I like finding deals. Travel, yes, first and foremost. But once you get the deal-finding-bug, it pretty much flows into everything else. Ask my wife about this aspect of me and she will probably roll her eyes, sigh, and tell you how I tire her so.
Back in 2013, I came across an Instagram contest where you had the chance to win an iPad Mini by posting your "scared face" from seeing something "scary" on the internet. The contest was a collaboration between a blogger and a company that made an internet plug-in to keep kids from seeing "scary" things while browsing the World Wide Web. Well, it turns out my face is pretty scary (click if you dare), and it won me that iPad Mini! However, I hardly used it due to it's non-retina screen and slow processing speeds (yes, I'm a technology snob).
Flash forward to Black Friday 2015. Staples was selling the newest iPad Mini 4 for $299, on sale from $399. I had a bunch of Staples gift cards and a barely used iPad Mini on hand, so I decided to do some wheeling and dealing.
I listed the iPad Mini on eBay and it sold. This is the breakdown, which will also show you why selling on eBay isn't as lucrative as people make it to be:
- Sold for $148.74 + $10 for shipping = $158.74
- PayPal Fee: $4.90
- eBay Final Value Fee: $15.87
- Actual Shipping Costs: $22.12
- Total Made: +$115.85
It seems as if almost every month, or every other month, Staples is running a promotion. A recurrent promotion is that if you buy $300 worth of Visa or Mastercard gift cards, you get a $20 Visa or Staples gift card through their EasyRebate system. I accrued 3 of these $20 Staples gift cards through purchasing 6 total gifts cards, all of which came with a fee of $5.95. Recently, there was also a 'Get a $15 Credit when you spend $15+ using Visa Checkout" promo which I took advantage of 2x, so I purchased 2 x $15 Staples gift card for essentially free.
You can view the purchasing of Visa/Mastercard gift cards as straight up making money. Not only can you still use those cards for everyday spending, but now you are getting cash back in the form of Staples gift cards. On top of this, I used my Chase Ink Plus card, which earns me 5x the points at office supply stores, so I not only made money off of this promo, but I accrued some travel points as well! My total gift cards gained and costs incurred is broken down as follows:
- Total Staples Gift Cards: +$90
- Fees From Visa/Mastercard Gift Card Purchases: $5.95 x 6 = $35.70
- Cost for $60 worth of Staples Gift Cards: -$24.30
Amazon has had some pretty amazing promotions this holiday season as well. I was able to take advantage of a promotion where if you used at least 1 Ultimate Rewards Point (1 point = $.01) from a Chase credit card (Sapphire Preferred, Ink Plus, Freedom) linked to your Amazon account, you get $15 off a $25+ purchase. I was able to use this promo twice to purchase 2 x $25 Staples gift cards. My total gift cards gained and costs incurred is broken down as follows:
- Ultimate Rewards Point Usage 2 x $25:
- Total Staples Gift Cards: +$50
- Cost for $50 worth of Staples Gift Cards: 2 x $9.99 = -$19.98
iPad Mini 4
I made my way to Staples the morning of Black Friday, on my way into work. There weren't any long lines or craziness, thank goodness. I wrote about the Discover/ApplePay Promo back in September, so I had planned on taking advantage of this as well. The breakdown of the total cost for this new iPad is as follows:
- Cost to Purchase Ipad Mini 4: $299 + $17.94 (6% tax) = $316.94
- Staples Gift Cards on hand: +$140
- Discover/ApplePay Promo (22%): +38.93
- Profits from selling Ipad Mini 1: +$115.85
- Cost for $140 worth of Staples Gift Cards: -$44.28
- Total: $66.44
For some of you this may seem like a lot of work. However, for me, doing the little leg work of keeping up with the latest deals or signing up for promotions, makes a worthy purchase such as this all the more rewarding! I'll try to do a better job of sharing these promotions with all of you as well! Feel free to email me or comment below with any questions you may have!
*If you're interested in learning how to earn cash back, earn lots of miles/points, and maximize your travel redemptions, setup a consultation with me!