Electric lift chairs: Just one more example of how wide-ranging the online marketplace has become.

A few years back, an older senior gentleman that I had been helping to look after passed away, and of course in addition to all of the other issues that such a tragic loos entails, there was also the question of what to do with all of his physical possesions since there had been no real provision made for them by him in any will or any other sort of legal document while he was still living. One of the more sizable belonings left behind by this gentleman's passing was his three position electric lift chair. The lift chair recliner that he had used in his livingroom was not that old and was still in fine working order but no one in his small group of friends and acquantances had any real use for it. Ultimately, someone found a good home for it and all was well for those handling the disbursment of his household possesions. However, recently recalling this minor predicament had me wondering if there was now much demand for such items online, and, if such demand did indeed exist, whether or not it was being suitably met by online retailers of mobility aids?

Well it turns out that there is indeed a demand for quality used mobility aids and devices, especially with the recent downturn in the World economy. Also, not only is there steady demand for quality used electric lift chairs, it would appear that there is also sufficient and steady demand for other widely used mobility aids, both those used inside the home, such as electric lift chairs and stair lift chairs, as well as those used out and about in the neighbourhood, such as medical mobility scooters, electric power chairs and even converted vans that boast an installed wheelchair lift and swivel seating. It turns out that there are actually a fair number of businesses servicing the used mobility aids marketplace in addition to the expected personal classified ads (such as craigslist) that one would expect to find when searching for such things online. I was never really clued in or aware of this demand and how well it was being met before I started idly browsing. During my searches of used mobility device resellers, I came across retailers claiming that they were able to offer used household mobility items such as electric lift chairs for prices as low as half of the regular retail price in some cases and for lesser but still sizeable discounts in others. To me, this kind of online marketplace connection is one very strong example of how much of a difference the internet can make for all different types of consumers; even for those who would consider themselves to have no or very little internet savy, there are places out there that can accomodate their particular consumer needs quite readily.

I do not need to present you the reader with any specific examples: I am not writing this post to favour any one particular retailer of used mobility items here over all others. Besides, a simple search with Google will reveal the number of merchants catering to this demand in the marketplace. Also, because such things as results on a search engine can be quite fluid, changing from one day to the next, I feel the reader would be better served by finding these examples themselves instead of me naming any company that I came across offering impressive discount pricing on their inventory: what I found out there today may be gone or dropped down the result pages tommorrow, leaving you to discover other retailers in your searches. Why date the data? Sufficient to say, the demand for such discount items is out there and a corresponding or complimentary marketplace has developed around this online demand, ultimately creating yet another area online where the savy consumer has the potential to benefit from some significant financial savings.

Easy cash back shopping online has a name: Mr. Rebates.

Even if this is your first visit to my site, by getting as far down this page as this post that you are reading, you have probably already noticed the little advertisement on the upper right side of the page. The reason that I have put it up there is because it really fits with the theme of this site: namely the idea of trying to save money online while doing what you were going to do anyway, regardless if that is shopping, filing your taxes, searching for a decent online DVD rentals siteor whatever. Whatever it is you are doing, if it involves any financial transactions then it is my hope that I can help you to save a few beans along the way.

I recently became aware of another source that could potentially help you to both save money while doing your online shopping as well as give you the opportunity to earn an online cash back rebate for doing that shopping. The way to do this is by signing up (for free, of course) with a site called Mr. Rebates. I have already made mention on here in the past about how to file your taxes online for free, how to double the free trial period of your online dvd rental membership, and how to save money when shopping for replacement parts for your trusty Crock Pot slow cooker. This time around I want to let you know about this cash back website. I checked it out to see what their pitch is and it seems pretty decent; you sign up for free, shop through their site at any merchant on their lists - and they have many to choose from with many offering online discounts through them, and then earn acash back rebate from any purchases that you make. I don't think that there is a'catch' per say, but you do have to earn $10 in rebates by shopping through the Mr. Rebates site before you qualify to receive your rebate payment. However since they offer up to a 30% cash back rebate on your purchases depending on the merchant, it should notr take too long to make that total. When you do, you can choose to receive your payout by either cheque or by paypal. that makes it very easy for most to receive their payments. Another thing to keep in mind is that they include in their lists a number of major retailers, such as Wal-Mart, Sears, Toy R Us just to name a few, who you might have been planning to buy from anyway. Really, after looking through their merchant lists, it is clear to see that you stand to get a lot back on your purchases. Say you buy a $60 Crock Pot there that you were going to buy online anyway, then you could be looking at a couple of bucks back just for buying it through Mr Rebates. They even have an extensive list of medical and mobility aids available through their merchants. these of course can run you quite abit of money so any money back on those sorts of items is always going to be appreciated. If you should be in the market for something like a lift chair, for example, that could run you easily over $500. why not get some money back on the purchase?

Anyway, with this kind of thing being free to peruse, I cant think of any reason not to at least sign up and check it out and see what they might have to offer. Who knows, you might even see something that you want and had already made plans to buy online somewhere else - without getting any money back in your pocket...

Some online film rental advice - plus how to (maybe) get FREE DVD RENTALS for a month.

I want to start by making it clear that this post is not an attempt at a fake review of one particular online DVD rental service in which I will try to promote one company over the rest as being the best online dvd rental service around. In fact, even though you will find a link to a DVD rental offer or promotion that has an affiliate link for me in it, I won't be pressuring you to go with them over anyone else. Instead I will just be giving you some facts that I have become aware of over time. Let me tell you upfront where I stand on the subject of online movie rentals. The fact of the matter is that I have been a regular paying customer of Zip.ca for almost two years now (I signed up in November of 2007) and since that time I have been satisfied enough with the service provided that I have had no reason to consider canceling service with them and switching to any competitor's service. Does this mean that I think that everybody should choose Zip as their provider for online movie rental Canada wide (remember I live in Canada, so experiences are based on life North of the 49th Parallel) over everyone else? No. I think that what you should do is try Zip and a few of the other major online film rental services that are available out there at the same time just to see which company (or companies) appear to be able to supply you with the fastest or most efficient dvd rentals by mail in your local area.

See, this is a point that I cannot stress strongly enough: depending on where you live, some companies might be a better fit for you than others. This comes down to nothing more than a simple case of geography. If you live in a metropolitan center, than the odds are more likely that you will be closer to a distribution hub for many of the online dvd rental delivery companies, such as Zip, Blockbuster, Rogers, Netflix or whoever. In this case, the differences in delivery times will likely be slight to non-existant between companies. I myself live in Vancouver and as a result, i am close to the delivery centers of more than one dvd rental service. Zip, for example, has distribution centers in Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa so I get most of my requested dvds fairly quickly. However, if you live in a more remote location, than you might find that one company might actually have a distribution center closer to you than most other of the companies, resulting in faster, more efficient delivery service to your door. See, if I had not been satisfied with the speed of Zip's delivery service, I would have made an effort to find out which other dvd rental companies service my area and then chosen some of them at the same time for a free trial to compare which of them gave me the speediest delivery of my requested dvds. Simple and pretty effective, and it would have been of at no cost to me because I would have made sure to cancel my dvd rental free trial with any companies I did not choose to go with before the free movie rental trial period was over. True, the two-week free trial period offered by each company is probably not quite as long as you would like for a test spin, and I have a way for you to try one company free for a month, but I will get back to that.

That is what I believe is the most effective way to compare online dvd rental services in your marketplace. This especially because it seems like when you compare all of the different dvd movie online rental services out there, they all seem to pretty much be catering to the same potential customers by offering the same dvd rental offers, and if one of them comes up with something different then the others usually seem quick to follow step. (hey, in business, nobody wants to get left behind, right?) For example, it wasn't long after the first company started offering unlimited dvd rental plans to customers that the rest of the companies followed suit - they would have been stupid not to. My point is that the unlimited dvd rentals or any other plans are probably mirrored by most if not all of the other companies so it should really come down to service. That seems obvious, right? So with zip, I have been satisfied with the speed of delivery to me, I have been satisfied with the size of their movie library - they offer lots of foreign films, animated films and other diverse catagories as well, and I have also been relatively satisfied with the availability of most movies that they offer in their library. As for the shape of the dvds that they send me: only a few times have I received a dvd that was scratched to the point where playing it became frustrating - usually a decent cleaning of the disc solved the problem. In fact it was only in the last week that I received an unplayable dvd in the mail: the disc had acrack in it when it arrived and I didnt even notice it for over a week and ahalf because I didnt get around to trying to play it until then so it had sat in its sleeve, damage unnoticed, until the time I pulled it out to play it. I notified zip about the damaged disc online via a form on their website and they were pretty quick in dealing with it, offering me a priority replacement at no extra cost to me which was in the mail the next business day. They also said that the rental would not count against my monthly totals if I had that kind of plan but I am on their unlimited rental plan so that was not a factor for me. To be honest, if I were living in the United states, then I would most likely be using Netflex dvd rental for my dvd rental needs - in fact, I have even seen advertising that promotes Zip as Canada's Netflix.

One thing that I do like about Zip (don't worry, this isn't meant as an upsell) is their member incentive program; they offer a rewards program where members get points for doing simple point and click things that they probably should be doing anyway: things like rating movies that you received, reporting on their website when movies arrive at your home in the mail, when you mail a movie back, points for writing a review of a movie, and even for rating other users reviews of any movies. These points collect in your account, and when you get enough of them you can then trade them in for things like a free priority rental (Zip calls them "gotta have it" rentals), a free slot on your unlimited rentals plan (so, for example, if you have a two disc at any one time plan you can upgrade it to a three disc plan for a month for free) or even a free month of rentals. (effectively giving yourself a free one month membership) It is actually surprising just how fast these points can build up if you are at all active on the site. Just to be clear, I dont know if the other companies offer similar member incentives; it would not surprise me if they did. Heck, they would be stupid not to be offering their members some kind of incentive to keep then from switching to a competitor like, say, Zip, lol. Sorry, I couldn't resist.

So earlier on I mentioned a way to maybe try out one company for a month's free trial instead of just the usual two weeks. The company is Zip (big surprise) because they sometimes send their members such as me occasional promo codes to pass onto their friends and associates to get them to try the service in hopes that they will like it enough to stay.

Anyway, I am happy to supply whatever latest promo code I have to anyone who wants it. Remember this is only going to be of use to people living in Canada. I offer no guarantees that it will work because these things can be cancelled at any time by the company without warning.

Here is how I will do this: if you want a promo code, just leave me an email address and a first name in the comments section below and I will get back to you with an email from Zip.ca with a link to the sign up page where you can enter your code and a message from me telling you the latest promo code. If you don't feel like leaving your email in the comments section, just email me at the contact email listed on this page and I will get back to you.

It doesn't matter to me if you stay with zip after trying them out or not, I just figure that a month will give you a better feel for the service and abetter idea if they are right for you. By all means you should consider trying out other companies at the same time, too.

Okay, I have rambled on enough here. I don't know if this post will help you save money or not; I suppose if you are with zip and you take my advice on the membership points incentive program you might end up saving a few dollars each month like I do - I switched from the 3 disc unlimited to the 2 disc unlimited plan because I get enough points each month to upgrade my plan back up to the 3 disc option for free. Well there you go then, I did find you a way to save some money after all. Yay me!


Rival crock Pot replacement parts: Some more thoughts on this potentially money-saving alternative.

I know it was not that long ago that I posted on here about the value of maintaining your slow cooker with the appropriate replacement parts, but I believe that the current state of the world Economy has led me to have some neweer feelings on the subject that I would like to share here. Really, nobody is holding a gun to your head to read this blog(at least I hope not) so you always have the choice of moving on if this does not appeal to you. (but please feel free to stay!)

Recently, it has come to my attention that more and more individuals are going out and buying for themselves and for others as gifts varying types of slow cookers, such as the many different models of Rival crock pot brand of slow cookers. A lot of occasions that I am in a shopping center on the weekend, roving through a retailer downtown, or even just riding the bus, I notice people carrying their newly bought Crock Pots. I cannot help but wonder if this apparent increased volume of CrockPot sales is a biproduct of the recent economic downturn or full blown recession, or just all in my mind because of my own increasing awareness of slow cookers as a viable meal preparation option.

I personally doubt that it is the latter, but at any rate, this widespread popularity of the slow cooker generally has me wondering about how the proponents of the slowcooker will cope with the care of their trusty appliances now that we have entered a time of uncertainty for the economy; that we are now at a period when so many are fairly uncertain of where their own personal economic futures lay - whether they will have a job a few months from now, that I wonder how they will handle the important decision, whenever it should arrive, of what to do when the slowcooker stops cooking? In other words, will household cooks merely contuinue to get a new appliance when the current one shows serious signs of its age, or will more and more dedicated Crock-Pot users begin to hunt for more budget-minded alternatives such as shopping/hunting around for decently priced Rival Crock Pot replacement parts, or possibly try harder to find used slow cookers available in good condition at reasonable prices? Many individuals are already aware that buying used appliances in very well-maintained condition is a viable alternative to spending more money for a brand new appliance for the home, and that in some cases you can even find people offering for sale near or like new appliances, still in the box, which have been barely used and were probably an unwanted gift to the seller in the first place. Still nowhere near as many people seem to be aware that many of the possible problem areas of the crockpot can potentialy be addressed by the timely use of replacement parts. Whether it is a lid handle or a stoneware crock liner or something else, your typical crock-pot can be maintained almost indefinitely by the purchase of the relevant replacement parts when or if needed. It just seems that people have only lately started to become more aware of this reality, but - as the saying goes,'better late than never.' And really, if you have the choice, you stand to save quite a bit of money by choosing to purchase a replacement part such as a replacement crock pot liner for say $20 to $30, instead of shelling out $50 or more for a completely new crock pot.

Clearly, the current state of the economy can only help to encourage both the practises of buying second-hand and buying replacement parts whenever applicable. Even if the economy should turn itself around sooner rather than later, these two trends are ones that I do not see abating anytime soon.

How to (maybe) file your Canadian Tax Return online for free this year

In Canada, we have the option of filing our Income Tax Returns ourselves or having a tax preparation specialist do it for us. If we choose to file our taxes ourselves we have a few choices of how to do it: either by mail, over the internet (called Netfile) or by telephone. (called telefile) For the last few years I have been taking advantage of the telefile service which is free, while my wife has been using the netfile option which is not free to the majority of Canadians. Filing over the internet basically involves using third party software to prepare the return before you can file it with the Federal Government. So the Government doesn't charge you to do this but the needed preparation software doesn't come free. Depending on which software you buy it can set you back anywhere from $20 to $30 (Canadian), and if you choose to prepare it online instead of buying the actual software in store, it will still cost you at least $15 to $20 per person.

One thing to mention here is that filing online is free for anyone with a net income of $20,000 or less, which rules out a lot of people. This is a provision put in place by the Government to make sure that low income households can have access to this filing option but .like I said it still rules out a lot of people who are still not well off by any means but make more than $20k a year.

Now, there is a way around this - a loophole if you will - that leats many more people file for free.

To do this you need to qualify in the following ways:

1. You have to be using the Ufile online tax preparation software (ie use it on the internet because I dont know if the store bought version allows for this)

2. You have to be a student who will be claiming some student deductions for the past tax year (2008).

Here is how it works. You get a promo code and enter it in the special offer codes section of the tax return and make sure you are claiming some tuition fees and then the software should end up letting you submit your return for free even id your net income is over $20k for the year. Basically, you are supposed to be a member of the Canadian Federation of Students to use this but there is no way for them to check this if you satisfy the other requirements of tuition and entering the right code in the right spot. The code for the 2008 tax year is FAY1493

Here is the blurb for it straight from the Ufile site:

File online on time -- for free!

The Canadian Federation of Students and UFile.ca, Canada's online tax preparation Web site, have joined together to provide FREE online tax preparation and filing for all Canadian post-secondary students.

To be eligible for this special offer...

You must be a resident of Canada, have tuition fees and have attended school for at least one month during tax year 2008. You must also be designated as the FAMILY HEAD (the primary member of the family) for purposes of your tax file in UFile.

To take advantage of this offer...

  • Log in to a new or existing UFile account for tax year 2008.
  • Enter your tuition fees and months at school and click NEXT
  • Locate the "Special offer" form in UFile's QuikClik Navigator. (You may need to scroll down the screen.)
  • Enter the following Canadian Federation of Students "Free for Students" special offer code:
  • Click NEXT.

Enter the rest of your tax information and then you can print or NETFILE your return whenever you are ready -- free of charge!

To see this for yourself just visit: http://www.ufile.ca/home/cfs.asp and follow the instructions.

My wife who is a member of the Federation of students was able to use this promo code to file here taxes for free this year and I realized while helping her with her taxes that there is really no way that this stipulation is being enforced so ... I'll let you decide if you want to save some money online at tax time this year.

Site Build It and Newbies = Me feeling kinda sad...


I kind of feel like a hypocrite, since here I was proclaiming that I would maybe revive this here abandoned blog and turn the focus away from online marketing to more of a focus on small and easy ways to save your self some money online.

So I go and make this decision public and what is the next thing that I do? I decide to comment here about a recent post I came across by an acquaintance by the name of Lissie; now Lissie has a blog about how to earn passive income online and I have to admit that I dont frequent it as often as I should (my bad) but this time I was tipped off to a post that she had recently put together concerning an IM package called Site Build It, (Site Build It Scam Review)that basically gives you the tools to build a website, host it and help promote it. All of this for around $300 per year. Now my natural inclination is to always do things on the cheap as much as possible because I am not a wealthy man and the idea of signing on to a commitment like that would therefore never appeal to me. I had barely even heard of SBI before, so Lissie's post was interesting to me - especially because I read it after she had added a few updates to it.The short of it is this: SBI as a program does offer you a website and hosting and support to help you market your single site, but that all comes at a cost of around $300 like I said. I just can't help but feel a bit sad, knowing that there are a large number of people out there new to internet marketing that would see advertising for SBI early on in their entry into IM and figure that that is as erasy and painless as it is going to get for them; I cant help but wonder if there are too many people out there willing to throw away their last $300 to spare hoping and praying that this is going to work for them when really what would work for them is just sifting through some of the garbage that is clearly out there in the IM or 'make money online' field to instead learn from some of the real gems in the business - and by gems, I mean those who would rather teach you to fish than just keep selling you the fish each year, year after year. It also doesn't help an organization's rep when their members continuously spit venom at the poster in the comments section for offering up her opinion; if it is such a great thing then surely it should speak for itself and the members should not feel the compulsion to attack so ferociously. Admittedly, some offered reasoned rebuttals to Lissie, but too many were just there on the warpath which had me wondering about what were they defending other than their affiliate sales?

I have come to learn that anything that you need to do to be successful online can be done for a lot less than $300 per site. Heck, for less than a third of that you could probably have a number of sites up and running and self hosted and properly marketed by following free advice that is out there. Seriously, you don't need to be putting that kind of money up when you are still getting your feet wet!

You can ask me if I have made lots and lots of money online to date and I would honestly answer you: no, I have not. But - and this is a bigee: I have definitely made more than I have spent so far, and I know what needs to be done - even if too often I have just been a wee bit lazy in the doing. What's that saying? The mind is willing but the flesh is weak...

Next time I will get back to my original intent, and share some tips about how to save money online - or to be more precise, how to save some money on filing fees if you have chosen to file your taxes online.

Consider using crock pot replacement parts to lengthen the life of that slow cooker in your kitchen

I had the idea of discussing Rival Crock Pot parts kicking around in my head for awhile now with this blog and something I recently experienced pushed me to finally do so; Everybody and their Cousin know about slow cookers in general and Rival Crock Pot slow cookers in particular. Indeed, the rival brand of slow cooker, their crock pot, is likely the most widly used brand of slow cooker out there. Everbody knows how slow cookers can free up many hours that would otherwise have been spent slaving away in the kitchen and instead can be spent doing something - anything else that you may wish to spend that new found time doing.

Okay, we are all on the same page when it comes to the idea of crock pot slow cookers - or any other brand of slow cooker for that matter, but I don't believe that we all share the same level of awareness when it comes to the subject of maintaining your trusted slow cooker appliance. A slow cooker is like most other kitchen appliances in that if you maintain it properly, you can expect it to have a long and useful life in your home's kitchen. Of course in the case of crock pot slow cookers, this means that over time you might end up needing to replace one or more parts of the crock; whether it is the crock pot lid, the knob on the lid, a handle on the outside of the crock pot, or even the stoneware crock pot liner, there are a number of areas that might need replacing and that without too much trouble can often be replaced by the purchase of a new part. To some, the idea that you can replace these parts of the crock pot when necessary is a relatively obvious one, but to many others that idea just doesn't occur to them. Unfortunately this means that many times an appliance such as a crock pot is simply discarded when it could easily be maintained. Here is an example: the other day I was taking the garbage down to the dumpster at the back of our building; when I got there I noticed that someone had left a well used crock pot sitting next to the bin with a sign attached to the top of it that read:

"Free crockpot that still works - help yourself. Handle on the lid is missing."

I didn't take it because i already have aslow cooker, but I thought that somebody would probably grab it since it looked like it was still in decent shape despite missing the handle on the lid. I thought that it was actually too bad that it had not been left at a charity shop instead of at the back of our building but I didn't think much more on it - after all, people give up and give away things all of the time. It was later that day when I went down to the dumpster for a second time with another bag of garbage and looked in the dumpster that I saw it: someone had taken the crock pot and thrown it in the dumpster as if it were garbage.

This really bothered me as I thought about it on my way back upstairs; I realized that people had given up on that appliance twice just because it needed a simple part replacement! A simple handle for the lid and it would have been nearly as good as new. I went back down and rescued it from the trash, wiped it off and took it down to my nearest charity shop the next time I was passing by. I guess the message that I am trying to get across here is that sometimes, in this consumer society, people are just too quick to discard what they have got for something new and shiny when maybe they shouldn't. It might take abit more effort to track down an appropriate replacement part for an appliance but it is almost always going to be the cheaper alternative and in the long run it is probably going to save you money.

If you don't know where to look to find replacement parts for your crock pot then let me give you some suggestions. One place to look is on the crock pot home page (crockpot.com); this site has a variety of rival crockpot replacement parts available for order. As well, a simple search on Google or Yahoo will yield up a long list of retailers offering replacement parts for many different models of crock pot slow cookers. Other online alternatives are to search on ebay or amazon or any relevant forum for someone offering a used crock pot for sale cheap. You can also consider posting in the relevant forums that you are looking for a cheap used crock pot to use for parts.

If the traditional brick and mortar storefront is more your cup of tea then you can always try an appliance parts store. Other options are to consider actually buying a whole new crock pot for parts if you are lucky enough to find one for cheap at an auctioneers or overstock retail location. Sometimes you can find a whole one for almost the same price as a replacement part and it will give you asource of replacement parts for the future if they should be needed. Of course don't forget your local charity or used goods store, you might find a used appliance that is mising a different part from the one you are seeking which is good news for you.

Same name, new goal - to save you money online!

I'm just going to come right out and say it: whether it was my intention or not, I have pretty much abandoned this blog. I started this blog just over a year ago and after a few months of enthusiastic posting I pretty much lost interest in it - or to be more precise, I lost interest in publicly discussing the subject of this blog. Really, if you are at all serious about learning how to make money online, then i would just suggest you check out a very informative (read useful) website created by a fellow who goes by the name of grizzly. Seriously, his site will impress you with its matter of fact approach to making money. With the likes of Grizz and so many others out there blogging on the subject, I just didn't feel like swimming in those crowded waters - my amateur voice wasn't needed.

However, I thought about it and decided that instead of just giving up on this blog and starting over I would instead make use of it and give it another shot. But if I lost interest in the subject matter then why would I use this blog anymore? What has changed this time around is the nature of the online opportunities that I want to discuss; instead of looking at strictly money-making and marketing issues, I instead want to discuss online opportunities of another kind. I want to look at things that I have come across in the last while that might help someone else to save money on the web. Things that come to mind are such things as how to save money while booking travel online, how to make your kitchen appliances such as your trusty (Rival crock pot) last longer with the timely use of replacement parts (Rival crock pot parts in the case of the crock), and things like that.

I might not post frequently (its just not usually in my nature) but I will try to post regularly. Well, at least we will see...