should I donate to my alma mater?
Replies: 133
Views: 9909

Re: Why should I donate to my alma matter?

Lots of factors here. I give nothing to Princeton (my alma mater) because they are rich. But we do give to SUNY New Paltz, where my wife (from a very poor family) got an excellent education for very little money. And New Paltz doesn't get the alum donations that Princeton does -- our $150,000 put u...
by rjbraun
Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Luggage Update for Travel
Replies: 73
Views: 4400

Re: Luggage Update for Travel

I have flown on 4 separate Alitalia flights in recent years, and they never weighed my carry-on. I too was concerned about the <18 lbs limit, so I bought a small scale to weigh the bag (both at home and before my return trip). The good news is that I was able to have everything I needed in a bag th...
by rjbraun
Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Luggage Update for Travel
Replies: 73
Views: 4400

Re: Luggage Update for Travel

... I've also found that in many foreign countries, the price of just hiring someone to do laundry for you is quite reasonable and allows me to focus on other things. +1. We did far less laundry than we expected on our trip because the prices were so low in those locations at which it was available...
by rjbraun
Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Luggage Update for Travel
Replies: 73
Views: 4400

Re: Luggage Update for Travel

I think having a small bag, and in particular a backpack bag, makes you less of a target, especially for being forced to check the bag at the gate. I agree. Agents sometimes seem to kind of let my pack go if it's fully on my back. Of course, I also try to wear it so it doesn't seem onerous or anyth...
by rjbraun
Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Luggage Update for Travel
Replies: 73
Views: 4400

Re: Luggage Update for Travel

It varies between airlines. United only has a size limit, not a weight limit, but we recently flew with Singapore Airlines, carry-on only in economy. Their weight limit is 7kg, and we were asked to weigh our bags at check-in, including traveling in both directions. We only managed to get under by s...
by rjbraun
Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Luggage Update for Travel
Replies: 73
Views: 4400

Re: Luggage Update for Travel

Edit - For people who carry on their bags (and fly coach): Are you really able to stay strictly within airlines' weight limits for carry-ons? Easily. Light travel is an obsession of mine, and if I really keep things to a minimum, I can fit everything I need into a small pack and still have half the...
by rjbraun
Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Luggage Update for Travel
Replies: 73
Views: 4400

Re: Luggage Update for Travel

I won't ever check a bag again. I travel carry on only and I highly recommend backback bags that easily fit in the smallest overhead bin and have comfortable padded backpack straps and a waist belt. When you get off the plane and walk up and down stairs in the airport or train station or along the ...
by rjbraun
Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Update (again): Amazon "Cyber Monday Deal": Instant Pot 6-qt $74.99 (Cyber Monday-Nov 27)
Replies: 36
Views: 4417

Re: Update (again): Amazon "Cyber Monday Deal": Instant Pot 6-qt $74.99 (Cyber Monday-Nov 27)

Glad to have helped. If you happen to use Facebook or YouTube, you can find groups and/or videos of the various sizes of pots as well as basic cooking techniques and many, many recipes. I understand your mixed feelings. I regret ever purchasing a crock pot but I have friends who have remained avid ...
by rjbraun
Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Update (again): Amazon "Cyber Monday Deal": Instant Pot 6-qt $74.99 (Cyber Monday-Nov 27)
Replies: 36
Views: 4417

Re: Update (again): Amazon "Cyber Monday Deal": Instant Pot 6-qt $74.99 (Cyber Monday-Nov 27)

I'd go with the 8 qt. We cook for 2 most of the time and freeze leftovers or make large batch chili or other recipes for easy entertaining. Thanks, Jackson12. I was about to pull the trigger on the 6-quart model, as the kitchen cabinet I measured would seem to be just big enough to accommodate the ...
by rjbraun
Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Update (again): Amazon "Cyber Monday Deal": Instant Pot 6-qt $74.99 (Cyber Monday-Nov 27)
Replies: 36
Views: 4417

Re: Update (again): Amazon "Cyber Monday Deal": Instant Pot 6-qt $74.99 (Cyber Monday-Nov 27)

I'd go with the 8 qt. We cook for 2 most of the time and freeze leftovers or make large batch chili or other recipes for easy entertaining. Thanks, Jackson12. I was about to pull the trigger on the 6-quart model, as the kitchen cabinet I measured would seem to be just big enough to accommodate the ...
by rjbraun
Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Update (again): Amazon "Cyber Monday Deal": Instant Pot 6-qt $74.99 (Cyber Monday-Nov 27)
Replies: 36
Views: 4417

Re: Update: Amazon "Black Friday Deal": Instant Pot 8-qt $81.99 (Black Friday-Nov 24)

Black Friday Amazon Deal, Nov 24: https://www.amazon.com/Instant-Pot-Programmable-Pressure-Steamer/dp/B01B1VC13K/ref=gbph_tit_m-2_5702_2d744a6a?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_p=7198fb53-be25-4650-95b4-f3853e625702&pf_rd_s=merchandised-search-2&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_i=384082011&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=H...
by rjbraun
Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Etiquette question: going out to dinner with friends and how to split the bill
Replies: 86
Views: 5729

Re: Etiquette question: going out to dinner with friends and how to split the bill

Interesting to read some of the replies. Not sure I feel strongly about the right or better approach, but for people who like separate checks I guess that precludes sharing one or more bottles of wine with your dining companions
by rjbraun
Fri Nov 24, 2017 3:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Beware Amazon Price Gouging
Replies: 74
Views: 9697

Re: Beware Amazon Price Gouging

I've been buying with no-rush shipping (or whatever it's called). While I have Amazon Prime I will take offers to receive a $1 Amazon digital book credit in the many instances where I am not particularly time-sensitive. Anyway, as a result there have been times when I see a price drop. Depending on ...
by rjbraun
Fri Nov 24, 2017 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Update (again): Amazon "Cyber Monday Deal": Instant Pot 6-qt $74.99 (Cyber Monday-Nov 27)
Replies: 36
Views: 4417

Re: Update: Amazon "Black Friday Deal": Instant Pot 8-qt $81.99 (Black Friday-Nov 24)

I don't know what size you need, but the 6 quart ones are still available. Scroll down and you'll find them. Maybe a different model number or something. Thank you. I hadn't seen that, but the other 6-quart models cost more. Perhaps worth the higher price and I'm being Boglehead-ish about this and ...
by rjbraun
Fri Nov 24, 2017 3:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Update (again): Amazon "Cyber Monday Deal": Instant Pot 6-qt $74.99 (Cyber Monday-Nov 27)
Replies: 36
Views: 4417

Re: Update: Amazon "Black Friday Deal": Instant Pot 8-qt $81.99 (Black Friday-Nov 24)

Black Friday Amazon Deal, Nov 24: https://www.amazon.com/Instant-Pot-Programmable-Pressure-Steamer/dp/B01B1VC13K/ref=gbph_tit_m-2_5702_2d744a6a?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_p=7198fb53-be25-4650-95b4-f3853e625702&pf_rd_s=merchandised-search-2&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_i=384082011&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=HC...
by rjbraun
Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ: "A Former LTCM Partner Embraces Indexing, and Says You Should Too"
Replies: 15
Views: 1305

Re: WSJ: "A Former LTCM Partner Embraces Indexing, and Says You Should Too"

arcticpineapplecorp. wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:22 pm
An LTCM partner is telling me to embrace indexing? Already learned that from Jack way before you did.
LTCM partner, Warren Buffett ... the list goes on. Yet another reminder of the debt of gratitude we owe to our friend and mentor, Jack Bogle. :happy
by rjbraun
Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ: "A Former LTCM Partner Embraces Indexing, and Says You Should Too"
Replies: 15
Views: 1305

Re: WSJ: "A Former LTCM Partner Embraces Indexing, and Says You Should Too"

FrugalInvestor wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:20 pm
What page is the WSJ article on?
I only read it online, sorry. It's in the Markets section (naturally), time stamp today, 8 a.m. ET, so perhaps it will only come out in tomorrow's print edition?
by rjbraun
Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ: "A Former LTCM Partner Embraces Indexing, and Says You Should Too"
Replies: 15
Views: 1305

WSJ: "A Former LTCM Partner Embraces Indexing, and Says You Should Too"

I realize that the article may be behind the paywall for non-subscribers. The headline pretty much says it all, though the article provides additional background and context for how Victor Haghani came to this revelation. Of note, it seemed to take him some time, and it was reportedly only around 20...
by rjbraun
Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Approach for Purchasing Many Furnishings
Replies: 27
Views: 1937

Re: Best Approach for Purchasing Many Furnishings

Also, freecycle.org. Don't think I saw that site mentioned, yet. Great resource for people with things to give away or those interested to acquire items. Everything is transacted for free; no money exchange allowed. Depending on where OP lives, they may want to expand their geographic search, partic...
by rjbraun
Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $35- HR Block Deluxe Fed+State
Replies: 9
Views: 1027

Re: $35- HR Block Deluxe Fed+State

According to an email I received. Seems like a pretty good deal if it includes filing. Maybe. Have you used H&R Block tax software before? I purchased last year based on having bought the package previously to file my 2015 returns. But, the software did not work at all for me last year. Best way to...
by rjbraun
Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $35- HR Block Deluxe Fed+State
Replies: 9
Views: 1027

Re: $35- HR Block Deluxe Fed+State

According to an email I received. Seems like a pretty good deal if it includes filing. Maybe. Have you used H&R Block tax software before? I purchased last year based on having bought the package previously to file my 2015 returns. But, the software did not work at all for me last year. Best way to...
by rjbraun
Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lowes vs Home Depot
Replies: 62
Views: 8567

Re: Lowes vs Home Depot

The Lowes in my area gives me a veteran ( not currently in military) discount any time I purchase something in their store. Most times I don't even have to show my DD214. I don't normally ask for a discount on small items I purchase, only on the more expensive ones. If you have a myLowes card(loyal...
by rjbraun
Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Update (again): Amazon "Cyber Monday Deal": Instant Pot 6-qt $74.99 (Cyber Monday-Nov 27)
Replies: 36
Views: 4417

Update (again): Amazon "Cyber Monday Deal": Instant Pot 6-qt $74.99 (Cyber Monday-Nov 27)

Instant Pot seems to get rave reviews here, so I figured I would highlight an Amazon Deal of the Day today, in case anyone is interested. There's a companion cookbook offered as a "lightning deal" (looks like it will end around 1:30 p.m. ET today, unless supplies run out first). Personally, I don't ...