How to shop and find amazing deals using RSS

Written by Sam on November 24, 2009 – 11:23 pm -

Yesterday I wrote several posts containing video tutorials on how to use RSS. Today the fun begins! I’ll show you how to use the same technology to be notified of amazing deals online. But even better, you can use RSS to be instantly notified when the EXACT ITEMS you want to buy go on sale or get discounted. The techniques I’ll be showing you in this post could literally save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars over time.

As an example, my sister bought a Yamaha piano – the digital kind that will play itself – using these techniques and saved thousands of dollars. She paid $2,500 for a piano that sells used on the market for $8,000. I wrote about her experience in a post about using RSS to buy items on craigslist.

Even if you use RSS all the time, I would encourage you to look at the 2nd and 3rd videos. They might just blow your mind and are only a couple minutes each.

What is RSS?

If you don’t know what RSS is, please view these posts from yesterday:

How to shop via RSS using preset feeds

In this video you’ll learn about using preset RSS feeds to find great discounts and sales. In this video I refer to a post post I wrote called RSS shopping site guide containing a list of shopping sites with RSS capability as well as links to their preset feeds. In this example I use the sites and

How to shop for the EXACT items you want using a customized RSS feed

In this video I show you how to create a CUSTOMIZED RSS feed that will instantly show you when the exact item(s) you’re looking for go on sale or are discounted. If you’re looking to buy a specific item at a great price, this is a MUST WATCH video. In this example I use the RSS feed builder from

How to shop for the EXACT items you want on Craigslist using a customized RSS feed

In this video I show you how to create an RSS feed from a specific search on Craigslist. Looking for a great deal from someone selling an ipod? You’ll get an instant update within seconds when someone posts an ipod for sale in your area.

How to receive instant notifications about discounts on item from your Amazon wishlist

In this video I show you how to create a customized feed using RSStalker to give you instant updates whenever there’s a price change on an item in your Amazon Wishlists.

Additional Resources

Lazy Man and Money also wrote about this topic and has a list of some additional deal sites you can check out.

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3 ways to avoid emotional spending during the holidays

Written by Sam on November 20, 2009 – 11:04 am -

Holiday spending is on my mind right now. I’m trying to take measures to ensure our family spending stays under control and I know that the holidays are a very dangerous time for many financially. Too many people experience the debt hangover once the bills start coming in during January.

A couple years ago I wrote about 10 ways to save money this Christmas. I even added a bonus 11th way to save money. In fact, during the next week (before Black Friday hits) I’m going to be expanding upon tips #3 and #4 with video tutorials on how to supercharge your deal-hunting expertise. I’ll show you how to use the internet to find unbelievable savings. So stay tuned for that.

But I digress. One of the reasons people overspend is because of emotional spending. The sights, sounds, and smells of Christmas can induce people into a spending frenzy. Here are a few ways to avoid emotional spending this holiday season.

1. Order your gifts online

Ordering gifts online is a great way not only to save money and avoid overspending, but it’s also really fast and easy. By avoiding the stores as much as possible, you’ll be able to avoid the marketing stimulation that exists in malls and retail stores that lures you to buy more and more. You can much more objectively create your list and buy ONLY what you intend to buy and no more. Plus, you can typically find items at lower prices on the internet which can create significant savings.

When to order gifts online to make sure you get them by Christmas

I recently came across a page on Deal Hack that has a comprehensive list of online retailers and when you need to order from them to get your gifts delivered in time for Christmas. View the list here.

Sites where you can find great deals

A while back I posted a couple of articles explaining how to find deals and shop using RSS technology. Doing so allows you to be notified when the exact item you want goes on sale. I also posted a list of sites that allow you to use RSS for your shopping. These same sites also happen to be some of my favorites for finding great deals. Some of the links in the list may be outdated. I’ll try to make sure the list is updated.

2. Buy what you want and then return the items that are over your budget

One approach my wife and I have taken when buying gifts during the holidays is to not worry too much about how we’re spending. If we happen to see an impulse item and it’s a great deal, we go ahead and buy it. Then, before we wrap all the gifts we review which ones are inside our budget and which ones we want the most. Then we return the rest.

This has worked particularly well when shopping for our son. It is somewhat liberating be able to take advantage of great deals or impulse shop even if you know you’ll be returning items. It also allows you to shop more efficiently because you don’t have to return to the store later if you decide to purchase an item while running the risk they’ll be sold out.

Once you’re considering all the gifts together and deciding which to return, the choice is much easier because you’re making comparisons rather than looking at each gift individually. For example, I might really think my son will love the card game when I see it in the store, but comparing against the transformer that he’s dying to have, the choice of which to return is much easier.

I will admit that this requires some work to return the gifts. I recommend trying to return them before Christmas is over because the post-Christmas lines can be a nightmare for a week or more after Christmas.

3. Get your shopping done before Black Friday

I recommended in my last post to get your shopping done before Black Friday. The pre-Thanksgiving shopping environment is a little less emotionally charged. The holiday promotions aren’t quite into full swing and the crowds are lighter. It’s easier to buy what you intend and it’s a more pleasant, less hectic experience. One Thanksgiving is over hold on to your seat and prepare for a crazy ride.

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