Beating the System With Savings

5 Apr

Photo by André Mouraux via Flickr

Photo by André Mouraux via Flickr


For nearly three years, I’ve coveted a beautiful spiraled walnut floor lamp with linen shade at Pier1 Imports. I purchased the matching table lamp last year after waiting — and waiting — for a price drop that never came. I practiced unusual restraint and self-control with these lamps because I really, really didn’t want to pay full price. And though persistence usually pays off in these situations, mine completely backfired.

The price increased.

I was appalled. Though I was able to purchase the table lamp before the price increase, the floor lamp jumped from $165 to $200 in the course of 24 hours. At that point, I resigned myself to the reality that beautiful-floor-lamp ownership was out of the question. The original cost was pretty nuts, but a nearly 20-percent increase in price without explanation is total lunacy.

For my birthday last week, my mom presented me with a unique opportunity to buy the lamp and avoid paying full price for it. The kicker? She didn’t have to pay full price, either. My gift from her was a Pier1 merchandise credit purchased at a discount from She paid $165 for the card, but its total value was just over $200. It was her first experience using the popular site and she was pleased the card arrived so quickly, especially since she didn’t have to pay for shipping.

I’ll admit the “merchandise credit” part made me a bit apprehensive; After all, it seems weird and almost black market-ish to purchase someone else’s unused store credit. At checkout, I handed over the card and half-cringed as the cashier swiped it through the machine. The pessimist within snickered, “This will never work. It’s too good of a deal, and you know what they say about things that are too good to be true.”

Negativity be damned – the card worked. I only had to pay tax and, within a few minutes, I exited Pier1 with the knowledge I’d just saved 20 percent without waiting for a sale or opting for damaged goods. I beat the system, and that was the best gift of all.

3 Responses to “Beating the System With Savings”

  1. Careful Cents May 9, 2012 at 6:12 pm #

    This is so cool! Such an awesome and ingenious story. I used to do something similar to this, when buying gift cards off eBay for a discounted price then using them in store. Sadly now, you can’t get as good of deal on eBay anymore. But I’ll definitely be checking out GiftCardGranny. Thanks for sharing 🙂 and it’s great you found a way around that crazy price increase.

    • Kendal May 9, 2012 at 6:19 pm #

      Hi Carrie! Thanks so much for visiting my site. I think discount gift cards are a genius way to save money. Gift Card Granny features gift cards available from eBay but I choose to exclude those cards from my search results because I know I can’t get as good a deal. Thanks again for your comment!

  2. Dianne Blake July 11, 2012 at 7:16 am #

    Such a great idea! Can’t wait to try it and share with my much younger friends. THANKS!!!