In November of 2004 I became interested in venturing out on my first Black Friday Shopping event. For those not aware of this phenomena, it is the day after Thanksgiving where crazy people go stand in lines at Wal-Mart and Best Buy at 3:00 in the morning to get unbelievable deals. I had heard from friends that it was fun and the deals were amazing. Well honestly, Christmas was going to be tough to buy a lot that year so I thought this would be a great way to venture into the world of bargain shopping. I have always been interested in a great sale or deal. I have been known to hit garage sales on Saturday mornings and every once in a while I make it to the local auction house to attempt to furnish my home on a budget, but in researching black friday on the internet an entirely new world has opened up to me.
I googled black friday and came across a website forum called bargainshare.com which intrigued me with all of the word of mouth experience of loyal Black Friday shoppers from all over the country. I devoured all the research and started to make an entire gameplan and shopping strategy.
Then another section of the forum also caught my eye…..FREEBIES!!!!!!!!! Wow what a fantastic world opened up to me when I looked at that forum category. I became obsessively hooked with all things coming to my house for free. For a mom on a budget the idea was perfect. I started searching all over the internet for more and more things that could be sent to my house free. I must have checked that website at least ten times a day to see if something new and *free* could be sent to my house. My mailbox became full of all kinds of samples from basics like shampoo to cleaning supplies, and odd things like earplugs (my husband still questions why those sit in my junk drawer) and colon cleansers. My Mail lady asked me where I was getting all of this stuff from, and I found I couldn’t wait to share the information with her, my family, my friends, the staff at both part time jobs that I have, and basically anyone who would listen.
Then a new door opened to me a few weeks later, and I became interested in Surveys. Wait you mean people will pay or send me products and are interested in my opinion? How cool is that! I ventured into a new forum that along with bargainshare I read obsessively. Yourdailyfreebiessite….or YDF. Which had an entire section dedicated to surveys. I joined every company that all the fellow forum member loved and touted. I learned which companies to avoid, and which most people try for years to join ( which I now belong to, but will not name in deference to the company in question). I also began to get checks in my mail box, and products to try. I love that I have a voice in what companies are making and doing. Sharing all of this new information with my family, friends, and coworkers has been wonderful.
I try new products now all the time and some I have absolutely loved, and some were not great at all. I think that since I share this information with companies (although sometimes I have already noted that other people must have felt differently because nothing changed) that it would be great to do my own word of mouth about what I have thought was worthwhile or worthless. Since I already tell an extensive network of people in my daily life, this would give my own personal good housekeeping seal of approval. While I welcome people who will disagree with me, I hope there are those who might try something new because of a recomendation that I make. These are things that an ordinary housewife and mother have found fit to write about and pass my own personal buzz to others.