What Goes Around Goes Around And Around

Originally Posted on "Bayside and Beyond" on July 1, 2007

A stand-up comic's joke (toned down here for general audiences) seems to relate to a recent Internet experience I had. The comedian said, "what does it say in the dictionary for the word dictionary?" She paused and answered, "jerk!" I suppose under jerk it says to look in the mirror.

Now about a little on-line shopping experience --- yep, it's a shopping experience that got me started --- the Web has amazingly simplified the task of getting a replacement part needed to repair a home appliance, be that part a dial, a bracket, a grommet, what have you.

Basically what you do is go to the retailer's or manufacturer's site. Poke around until getting to a page where the model number can be entered. On a blueprint-like blow-up click on the part's graphic thus placing it in your virtual cart. Proceed to check-out.

But then whoa. Wait a minute. Hold on. I'm staring at the digital invoice which is about to be finalized by me entering payment information. Right below the relatively outlandish price for the specific plastic part, I see a space to enter a PROMOTIONAL CODE.

I get the feeling I'm missing out on something. I don't have one. But there's a space for one. Therefore one must exist. How do I get one? I could, like a computer hacker, type in AAAAAA through ZZZZZZ until the right combination is accepted. This didn't work. Should I try mixed case? How about numbers? Or I could try guessing by entering an ingeniously thought out expression like savebig or younosucker. Then the brain cells really get to thinking: google the retailer's name and "promotional code" or "coupon codes."

Bingo. This Internet thing really works. There are plenty of hits to choose from. A good one turns out to be RetailMeNot.com. BTW, this isn't a commercial endorsement. The first code I try works and saves me a few bucks.

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