Tag Archives: shopping

What is the Best Aisle in the Store?

When you head out to your local grocery store, what aisle do you enjoy wandering down the most? I truly dislike shopping – even for groceries. Going to the store is absolutely painful for me. I grab a cart, rush up and down the various aisles and throw things into the basket. I have a tendency to lose people I am with and have been known to run into people a time or two in my quest to get it over with.

However, I admit there is one aisle at my favorite store that I slow down for. I will go slowly, salivating over everything on display, trying to figure out which items have to go home with me that day.

What is your favorite part of the store?

Find Your Way Around the Mall with FastMall

If you’re not a power-shopper, then I’m betting you’ve gotten lost in your local mall a time or twelve. All of those twists, turns, stairways and hallways can be daunting to any of us who don’t make mall-walking a daily habit. The mall is a scary place, but FastMall wants to make life much easier for us all. It is the world’s first TRUE turn-by-turn navigation app – even showing you where to find stairways, elevators and bathrooms!

Samuel Feuer, CEO of Fastmall creator MindSmack, is one of those guys you just want to hang out with. He’s full of jokes and laughter, but he’s also very dedicated to the work he’s doing. His enthusiasm is contagious – the service is beyond awesome. It was easy for my assistant Kat to be convinced to download this app herself during her meeting with Samuel last week in New York. Kat is picky and doesn’t download many apps. However, she assures me that this is one she will be using on a regular basis.

The beautiful thing about FastMall is that it’s not only for malls: the service can be used to create navigational apps for pretty much any place you can think of… hospitals, theme parks and even convention centers. Anyone can request a customized app simply by talking with Samuel and his team. The idea originally came from Sam’s wife, Amie, who was completely fed up with static mall directories and the overall lack of restroom guidance when she was pregnant. Sam and his partner Marcelo took a chance and created a startup that I feel is going to become extremely important in the very near future.

Some of the features of the app include:

  • Shake your iPhone for the nearest restroom.
  • Tell FastMall where you parked and it will remember for you. Feel free to use this voice recorder as a shopping list too!
  • Turn-by-turn guidance inside the mall, from store to store, without using GPS!
  • Sync your status on Facebook as well as Twitter.
  • Add reviews of restrooms, restaurants and stores.
  • Make a wish list of things you must have.
  • Find a deal and save money.
  • Add data to FastMall to make it a better experience for everyone.

Think of what this could mean, folks. Let’s say you’re about to attend SXSW – and you know you’re going to be lost as usual. How great would it be if the powers-that-be behind the conference contacted FastMall to create an app you can use to guide you through the experience? The same could happen with any major hospitals… large corporation complexes… and so much more. The possibilities are literally almost endless here. I’m excited to see what the future brings for Sam and his team.

How Do You Save Money When Shopping?

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Duncan Riley from The Inquisitr came up on stage during Gnomedex to talk to us during our open mic hour. Duncan came all the way from Australia to attend our conference! He wanted to share an excellent site with everyone called RetailMeNot. It is full of thousands of coupons and discounts that anyone can use anywhere in the World. There are no catches, and there are no affiliate fees. Almost all of the coupons and content is submitted by people just like you!

There are coupons available for both online shopping, as well as for use in a traditional store. You can print them out and take them with you on your next trip! You’ll find deals from more than 50,000 retailers, including everything from groceries to shoes to toothpaste (and everything in between). Yes, you will even find deals for a kitchen sink!

You’ll also find a large community that you can immerse yourself in. Trade tips and tricks with other shoppers, or ask them what’s hot – and what’s not.

Thanks to Duncan for sharing this excellent resource with the community!

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Are You Ready for the Holidays?

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and Christmas is but a few weeks away? I was aghast yesterday when I walked into a store that was playing Christmas carols… until I realized what the date was. Holy crap where did the year go? I haven’t even started to think about holiday shopping yet, never mind actually DOING any shopping.

After I had my little panic attack, I sat down to check out what was going on around out community. Low and behold… people are talking about the upcoming festivities. They’re figuring out what to cook with their turkeys, and what the hottest new gifts are for this year. Geez I’m way behind, aren’t I?

I was happy as hell to see that the holidays aren’t the only thing that people are chattering about. Thankfully, I found many interesting and informative blogs and threads on a huge variety of topics to keep me busy… and to get my mind back OFF of the holiday season. I’m just not ready quite yet!

Every day we bring you the newest and hottest software deals that we can find. Make sure you check back every day so that you don’t miss a single deal!

[awsbullet:thanksgiving recipe book]

I Know What You Did Last Summer

Ok, maybe I don’t know what you did last summer, or even this summer. Now that we’re closing in on back-to-school and Fall, it’s time to start thinking of warmer clothes and holidays already. Yes – some people are already doing their holiday shopping. Stores are putting out winter coats. Before you know it, there will be Halloween decorations and costumes on the shelves.

So… what have you done this summer? Did you even go outside at all? Even the Great Indoorsman headed out a few times, enjoying the sunshine and scenery. Why not share with all of us what you’ve been up to. Did you travel anywhere cool? Did you visit some local outdoor attractions? Surely there is something!!

When you do spend time at home and indoors, hopefully you are spending at least part of that time reading what everyone else has been up to in our community.

What’s on Your Holiday Toy Wish List for Gifts?

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The holidays are fast approaching, as we all know. Have you been naughty… or nice? Have you sent Santa your wish list yet? If you haven’t, you may want to check out the hottest must-have items of the season.

Growing up, us boys had awesome holidays. We had many traditions that were sacred to us. I remember going through the catalogs on Thanksgiving Day each year, marking the things that we wanted under the tree on Christmas morning.

What Amazon has done this year is to come up with a very simple and fun way to browse anything and everything you can think of buying (or asking for!) for Christmas. You can search by category or keyword. They have products of all shapes and sizes, for all ages.

No matter what you’re looking for, you’ll get a great idea of what’s new and what’s out there. Heck, I’m already making my list! Are you?


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Are Brick and Mortar Stores Better than eTailers?

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Where do you do your shopping? Do you get in your car, drive to a store, and then physically walk around to make your purchases? Or are you like a growing number of people who prefer to do their shopping online, from the comfort of their own home? It blows me away that some people still don’t understand that the Internet is a giant shopping “mile”.

It’s so nice that I don’t have to run all over the city looking for a specific item. I simply go onto Google and instantly find what I need. You can literally find anything online that you’re looking for, with just a few clicks of your mouse. You don’t have to get dressed, go out, drive somewhere. You don’t have to spend the money for gas, which we all know is wayyyyy over-priced right now. Just choose your time, sit down at your computer, and shop!

The folks in my chat room and I were discussing this, and we came up with a few ideas that could help traditional brick and mortar stores survive in the onslaught of Internet shopping.

  • Authenticated mobile device checkouts Instead of having to wait in line, you can just type in a few buttons on your mobile device and you’re done. How cool would it be if a real store took PayPal?!
  • Instant price matching If you haven’t done your research when you walk into the store, you could do a quick search online from your mobile device. Some retailers will tell you they cannot compete with ePricing. They almost have to in order to survive.
  • Emailing your shopping list, and having it ready when you get there. W00t! How great would that be? It would be so much faster for everyone involved.
  • Remote inventory checks. This would save us driving across town to a store, only to find out our items are out of stock. It would be great to be able to push a button and find out before I ever leave home if the item I need is available.
  • On-site customized construction. Let’s say you wanted to have a widget built. Instead of having it online, you could walk into a store and tell them what you want. Then presto! They make whatever it is you want to buy. A great example of this would be those dog-tag station. You drop in your dollars, tell the machine what you want, and it prints the tag for you immediately.

Amazon Shopping links

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Buying Software

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Knowing what software to buy… and when… can be tricky. Here are some tips sent in by a community member to help you with your choices.

  • Decide whether you really need the software. Software can be expensive and the last thing you want to do is to go out on a whim and waste your money on something that you’re probably only going to use once.
  • Check compatibility. This is more for less advanced users, I’ve never done it myself but family members have contacted me asking how to get the software to work when there trying to install software for a Mac on a windows machine.
  • Read reviews etc. Websites claiming their software does something does not necessarily means it does it well, if at all. Third party reviews offer an impartial view and can always help you too understand whether the product is going to work for you or not. (I have found this is a great tip for almost all products I think about buying, not just software)
  • Make sure your going to be able to use it. By this I mean, it would be no good giving my dad (who is not computer literate) a copy of Photoshop and expecting him to be able to get his money’s worth out of it, make sure the software you buy is within your computer knowledge range.
  • Search for free alternatives. BY THIS, I DO NOT MEAN ILLEGAL DOWNLOADS! More often than not, the features of an expensive software package can be equalled by freeware. If you search around a little bit you can probably find many or at least 1 package that can match even the greatest and most expensive software.


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Radio Shack and Electronics Store Secrets

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Have you ever had questions while shopping in a Radio Shack, or similar store? Did the employees know the answers? Here are some secrets about stores like this that I bet you didn’t know, sent in by an anonymous Radio Shack employee.

  • If there is an item you wish to buy that is not carried in-store, visit the Radio Shack website. Many times, the item(s) can be bought and delivered to your local store, saving you the cost of shipping. The same holds true when buying “online only” items.
  • Even if the store has excellent customer reviews… check into purchasing a service plan. Something many people do not know is that you can return to a store within two weeks of purchase to get the service plan after all. If you don’t buy it during the original purchase, you can always return. Also, you can call the Radio Shack 800# yourself for techincal assistance. It’s the same number a Radio Shack employee would call for help if you took your item in to be fixed. Save yourself some time, and make that call from home.
  • When buying a new cellular phone or service, check at your local Radio Shack. Believe it or not, you can often get the same cell phone at a much lesser price than you will find anywhere else.
  • iGo Universal Chargers are around $30.00. Charge your wireless phone, PDA, MP3 player and more from your car with just the switch of an itips smart connector! You’ll never have to carry multiple chargers for your car again. Works with most wireless phones, PDAs, MP3 players and digital cameras with the switch of a tip.
  • Most people don’t realize that Radio Shack can get any product you may need… at any time. If they don’t have the item in stock, they’ll be happy to call around to other stores and locate one for you.

Radio Shack Coupons:

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After the posting of this blog, I received the following email. It is something I think you all need to see.

I work for Radio Shack. We recently got a new District Manger. He wants us to have full time employees and two part time employees in my store. One guy was switched to full time. In the meantime, I only get three hours per week… total. Instead of getting rid of the new kid, they fired the guy who has been working in the store the longest… right in front of everyone. Even though I wasn’t fired, I will be forced to quit to find something with more hours. The Radio Shack corporation doesn’t fire people unless they do something horribly wrong or illegal. Instead, they make working conditions impossible, causing you to leave voluntarily. After working for them for a few years, I believe their corporation to be a disgrace. They sell things like audio wire at the astronomical price of $32.99, when they only pay just under $4.00 for it.
They create a condition where we as employees are forced to manipulate the minds of the buyer into thinking that a particular product is great, and in order for it to work… you have to buy all these extra things to make it work. Most of their products are actually “old”, believe it or not… they are mostly an outlet store anymore. You will rarely see the newest computers in Radio Shack. The models are usually at least a year old. Also, the products tend to not be what they say. A Gold contact isn’t even gold anymore. It is just a cheap gold coating. Inside is the same thing wire you originally had on say your tv. Yet, the Sales Associates are forced to tell you that their “gold wire” will give you much higher quality on your television. Face it, folks. This is the SAME wire you would use if you bought a standard red and white 12 foot AV cable at the local WalMart.
I have worked for this company for a long time, so I know what I’m talking about. Once I have left here for good, I will never step foot inside a Radio Shack again.

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