Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Squeaker convention, epilogue

I'm greedy.

I'm all about saving money, and I have learned how to save money in a variety of ways thanks to the Internet, including how to maximize coupons and rebates thanks to Keri's website. I use her site every week, but I don't promote the incredible deals I score.

People take pride in noticing that there's an unadvertised deal at Target, determining if there is a corresponding coupon in their stash and telling everyone else via Keri's site that you can get a bottle of mustard for a dime. Occasionally I have noted a coupon matches a sale item, but I don't make a habit of sharing my ways and means. Why? I'm greedy.

The way I see it, the more people realize there's free toothpaste to be had -- and that you can occasionally earn a buck credit toward your total bill by using a coupon -- the more likely the product is going to vanish from the store shelves before I have a chance to nab it. That's a common occurrence at Walgreens, a store that is lousy at stocking products it essentially gives away through its frustrating "Rebate Rewards" program. Therefore I'm not interested in promoting Keri's website, I don't need additional competition for the free toothpaste.

Keri, however, wants everyone to know about the great deals at Walgreens. Why?

For starters, she's aggregating information from multiple sources, I am convinced. She doesn't sit down for hours each week and start from scratch, categorizing the weekly coupons into a database, then searching it to match products on sale at the grocery stores to coupons in her database. I'm sure there's some of her own research involved, but the information she posts is similar to information posted on sites around the country. It doesn't take an eye doctor to see the similarities between the lists. Nonetheless, she takes time to compile such lists, add her own recommendations and knowledge and present it in an easy to follow format.

She started this, she says, to educate others about how to save as much money as she has. I don't doubt that. But I think she also saw a way to fill a niche locally, and reap some benefits from it. She makes money from her website. How much? I have no idea, but she gets thousands of hits per week, without a doubt, and she makes money off of ads on her website, as well as for referrals from her website to select Internet sites. She's very forward about what she does and doesn't do for financial benefit, and is probably more forthcoming than many sites on how she might benefit from use of her site. It's refreshing to see.

Bottom line, she makes money by sharing her tips with a growing online audience. I'm all for that, but I don't make money off of promoting her site, so I don't, because I'm greedy.

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