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Consumer

The Ultimate Shopper’s Guide, Part 4: Navigation System

by Luke Landes

When I last traveled to California to visit family, we trekked in a rented large SUV or minivan type of vehicle from Orange County to Lake Tahoe. To help us along the way, my mother purchased a TomTom, a portable GPS navigation device. Years ago, TripTiks from AAA would have been sufficient for my family. ... Continue reading this article…

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The Ultimate Shopper’s Guide, Part 3: Music Downloads and Player

by Luke Landes

My friends swear by their iPods. I’m not exaggerating when I say that everyone has one. I don’t. I’d like a portable music player, but I’m not quite sure when I’d listen, anyway. My car radio and compact discs suit me fine for now. However, if someone offered me a way to carry around a ... Continue reading this article…

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The Ultimate Shopper’s Guide, Part 2: Home Video

by Luke Landes

Here’s more from Money Magazine’s feature about finding deals, starting with technology. I shared their cell phone shopping tips although I’m not shopping for phones at the moment. However, I’ve been thinking about a new entertainment center for a while. I know I won’t be buying anything until I’m out of this apartment, but I ... Continue reading this article…

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The Ultimate Shopper’s Guide, Part 1: Cell Phones

by Luke Landes

Money Magazine is running a feature that provides tips for getting the best deal for several specific purchases. As I’m I planning to put down some cash for a new notebook computer, I first took a look at Money’s focus on tech within the series. They didn’t address computers, but I loved their advice on ... Continue reading this article…

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Opened a Second Account With ShareBuilder

by Luke Landes

Last week, I decided to take advantage of the ability to acquire $75 for opening an account with ShareBuilder. My first trade will be executed today. Rather than purchasing an exchange-traded fund (ETF) like last time, I decided to go with a well-established stock. My order was placed for $70 worth of Microsoft (MSFT). While ... Continue reading this article…

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Doobie Reviews the Equaline Matrix Razor

by Luke Landes

I’d probably grow a beard if my girlfriend let me. She obviously has way more sense than I do. I have been brainwashed into the general consumer thinking that I need a major brand razor with expensive refillable blades. Thus, I shave with a Gillette Mach3. Doobie has found a lesser-known razor that he feels ... Continue reading this article…

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Cell Phone Upgrade Fees

by Luke Landes

Think you’re getting a deal when you upgrade your cell phone? There are hidden fees you may be paying without knowing it. The Red Tape Chronicles did some investigating and discovered cell phone retail salespeople mocking their customers, describing how they mislead the unsuspecting: * “If someone asks me why upgrade fees are charged, I ... Continue reading this article…

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Back to School Shopping: Tax Free Holidays (Not in New Jersey)

by Luke Landes

A number of states are offering sales tax-free shopping “holidays” this year to entice shoppers to spur the economy before it’s time to go back to school. Bankrate has the full scehdule, which includes some days that have already passed. New Jersey is not on the list; however, we never have to pay tax on ... Continue reading this article…

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Old Promotion, New Trick: Free $75 With ShareBuilder

by Luke Landes

June 24 update: The promotional code listed below is no longer available. You can now earn a $25 bonus using the promotional code 25WO10 rather than the $50 bonus previously mentioned here. It’s actually $71 after expenses, as you’ll see below. ShareBuilder is still running the $50 promotion, but now there’s a way to get ... Continue reading this article…

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New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine is Saving Consumers $20M a Day

by Luke Landes

Thanks to shutting down the state government and government-owned operations while politicians bicker over the state sales tax rate, the governor is saving New Jersey consumers $20,000,000 each day. Not all consumers will see this benefit, though. Only those people who were planning to visit and spend money at the state’s casinos in Atlantic City, ... Continue reading this article…

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IKEA is a Shopping Experience, But What About The Furniture?

by Luke Landes

For years, I’ve found IKEA to be a great place for getting nice, basic furniture. Sure, it’s not the classiest place, but if you’re not looking to impress anyone with your impeccable taste (think college students, newly married couples, etc.) then that doesn’t really matter. Over the past few days, my girlfriend and I have ... Continue reading this article…

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Getting Paid for Changing Your Flights

by Luke Landes

I’ve heard stories about people receiving various perks from airlines in return for giving up their seats on overcrowded flights. I never attempted this myself, but now I know there is a method to perk offerings, I may try to work the system if I find myself on a tight flight. Here are the tricks ... Continue reading this article…

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Bank of America Gives Employees $3,000

by Luke Landes

Bank of America will reimburse employees $3,000 who purchases a hybrid (gas/electric) vehicle. To qualify, the employee must live within 90 miles of Boston, Charlotte, or Los Angeles. This is a valuable incentive for reducing commuting costs and helping the environment. If the reimbursement program is successful, the company will consider rolling it out to ... Continue reading this article…

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Skype: Free Telephone Calls

by Luke Landes

I just received this message from Skype: Calls to friends and family on Skype have always been free. Now we’ve made calls within the US and Canada to all phones totally free till the end of the year. Starting from today it doesn’t matter if it’s a Skype-to-Skype call or a call to landline or ... Continue reading this article…

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Happy Mother’s Day With Alternative Gift Options

by Luke Landes

Happy Mother’s Day to everyone who deserves this particular holiday greeting. While I’m not a big fan of this Hallmark™ holiday — an excuse for companies to sell stuff including cards, flowers, and jewelry — I still take time to consider all that my mother has done for me. Thanks, Mom! Check those links above ... Continue reading this article…

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Latest ShareBuilder Promotion

by Luke Landes

Updated June 24, 2010. I’ve had good experiences with ShareBuilder so far. A while ago, I took advantage of their $50 bonus to receive $46 in a free ETF ($50 minus a $4 transaction fee). There is a new promotion code that will provide you with $25 after your first trade. Visit ShareBuilder through this ... Continue reading this article…

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Some Online Reviews Are Fake

by Luke Landes

Shocked? Before I make a large purchasing decision, like determining which notebook computer or other technology equipment to buy and where to get it for the right price, I check various websites to find reviews written by owners. For a company like Best Buy or Amazon.com, allowing users to create product reviews is a great ... Continue reading this article…

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PlayStation 3 Plus Or Minus $596: My Generation Just Sighed

by Luke Landes

My video-game-playing friends must be hoping this is a hoax or a tease. The new Sony PlayStation 3 will reportedly cost $499 or $599, depending on the size of the included hard drive. It certainly comes packed with features: The PlayStation 3 is powered by the “Cell” processor, which Sony boasts makes the machine 35 ... Continue reading this article…

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Good News: Get Your Degree In Two Weeks

by Luke Landes

I can’t believe I’ve spending so much time working towards my second degree. I could have made the process much simpler. What I can only assume is a reader sent me the following advice: Subject: no more money problems, get a degree in 2 weeks Obtain a prosperous future, money-earning power and the prestige that ... Continue reading this article…

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Brave New World

by Luke Landes

My vision of the future is almost like an alternative universe, a bizarro world if you will. Here’s what I see: Cartoon characters peddling cell phones as they walk around amusement parks, Macs that run Windows XP, Google staying above $400 a share and people getting psyched about ethanol. It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad ... Continue reading this article…

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