Bargain Hunters Alert: Learn Retailers Secrets To Spot A Deal From Rachael Ray & Friends

MarkdownMom’s major rule for shopping is to never pay retail , if you can help it.  Rachael Ray and her friend, Gretta, expands on this rule by exposing retail secrets to find the best bargains when shopping in stores.

Rule 1: Don’t Fall for Staging Tricks.
Rule 2: Buy One Get One Free (BOGO)is Not Always a Steal
Rule 3: Learn the Retail Rules
Rule 4: Watch for Cross-Merchandising Tricks
Rule 5: Just Because it’s in a Locked Case Doesn’t Mean it’s Expensive
Rule 6: Start at the Clearance Rack
Rule 7: Follow this Shoe Trick
Rule 8: Get the Perfect Shoe Fit with These Tips
Rule 9: Beware of In-Store Credit Card Offers

Sneaky Skechers Cancels Orders Without Notice!

Orders placed on January 21, 2012 for the deal on Skecher’s Men’s Revine – Hopkin Cold Weather Boots advertised for  $3.00 and Free Shipping have been  canceled by Skechers without notifying customers via email.  Until checking their orders today, customers orders for the boots  were being “processed.’

Sure a mistake on a normally $88 boots was made, but it was made by them and they should stand by it since they run the risk of losing more customers and damaging their reputation for reliability and confidence.  And the sneaky way they have gone about reneging on the deal without any notification to the customer’s email account indicates how bad this decision was and is to their  public relations.

MarkdownMom Says:   Now you can Look At  Who’s Not Wearing Skechers!

Deal Or No Deal? #2 Art-Prints

Every bargain hunter looks for that piece of art that will someday put them on The Antiques Roadshow, preferably getting an appraisal for a “find” that makes you jump up and  down with joy, rather than the ones that unfortunately discovered as over-valued and over-paid.  Art is especially tricky, unless you are an art expert and even then there are fields of expertise within the various forms of art and periods.  However, this does not stop looking and going to those estate sales, thrift stores, flea markets, rummage sales, auctions and, online auctions.

Online auctions are especially risky since the other bargain hunting forms allow  you to inspect the item in-person to see if it is an original, reproduction, or fake.  Some easy ways of identifying an original from a fake among drawings or prints is to look for raised lines from ink such as in an ink and pen drawing, an etching, or a wood block  print.  Many famous prints can be reproduced by a computer and printer; however, you will be able to tell that with closer observation–you will see the pixels or dots,  a clear indication that the print was reproduced on a computer.  Again, online auctions prevent such verification unless the entity or person putting the piece of art up for bid describes it in detail, and then again, trust comes into play. Additionally, you can see if the print has an artist signature or  any documentation or stamps, provenance, as to its’ authenticity.  Given all that, sometimes it is worth the risk if the item is within your means, and you have done as much research as possible.  The current bid will determine the extent of your research and whether or not you will want or need to seek the advice of an expert.  There are blogs that can assist you in finding answers on value, one is Antiques and The Arts Online a forum for bloggers.  However, if the item is not terribly expensive, you just may want to take a chance–sometimes hunches, preferably educated hunches pay off.

Recently, two drawings were put up for bid at an online auction site.  They were listed as two antique etchings, one of Shakespeare’s house and one of Ann Hathaway’s Cottage signed by C. Dickens.  The description was as follows:

1st etching is titled: Shakespeare House and 2nd etching is titled: Ann Hathaway’s Cottage. Both are titled and signed below the art piece above the matting. The sticker on the back indicated these are original etching by C. Dickens. There is no pixilation and when looking closely the lines appear to be raised. They were received in a wooden frame with glass over it. The frame measures: 9 ½” x 12 ½” and the art itself measures: 5 ¼” x 3 ½”. The matting has yellowed, the frames finish is worn, the paper backing on both frames are torn and appear to be delicate.

The starting bid was $5.99.  Take a look at these etchings, what would you bid for two etchings possibly by Charles Dickens?

Etchings C.Dickens

Check Back This Week at this post to see what The Final Bid was and whether it was a Deal Or No Deal.

Final Bid: The winning bid was $601.00 plus $40.44 sh, 41 online bids at shopgoodwill.com.  It is difficult to determine whether or not this is a deal since an object such as this should be inspected in person; however, having said that with a cursory investigation online although Charles Dickens was not known as an artist, he did direct artists and had input into the drawings for his serial novels.  It is up to the individual to determine if the amount risked here was justified .

Answer to “Deal Or No Deal ?”#1

Well, the Ekco Egg Beater never made it off the block.  No bids were made.  The major factor affecting its’ marketability is that this is a handheld, non electric kitchen gadget.  Therefore, its’ popularity would be limited to egg beater collectors and possibly 1950’s lovers of kitsch, and is not a true crossover.

It does have a version of the spade handle of Ekco beaters of that era and a high speed center drive and red is a highly collectible color.  The value of this item is listed between $18-$25

If a bid had been placed at $5 with shipping at $6.90–remember to include these costs in framing your bid–for a total of $11.90 which if reselling at 2½ times cost would mean to resell this item for a decent profit, you would have to get slightly under $30, which is over the top end of its’ valuation. 

This copy will be added to the original listing, so be sure to print it out and save for your MDM Estate Liquidator’s Reference Book.  This weekend check for  "Deal or No Deal? #2."

Deal Or No Deal ? #1

This is a new category at  MarkdownMom.Com that will tweak your skills as bargain hunters. 

MDM will choose one auction item at random, list the beginning bid, and when it closes, the closing bid.  You will decide as bargain hunters whether or not the final bid was a good deal or not by voting  "deal" or "no deal." 

 Now take all the factors into consideration:  condition, rarity, popularity, and current market.  Some items may be listed in reference books with a $$ valuation; however, that may not be the market value. 

Enter your comments, and when the bidding closes, you will find out how good you were at bargain shopping.  Like professional estate appraisers and liquidators, you will be able to amass a reference book of values of antiques and collectibles.   Sound like fun?  We hope so, and a great learning experience for us all. 

The Item is an Ekco Egg Beater with red plastic handles. Made in the U.S.A.   Starting bid has been set at $5.00 and shipping is $6.90.  Bidding closes on April 3, 4:55 PDT

Good Luck–Bon Chance!

answer: 

Well, the Ekco Egg Beater never made it off the block.  No bids were made.  The major factor affecting its’ marketability is that this is a handheld, non electric kitchen gadget.  Therefore, its’ popularity would be limited to egg beater collectors and possibly 1950’s lovers of kitsch, and is not a true crossover.

It does have a version of the spade handle of Ekco beaters of that era and a high speed center drive and red is a highly collectible color.  The value of this item is listed between $18-$25

If a bid had been placed at $5 with shipping at $6.90–remember to include these costs in framing your bid–for a total of  $11.90  seemingly  a "Deal."  However, if reselling, one would try to get  2½ times cost,  that would mean to resell this item for a decent profit, you would have to get slightly under $30, which is over the top end of its’ valuation.