Sign up for stuff!

excited

Since my savings tip for yesterday was about signing up for birthday freebies, I thought I'd add on to it with today's savings tip….

SIGN UP FOR STUFF!
This seems like such a simple, obvious tip…however…do we actually do it?
  • Let's say we're at the cash register at a store and they say, “Would you like us to email you discounts and promotions?” How many of us say, “No thanks”?
  • Let's say we're at an expo and there's a sign that says, “Enter to win a free facial.” How many of us walk by?
  • Let's say we see a sign at a restaurant that says, “Sign up for our mailing list to receive special offers on your birthday.” How many of us ignore it?
Most of us, actually!
My husband is the KING of winning things. He's always coming home with ipods, iPads (proof), weekend stays at this place or that, discounts to restaurants, and yes, even a $1000 guitar. No, really.
The reason? No, it's not luck (well, ok maybe a little),  mostly it's that he simply has great odds because he signs up for EVERYTHING!
No, I'm not talking about little dinky surveys where you might have a 1 in a million chance of winning, try to choose more legitimate contests. And yes, there are downsides to signing up for things or entering contests. For one, you might receive junk mail/emails. Two, it puts your information out into…well…who knows where?? There are ways to get free stuff and protect yourself too. Here are some tips:
  • Get an alternative email address. Gmail has a great junk mail blocker. I have really been impressed with what junk mail they catch for me! I recommend signing up for a free email account. This can be the address that you use to sign up for newsletters, mailing lists, freebies, etc.
  • Just do it! Don't be too skeptical. When the store asks if you want emails with discounts and promotions, take advantage! Often times they are good offers that they only offer to their email lists. Overstock.com, the Children's place, Victoria's secret, Kohl's…these are all stores that give good discounts to their emailers. There are tons more out there, though!
  • Do some digging to find out where your information is going. If the expo lady says, “enter to win a free facial!” be sure to ask her what they will be doing with  your information. Same with freebies and websites…simply look around. Often times you will see a notice stating they don't sell your information to 3rd parties. I truly believe this, especially with restaurants and stores. They'd rather keep you as a customer than sell your info.
  • Beware of random sites. There are pop-ups and random sites ALL OVER that claim to give away free stuff. Try to stick with the bigger sites or name-brand stores that you recognize.
  • Be say NO after a sales pitch. Sometimes you have to listen to a sales pitch in order to get your free prize. BE STRONG and say NO NO NO NO NO as many times as it takes. They are often polished salesmen and will getcha if you're not careful! Don't feel guilty saying no and then taking the prize, either. They wouldn't offer it if it did their company any harm, trust me!
  • OPT OUT. If you are getting bombarded with emails or REALLY don't like receiving any junk emails at all, simply sign up, get your free/discounted item, then unsubscribe or opt out. By law they have to offer this, it just may take a little reading through the fine print to find the link. Sometimes you can check “opt-out” boxes right during the process of entering your information.
  • Only give required info. If you look closely, often times only your name and email are required, but they will ask for lots of other info. Just give them the requirements and it will keep you safe.
My husband and I have seriously walked away with some great stuff by simply taking advantage of signing up for things, and entering to win things. In fact, I won a $500 visa gift card by simply dropping my first and last name into a box at a car dealership! Do it enough and you'll win too.
Good “luck”, and happy savings to you!

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