Biggest Profit Maker For Retailers

CNN reported today that retailers make almost $4 billion dollars from gift cards and that this form of gift giving is the biggest loss for consumers.  Why? The $4 billion dollars is not from items purchased using  gift cards, it  is the   value amount of unredeemed gift cards each year.

This is not to say that gift cards /certificates do no have their place.  However, with 25% of recipients failing to use these cards before the expiration date, recipients should take these measures to insure that they don’t lose  out:

  • Do not shelve these cards in a drawer.  Put them  immediately in your  wallet where  you keep your credit cards–same is true of your rewards  cards.
  • To get more bang for you gift card buck, use your cards immediately and take advantage of retailers  After Christmas Sales when sales and clearance are 70% off or more. Low inventory may pose a selection limitation right now ; but wait a couple of weeks and try again after shelves and racks have been restocked.
  • When using gift cards, consider buying something more extravagant that you have wished for–better to supplement gift card with cash, then to leave a forgettable balance, as 40% of gift.card buyers find out.

Remember, the longer you hold unto gift cards, the longer retailers  have to use your money interest free–and unless you are a stock owner can you afford to subsidize them?  Use it or lose it has particular meaning to this gift!

The Dog Days Of Summer-Clearance

The store aisles are packed with Back-the-School supplies and the switch from summer to fall that  began mid-July in now almost completed.  The bargain hunter has his/her work  cut out for them as the pickings are pretty lean right now unless there is a last minute shot in the arm for sales by retailers for Labor Day Weekend.

  •    Younkers Yellow Dot Sale additional 40% off.  They have added a Black Dot in-store to this sale of additional 50% off.  Better sale online of up  to  75% off as oppose to in-store of up to 70% off.  Also, best deals are had on merchandise with 2 or more markdowns.  Online prices already reflect discount.  Free standard shipping on purchase of $75 or more, promo code :  FREESHIP75Markdown Mom found one black dot item, denim maxi dress, but it had hole in bottom of skirt–really!
  • Dillard’s.  Okay. Dillards Clearance Sale was last week, but there are still deals to be had, if you dig deep enough.  The only thing that continues to bite is their shipping charges that charge more for spending more.
  • Labor Day Sale. 40% off use promo code:  LABORDAYIn-Store Blowout, Buy 1 and Get 2 free through 9/1/2014!
  • JCPenney50%-70% off in all departments,  price listed  includes discount.  Look for clearance signs

Good Luck & Be Careful Out There!

Neiman Marcus Closing Store In Downtown Minneapolis

Another high-end fashion store bites the dust in Minnesota, guess that Minnesota Nice doesn’t respond well to high prices!  Well, like any store closing, it spells opportunity for bargain hunters.  The Minneapolis Neiman Marcus store is the store you recall got a lot of free advertising during the 2008 presidential campaign: It was where the Republican National Committee spent $75,000 on clothes and accessories for vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.  Don’t expect prices to be at rock bottom since the final closing will occur sometime in 2013.  Can’t wait that long?  Then checkout their sale items  at last call by Neiman Marcus 50%off sale ends after today, Monday, August 6th.

Lint Lizard Review — Buy 1 Get 1 Free (UPDATE:YES–The Lint Lizard is in Stores! Find Out Where…)

A cool new product — you may never look at your dryer the same!

Fact: Dryers become clogged — even if you change your lint filter before and after each use .

Yes, the lint filter catches most lint. But lint remains. Some of the lint falls into the nooks and crannies of the dryer’s internal ventilation ducts. Over time this buildup may prevent hot air from escaping. If the hot air cannot escape, there is a greater risk of fire.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that in 1998, clothes dryers were associated with 15,600 fires, which resulted in 20 deaths and 370 injuries.

You’ll need something to enter the internal ducts of your dryer and suck up remnant lint. The Lint Lizard may help.

Lint Lizard

There is an As Seen on TV infomercial for a dryer lint cleaner. It’s called the lint lizard.

Basically it is an extended hose for your vacuum that is designed to fit in your lint trap. After you attach it to your vacuum, you feed the hose in the nooks and crannies of the dryer. It sucks trapped lint out of the dryer. The amount of lint it collects depends on many factors. First, experts recommend you give your dryer a deep cleaning every year. If you haven’t done this for a while–you’ll probably find more lint than you’d ever expect. Second, it depends on how often you clean your removable lint filter. If you don’t clean this filter before and after each use; you’ll likely find a lot of lint in the dryer’s internal ducts.


The the pros are that you will have a clean dryer. This in turn cuts drying time, increases dryer performance, prolongs dryer’s life and reduces the risk of a vent fire. The lint lizard with it’s suction abilities will collect more lint than any extended bush. These are all good benefits.

The cons are that you really do not know if you are getting all the lint unless you dismantle the dryer. (Or get an optic hose with a video camera to probe). You will, however, get a good feeling when you suck up more lint than you imagined. If you get the lint lizard and your dryer is not running with increased performance–you’ll likely need a local professional to diagnose.

Does the Lint Lizard Work?

The feedback for the product is overwhelmingly positive. Most people I’ve talked with collect more than they ever imagined. The only way to find out how much lint is hiding in your dryer is to get the product. One person I talked with has an industrial strength vacuum and the Lint Lizard did not fit. However, it does fit all standard vacuum sizes with a hose.

Where to Buy

Buy at Bed Bath & Beyond. Check for alternative Kits Online at Amazon for $16.00!

New Year's Resolutions #1 Finding The Best Athletic Shoes

Among the top 5 resolutions for the New Year consistently has been either to lose weight or to exercise (more)–in order to lose weight.

But if your feet hurt, how far is the implementation of this resolution going to go? 

Shape Magazine dealt with this conundrum last year in an article by Sarah Bowen Shea with a listing of the best shoes to meet a particular activity.

Here’s is the rundown:


  1. Best Walking Shoes: Ecco Biom Walk, $195.
  2. Best Walking Shoes: Asics Gel-Tech Walker Neo 2, $100.
  3. Best Gym Shoes for All-Around Use: Asics Gel-Upshot,$85.
  4. Best Shoes For Fitness Classes: New Balance WX871, $85.
  5. Best Gym Shoes: Nike Free XT Quick Fit+,$85.
  6. Best Trail Running Shoes for Speed: Saucony Progrid Peregrine,$90.
  7. Best Trail Running Shoes for Distance: Columbia Switchback 2 Low,$75.
  8. Best Trail Running Shoes: Merrell Barefoot Pace Glove,$100.
  9. Best Running Shoes for Cushioning: Under Armour Assert,$70.
  10. Best Running !’hoes for Stability: Reebok Road Supreme II,$100.
  11. Best Running Shoes for Speed: Nike Lunarelite+2,$100.
  12. Best Running Shoes for Distance: Brooks Adrenaline GTS 11,$100.
  13. Best Running Shoes: Adidas Adizero Ageis 2,$120.

So now’s the time to put on your walking, running, or playing shoes and just ‘Do It!’

Who Wu! Coming To Target and More!

←Click Here For Fashion Preview Slideshow.

Jason Wu is the latest designer coming to Target.  Wu, designer for such notables as First Lady Michele Obama, Diane Kruger,and Natalie Portman,  has produced a collection of 53 pieces ranging in price from $19.99-$59.99 with the theme American Girl In Paris, arriving at Target Stores and its’ online site February 5th.  Target has lured designers  beginning in 1999 into its’ retail stores in recent years and Wu is its’ latest offering.  Wu’s line, unlike the recognizable Mossimo stripes, will not be as easily identified, but will be a very youthful and sport classic lines.

In yet another move to spark sales, on May 6 Target will be offering limited items from well known specialty shops such as The Candy Store in San Francisco, The Privet House home accessories of Connecticut; The Webster House, an apparel store in Miami; Polka Dog Bakery in Boston; and The Cos Bar, cosmetics in Aspen.  Additionally it will test market Apple stores in 25 of its’ stores.

MDM Says: If you want to have a chance at getting any of the Wu designs at Target, you will have to act fast on February 5th since not only buyers scoop the deals, but also speculators to resell on Ebay®.

Shopko Merger

It was announced today that Shopko will takeover the Pamida chain. Shopko will keep its’ current stores and rename its’ acqisition of Pamida to Shopko Hometown.  The changeover will occur over the next year.  HQ will be in GreenBay Wisconsin with a combined retail entity of nearly 350 locations in 22 states.  At present,  Shopko  has 149 stores in 13 states and Pamida operates 193 stores in 17 states. Pamida previously had been part of Shopko for 6 years prior to 2005.

The Blitz Is On!

Retailers are already stocking their shelves with Valentine’s Day and Easter merchandise, so expect them to act quickly to move the Christmas Holiday inventory out ASAP.  So savvy shoppers have to move fast to scoop those bargains~

At Kohl’s® After-Xmas Sales are 50-70% off with additional 20% off on purchases of $100 or more, promo  code:  SLED 20.   Under $100 get 15% off with p romo code: SLED 15

 Then to sweeten the deal 99¢ shipping and Free Shipping when you spend $75 or more.

Free Shipping Day!

Today is being advertised as Free Shipping Day, but is it?  There are a lot of caveats with this promo, namely:

  1. Free shipping is  tied in with a $minimum purchase and 2.Only select items get free shipping.

At any rate, it’s worth trying to get the extra savings.  MarkdownMom recommends going to to get a complete list  of vendors offering this and other deals.  Plus if you have any last minute shopping be sure to place any orders today to insure that it will arrive on or before Christmas Day.