Connections that save you money

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Topic Author
AirTimeMD
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Connections that save you money

Post by AirTimeMD » Thu Sep 17, 2015 11:01 am

Hello Bogleheads,

I watch my pennies in many aspects of life and "splurge" in others. There are a multitude of savvy posters on this site and I'd imagine that as a collective many of them have discovered incredible deals or channels in which to save money.

I'd like to open a thread, albeit vague, to share things that you have found or connections that you have made that may be able to passed on to other posters.

At 27 my experience isn't as wide as many in this thread, but I have been told that I do get "great" deals.

Here are a few:

When hiring someone to do a job, I always tell them that I am having the job quoted by 2 other people. Once I receive a quote from them that I believe is fair, I immediately tell them that if they will agree to knock 10-15% off the quote, I will save the time of quoting out the job and go with them. This works very frequently.

I call my cable company every quarter and tell them that "I can no longer afford my service". About 60% of the time, I reach someone in customer service that offers me a "new package" deal that saves me 5-10% of my bill.

I travel a lot for work. I like Tumi luggage. If you call a company called Bergman (800-BERGMAN), they will give you free shipping and 15% off any piece of luggage that you can find for Tumi. I'm sure it works with other companies as well.

For watches, there is a man named George Mayer that owns a store, "Govberg Jewelers". I own one very lavish watch, a Rose Gold IWC Portuguese. Retail $18,750, that I obtained new in box with papers for $11,220 with overnight shipping. If you give him a call, you can get a great deal on any timepiece, you just have to ask.

I often book employee travel. When I do, I use my Marriot or Hilton rewards number. The way to do this is to book using your name, but place the guests name on the room and notify the hotel that they will be staying in your place. I have never had stays removed and this has enabled me to build a multitude of points for free stays. I have been unable to figure out how to do this with airline miles......

Anybody have any online vendor recommendations or wise advice that has been given to them from experts in a field that help them navigate that field better?

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mhc
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Re: Connections that save you money

Post by mhc » Thu Sep 17, 2015 11:39 am

I make friends with people who can help me around the house. I have had co-workers help me:
install new toilets
install new garage door opener
fix sprinkler system
install large pantry cabinet
ignite hot water heater
haul off old furniture and appliances
haul new furniture and appliances to my house

The list goes on. Helpful friends can save lots of money while you get an education. I also consult with them on car repairs.

I help them with HR stuff, taxes, investing, and general finances. Good trade in my book.

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mbk734
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Re: Connections that save you money

Post by mbk734 » Thu Sep 17, 2015 11:55 am

Google coupon codes for 25% or more off retail websites. Also shopping portals through your credit card for up to 25% off the same store.
Churning credit card sign up bonuses and manufactured spending for free airline tickets and hotel stays.
You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf

denovo
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Re: Connections that save you money

Post by denovo » Thu Sep 17, 2015 12:29 pm

AirTimeMD wrote:
I'd like to open a thread, albeit vague, to share things that you have found or connections that you have made that may be able to passed on to other posters.

At 27 my experience isn't as wide as many in this thread, but I have been told that I do get "great" deals.

Here are a few:

When hiring someone to do a job, I always tell them that I am having the job quoted by 2 other people. Once I receive a quote from them that I believe is fair, I immediately tell them that if they will agree to knock 10-15% off the quote, I will save the time of quoting out the job and go with them. This works very frequently.
I actually get multiple quotes. There's too many x factors like quality, reputation, scope of work. I dont think I can presume to know what is a fair price without getting the information.
I call my cable company every quarter and tell them that "I can no longer afford my service". About 60% of the time, I reach someone in customer service that offers me a "new package" deal that saves me 5-10% of my bill.
I do this for all subscription services, which are few for me.
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

jayjayc
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Re: Connections that save you money

Post by jayjayc » Fri Sep 18, 2015 1:11 pm

I help out a friend of mine by sharing my Costco membership with him. Whenever he needs to shop at Costco, I'll order a Costco gift card and ship it to him. He'll then use that gift card to gain entrance to Costco and pay for his groceries. Of course he reimburses me.

DW is already on my account so I don't have the capacity to add a 3rd member. I don't mind helping him out since I know he's trying his best to cut expenses.

Fallible
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Re: Connections that save you money

Post by Fallible » Fri Sep 18, 2015 3:23 pm

AirTimeMD wrote:...
When hiring someone to do a job, I always tell them that I am having the job quoted by 2 other people. Once I receive a quote from them that I believe is fair, I immediately tell them that if they will agree to knock 10-15% off the quote, I will save the time of quoting out the job and go with them. This works very frequently. ...
If you mean you aren't really getting two other quotes, then you may be missing out on the true value of competitive bidding. It doesn't have to be what you "believe is fair," but what is actually fair based on three quotes. And it's not just the price, but also quality work and other factors that you want to take into account. Plus the way to get good bids is to first gather info on the work itself and then check backgrounds of the bidders you chose so you are more likely to be comparing apples and apples. This process should assure the greatest cost savings for the best quality work.
John Bogle on his often bumpy road to low-cost indexing: "When a door closes, if you look long enough and hard enough, if you're strong enough, you'll find a window that opens."

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celia
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Re: Connections that save you money

Post by celia » Fri Sep 18, 2015 6:06 pm

When we have things to get rid of, other than construction trash, I list it on craigslist as free and it is gone in a few hours. No need to pay for trash collection bins. You'd be surprised what other people will do with your "trash".

Our city has 2 free over-size pickups a year where you can rid of mattresses, broken appliances, tires, etc. We just call them and leave them next to the trash cans on trash day.

There are also free classes on composting and drought tolerant landscaping and several http://littlefreelibrary.org/ mini-libraries where you can "Take a book, Return a book" for free.
A dollar in Roth is worth more than a dollar in a taxable account. A dollar in taxable is worth more than a dollar in a tax-deferred account.

drawpoker
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Re: Connections that save you money

Post by drawpoker » Mon Sep 21, 2015 12:02 pm

This is not technically a "connection" but it sure has saved me $$$$

With the exception of Martha Stewart Living I NEVER renew magazine subscriptions when I get the renewal notice. Never. I ignore all the reminders too.
After the subscription has actually lapsed - not long afterwards in the mail here comes the rock-bottom "We Want you Back" enticing offer to re-subscribe at a fraction of the previous cost.
Have done this with GH, BH&G, FC, Woman's Day, SOU Living, etc, I pay around $9 or $10 for two years, rather than $16 or $20 for a single year.

ved
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Re: Connections that save you money

Post by ved » Mon Sep 21, 2015 12:11 pm

AirTimeMD wrote:Hello Bogleheads,
I often book employee travel. When I do, I use my Marriot or Hilton rewards number. The way to do this is to book using your name, but place the guests name on the room and notify the hotel that they will be staying in your place. I have never had stays removed and this has enabled me to build a multitude of points for free stays. I have been unable to figure out how to do this with airline miles......
Shouldn't the employee that is staying get the hotel points? Hasn't anyone challenged you on that?
Plus, aren't you liable if there's damage, etc. in the hotel room?

jpelder
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Re: Connections that save you money

Post by jpelder » Mon Sep 21, 2015 1:47 pm

My Grandmother always joked that she always had great glasses because she slept with her ophthalmologist (N.B: She was also married to said ophthalmologist).

My uncle is a real estate agent, which has saved family members a bunch on home purchases.

Topic Author
AirTimeMD
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Re: Connections that save you money

Post by AirTimeMD » Mon Sep 21, 2015 4:56 pm

ved wrote:
AirTimeMD wrote:Hello Bogleheads,
I often book employee travel. When I do, I use my Marriot or Hilton rewards number. The way to do this is to book using your name, but place the guests name on the room and notify the hotel that they will be staying in your place. I have never had stays removed and this has enabled me to build a multitude of points for free stays. I have been unable to figure out how to do this with airline miles......
Shouldn't the employee that is staying get the hotel points? Hasn't anyone challenged you on that?
Plus, aren't you liable if there's damage, etc. in the hotel room?

I'm not sure if the employee should be getting hotel points. Nobody has challenged me on it and I'd be more than happy to let them accumulate their own if they'd wish - but I'm not volunteering. To your second question, I'm not a lawyer, but I would imagine that he company would be liable to some extent whether my name or theirs books the reservation on company funds/time.....

anil686
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Re: Connections that save you money

Post by anil686 » Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:03 pm

Not necessarily a connection, but many alumni associations have discounts that I have found useful. Many also have a lifetime member option that is priced pretty competitively. Anyway, for example at the University of Michigan, they have Ford vehicles with x plan (friend and family)pricing that is no haggle with doc fee restrictions and is actually a pretty good deal. In addition, they have discounts on travel, insurance (Geico) and other things. I don't know if I would call that a connection though...

drawpoker
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Re: Connections that save you money

Post by drawpoker » Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:18 pm

jpelder wrote:....My uncle is a real estate agent, which has saved family members a bunch on home purchases.
Purchases? Didn't you mean family members saved a bunch on home sales ?
Real estate commissions are customarily paid by the seller, not the buyer.

Unless you meant the uncle's expertise saved them money by shrewdly advising them exactly what to offer on each house purchase. So they did not overpay ?

ved
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Re: Connections that save you money

Post by ved » Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:44 pm

AirTimeMD wrote:I'm not a lawyer, but I would imagine that he company would be liable to some extent whether my name or theirs books the reservation on company funds/time.....
I don't know if that's true. What if an employee willfully damages the room (disgruntled employee, drunk, etc.)? The company (or their insurance) may pay the hotel, but then they will try to collect from who stayed there..and the room is in your name.
Too much of a hassle / liability for my taste.

But, I like the other ideas that are posted here. Thanks.

Dulocracy
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Re: Connections that save you money

Post by Dulocracy » Tue Sep 22, 2015 1:28 pm

drawpoker wrote:
jpelder wrote:....My uncle is a real estate agent, which has saved family members a bunch on home purchases.
Purchases? Didn't you mean family members saved a bunch on home sales ?
Real estate commissions are customarily paid by the seller, not the buyer.

Unless you meant the uncle's expertise saved them money by shrewdly advising them exactly what to offer on each house purchase. So they did not overpay ?
What some realtors will do is waive their portion of the fee in exchange for a reduction in price for family. That is, the price is lowered by the 3% the realtor would have received as a commission.
I'm not a financial professional. Post is info only & not legal advice. No attorney-client relationship exists with reader. Scrutinize my ideas as if you spoke with a guy at a bar. I may be wrong.

jpelder
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Re: Connections that save you money

Post by jpelder » Tue Sep 22, 2015 1:39 pm

Dulocracy wrote:
drawpoker wrote:
jpelder wrote:....My uncle is a real estate agent, which has saved family members a bunch on home purchases.
Purchases? Didn't you mean family members saved a bunch on home sales ?
Real estate commissions are customarily paid by the seller, not the buyer.

Unless you meant the uncle's expertise saved them money by shrewdly advising them exactly what to offer on each house purchase. So they did not overpay ?
What some realtors will do is waive their portion of the fee in exchange for a reduction in price for family. That is, the price is lowered by the 3% the realtor would have received as a commission.
That's exactly what he does.

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Dutch
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Re: Connections that save you money

Post by Dutch » Tue Sep 22, 2015 1:41 pm

AirTimeMD wrote:I often book employee travel. When I do, I use my Marriot or Hilton rewards number. The way to do this is to book using your name, but place the guests name on the room and notify the hotel that they will be staying in your place. I have never had stays removed and this has enabled me to build a multitude of points for free stays. I have been unable to figure out how to do this with airline miles......
If you're an employee, this could get you in serious trouble with your company. If you're a business owner/principal, then perhaps this is not a problem.

drawpoker
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Re: Connections that save you money

Post by drawpoker » Tue Sep 22, 2015 3:55 pm

Dulocracy wrote:.....What some realtors will do is waive their portion of the fee in exchange for a reduction in price for family. That is, the price is lowered by the 3% the realtor would have received as a commission.
Well, that is just plain silly. A lot of unnecessary effort. If the goal is to get the house for 3% less, than the "some realtors" should just stay out of transaction entirely, except to give insider tips from the sidelines.

If they want to be helpful, advise the family member to arrange all showings of houses they are interested in directly with the listing agency office. Doesn't even have to be the actual listing agent who got the listing contract, just any sales agent connected with the same office.

When they find the house they like, and are ready to make an offer, tell the agent that they are making their offer based on the fact that since there is no co-agency involved, and the listing agency will be pocketing the entire 6 % themselves, therefore this is the price we will pay:

If the seller balks at the price, you would be surprised how many brokers-in-charge will come down to 2.5%, or even 2%, to make the sale go through in areas where customary commissions are 6%. In those places where it is now 7 % - it gets even sweeter.

pshonore
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Re: Connections that save you money

Post by pshonore » Tue Sep 22, 2015 7:18 pm

drawpoker wrote:
Dulocracy wrote:.....What some realtors will do is waive their portion of the fee in exchange for a reduction in price for family. That is, the price is lowered by the 3% the realtor would have received as a commission.
Well, that is just plain silly. A lot of unnecessary effort. If the goal is to get the house for 3% less, than the "some realtors" should just stay out of transaction entirely, except to give insider tips from the sidelines.

If they want to be helpful, advise the family member to arrange all showings of houses they are interested in directly with the listing agency office. Doesn't even have to be the actual listing agent who got the listing contract, just any sales agent connected with the same office.

When they find the house they like, and are ready to make an offer, tell the agent that they are making their offer based on the fact that since there is no co-agency involved, and the listing agency will be pocketing the entire 6 % themselves, therefore this is the price we will pay:

If the seller balks at the price, you would be surprised how many brokers-in-charge will come down to 2.5%, or even 2%, to make the sale go through in areas where customary commissions are 6%. In those places where it is now 7 % - it gets even sweeter.
Having worked in real estate for a number of years, I don't think that will happen. So you think a broker who owes 1.5% each to the agent who brought in the listing and also to the agent who brought in the sales contract will cut the commission to 2%? That broker will not be in business for very long. He won't be able to pay his expenses and his best people will move to agencies where that kind of thing is not tolerated.

drawpoker
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Re: Connections that save you money

Post by drawpoker » Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:56 pm

Your figures don't jibe.

Of course a broker-in-charge is not going to pay a 1.5% commission to both a listing agent and a selling agent within his own office.

That leaves him, the brokerage owner, with Nothing. The entire 3% is gone. I agree, not a real good way to operate a real estate brokerage.

I suggested this plan (utilizing one single agent within the listing agency) as a better way to achieve a 3% cut on the purchase price of the house since the poster specifically mentioned a 3% price reduction was the goal.

The original suggestion - that the helpful Uncle would write up the purchase offer on behalf of the buyer (altho in nearly all 50 states that makes him legally a sub-agent of the seller) then, at settlement, would "waive" his share (3%) of the commission, is not only silly, but fraught with some risk to the agent doing so. It could come under the radar of the local board, or even the state commission, as questionable - Helpful Uncle is not really waiving professional fees but exchanging them for "other consideration" (to family member) it could be argued.

Getting dangerously close to the appearance of the old "rebate" schemes that some agents, and their brokers, got caught up in back in the eighties. Remember?

Wings5
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Re: Connections that save you money

Post by Wings5 » Tue Sep 22, 2015 10:24 pm

Anyone who works in the travel industry saves a substantial amount of money on travel, from free hotel stays to nonrevenue employee travel on airlines around the world. I've seen coworkers travel completely around the world for free.

EddyB
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Re: Connections that save you money

Post by EddyB » Wed Sep 23, 2015 12:50 am

drawpoker wrote:
The original suggestion - that the helpful Uncle would write up the purchase offer on behalf of the buyer (altho in nearly all 50 states that makes him legally a sub-agent of the seller) then, at settlement, would "waive" his share (3%) of the commission, is not only silly, but fraught with some risk to the agent doing so. It could come under the radar of the local board, or even the state commission, as questionable - Helpful Uncle is not really waiving professional fees but exchanging them for "other consideration" (to family member) it could be argued.

Getting dangerously close to the appearance of the old "rebate" schemes that some agents, and their brokers, got caught up in back in the eighties. Remember?
Agent commissions can be rebated to a principal under federal law and the laws of the great majority of states (and the antitrust authorities are critical of the states that don't permit it).

While I agree with you that a seller's broker should be willing to credit half the commission directly (i.e., to a buyer that presents with "no agent"), I have some firsthand and extensive secondhand knowledge of sellers' brokers refusing that suggestion in one of the "hottest" real estate markets in the U.S. There are numerous limited-service buyer's agents in that market that advertise the "split the fee" model.

drawpoker
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Re: Connections that save you money

Post by drawpoker » Wed Sep 23, 2015 8:32 am

EddyB wrote:....... are numerous limited-service buyer's agents in that market that advertise the "split the fee" model.
I'm not clear on what you mean by "limited-service" buyers agents. In the states I am most familiar with where buyer agents are legally recognized (contractually) the commission has ruled their fee must be a flat rate. Nothing related to the purchase price (like a percentage) is lawful as, quite obviously, that would represent a clear conflict of interests.

:?:

EddyB
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Re: Connections that save you money

Post by EddyB » Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:39 am

drawpoker wrote:
EddyB wrote:....... are numerous limited-service buyer's agents in that market that advertise the "split the fee" model.
I'm not clear on what you mean by "limited-service" buyers agents. In the states I am most familiar with where buyer agents are legally recognized (contractually) the commission has ruled their fee must be a flat rate. Nothing related to the purchase price (like a percentage) is lawful as, quite obviously, that would represent a clear conflict of interests.

:?:
While I agree with you that it is a conflict of interest (and a bad model, in my view), generally the "buyers agent" is compensated by percentage of purchase price. I had originally put "buyers agent" in quotation marks, but thought the relationship was generally understood and that would seem condescending, but as with anything governed at the state level, there's meaningful variation, so I should have been explicit. In California, the "buyer's agent" is generally compensated by the amount specified in the seller's listing agreement (and so the seller pays the "buyer's agent"). A "buyer's agent" is generally a person who shows homes to buyers and puts in an offer.

Here's an example of the limited-service model I mentioned:
http://menloathertonrealty.com/real-est ... on-rebate/

drawpoker
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Re: Connections that save you money

Post by drawpoker » Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:07 am

Why am I not surprised to see this is taking place in The Golden State ........(that "hot" market you mentioned -suspected it was CA, was going to ask you just that )

All I can say - is well, um, That's Colly-Furr-Nee-UH


FWIW, #1 on the description from that firm's website - would never pass muster with the N.C. Commission ( probably quite a few other states as well ) It would be under quick order to be yanked, On the basis it is not only unprofessional, but clearly against commission regs to bash fellow real estate agents with disparaging innuendo in advertising or marketing materials.

Am glad to see you acknowledge the inherent problem in any contractual arrangement whereby the buyer's agent is compensated based on the selling price of the property.

Wonder how many Average Joes out there looking to buy their first house don't get it.

(Edit: btw, I just noticed - Where is the missing 0.5% ? Menlo-Atherton is claiming in their colorful diagram with the bouncing balls that they are receiving 2.5% commission from the listing office - huh? Why aren't they getting the customary 50-50 split as co-operating broker? Or have Golden State commissions on residential properties sunk to 5% ? Hardly think so, but that is the only answer I can think of to account for the missing one-half percent. Unless, um, the firm's explanation of how the $$ is divvied up is not quite, er, kosher?
Last edited by drawpoker on Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:24 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Christine_NM
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Re: Connections that save you money

Post by Christine_NM » Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:16 am

Nobody has challenged me on it and I'd be more than happy to let them accumulate their own if they'd wish - but I'm not volunteering.
My company changed the travel policy from employees using their own cards to being required to get a corporate card that funneled off all the goodies. Nobody challenged it but we certainly talked about it and resented it.
16% cash 48% stock 36% bond. Retired, w/d rate 2.85%

Maverick3320
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Re: Connections that save you money

Post by Maverick3320 » Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:48 am

AirTimeMD wrote:Hello Bogleheads,

I watch my pennies in many aspects of life and "splurge" in others. There are a multitude of savvy posters on this site and I'd imagine that as a collective many of them have discovered incredible deals or channels in which to save money.

I'd like to open a thread, albeit vague, to share things that you have found or connections that you have made that may be able to passed on to other posters.

At 27 my experience isn't as wide as many in this thread, but I have been told that I do get "great" deals.

Here are a few:

When hiring someone to do a job, I always tell them that I am having the job quoted by 2 other people. Once I receive a quote from them that I believe is fair, I immediately tell them that if they will agree to knock 10-15% off the quote, I will save the time of quoting out the job and go with them. This works very frequently.

I call my cable company every quarter and tell them that "I can no longer afford my service". About 60% of the time, I reach someone in customer service that offers me a "new package" deal that saves me 5-10% of my bill.

I travel a lot for work. I like Tumi luggage. If you call a company called Bergman (800-BERGMAN), they will give you free shipping and 15% off any piece of luggage that you can find for Tumi. I'm sure it works with other companies as well.

For watches, there is a man named George Mayer that owns a store, "Govberg Jewelers". I own one very lavish watch, a Rose Gold IWC Portuguese. Retail $18,750, that I obtained new in box with papers for $11,220 with overnight shipping. If you give him a call, you can get a great deal on any timepiece, you just have to ask.

I often book employee travel. When I do, I use my Marriot or Hilton rewards number. The way to do this is to book using your name, but place the guests name on the room and notify the hotel that they will be staying in your place. I have never had stays removed and this has enabled me to build a multitude of points for free stays. I have been unable to figure out how to do this with airline miles......


Anybody have any online vendor recommendations or wise advice that has been given to them from experts in a field that help them navigate that field better?
I've always wanted to call my current internet provider, AT&T Uverse, and threaten to cancel in hopes of a better deal. What do you do when they call your bluff, though? It seems like switching providers involves a lot of transaction costs.

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KlingKlang
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Re: Connections that save you money

Post by KlingKlang » Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:51 am

Christine_NM wrote:
Nobody has challenged me on it and I'd be more than happy to let them accumulate their own if they'd wish - but I'm not volunteering.
My company changed the travel policy from employees using their own cards to being required to get a corporate card that funneled off all the goodies. Nobody challenged it but we certainly talked about it and resented it.
I used to get hate emails from corporate HR for using my personal travel rewards card instead of the corporate card that they got personal kickbacks from. These were people who had no problem with me travelling around the world every other month but wouldn't come to an on-site meeting a thousand miles away from their office because it was "too far".

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KlingKlang
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Re: Connections that save you money

Post by KlingKlang » Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:59 am

Maverick3320 wrote:
AirTimeMD wrote:Hello Bogleheads,

I watch my pennies in many aspects of life and "splurge" in others. There are a multitude of savvy posters on this site and I'd imagine that as a collective many of them have discovered incredible deals or channels in which to save money.

I'd like to open a thread, albeit vague, to share things that you have found or connections that you have made that may be able to passed on to other posters.

At 27 my experience isn't as wide as many in this thread, but I have been told that I do get "great" deals.

Here are a few:

When hiring someone to do a job, I always tell them that I am having the job quoted by 2 other people. Once I receive a quote from them that I believe is fair, I immediately tell them that if they will agree to knock 10-15% off the quote, I will save the time of quoting out the job and go with them. This works very frequently.

I call my cable company every quarter and tell them that "I can no longer afford my service". About 60% of the time, I reach someone in customer service that offers me a "new package" deal that saves me 5-10% of my bill.

I travel a lot for work. I like Tumi luggage. If you call a company called Bergman (800-BERGMAN), they will give you free shipping and 15% off any piece of luggage that you can find for Tumi. I'm sure it works with other companies as well.

For watches, there is a man named George Mayer that owns a store, "Govberg Jewelers". I own one very lavish watch, a Rose Gold IWC Portuguese. Retail $18,750, that I obtained new in box with papers for $11,220 with overnight shipping. If you give him a call, you can get a great deal on any timepiece, you just have to ask.

I often book employee travel. When I do, I use my Marriot or Hilton rewards number. The way to do this is to book using your name, but place the guests name on the room and notify the hotel that they will be staying in your place. I have never had stays removed and this has enabled me to build a multitude of points for free stays. I have been unable to figure out how to do this with airline miles......


Anybody have any online vendor recommendations or wise advice that has been given to them from experts in a field that help them navigate that field better?
I've always wanted to call my current internet provider, AT&T Uverse, and threaten to cancel in hopes of a better deal. What do you do when they call your bluff, though? It seems like switching providers involves a lot of transaction costs.
When I tried ATT U-verse they linked my Yahoo email account with their email. After I cancelled, they cut off my access to my Yahoo email account which I had been using for many years. Yahoo said that they couldn't restore access to the account because I was an ATT customer. ATT wouldn't restore my access because I was no longer a customer. I'll never use them again.

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JupiterJones
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Re: Connections that save you money

Post by JupiterJones » Wed Sep 23, 2015 11:02 am

celia wrote:When we have things to get rid of, other than construction trash, I list it on craigslist as free and it is gone in a few hours.
An alternative place to list would be NextDoor, if your neighborhood is active on it. The posting is only seen by members in your neighborhood (or, optionally, adjoining neighborhoods).
Stay on target...

ThisTimeItsDifferent
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Re: Connections that save you money

Post by ThisTimeItsDifferent » Wed Sep 23, 2015 11:07 am

Call and tell your internet/tv/etc provider that you want to cancel your account effective at the end of the month/billing cycle. If they don't lower the price, you can always reverse that later and continue service. They almost certainly will lower the price though. If they don't, then probably really switch. Switching is not a big deal with a separate email address, number portability, etc.

EddyB
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Re: Connections that save you money

Post by EddyB » Wed Sep 23, 2015 12:02 pm

drawpoker wrote:Why am I not surprised to see this is taking place in The Golden State ........(that "hot" market you mentioned -suspected it was CA, was going to ask you just that )

All I can say - is well, um, That's Colly-Furr-Nee-UH


FWIW, #1 on the description from that firm's website - would never pass muster with the N.C. Commission ( probably quite a few other states as well ) It would be under quick order to be yanked, On the basis it is not only unprofessional, but clearly against commission regs to bash fellow real estate agents with disparaging innuendo in advertising or marketing materials.

Am glad to see you acknowledge the inherent problem in any contractual arrangement whereby the buyer's agent is compensated based on the selling price of the property.

Wonder how many Average Joes out there looking to buy their first house don't get it.

(Edit: btw, I just noticed - Where is the missing 0.5% ? Menlo-Atherton is claiming in their colorful diagram with the bouncing balls that they are receiving 2.5% commission from the listing office - huh? Why aren't they getting the customary 50-50 split as co-operating broker? Or have Golden State commissions on residential properties sunk to 5% ? Hardly think so, but that is the only answer I can think of to account for the missing one-half percent. Unless, um, the firm's explanation of how the $$ is divvied up is not quite, er, kosher?
Yes, commissions in that market are customarily 5%. Keep in mind that the vast majority of houses they'll handle will see for 7 figures.

Also, I think rebates are generally permitted in other states even where comp is percentage-of-sale-price based (I believe there are 9 or 10 where it is). Consider this from a NC RE Broker review course:

Licensees are sometimes surprised to learn that there is no law or rule prohibiting a broker from sharing his/her brokerage fee with a party to the transaction in which the broker is involved. Must a broker share his/her brokerage fee with an unlicensed party if the party requests it? NO. Must the party have a broker license in order to be paid? NO. Does it matter whether the agent sharing his/her brokerage fee is an agent of the property owner or a buyer/tenant agent? NO.

I'm not familiar with the details in NC, but this doesn't surprise me, and there are citations in that review material: http://www.ncrec.gov/Pdfs/bicar/CompensationIssues.pdf

Of course, your point about whether a licensing board would be troubled by that site is a different one. However, the DOJ is pretty positive about commission sharing and generally critical of state and broker efforts to suppress the practice, so there's that to consider. Of course, we've probably gone far enough away from the OP's original purpose for this thread now!

drawpoker
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Re: Connections that save you money

Post by drawpoker » Wed Sep 23, 2015 12:49 pm

EddyB wrote:.....Yes, commissions in that market are customarily 5%. Keep in mind that the vast majority of houses they'll handle will see for 7 figures.
Hmmmm. That sort of math hasn't sunk in around here (East Coast) In my backyard, (here and the next county over) it is something of a mecca for the 1% folks from D.C. to buy their 7-figure waterfront mansions/summer places (think Cheney and Rumsfeld - each bought big places down the road - plus other types of that ilk) Not too many years ago, in fact, Talbot County MD had the distinction of having the greatest no. of millionaires per square mile than any other county in the U.S. ) :shock:

The going rate on residential sales, including these luxury properties, is still 6%. I really think, knowing many of these characters, If any brokers here even mildly suggested going down to 5% - you would hear yowls & protests that could be heard all the way to Calif, and those brokers would be tarred, feathered, and run out of town :P (By this I am not referring to the sometimes where a broker might be willing to negotiate a lower commission in order to make a sale go thru; I am thinking more of the "discount" brokers who came on the scene some years ago, And the established offices pretty much turned up their noses at them. And still do)

FWIW, don't tell your pals in Calif, but in many towns in NJ the going rate is now at 7% :shock:

(I agree the original post re: The Helpful Uncle who is also a licensed agent saving his family a bunch has pretty much gone off the tracks by now. :| )

BW1985
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Re: Connections that save you money

Post by BW1985 » Wed Sep 23, 2015 1:08 pm

I travel for work to an area a few hours from my hometown. My business travel is flexible so I'll often coordinate it to line up with personal needs. I've saved a lot of money doing this.

I also accumulate a good number of rental car points from work. I use them to rent a car when making long road trips to put the miles and wear on the rental instead of my own. I've really kept the miles down on my car doing this.

I cancelled my personal cell phone a few months into being issued a work iPhone. So far I've saved 3 years of cell phone payments, about $3000.
"Squirrels figured out how to save eons ago. They buried acorns. Some, they dug up, for food. Others, they let to sprout, in new oak trees. We could learn from squirrels." -john94549

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ethan_imagine
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Re: Connections that save you money

Post by ethan_imagine » Sat Aug 06, 2016 7:55 am

Thank you for this post, AirTimeMD. What an entrepreneur you are. You taught me quite a few things. A couple questions for you.
I often book employee travel. When I do, I use my Marriot or Hilton rewards number. The way to do this is to book using your name, but place the guests name on the room and notify the hotel that they will be staying in your place. I have never had stays removed and this has enabled me to build a multitude of points for free stays. I have been unable to figure out how to do this with airline miles......
When you do that, are you the employer, or you work as an HR for your employer?
When hiring someone to do a job, I always tell them that I am having the job quoted by 2 other people. Once I receive a quote from them that I believe is fair, I immediately tell them that if they will agree to knock 10-15% off the quote, I will save the time of quoting out the job and go with them. This works very frequently.
What do you mean by "quoting out the job"?

One small suggestion is that sometimes you can put several vendors candidates in a same room. While they are fighting each other out, you get the best education out there.
Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain.

AlohaJoe
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Re: Connections that save you money

Post by AlohaJoe » Sat Aug 06, 2016 8:20 am

Connections that save me money....

I know several people that own hotels around the world (like Marina Bay Sands in Singapore or Six Senses); I get discounts on hotel rooms.

I know someone who owns an airline. I get discounts on airfare.

I know a pair of billionaires that let me stay in some of their vacation homes when they aren't otherwise being used.

I know the country manager for my bank, which helps with all bank fees and problems.

I know the country licensee for Louis Vuitton and other luxury brands and get discounts.

I know the country manager for Mercedes Benz and get cars cheaper.

I know some property developers and get access to the new developments before the rest of the market.

Probably more if I put my mind to it.

Oh, I know the country manager for Uber and get a discount.

randomguy
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Re: Connections that save you money

Post by randomguy » Sat Aug 06, 2016 8:32 am

denovo wrote:
AirTimeMD wrote:
I'd like to open a thread, albeit vague, to share things that you have found or connections that you have made that may be able to passed on to other posters.

At 27 my experience isn't as wide as many in this thread, but I have been told that I do get "great" deals.

Here are a few:

When hiring someone to do a job, I always tell them that I am having the job quoted by 2 other people. Once I receive a quote from them that I believe is fair, I immediately tell them that if they will agree to knock 10-15% off the quote, I will save the time of quoting out the job and go with them. This works very frequently.
I actually get multiple quotes. There's too many x factors like quality, reputation, scope of work. I dont think I can presume to know what is a fair price without getting the information.
Yeah. We called 3 tree removal services once. One was ~30% cheaper than the others so we went with him. Our neighbor had him and 2 other guys quote his job. Our guy was 20% more expensive.:) I would definitely want 1 or 2 real quotes before asking for the discount.

tbradnc
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Re: Connections that save you money

Post by tbradnc » Sat Aug 06, 2016 9:01 am

AirTimeMD wrote:
When hiring someone to do a job, I always tell them that I am having the job quoted by 2 other people. Once I receive a quote from them that I believe is fair, I immediately tell them that if they will agree to knock 10-15% off the quote, I will save the time of quoting out the job and go with them. This works very frequently.
Around here anyway the most skilled craftsmen/builders/tradespeople are in demand and have plenty of work. When hiring landscapers or carpentry type businesses I'd rather they have a backlog than say "I can start tomorrow!" - it makes me wonder why they're not working when everyone else is.

I'd suggest getting 3 (or so) bids. At that point if the person you like best is also at your price point you're done. If you like one person but they're on the high side *then* discuss the other bids, tell them all things being equal you'd like to give the job to them, and ask if they'll work with you..

If you just get a bid and then ask them to discount it you'll look like a cheap jerk... :)

p.s. Also remember the saying, "You can have cheap, fast, and good. Pick two."

John Z
Posts: 399
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Re: Connections that save you money

Post by John Z » Sat Aug 06, 2016 11:12 am

NISSAN Shoppers in the Southeast:

Not a connection and have no affiliation or relatives with this dealer but check out Jenkins Nissan in Lakeland, FL.

April 2015 shopping for a 2015 Murano to replace 3 year leased Altima. Contacted (first email then phone) about 15 dealers within a 2 hour drive of Daytona. Jenkins' webpage indicated $6500 off MSRP which at that time seemed too good to be true since other dealers were at MSRP or a little below because this was a first year redesigned model. Called the internet manager and asked for an out the door price. Sure enough out the door price was $6000 off plus added $799 dealer fee (extra $500 for previous customers so a little catch and no sales tax since I'm a NH resident and NH has no tax on vehicle sales plus have to finance with Nissan at 1.9% which can be paid off early) and I could pick it up in 2 days. Called all the other dealers and some didn't believe it and all said they couldn't come close. At that time Jenkins was the #4 dealer in volume in the US. Today they are #1.

I winter in FL so was able to drive the 100 miles to pick it up. They told me they have many out of state buyers and handle all out of state transfers with a FL 30 day temp plate.

Give it a shot. Happy Hunting!

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munemaker
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Re: Connections that save you money

Post by munemaker » Sun Aug 07, 2016 9:38 am

KlingKlang wrote:
Christine_NM wrote:
Nobody has challenged me on it and I'd be more than happy to let them accumulate their own if they'd wish - but I'm not volunteering.
My company changed the travel policy from employees using their own cards to being required to get a corporate card that funneled off all the goodies. Nobody challenged it but we certainly talked about it and resented it.
I used to get hate emails from corporate HR for using my personal travel rewards card instead of the corporate card that they got personal kickbacks from. These were people who had no problem with me travelling around the world every other month but wouldn't come to an on-site meeting a thousand miles away from their office because it was "too far".
HR gets personal kickbacks from the charges that go on company credit cards? Really?

camden
Posts: 271
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Re: Connections that save you money

Post by camden » Sun Aug 07, 2016 10:02 am

Found the OP fascinating. Can't get over an individual who calls their cable company once a quarter to get a better rate and then buys an $11,000 watch. That's the kind of personality that makes the world interesting. More power to him/her.

I understand the cable/satellite provider gambit works most of the time.

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Toons
Posts: 13426
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Location: Hills of Tennessee

Re: Connections that save you money

Post by Toons » Sun Aug 07, 2016 10:09 am

Walmart shipping pass,
2 day shipping ,is saving me a lot of time and travel now.
Order 1 item or 100 items.free shipping.
Many prices Better than Amazon.
I have been giving it a 30 day trial run.
49 bucks a years,
It is a no brainer.
Just ordered 4 cans of albacore tuna :mrgreen: :mrgreen:


FYI
https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/shoppin ... omparison/

:happy
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

Davistax
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Re: Connections that save you money

Post by Davistax » Sun Aug 07, 2016 10:17 am

When hiring someone to do a job, I always tell them that I am having the job quoted by 2 other people. Once I receive a quote from them that I believe is fair, I immediately tell them that if they will agree to knock 10-15% off the quote, I will save the time of quoting out the job and go with them. This works very frequently.

I call my cable company every quarter and tell them that "I can no longer afford my service". About 60% of the time, I reach someone in customer service that offers me a "new package" deal that saves me 5-10% of my bill.
So, basically, you just lie. So sad.

SGM
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Re: Connections that save you money

Post by SGM » Sun Aug 07, 2016 11:04 am

The local newspaper will deliver for as low as $99 per year. If you don't call them to cancel they will renew your newspaper for over $500 per year.

I call the paper and say "Your paper is not worth whatever they are asking. I will pay $99 a year or I will do without it". I continue this mantra until I receive a supervisor who gives me the paper for $99 per year. I also say I can get the paper at the library or read most news more quickly on the internet, and sometimes delivery time is sub-optimal.

I get a senior discount on coffee and a bagel amounting to $2 savings.

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Smorgasbord
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Re: Connections that save you money

Post by Smorgasbord » Sun Aug 07, 2016 11:07 am

drawpoker wrote:Hmmmm. That sort of math hasn't sunk in around here (East Coast) In my backyard, (here and the next county over) it is something of a mecca for the 1% folks from D.C. to buy their 7-figure waterfront mansions/summer places (think Cheney and Rumsfeld - each bought big places down the road - plus other types of that ilk) Not too many years ago, in fact, Talbot County MD had the distinction of having the greatest no. of millionaires per square mile than any other county in the U.S. ) :shock:
Perhaps most millionaires per capita, but certainly not per square mile. Talbot County has an area of 477 square miles and a population of about 38,000. If we assume 100% of the people are millionaires, that's 80 millionaires per square mile. New York County a.k.a. Manhattan has a population of 1.3 million and an area of 33 square miles. I would wager a shiny penny that there are more than 2,600 millionaires living in Manhattan.

anakinskywalker
Posts: 396
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Re: Connections that save you money

Post by anakinskywalker » Sun Aug 07, 2016 11:08 am

drawpoker wrote:
EddyB wrote:.....Yes, commissions in that market are customarily 5%. Keep in mind that the vast majority of houses they'll handle will see for 7 figures.
Hmmmm. That sort of math hasn't sunk in around here (East Coast) In my backyard, (here and the next county over) it is something of a mecca for the 1% folks from D.C. to buy their 7-figure waterfront mansions/summer places (think Cheney and Rumsfeld - each bought big places down the road - plus other types of that ilk) Not too many years ago, in fact, Talbot County MD had the distinction of having the greatest no. of millionaires per square mile than any other county in the U.S. ) :shock:

The going rate on residential sales, including these luxury properties, is still 6%. I really think, knowing many of these characters, If any brokers here even mildly suggested going down to 5% - you would hear yowls & protests that could be heard all the way to Calif, and those brokers would be tarred, feathered, and run out of town :P (By this I am not referring to the sometimes where a broker might be willing to negotiate a lower commission in order to make a sale go thru; I am thinking more of the "discount" brokers who came on the scene some years ago, And the established offices pretty much turned up their noses at them. And still do)

FWIW, don't tell your pals in Calif, but in many towns in NJ the going rate is now at 7% :shock:

(I agree the original post re: The Helpful Uncle who is also a licensed agent saving his family a bunch has pretty much gone off the tracks by now. :| )
NYC (Manhattan Brooklyn for sure and possibly the other 3 boroughs as well) is down to 5%.

Anakin

anakinskywalker
Posts: 396
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Re: Connections that save you money

Post by anakinskywalker » Sun Aug 07, 2016 11:10 am

SGM wrote:The local newspaper will deliver for as low as $99 per year. If you don't call them to cancel they will renew your newspaper for over $500 per year.

I call the paper and say "Your paper is not worth whatever they are asking. I will pay $99 a year or I will do without it". I continue this mantra until I receive a supervisor who gives me the paper for $99 per year. I also say I can get the paper at the library or read most news more quickly on the internet, and sometimes delivery time is sub-optimal.

I get a senior discount on coffee and a bagel amounting to $2 savings.
Why even buy the paper? I save trees and my money by reading the news on the internet.

Anakin

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Bylo Selhi
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Location: www.bylo.org in the Great White North
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Re: Connections that save you money

Post by Bylo Selhi » Sun Aug 07, 2016 11:15 am

When buying stuff online, especially expensive items...

1. Use your browser's Incognito (Chrome) or Private (Firefox) mode so that you look like a new customer. Often you'll get a pop-up that offers a 10% or so discount. Sometimes you have to agree to get on their e-mail list. Use a free "throwaway" e-mail service if you like.

2. Some vendors offer different pricing to new vs. existing customers. If you already have an account be sure to login with one browser and to use Incognito mode on another. See if there's any difference.

3. Some vendors offer different pricing depending on the type of computer you use. Amazon was accused of charging Mac users more for the same item than Windows users.

4. If you can be patient, and you have an account with the vendor, put the item(s) you want in your shopping cart and then leave the site. Wait a few days. You may get an e-mail to remind you that you left stuff in your shopping cart. If you're lucky the e-mail may even offer you a discount to "encourage" you to complete the transaction.

5. Google on "merchantname coupons" and "merchantname discounts" to see if there are any general discounts available.

See also: How Web Sites Vary Prices Based on Your Information (and What You Can Do About It)

neilpilot
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Location: Memphis area

Re: Connections that save you money

Post by neilpilot » Sun Aug 07, 2016 11:31 am

SGM wrote:The local newspaper will deliver for as low as $99 per year. If you don't call them to cancel they will renew your newspaper for over $500 per year.
Basically the same experience with the XM radio. My initial XM service was included in my car purchase back in 2008. For the 8 years since, I have never paid the rack rate for XM. Every time I come up for renewal, I call to cancel and they offer me a 4-12 month promotional rate. It's a bit of a pain to have to call then 1-2 days before each promo rate expires, but if you don't they would automatically renew at the rack rate.

I just renewed at the 5 month promo rate of $24.99 ($30.46 if you add in all fees, including a $2 invoice fee). That about 30% of the rack rate.

I always have them invoice and pay that $2 fee, since I don't trust them with my credit card. They would likely auto-renew and bill me for the rack rate if given half the chance.

Almost there
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Location: Arizona USA

Re: Connections that save you money

Post by Almost there » Sun Aug 07, 2016 2:50 pm

drawpoker wrote:
With the exception of Martha Stewart Living I NEVER renew magazine subscriptions when I get the renewal notice. Never. I ignore all the reminders too.
After the subscription has actually lapsed - not long afterwards in the mail here comes the rock-bottom "We Want you Back" enticing offer to re-subscribe at a fraction of the previous cost.
Have done this with GH, BH&G, FC, Woman's Day, SOU Living, etc, I pay around $9 or $10 for two years, rather than $16 or $20 for a single year.
I purchase magazine subscriptions through AARP which seem to be 1/2 price. A year later they will remind me and will offer the same price.

Almost there

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