Best Things in Life are Free - Top 7 Free Products/Services
Free is good.
As a marketer, I know that Free is one of the best attention getters for advertising.
And these days, with the economy still not fully recovered and a new frugal spirit in America, Free is definitely in.
So I thought I would list my top 7 free products/services for everyone to enjoy!
1. Free Stuff - What's free and green at the same time? If you are like me, cheap and increasingly more concerned about the environmental impacts of our over-consuming society, than you should sign up for your local Freecycle group. This is an ever changing network where you can get anything from free cleaning products to free furniture and anything in between. And to top it all off, you can do your part to reduce waste and keep useful items out of our landfills!
2. Free Charity - What's that you say? Well, CauseWorld is a free mobile app for iPhone and Android phone that rewards you with a virtual currency for visiting retail stores. For the small effort to check-in when you are at certain stores, you can accumulate Karmas which can be donated to real causes, e.g. Haiti relief, clean water in Africa, etc. To know that I can help give back with my everyday consumption is certainly a great thing, especially since no purchases are required!
3. Free Phone Services - Google Voice gives you so many things that it was hard to put one label that summarized all the features, but here's the list, free phone number to access all your phones, free voicemail with voice to text transcription, free US long distance calling, free SMS, just to name a few. It also gives you very low cost international calling which you can access from a mobile phone so no need for those old fashioned phone cards from the last century! Only bummer here is that at the moment, this is an invite only service but I haven't found it hard to request an account and I'm sure soon it will become broadly available given the popular demand.
4. Free Fax - If you only need to receive faxes infrequently and don't want the hassles of setting up the hardware, then eFax may be for you. I realize that over the years, there are many other similar services now being offered and that eFax has also added more limitations to the free service to encourage people to trade up to the more expensive offerings, but I've never had any issues with the basic free service and it's been a lifesaver when I've needed to receive and access faxes away from my home.
5. Free Online Storage - With the explosion of multimedia in our lives, it's never been more important to have a backup for storing your precious pictures and documents. For this, I use iDrive which offers a free 2GB account. In my case, I actually liked it so much I pay to backup all of my media online but for the casual user, I definitely think this is a great offering.
6. Free Websites - I'll have to put a plug in for the company whose product I used to build this site, Weebly (I have no affiliation with them other than as a "customer"). It's a simple, intuitive interface with good enough tools to get started on a personal or small business website!
7. Free Business Advice - this one may not be applicable to everyone, but for the small business owners out there, you should check out SCORE which is an association affiliated with the SBA that gives free business advice. While I've never personally used their services, I've partnered with SCORE in my professional/work dealings and I think they can offer lots of great insights to any budding entrepreneur!
With spring and summer around the corner, we'll all soon be taking part in that great American pasttime...the backyard BBQ. And many folks will likely be eyeing a new stainless gas grill, albeit with a lower willingness to spend than in past years.
So I thought it would be timely to share a money saving tip to getting more for your buck this year. Last year at approximately this time, I went to a local DIY/home improvement retailer and bought a floor display grill at a significant discount. Now most of you are probably thinking that this doesn't sound like much of a tip since floor models are typically dinged up so you are getting what you pay for - a lesser product for a lesser price.
But here's a little known fact that will save you money without you having to settle for less. Most reputable manufacturers of grills will actually cover any broken or missing parts as part of their warranty - generally up to the purchase price of your grill.
So in my case, I bought a stainless steel Charbroil Red grill that normally retails for $600 at a 75% discount (b/c of cosmetic dings and fact that I bought outside of BBQ season). Then I called the manufacturer and actually got about $150 worth of parts that replaced all the dinged up parts as part of the warranty with free shipping (so the grill is now as good as new!). And to top it all off, as a floor model, it was fully assembled so I saved the $100 labor charge for assembly.
Total tally and savings:
Grill $150 (not incl tax) vs. $600
Replacement Parts $0 vs. list of $150
Assembly $0 vs. labor cost of $100
Total Cost $150 vs. $700
(79% discount for fully perfect condition grill just in time for BBQ season!)