All Articles Tagged "online shopping"

Baking With Kids: How The Right Kitchen Tools Makes Everything Easier

September 30th, 2015 - By Kay Hudson
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My son Kannon Ball caught the baking bug. I think his desire to chef it up in the kitchen with his mommy stems from a host of kid’s shows he’s been watching on YouTube which promote sharing, team building and crafts.

Last weekend, he asked if we could get our hands dirty and make chocolate cupcakes. Of course, I was happy to roll up my sleeves and bond over baking with my baby boy. As I scrolled through recipes on my tablet, I realized next to the ingredients, the key to successful cupcakes were the tools used to make them.

As a mom who is new to the baking arena, it hit me that I didn’t have any baking pans. While I could have made Kannon Ball’s cupcakes with some old cooking sheets that I had in the cupboard, that would be cheating my son out of the experience. When baking with kids, I learned, they want things to turn out perfectly.

I had to get the right kitchen tools, which in this case was bakeware.

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To jumpstart the process, I logged on to my Shop Your Way account, which is a free online shopping program that offers its members rewards for purchasing cool products and services that they really need – like baking tools. In my case, I needed a totally new inventory, so using the Shop Your Way site was the ideal space to buy and gain points towards my merchandise. I’ve been using the program for the last few months and within that time span I’ve received exclusive deals and much needed coupons (holiday shopping is right around the corner – yikes!).

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What’s even cooler – if I’m at one of the Shop Your Way retail partner locations, I can get fab in-store deals, just using their free Shop Your Way app! There is also free two-day shipping, sweepstakes, and host of VIP perks. Plus, and this is really big to me – you can get the scoop on trends from their Personal Shoppers.

I’m encouraging all of my Mommynoire fans to check out and join the Shop Your Way community. All the perks that I receive – like I mentioned above – you will too! It’s super easy. Check out my Shop Your Way page.

Take a peek at the Kenmore products that I bought with my $50 gift card courtesy of Shop Your Way.


In fact, I would love you to experience the online shopping features yourself.

Mommynoire is tag teaming with Shop Your Way to offer one lucky reader $50 to purchase merchandise on the site. In order to qualify, via Mommynoire’s Facebook page! Let us know why you would love the $50 gift card! Winners will be selected on October 2nd via their social media page.


6 Easy Ways To Save Money While Using Social Media

September 10th, 2015 - By Lynn Cooper
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We all use social media to connect with family and friends, keep up with current events, and even promote our own businesses. But did you know you could save a few bucks via social media? You just have to know where to look.

With a little time and research you can find bargain deals, coupons, freebies. Here are six easy ways to leverage social media to save money on almost anything!

Follow Brands You Love

By following the brands you adore on social media you can get real time information about upcoming sales, coupons or giveaways that may or may not be listed

Follow Daily Deals Sites

Daily deals sites offer some incredible ‘limited time only’ discounts on select items and experiences.  Connect with daily deal sites such as Woot, Groupon, and  Living Social on Twitter and Facebook or via their apps. rather than signing up for email which can clutter your inbox. There are also apps on iOS and Android like Beep’nGo and Retail Me Not which notify you of deals in your proximity.

Use Hashtags

Hashtags are not just for #ThrowbackThursday or #WashWednesday, they can also be use to find deals and coupons. Although, Twitter and Instagram are the best platform to search for savings by hashtag, you may find success on Facebook as well. Use the search button and insert keywords like, #Coupon #Deals #Sale #Clearance and you will yield hundreds of items to choose from. To narrow down your search for a specific item such as boots, you would type in #Boots #Sale into the search box. Additionally using seasonal hashtags like #LaborDay #ColumbusDay #BlackFriday #CyberMonday will retrieve posts from retailers who are having sales during the holidays.

Find Freebies

Just like daily deal sites, there are plenty of freebie sites with an active social media presence. To get started, check out these four @GimmieFreebies @Freebies4Mom @heyitsfree @icravefreebies to see what great freebies you can receive.

Connect with Community Managers

A majority of major brands have community managers whose job it is to ensure that their customers on social media are happy.  Use these digital customer service agents to your advantage by starting a conversation with them on Facebook or Twitter about your pleasure or displeasure about a product or service. Don’t forget to ask them about current or future promotions or sales.

Let Others Do the Work for You

If you are short on time, seek out social profiles that curate and aggregate deals.

Follow Twitter accounts such as @RetailMeNot, @Coupons, @KrazyCouponLady and @MoneySavingMom. You can check into these feeds daily to learn about coupons, freebies, and samples you can redeem online or in-store.

Lastly, while you can save money while using social media, it can also leave you vulnerable to identity theft and fraud. Before you buy or sign up for programs, do your research on the service provider or retailer. Check their reviews on websites like Yelp, Angie’s List  and the Better Business Bureau.

If you see negative ratings or no data on the company be wary of purchasing from them.  Keep in mind, when using social platforms, make sure your privacy settings assure that you control who sees your personal information. Also check the settings on your tablet and smartphones to ensure your physical location is only revealed when you want it to be.

Keep Your Cash!: The Best Coupon Sites For Moms

August 6th, 2015 - By Rich
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Lets face it, kids are expensive and whether you have one child or five, finding ways to save money can always help out. Online coupons can become a parents best friend if you know where to find the ones that actually work. The world of online couponing is so vast and can become overwhelming for some. There are two types of “Online Coupons”: “Code-Based Coupons” and “Link-Based Coupons.” Code-based coupons are where the consumer enters the coupon code at checkout to redeem the coupon and link-based coupons are where the consumer clicks through to the retailer using the link and the discount is applied at checkout. Check out these best coupon sites for parents…
With over 170,00 coupons and deals, CouponCabin helps you save at all the stores you love – and at the stores you didn’t know you could. For over ten years, they’ve been working with their merchant partners and scouring the web to create a true one-stop shop for savings. Whether you’re looking for an online coupon code, a printable coupon, a grocery coupon or a free sample, they have it.
What started out as two eager young women shouting deals from their home computers has grown into a national phenomenon. Heather and Joanie have appeared on the Today Show, The Early Show, TLC, The Nate Berkus Show, and Fox & Friends. The two friends now run a highly successful company of people who work tirelessly to uncover the best deals in every category so that families everywhere can afford to live well.  They continue to live by the mantra that “You’d be krazy not to be one of us!”
Hip 2 Save is run by Collin Morgan, who started the site when her first kid was born. Hip 2 Save offers loads of money-saving tips, online freebies and deals, in-store bargains. You can sign up for the free Hip 2 Save app for iPhones, Android and Kindle devices. In addition to bringing you all the latest deals, coupons and freebies, the Hip2Save app offers lots of extras like a budgeting tool, weekly contest, store coupon policies at your finger tips, restaurant deals tab and more.
Heather Schisler is the founder of The wife and mother of two loves saving money and is passionate about teaching others to do the same. She says on her site “I’m a firm believer that Saving Money is about more than using coupons. Yes, I often claim a few extreme couponing tendencies but for me saving money is about being in control of my money and being able to afford not just what my family needs but a few of those things we want as well. I love saving money on everything from Toothpaste to Designer Jeans so I hope to find and post something for everyone regardless of where you are on your money saving journey!”
Keri Lyn is the founder of and says she is a quirky artist chic who loves to shop, save and share ideas. The full-time wife and mommy says  “I can hardly stand to pay full price for anything, however, I am also a brand loyalist, and will take quality over quantity any day of the week. I think that consumers should be informed and involved and that you have every right to get the best bang for your buck. I also believe in playing fair and playing by the rules. That is what makes life fun! I believe in recycling, using what you can, and donating what you can’t use to those in need.”
RetailMeNot is a marketplace platform that helps retailers and brands connect with millions of active shoppers anytime, anywhere to drive engagement and sales. With more than 600,000 coupons and offers for 70,000 retailers, they operate the world’s largest marketplace for digital offers.





Not So Happy Prime Day: Amazon’s Biggest Deal Day Disappoints Shoppers

July 15th, 2015 - By Chelcee Johns
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Today is the day! Amazon’s 20th birthday celebration, “Prime Day,” is here, but by the looks of Twitter where #PrimeDay is currently trending customers are not too thrilled.

Last week, Amazon prepared shoppers with details of the day, a celebration of the company’s anniversary. Amazon’s plan to create a sale day to rival that of Black Friday apparently does not have the magic of the coveted post-Thanksgiving shopping day. The biggest blunder? The selection of products on sale do not consist of the shiny large flat screens or instant one-cup coffee makers. Instead options range from Tupperware to supplements.

Amazon’s preview of deals had many in hopes of finding great products, but when shoppers logged on they received a different reality.

And Twitter is letting Amazon know just how they feel.

The birthday sale is open exclusively to Amazon Prime members, with hopes more will join. But it doesn’t look like the sales will entice new members for Prime Day alone.

Amazon’s Prime Day is halfway through it’s 24-hour sale with many hoping better deals will be released as the hours continue.

Have you tried out Prime Day?

Ride Along: Shop 15 Affordable Car Seats From Walmart

June 3rd, 2015 - By Rich
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Baby wants to ride along too! If you’re planning for baby on a budget, no worries, we’ve rounded up an affordable list of safe car seats from Walmart. The following car seats that we have selected have all been reviewed by other parents, be sure to read what other couples are saying about these car seats. Click continue and shop!

Ride Along: Shop 15 Affordable Car Seats From Walmart

Main image, Walmart

Google Gets Into The Fashion Game By Providing Useful Trending Data

April 27th, 2015 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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The Best Time Of Year To Buy Anything

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With social media sites playing a larger role in influencing fashion trends, Google’s fashion and luxury teams are working with major brands and retailers to influence fashion trends. Brands like Calvin Klein will incorporate Google’s fashion planning and forecasting in order to determine what’s hot and what’s not. And companies that fall under “fast fashion,” such as H&M or Forever 21, will be able to research how a trend is gaining momentum and mass produce an item for a cheaper price.

Lisa Green, who heads Google’s fashion planning and forecasting, thinks her team serve as “powerful digital consultants for our brands, not just somebody they can talk to about what ads they can buy online. They can say, ‘Google has identified this as a trend, and we have six weeks to get this out on the racks.’ ”

Google Shopping is able to track how consumers are responding to the latest designs or fashion trends by gathering information as people search, compare prices  and shop online. Trevor Davis, a consumer product expert at IBM, says this data in valuable to fashion brands and retailers. “People tend to make trend predictions based on a very limited number of observations, and that’s very hit and miss. The ability to detect trends very early on before they really become noticeable, and to follow them, is invaluable,” he said.

A separate but equally important factor is whether a celebrity wore or promoted the item on their social media platforms. When the Kardashian sisters dutifully wearing their waist trainers while they work out, the corset-like shapers are in full demand,. They can range in price from $20 to hundreds of dollars. Also, sales for jumpsuits have increased, after Solange Knowles-Ferguson wore a white jumpsuit to marry her husband Alan Ferguson last November.

Google’s fashion trends data has helped Southern and Western cities not known for fashion trends to take a place on the map. The owners of the Tulle Skirt Shop in Utah have seen a tremendous growth in their sales as tulle skirts gain popularity. Co-owner Sherene McClellan believes the trend comes from rural Utah women shifting from sultry looks to more feminine, romantic clothing.

While much of the focus here has been on the big names, small labels and boutiques also see the benefits of Google’s fashion activity. Technology helps even the small guy gain recognition for particular styles and compete in a larger fashion market.

via The New York Times 

Macy’s Among The 10 Retailers Shutting The Most Stores

March 19th, 2015 - By Ann Brown
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Stuart Monk /

Stuart Monk /

Some major retailers are struggling big time. Not only are they still recovering from the economic crisis, but they are facing tough competition from e-commerce as more and more shoppers go online. Even though total U.S. retail sales grew 3.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014 compared to the same quarter in 2013, e-commerce sales grew a whopping 14.6 percent in the fourth quarter.

According to the Department of Commerce, there was a decrease in department store sales from an average of $14.3 billion a month in 2013 to $14 billion per month in 2014, which amounted to a decline of 2.1 percent. But sales by non-store retailers, such as via mail order and e-commerce, saw an increase from a monthly average of $37.3 billion in 2013 to $39.9 billion in 2014, a boost of 6.9 percent for the same period.

All this adds up to store closures at various major retailers.

But some of the names of retailers closing the most stores may come as a shock to many. Macy’s, for example, according to a 24/7 Wall St. analysis is one of the three major department stores decreasing their outlets. They announced earlier this year it would close 14 stores as part of a restructuring plan to increase online sales. The closures involve fewer than two percent of the chain’s 830 stores, but more than 1,300 people will lose their jobs when this happens in spring. Macy’s will, however, open three other locations.

And Family Dollar Stores, which was acquired by Dollar Tree, is closing as many as 500 Family Dollar outlets. Dollar Tree is the No. 1 dollar store chain in North America. When all is done, Dollar Tree will have more than 13,000 stores with almost $19 billion in sales and more than $2 billion in earnings.

Another of the top 10 retailers closing the most stores is Staples. The retail chain said it would close 225 underperforming stores in North America by mid-2015. Staples can’t compete with larger retailers such as Wal-Mart and, both of whom offer office supplies. Even more stores will close if the merger of Staples and Office Depot goes through.

“One retail analyst estimates a merger would result in more than 1,000 store closings, especially since most Office Depot stores are located just down the street from a Staples,” reports The Huffington Post.

While Staples recognized the trend to online shopping and tried to develop its online sales, the company actually saw a drop of  5.9 percent in its fiscal 2014.

Also on the list of top closings are: JC Penney, Abercrombie & Fitch, Radio Shack, Aeropostale, Barnes & Noble, Office Depot, and Sears.

Obviously, the retail industry is changing — even faster than some predicted.

New Year’s Eve Look: The Right Clutch

December 25th, 2014 - By Rich
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Finalizing your outfit with the perfect clutch shouldn’t be overlooked! Here, we help you ditch those boring totes and oversized bags for fancy clutches. The right clutch will make it easier for you to only carry what you need and decreases the chances of you schlepping the unnecessary things that you don’t to the party. After all do you really need to bring your entire make-up kit with you? Keeping it light means: carrying lipstick (to re-apply) your wallet and cellphone. Shop for clutches when you click continue!

New Year’s Eve Look: The Right Clutch

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Layer Up: 15 Stylish Puffer Vests

December 3rd, 2014 - By Rich
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The official first day of winter isn’t here just yet. We still have time to play with layers and wear our favorite autumn pieces. Puffer Vests have been trending all season! They are perfect to wear over heavy sweaters and sweatshirts. You can even wear them under your winter coats once the season arrives. Lucky for you, we’ve selected a variety of puffer vests to make your online shopping easier. Click continue to browse.

Layer Up: 15 Stylish Puffer Vests

“Spend With A Purpose”: My Culture Hub Is An Outlet For Authentic Ethnic Online Shopping

December 3rd, 2014 - By Rana Campbell
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With an estimated buying power of $1.3 trillion by the year 2017, how and where African Americans spend their money will become increasingly important to business and to the Black community. One Minority Development Business Agency report showed that though the amount of minority-owned businesses are increasing, “they are still smaller in size and scale compared to non-minority-owned firms.” Supporting minority-owned businesses will be crucial to the growth and development of the minority economy in coming years.

De J Lozada is the founder of My Culture Hub, a minority-owned online retailer for online shoppers seeking to buy quality merchandise from ethnic vendors worldwide. De J built the company around her mission of tapping into the spending power of the African, Latino, and Asian-American community by providing e-consumers with a shopping destination that celebrates their heritage and reflects their culture.

Check out her interview below to learn more about why “spending with a purpose” is so important to the mission of the organization.

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MadameNoire (MN): What inspired you to start My Culture Hub?
De J Lozada (DL): I was trying to find a doll for a young niece that looked like her. What followed was five stores and a couple of frustrating conversations with store managers all telling me, “Yeah, we had two or three and when they are gone it’s hard to get them in stock.. If you call and complain maybe they’ll send more. Go online…” That whole experience made me feel like my cultural needs were an after-thought. The concept of conscientious buying came to mind. I said I don’t want to shop in stores that take me for granted.

MN: Why are “authentic” ethnic items so hard to find offline and online?
DL: In the past,  if you want something that is authentically made, you had to do destination shopping. You can easily go to eBay or Amazon and get a “Chilean” blanket, but when you receive it, it’s stamped “made in China.” We can and should do better. ​It takes people three to four times as many searches to identify websites that sell authentic items geared towards ethnic communities than it takes to locate similar items that are geared towards mainstream shoppers who are looking for items that appeal to those with European heritages. For example, Irish lace made in Ireland is easier to find versus Kente cloth made in Ghana. ​

MN: How does My Culture Hub work?
DL: Our goal is to develop an online web portal that speaks to ethnic identities and provides quality unique merchandise at an affordable price. We don’t just sell merchandise. We tell stories. People who care enough to create ethnic items are people who care enough to tell the history and legacy that comes with the item. You can go on our site and learn how cloth is woven back in Africa. You may then pick up a baby doll for someone on our site that is dressed in that same cloth.

We include information about who and how the product is made. You won’t get items on our site stamped “made in China.” The item becomes an heirloom and something you can use to reinforce your culture with your family and friends. We are seeking a conscientious shopper — that middle, upper class, or person who may not have the means but understands the value of saving up to purchase what you want. Some people think our items are too expensive. I say to my staff, “Remind them: That which is cheap is most expensive in the long run.”

MN: How is the internet helping you to reach your customer and carry out the mission of the site?
DL: The internet is the great equalizer. If you live in a community that doesn’t readily have the product you are looking for, you have to turn to the internet. There’s a great growth opportunity there. Blacks and Latinos are the new emerging markets in online shopping. What are we buying? Where is the thoughtfulness behind what we buy? Is it that we only desire the cheapest product and don’t care about quality? I reject that. There are plenty of people of color who make decent livings, are educated, and are thoughtful in their purchases that would like to have items in their homes that reflect who they are and celebrates their identity.

mchMN: What makes My Culture Hub so different?
DL: The untapped market is the ethnic market. While everybody is chasing that traditional customer, we’re very content to spend our time in ethnic communities who are just really starting to realize their spending power and deciding purposely to shop online and not in the stores that are just around them. Online shopping opens the world. How do you know where to find what you are looking for? That’s the beauty of our model. We’ll do that for you. We’ll find products that are representations of what destination shopping should be instead of going to Kenya or Mali to find that special item for your home.

We are operating a cooperation that is 100 percent self-funded by people of color. It takes a lot of money and time. The thing that has sustained us is talent. There are very few sites that who actually reflect the cultures that they represent. The majority of my leadership team is comprised of people of color. It’s important to have people making decisions about what we buy based on sound practices and personal experiences being people of color.

MN: What challenges have you faced while building My Culture Hub?
DL: TD Jakes has a quote that I use often: “ You should never try to share a giraffe decision with turtles. They will never be able to see what you see.” We [constantly] have to explain, “Other sites lack the sensitivity. You can go to sites and not see a Black model or obviously Hispanic model anywhere. You go to sites and women are all size 0 or 2. That’s not a reality in communities of color.” No one is really speaking to the truth of the African-American community at large. People tell us they don’t think it will work. People won’t buy on your site. They won’t support something that is Black-owned. We’ve heard it all. We’re doing it anyway.

MN: Why are minority-owned companies so important?
DL: There is nothing wrong (and everything right) about also supporting your own community interests. We need to be focused on growing Black wealth in the United States. With money comes freedom. It’s not always okay to have to ask someone else for permission to do what needs to be done in the best interests of your family. When you have wealth, you have the power and the freedom to do some of the things that we all know we need to do to strengthen our standing in society on a socioeconomic value. We need banks that lend to African Americans and Latinos and not be limited by somebody’s else’s possibility bias for our success. African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans in 2017 will have $4.5 trillion worth of spending power in the United States. We’re spending that money. We’re not investing. It’s very important that while we spend, we spend with a purpose.

As people of color get more education and become more aware of the world and what their place in it is, there will be a demand in  higher quality merchandise that is fair trade [and] ethically made. We have the ability to pick what we buy. Because we are sensitive to us, nobody has to come in to train us, we don’t have to hire a group of people to come in and run an “ethnic division.”  We are the ethnic division.

MN: What are your future plans for the site?
DL: In addition to having our mainstream board which has some amazing people on it, we also will have a junior board where we have young people (18 and younger) making decisions. We are going to groom those students to be the next leaders in business for our future. Learning how to fail is part of learning how to be successful. It’s really unfortunate in minority population communities that our kids don’t get that opportunity to learn how to fail. We have a low tolerance for risk because we don’t have a safety net.

MN: How will you measure your “success?”
DL: Our success will be measured by how much an impact we can make on our communities and our students. Of course we want to make money. Our biggest goal is to be an example of what can be accomplished when we work together as a community. We’re always thinking about how we can give back as we grow at the same time. It’s part of our vision that we have to support education, student entrepreneurship, and commercialization. When people come and shop on our site, they know that they are reinvesting in their own communities. Where else can you do that?

Rana Campbell is a freelance writer and personal branding strategist. Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin or visit