A NEW WAY TO MANUFACTURE SPEND: A truly superb piece from Travel Summary about a new way to manufacture spend, and it’s tricky enough that it probably won’t die too quickly. Also, it involves sports and gambling. Go! Read!
$0.50 PER GALLON GAS DISCOUNT FROM THE FUEL REWARDS NETWORK: Here’s the link. All you need to do is spend $50 through their portal. I haven’t gotten around to trying out the FRN yet, does anybody have any experience with it? I’m wondering if it’s worth the time.
$20 OFF $100 FROM STAPLES: Here’s the coupon, my sommelier advises me that this would be an excellent pairing with the $25/$75 deal some Amex cardholders are getting.
HOW TO REINVENT YOURSELF: A nice read from James Altucher:
Here are the rules: I’ve been at zero a few times, come back a few times, and done it over and over. I’ve started entire new careers. People who knew me then, don’t me now. And so on.
I’ve had to change careers several times. Sometimes because my interests changed. Sometimes because all bridges have been burned beyond recognition, sometimes because I desperately needed money. And sometimes just because I hated everyone in my old career or they hated me.
There are other ways to reinvent yourself, so take what I say with a grain of salt. This is what worked for me.
How long does it take to reinvent yourself, you ask?
F) Time it takes to reinvent yourself: five years.
Here’s a description of the five years:
Year One: you’re flailing and reading everything and just starting to DO.
Year Two: you know who you need to talk to and network with. You’re Doing every day. You finally know what the monopoly board looks like in your new endeavors.
Year Three: you’re good enough to start making money. It might not be a living yet.
Year Four: you’re making a good living
Year Five: you’re making wealth
As somebody who’s been blogging for a just under a year, I’d like to sincerely thank my readers for indulging my flailing!
AMAZON CHANGES FOR THE WORSE: Amazon is changing things up, reports My Money Blog:
First, the minimum order size for “free shipping” has increased to $35 from $25. Second, it is officially getting slower:
With free shipping, your order will be delivered 5-8 business days after all of your items are available to ship, including pre-order items.
So not only will it take up to 2 weeks to get your stuff, that is only after every single thing is ready to ship.
And why is Amazon doing this?
Various media outlets have their theories on why this happened – higher shipping costs? Amazon about to record huge losses? Shareholder revolt? My interpretation: The loss-leader party is starting to wind down.
Up until now, Amazon has taken a “loss leader” approach to building up their business. Their margins are razor-thin… In 2012, they sold over $60 billion dollars of stuff yet still lost money. Why?
- To crush the competition. Is there any direct competitor to Amazon? Buy.com? Ha. There are some tech places like Monoprice and Newegg that have a loyal following. eBay is cheap but inconsistent. So we’re left with the brick and mortars – Walmart, Target, and Costco.
- To change your shopping habits. They also need to promote a huge behavioral change where when you need something you don’t think Walmart or Costco, you think let’s go on Amazon and just click and buy. It takes lots of repetition to gain that kind of trust and habit formation. Low prices and fast, free shipping will do that.
During this time, consumers like myself have been happily buying things cheaper from Amazon than anywhere else, from laundry detergent to diapers to hard drives. Why waste the time and gas going anywhere else? I’m afraid they are almost done giving out the free drugs. Are we addicted enough to finally allow them to make big profits?
It seems like they are switching to the Costco model. They want your $79 Prime membership fee, and then they hope to break even on everything else by giving you a nice solid low price along with free 2-day shipping.
Makes sense to me. Amazon is famous for not being particularly profitable, and the party’s gotta stop sometime.
I DON’T CARE WHAT THE OTHER BLOGGERS THINK: I still love you, 50,000 mile Lufthansa offer! Speaking of which, Barclay’s credit card marketing department seems to be active right now, so check your email in case you luck into a good offer. I received solicitations for the Wyndham and USAir cards today, though the offers were pretty lame.
AN EPIC BLOGGER SLUGFEST: In case you missed the epic slugfest between George from TravelBloggerBuzz and Rick from Frugal Travel Guy, they had quite a discussion in the comments in this post. (Rick’s alias is ‘ingy’.)
Speaking of TBB, in response to the free movie screenings discussed in yesterday’s post, he also recommended gofobo as another way to see films for free.