How I Saved $90 By Not Using A Shopping Portal

by joeheg

Considering that Sharon and I spend most of the day working on our computers, you’d think that we’d constantly upgrade them. However, we tend to stick with our technology far longer than we probably should.

It finally was time to say goodbye to Sharon’s 2011 iMac and get her a computer that didn’t need to restart every day when it froze with the spinning Beachball of Death. We hoped that Apple would announce a 27 inch iMac with an M1 chip at their big event last week, but that didn’t happen.

We decided instead to buy a Mac Mini and purchase a 27-inch monitor. Since this version of Mac Mini has been out for a while, we could buy it from any Mac Authorized seller. The problem with this is that Apple has a deal of influence on pricing and no matter where you look, the price tends to be the same.

I found a page on Apple Insider that compared the prices of the most prominent websites. The best price for the specs I wanted was from Adorama. I clicked through and put the item in my cart. To get the $100 discount, I had to enter a code during checkout.

My next step was to visit Cashback Monitor, where I found a list of portal bonuses.

I didn’t need to pad my points balances so I went for cashback. I used to use Ratuken (formerly Ebates), but now I’m using Top Cashback more often. Earning 1% isn’t much but computers aren’t cheap and all of these steps took less than 5 minutes.

I went back to Adorama through the portal link and checked into my cart. The price was higher than before and the discount code field was empty. I entered the code, but instead of showing the lower price, I got an error message that the code wasn’t valid with this purchase.

Clicking through the shopping portal made me ineligible for the discount.

It wasn’t hard to decide what was the best option. The Top Cashback link would pay me back $13 and the discount code saved me $100.

I closed out of my browser and reopened the page but I still couldn’t enter the code. I needed to delete my cookies from the last hour and then I was able to go back in and get the code to stick.

While I always like to earn some extra cash or points by using a portal, it was a better deal to use the discount code and miss out on the 1% back.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

Cover image by SplitShire from Pixabay

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