Though the internet has provided much more information about major purchases, most of us will need to handle a salesperson at some point. A basic understanding of how most salespeople go about their jobs can help save you both time and money.
Your purchase is their job
It is a very rare salesperson that is not judged, in some form, on how much they sell. The eventual decision you make to buy or not buy, and how much to spend, will have an impact on how that salesperson is compensated. Some retailers will pay their salespeople no matter how much they sell, [...]
Airlines and others are hopping mad about new disclosure rules imposed by the Department of Transportation. The new rules about airfare mandate that airlines have to disclose taxes and other fees along with the cost of the fare.
DOT makes airlines get real
Here’s something that most people should find familiar: an airline advertises a rock-bottom price for a ticket, usually for an intermediate flight of only a few hours at most. The price quoted by the airfare seems almost too good to be true, though it does have a little asterisk on it in the advertisements.
Once a person goes to buy [...]
Citibank customers who received frequent flyer miles as part of a promotion last year are getting a surprise in their mail box. The lending giant is sending them a 1099 form, counting those miles as taxable income.
‘Customer responsible,’ later
The promotion from February 2011 offered customers thousands of frequent flyer miles as a bonus for opening an account. The only mention of “taxes” on the forms required for the promotion was a brief passage, “customer is responsible for taxes, if any.”
Citibank will be valuing the miles at 2.5 cents per mile. Frequent flyer miles normally can only be redeemed for [...]
According to a recent independent survey, payrolls for small businesses grew in January, as wages fell. The report indicates growth in the sector, but at a pace so leisurely that we will not see an overall recovery for some time yet.
Fewer jobs added than in December
The Small Business Employment Index was released Monday by the management support firm, Intuit. The report found that 50,000 jobs were added to American small businesses in January. Growth is welcome, though it was slower than December’s 60,000.
Wages, work week and unemployment dip
The average monthly salary for small businesses also dipped for the month. That [...]
A good number of people like to file their tax returns as early as possible, in order to get some extra cash from a refund. That said, early filers this year will likely have to wait a while to get their refunds due to IRS fraud protections.
Early birds will not worm out of waiting a while
Millions of people file their tax returns as early as possible every year in order to get some fast cash from the Internal Revenue Service, in the hopes that their return won’t take as long to process and therefore, they won’t have to wait as [...]
What you get paid for the work that you do can, at times, feel out of your control. Even in a bad economy with high unemployment, though, negotiating for a better salary can be an advisable move.
When you should negotiate
If you are job-hunting, then you should be ready to negotiate your salary when the job is offered to you. If you are currently employed, then you can also negotiate your salary with your boss. Time your negotiation for a specific time that has some kind of importance, be it a work anniversary or after a big project has been completed.
College is an expensive undertaking in almost every situation. With less financial aid available and tuition going up every year, more students than ever before are going to their second or third choice schools.
Dollar value of aid dropping
The amount of financial aid available to students is dropping, year-by-year. In 2011, about 70 percent of students received financial aid in the form of grants or scholarships, 4 percent less than in 2011. 68 percent of students reported at least some concerns about finding enough financing for their college education. In the 2012 academic year, eligibility for the federal Pell Grant program [...]
The number of five-star reviews a product receives on Amazon.com is known to have an effect on how well it sells. The New York Times reports that as competition for business is fierce, some Amazon retailers have resorted to underhanded means of attracting sales. Some post fake sock puppet reviews, others offer refunds to customers in exchange for five-star reviews or simply pay for fake views outright.
VIP Deals offers pay for play
Amazon.com retailer VIP Deals reportedly began offering Kindle Fire cases packed with letters encouraging customers to post five-star reviews in exchange for a full refund. Nearly all the product’s [...]
Millions of NFL fans dream of attending the Super Bowl. It’s one of the biggest sporting events in the world, and the cost of going to game reflects that.
Unique price structure
It isn’t as easy as firing up TicketMaster’s website to buy Super Bowl tickets; instead, the tickets are allocated to league sponsors, certain favored groups and NFL season ticket holders, according to CNN. Individuals who are able to get tickets can sell them on the “secondary market” or via ticket websites like StubHub.com and TicketExchange.
There are millions of NFL fans and a limited number of tickets. That exclusivity means that [...]
Most small businesses face a few very big, potentially expensive challenges. With just a smartphone, however, there are several things that no small business owner should go without.
Business phone numbers
A separate number for your business can help you keep your business and personal lives separate and make you appear more professional the public. There are several tools that allow for more than one number to be run through a single phone. Services such as Google Voice allow you to piggyback a business phone number on a personal cell phone, eliminating the need to carry and track two phones.
Credit Card Processing
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has stepped in to clear the way for consumers who dabble in currency conversion. Effective immediately, those who remit money to friends and family in other countries will receive a more detailed breakdown of exchange rates and fees.
Money transfers, demystified
A statement issued by the CFPB clarified that the new rules will apply to all international money transfers. Exactly how much money the transfer recipient will receive must be clearly delineated in each transaction. This will make it easier for consumers to comparison shop for the best money transfer value.
From an administrative standpoint, the new CFPB [...]
Despite a slowly dropping unemployment rate, it’s still a fiercely competitive job market. Job-seekers need to use every advantage in selling themselves to prospective employers. A crisp, up-to-date resume is a your best calling card. If the job search is not going well, it may be time to look at yours and refresh it.
The objective of a resume is to get an interview, not a job. Does the tone of your resume represent someone you’d like to sit down and talk with? Or is it a mechanical listing of things you’ve done? Try to make it about accomplishments rather [...]
Most Americans have written off debit card reward programs as becoming obsolete. However, Bank of America is planning a new debit card rewards program — with some changes.
Sometimes they come back
Since federal regulations have been chipping away at the fees banks charge to customers and merchants, a lot of customer perks at large retail banks are being or have already been done away with.
Debit card rewards programs, for instance, are thought to be nearing inclusion on the endangered species’ list. The 2011 Bankrate.com Debit Card survey, in October of 2011, found that only 28 banks that Bankrate surveyed still offered [...]
Legally, any corporation has a duty to its shareholders to try to maximize profit, which means managers can be prosecuted for making any decision that is not financially based. In seven states, however, companies can now register as “benefit corporations,” which are allowed to focus on something other than profit.
What it means to be stockholder-owned
For many companies, being publicly traded means there is a legal duty to try to maximize profit. This could mean anything from reducing costs by using cheaper suppliers to selling a product for a higher price. Some companies that try to make decisions on a mission-based [...]
J.C. Penney, the national department store chain, is trying to find ways to boost its bottom line and has come up with a new strategy. The store is cutting all prices by 40 percent but will have fewer sales.
J.C. Penny rollback permanent
Retailers everywhere are looking for ways to entice more customers into buying more stuff, and the easiest way to do that is to cut prices and make it up on volume. J.C. Penney, which recently came under new management, is unveiling a new strategy that is aimed at boosting its flagging revenues, according to Daily Finance.
The store is not [...]
You’ve heard that you shouldn’t go to the grocery store on an empty stomach because it a surefire way to stumble into a larger bill at checkout. Similarly, the distraction that comes from shopping while texting can make you spend more, a recent study found.
[Need to spend more in an emergency? Try an unsecured personal loan.]
Smartphones make us not so smart
Smartphones are everywhere, including the grocery store. A person sending texts or chatting with Facebook friends while strolling the aisles is quite common. It has become apparent that serial texters are overspending, as they are distracted from both their coupons [...]
An easy way to save money is to bring a bag lunch to work and a thermos of coffee. Both genders will save, but men will save even more. A recent study has found that men, as a rule, spend more on lunch and coffee than women do. Significantly more.
Most spend $2,000 a year
The survey was conducted by the staffing firm Accounting Principals, a unit of Adecco. More than 1,000 U.S. workers were surveyed in December. The study concluded that U.S. workers who eat out for lunch — about two thirds do — are spending in excess of $2,000 a [...]