November 22, 2012. I had been busy with many other things, but had this niggling concern in the back of my mind that I wasn't hearing from The Customer Advantage any more. What's up? I went online to find out.
Turns out that this promising venture has just disappeared without a word of explanation. One man who had promoted TCA heavily put out a video on YouTube to say that they had heard that it was officially dead. He and his friend mourned this, but were going to move on with other ventures.
(SIGH!) I had thought too, that this one was set up to run fair and profitably to help many out many who needed some cash flow. The last I heard from John Molanski, the founder, was that his brother had died suddenly in an accident. I wonder if that was just too devasting? A little hope flickered in me that he might rise up and finish what he started.
The Customer Advantage was to bless the ordinary shopper who needed to find the best, affordable deals. It would also help businesses that took part, as they could gain a larger customer or client base because of the massive advertising that The Customer Advantage would do for them!
Actually... this is not the end of the world.
All this brings me back to my original premise for starting this website. I wanted to research the best ways for discerning and frugal shoppers to do well online with their shopping. We need to learn some basic security measures, and shopping guidelines. We need to learn when to move forward and when to draw back. This applies to our individual purchases from any individual shopping site, and also from all of them generally.
Another customer advantage you can have is to sign up for rebate sites, and click through there first to the store where you plan to shop online. That will give you a percentage of all your purchase back to you in due time, per these tips:
I can only repeat that you and I can create the customer advantage for ourselves, simply by learning to be a smart power shopper who is alert to things that help you to get the products you want at the prices you are prepared to pay. In other words, adapting an old proverb, don't put all your eggs (confidence) in one basket.
Power shopping includes knowing how to find the best deals, learning to use rebates and coupons wherever possible, and knowing how to budget our money and keep good records.
My sister's year-long, and very simple personal accounting book is a great start if you are new to this.
I also offer record-keeping charts that you can download and print, or use on your computer, to track your spending and even incomes if you take up shopping for others. In fact, when you get quite good at this (even before you think you have arrived!) word is going to get around and your friends and even strangers will start asking you to do their shopping for them. If this works for you, it can turn you into a professional Personal Shopper. That is a business where you offer your expert service at good rates to others who do not have the time, or simply cringe at the thought of shopping online or offline.
I have more business ideas than I can shake a "promising finger at" and that one is not at the top of my list. However, to help those who would like to go this direction, I provide templates for the business documents you might need to run such a Personal Shopper Business on this site.
Should you feel that you don't know enough about online shopping, or how to shop wisely and frugally, even in local, physical stores - then I suggest you camp-out on this website, and read up on the many kinds of shopping that are described. If you find some topic missing... well, you can always google it and do your own research and increase your knowledge. Do not be afraid to try out various kinds of shopping, and remember to keep good records (that will be vital when you do this as a service for clients). It is as you become an experienced and knowledgeable Power Shopper, that your name will get to people - even before you are ready to advertise - and they will be contacting you, asking your advice, or begging you to do their shopping for them!
You, dear Friend, will be that customer's secret "Advantage."
When that happens, would you let me know? I'd love to write you up on a page as a Power Shopper Heroine!