Hi, how have all of you been? As I write this I'm sitting on the patio of the house where I grew up. It's nice to be home again, at least for a while. I'm writing on the laptop and sipping an iced green tea latte from Starbucks--a nice big venti to quench my addiction. I'm hooked on these things. It's summertime in a cup. :)
Work's been keeping me very busy and unfortunately the creative side of my life has suffered a bit because of it. I have lots of new projects in the works and they will see the light of day very soon here on Kelley-Online.com. I cannot wait to share them with you!
I'm going to be posting here on the blog at least a couple of times per week from here on out, leading up to the actual launch of the new website. There is SO much in the works right now, and I know you're going to love all of it.
In the meantime, I'd love for you to take a peek at some of the business that's been keeping ME so busy! You might even find yourself a deal by doing so. One of my latest projects is writing press releases and articles for MutualWin, a new corporation that's seeking to team people up with other people to share the benefits of referral deals. How many times have you seen a referral deal that you wanted to take advange of, but you thought to yourself, "No, I don't know anybody who would want to buy into this right now but me." This is such a great answer to that problem. Check out the first article:
Consumers Discover New Ways to Get Cash Back as Retailers Abruptly Cut Off Mail-In Rebate Programs
by Kelley Ann Hornyak
With companies like OfficeMax eliminating their mail-in rebate programs, consumers are seeking out other avenues to big savings on purchases, such as refer-a-friend portals and coupon sites.
Last summer, OfficeMax announced that it would no longer offer its familiar mail-in rebate programs. Their decision to pull the program was made when customers overwhelmingly expressed frustration with the lengthy process. In an interview with News.com, Ryan Vero, the company's chief merchandising officer, revealed that rebates were the top complaint they received from customers. He explained that the stores actually had little control over the rebate process and that was why they chose to eliminate them.
Best Buy made a similar announcement the year before about getting rid of their mail-in rebates, and soon after shifted the company's focus to its RewardZone program. Other retailers are now following suit, looking for ways to ditch their rebate deals and find more cost effective ways to draw consumers into their stores.
Both retailers have the intent of saving both time and money for consumers—replacing those mail-in rebates with in-store rewards and coupons for instant savings. While rebates may have been frustrating to many, they were also a source of substantial discount. As opportunities for rebate savings quickly fly out the window, consumers are searching for new ways to stretch their dollars.
In response to the lack of opportunities for savings, Michael Bernstein founded MutualWin (http://www.mutualwin.com/), a website that functions as an open market where people can post and search for referral deals. “MutualWin's goal is to make people aware that another way to substantially save money on purchases is through referral deals,” Bernstein says. It's free for shoppers to use and its use is growing rapidly among smart shoppers who know that referrals will give them more cash back than coupons or in-store deals.
Bernstein says he wanted to solve the main problem with referral deals, which is that most people don't know anyone who they can refer. “For instance, if you live in an apartment that offers a $500 bonus for referring new tenants, you can post that deal on MutualWin, where people are searching for apartments,” he explains. “When they move in, they use your name as a referral, and the two of you share the referral bonus—and that's why we call it a mutual win.” Right now on MutualWin.com there are referral deals for T-Mobile cell phones, DirectTV service, and Bank of America checking accounts, among many others.
There are also plenty of coupons sites on the internet looking to offer shoppers good deals in place of the rebates that are now fading from the market. Coupons.com claims that you can save hundreds on your weekly grocery bill by printing out their coupons and taking them to the store. ValPack.com offers local coupons to save on everyday expenses like dining, entertainment, travel, groceries, retail, and professional services.
Even with mail-in rebates quickly becoming extinct, consumers have plenty of choices when it comes to saving money. Referral deals such as the ones found on MutualWin.com seem to be the best bet if you're looking for really large savings or cash back amounts. Coupon sites can add up to big savings in the long run too—though you've got to take into account the price of ink and paper to print the coupons on. To get your own great deal at the money saving sites mentioned above, visit http://www.mutualwin.com/, http://www.coupons.com/, and http://www.valpak.com/.
I know--this isn't the kind of work you're craving from me. You want poetry, music, and inspiring words. That's what drives my soul too and that's ultimately what this site will be built around, but I just wanted to give you a taste of what's paying the bills right now. ;) You've all been so incredibly supportive for so many years. I just want to include you in my life as much as I possibly can. I promise--I'll be sharing some poems later this week that you will love.
Have a great night!