The beauty of the internet is that you have instant access to all kinds of fabulous information.
The dark side is that advertisers know that.
We are constantly marketed to, some of them obvious (like an ad on TV or in a magazine), and some not so obvious. (Product placement in a movie or a cool new Facebook app).
When you’re a deal hunter, you really notice it. The e-mails clog your inbox. The Tweets and Facebook updates are constant interruptions. You’re constantly encouraged to “Buy Now!” and tempted with great offers. I am aware of how much that can wear on you, especially if you’re broke. That’s one of the reasons that I try to only bring you the very best deals I find.
Of course there are other ways you can manage the onslaught of marketing during this time of year.
Set up a separate e-mail address. Have a separate e-mail account just for signing up for special offers or coupons. This will declutter your inbox and allow you to decide when you want to check for deals. You can visit your “deals” inbox when you’re in the market to buy.
Use filters in your e-mail. When you set up a filter in your e-mail, you tell your e-mail what folder to place your mail in based on keywords. For example, you could funnel all e-mail from Amazon into one folder, all e-mail from Toys ‘R Us into another. This will make looking for store-specific deals much easier.
Create lists on Twitter. There are deals and giveaways to be had on Twitter, but sometimes it gets a little overwhelming. Create a list for businesses or deals and then visit the lists when you want.
Be wary of “liking” things on Facebook. Every time you “like” a company on Facebook, you are allowing them to market to you and, in many cases, allowing them to find out information about you and your spending habits. One of the ways I keep my Facebook news feed from sounding like an infomercial is to “like” the company or allow an app, get the coupon or special offer, and then “unlike” them. If you don’t want to “unlike” a company, you can choose to “Hide” their updates.
Take a media fast. Shut down the computer, turn off the TV, hide the magazines, and enjoy a day or two of freedom from temptation to buy.
This is one of the hardest times of year. We’re exposed to a ton of advertising and all of it is encouraging us to “BUY NOW!” Set a budget, and learn to say “no” to things that will compromise that budget. Learn to evaluate what is a good deal and what is just marketing hype.