Bargain Hunting

Liquidation World

Liquidation World

I’m a bargain hunter and I love to find deals. One of my favourite places to visit is Liquidation World. Unfortunately with the amount of money this city brings, a lot of these liquidation stores have been liquidated. When the oil boom was not quite booming, there were a few of these stores to visit. For instance, there was one near the Sheraton on 32nd Avenue, one on 17th Avenue, near Westbrook Mall and one near Chinook Centre. The only one remaining is the one near Chinook Centre.

It’s always interesting to see which company bellied up. As you go through the liquidated merchandise, you can sometimes catch the name of the store on the labels affixed to the boxes. Nowadays, the merchandise selling are marked with ‘Big Lots’. If you’re unfamiliar with this name, ‘Big Lots’ is a company in the US that has stores in all the major centres such as Los Angeles.

On the east side of the store, there are grocery items such as cookies, mustard, ketchup, water, juices and kitchen supplies. On the north side, there are gardening supplies and garden decorations. On the west side, there are some clothing, housewares and toys. There are kitchen appliances too which includes mixers, blenders, expresso machines, popcorn makers, etc. Downstairs, you will find furniture such as sofas, bedding, tables and chairs, etc.

Today, I found a Hamilton Beach popsicle maker for $22. This device works well, making popsicles as fast as 10 minutes. You simply put the unit into the freezer overnight then take it out when you’re ready to make popsicles. You pour in about half a cup of juice and let it freeze on the tabletop. After 5 minutes, you pour in the other half and wait 5 minutes again. When 10 minutes is up, you remove the popsicles and enjoy. The unit is 50% off the store price at $43 so it’s a bargain.



Cleanse your wallet

Community Natural Foods

Community Natural Foods

If you need another reason to clean out your wallet, go shop at the Community Natural Foods. Don’t get me wrong, I love organic and natural foods but I think we pay too much money for it here in Canada.

One of the aisles that I love shopping at is dried fruit and nuts aisle. Recently I found a tasty treat that I have been stocking up on. Dried persimmons are interesting and addictive. They have sliced the persimmon from top to bottom then dehydrated the slices. Coming from a natural food store, there are no preservatives, no added sugars, etc. Even the skins are intact. The persimmons sell for $2.49 per kg. and each container averages from mid $2 range to high $5 range. Each container contains about 1-2 persimmons at the most. Fresh persimmons sell for $1 for 3 at Superstore, so dried persimmons are sold at a premium this time of year.

Another tasty treat are dried mangos from Mexico. These consists of slices from ripe mangoes. Again, no preservatives, no added sugars, etc. I found the mangos to be a little on the roughage side. Some slices are of great dietary fiber so they’re good for you in other ways. These mangos sell for $2.99 per kg. whereas the fresh mangos sell for as little as $7 per box (of 6 large mangos). Again, these are sold at a premium.

There are a number of healthy cereals on the shelves, ranging from $5 to $12. I personally think that’s too much to spend on cereal, no matter how organic or natural it is. That’s outrageous at $12 per box.

Beware Extra Billing on your Tablet

Wireless Tower

Wireless Tower

Have you ever been dinged on something that you didn’t sign up for? I just did. On my May bill, I noticed I was being charged a $9.99 fee for a monthly subscription from a third party vendor on my Samsung tablet. I called Rogers Wireless to complain and they looked it up. They told me it was from Star Secrets. I assured them that I did not sign up for this and refused to pay the $9.99. As I was on hold with Rogers, I decided to google it and read about Star Secrets. Incidentally, it’s a gossip column service that texts you celebrity gossip. With the amount of regulatory bodies here in Canada, I thought we didn’t have things like this – underhanded practice and shady companies.

The first customer service rep from Rogers refused crediting my bill. She told me that I had to call up Star Secrets and ask for a refund from them. At first, this made sense so I called Star Secrets. When I dialed their number, an automated message guided me through the process of cancelling my subscription. I entered the wireless number on my tablet and selected to cancel the subscription. The automated teller thanked me and hung up. There was no human interaction to ask for a refund.

I thought about it and decided to call Rogers again. The second customer service rep from Rogers heard my complaint and said it made sense. Since Rogers was charging me $9.99 per month, it only seem fair to credit my account and she did. On top of that, she said we needed to block all premium SMS messages so that if Star Secrets attempted to bill me for subsequent months, their text messages would be rejected by Rogers. I thanked her for her help.

Lesson learned: If you don’t get what you asked for, call back and see if another customer service rep will help you. It’s clear that it is not consistent across customer service reps at Rogers. And if you work for Rogers and named Michelle that helped me – THANK YOU VERY MUCH! Kudos to you!