I just got back from Maui and I have been having a craving for shrimp, dreaming of fantastic seafood buffets at the hotel, but that did not happen. Sometimes you have to do things yourself it you want it just right. So off to my local market, scouring the counters looking for a deal. The ads had jumbo gulf shrimp for $5/lb., what a deal.
I searched and searched but could not find the product. In the seafood case I saw 4 oz. lobster tails regular price $8.99 ea., sale price of $5.99 ea. or so I thought. Closer inspection to the label in the case showed that the sale price was actually $5.99/lb. . The display sign is considered advertisement and the clerk was selling the item to other customers at the low price. The display sign did not state limited quantities.
This means that the regular price equals $35.96/lb. a savings of $29.97/lb. In true form I purchased the entire remaining inventory. They did not have much left because they were a hot seller.
What people tend to forget is the power of the consumer. Specifically, if a grocery store runs out of an item they are required under rules of the Federal Trade Commission to issue a rain check for the consumer to purchase a reasonable quantity of the item if there is no signage stating “limited quantities”.
The Florida Office of the Attorney General states, “Grocery stores are required to offer rain checks, unless the advertisement clearly states that “quantities are limited,” or unless the store can establish that advertised items were ordered in time for delivery and were in sufficient quantities to meet the public’s reasonably anticipated demand”.
After a brief period of standing up for my rights I was able to secure a rain check from the store manager for 40 lbs. of lobster tails at $5.99/lb. I don’t think 40 lbs. is all that unreasonable, especially if you are having a party. Do you want to have a party?
Why am I bringing this up in a travel blog? The analogy to travel is clear to me. Airlines often have “sale” fares between certain cities. You may find a great airfare from point A to point B. After applying discount codes and travel vouchers you may be able to bring the airfare down to very low rates. Low enough to spend the weekend flying back and forth between the point just to earn miles and airline status. And remember everything you fly is an opportunity to 1) get bumped on an over sold flight (negotiate for $700 instead of the $500 they are announcing on the speaker), 2) have them loose your luggage, even if it is an empty suitcase and earn compensation in the form of cash or travel vouchers.
The same principles can be applied to everyday life:
- Print out car wash coupons from one carwash and have your favorite carwash price match
- Buy Amex gift cards through Big Crumbs and get cash back, use the gift cards for ordinary purchases
- Get free Lowes 10% discount certs from the USPS and use them at Home Depot
- The opportunities are endless, and go beyond extreme couponing.
In summary, the principles we learned working our way around hotels, airlines and rental cars, don’t stop just there; they can be applied in every aspect of our lives. Working within the system that organizations give us is play by the rules. Remember: COMPENSATION!
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