Sunday, March 30, 2014

Consumer Reports: Great online ways to save on shopping

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The team at ShopSmart, the shopping magazine from the publisher of Consumer Reports, regularly sweeps the Web for the latest and greatest shopping sites and apps. Each site meets ShopSmart's requirements for privacy, contact-info disclosure and service. Best for automatic rewards for shopping. The search engine's new rewards program gives you points for doing Web searches at the site and trying new features. Subscribe to get started, then redeem your points for Redbox rentals, earn money for charities and get gift cards to use at, Starbucks and other major retailers. Don't Miss: The Refer a Friend program lets you earn rewards for recruiting others. Best for coupons and cash back. As if saving money weren't great enough, this site helps you make money, too. Head here to find a Deal News code before you complete your next online order. And be sure to sign in before checking out at participating sites; you'll earn cash back for anything you buy. Don't Miss: The Coupon Cactus Exclusives section offers special codes. Best for protecting your personal info. Liking your favorite brands on Facebook is a great way to see what's new and get special offers. But the trade-off is that you might be granting access to your personal info. This browser add-on reveals everyone you've given permission to raid your data, alerts you in real time when anyone tries to view it and makes it easy to revoke the privilege. Don't Miss: The free app for Android and Apple. Best for tracking all of your purchases. Register the email address you use for online purchases and it keeps a record of every transaction, stores your receipts and alerts you if you're eligible for a price reduction or refund. Want to know when that package of goodies will arrive? It tells you that, too. Don't Miss: Slice & Dice charts your spending categories. You might be surprised to learn what percentage of your cash is spent on shoes, for example!

The best shopping apps include:

Bondsy: Get rid of your unwanted stuff easily; no visits from creepy strangers required. This app helps you sell to or trade with your friends and friends of friends. Works on Apple.

CheckPoints: Scan grocery product bar codes, play games and watch videos to earn points. Then redeem them for gift cards, frequent-flyer miles, Facebook game credits, gadgets or charitable donations. Works on Android and Apple.

EcoBonus: Earn rewards for buying with the environment in mind. Scan your receipts and enter product codes for wholesome brands such as Annie's Homegrown and Seventh Generation, then redeem points for stuff or donate them to charity. Works on Android and Apple.

Goodzer: No more running from store to store in search of just the right necklace to complement your date-night outfit. Instead, just type what you're looking for into this app and it searches mom-and-pop stores and chain stores to show you ones that have it nearby and how much they're charging. Works on Apple.

Pounce: See a must-have product advertised in a circular or catalog? Just snap a photo of it and this new tool lets you "pounce" on the item - that is, buy it via the app, directly from the retailer. It currently works for Ace Hardware, Babies R Us, Staples, Target and Toys R Us; look for more retailers to be added. Works on Apple.

By the Editors of Consumer Reports (

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Jackson Hewitt Tax Service® and GetInsured® Partner with the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange to Enroll Families in Affordable Care Act (ACA) Coverage Programs

PARSIPPANY, N.J., March 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --With the March 31 deadline to sign up for health insurance for 2014 just around the corner, the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange (NMHIX) is partnering with Jackson Hewitt Tax Service® and GetInsured ® to help residents get enrolled. Jackson Hewitt ® provides free assistance to paid tax preparation customers who want to apply for Medicaid, CHIP, or the tax credits available under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through the Exchange. GetInsured ® provides premium plan selection advice so that consumers can get the best plan for them and their families. As part of this new partnership, New Mexico residents will receive discounted tax preparation and free application assistance from Jackson Hewitt ® and GetInsured ®.

"NMHIX is glad to offer this additional service to New Mexicans in partnership with Jackson Hewitt and GetInsured," said Debra Hammer, Chief Communications Officer for NMHIX. "We are distributing the coupons made available from Jackson Hewitt to all of our community partners, health care guides and agents around the state as well as on our website to make them readily available for those who are looking to get their taxes done and to enroll in health coverage for 2014."

"Our goal is to help uninsured individuals to avoid the tax penalty next year," said Brian Haile, senior vice president, health care policy, Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc. "We can help customers finish the application for the new ACA programs in just five or six minutes after we do their taxes. In fact, most of our customers can sign up for the new ACA Program without touching a keyboard or even paying for a stamp."

"The tax filing moment is an ideal time for consumers to apply for coverage because they have all of the information that they need - and they are about to get their tax refund, which they can use to pay initial premiums," said Chini Krishnan, CEO and Co-Founder of GetInsured. "GetInsured leverages a customer's tax information to streamline the online application for customers who are eligible for the premium tax credits - and we help them pick the ideal plan that meets their family's needs."

For more information, or to find the nearest office visit or call 1-800-234-1040. Call 1-855-99-NMHIX to find information on this program or go to to download the tax discount coupon.

About the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange
New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange (NMHIX) was created to help individuals and small businesses get access to affordable health insurance plans. NMHIX helps consumers compare health insurance plans and choose the plan that works best for their health needs and budget. NMHIX also helps individuals determine whether they are eligible for premium assistance and if so, at what level. Through SHOP, small businesses are able to purchase competitively priced health insurance plans and offer their employees the ability to choose from an array of plans. Health Care Guides and brokers/agents are available throughout the state to help with signing up for NMHIX coverage.

For more information on New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange, please visit, or text BeWellNM to 311411.

This media alert is supported by Funding Opportunity Number IE-HBE-12-001 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The contents provided are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of HHS or any of its agencies.

About Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc.
Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc. is the #2 provider of full service paid federal and state tax preparation and related financial service products delivered through approximately 6,400 franchised and company-owned locations throughout the United States and Puerto Rico, including locations in Walmart and sears coupons stores across the United States. Jackson Hewitt Tax Servicealso offers an online tax preparation product at For more information, or to locate your neighborhood Jackson Hewitt office, visit or call 1-800-234-1040. Jackson Hewitt can also be found on Facebook and Twitter. is the leading online health insurance marketplace, combining modern technology and customer service capabilities to make health insurance shopping easy and efficient. Since its founding in 2005, has helped millions of individuals and families find the right health insurance plan for their needs and budget - offering over 12,000 health insurance plans with over 100 of the nation's leading insurance carriers. also provides state governments with technology solutions for the enablement of state-based health insurance exchanges, including health insurance exchange contracts in California and New Mexico.

SOURCE Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc.

Published March 21, 2014 – Reads 195
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Monday, March 24, 2014

West Springfield, Longmeadow, MGM To Serve Up 'Last And Best Offers' On Casino Impact Cash

The inauguration of West Springfield Mayor Ed Sullivan took place in the West Springfield High auditorium.
(Photo Credit: Don Treeger for The Republican)

by: Sam Hudzik

The outcome of negotiations between MGM and a pair of communities surrounding Springfield will soon be in the hands of an arbitrator. Longmeadow and West Springfield were unable to reach deals with the casino company.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission wanted casino applicants to make nice with their neighbors, and pay-up to offset the expected costs of a casino, like for traffic and public safety.

MGM, which wants to set up shop in downtown Springfield, did make deals with a half-dozen communities. But they got nowhere with Longmeadow or West Springfield.

An independent arbitrator must be picked to settle the score. And this week, West Springfield Mayor Ed Sullivan says, the city will have to come up with "our last and Discount."

"We did have a few meetings," Sullivan says. "We thought they were productive. However, we thought at some point - which is the end of the process - we had to agree to disagree."

The arbitrator has until mid-April to issue a final ruling.

This whole casino application process is scheduled to wrap-up by the end of April when the gaming commission awards the single resort casino license reserved for western Massachusetts. MGM is the only remaining applicant.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sonic Notify Uses Phones to Bug Fans Who Buy Cheap Seats

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Photograph by Jeff Chiu/AP Photo

Some fans who bought nosebleed-seat tickets to see the Golden State Warriors received a friendly suggestion from their phones when they stepped off the escalators at Oracle Arena: Wouldn't they like to spend a few extra bucks for a seat where they could actually distinguish Stephen Curry from Andrew Bogut?

Sneaking into better seats is a time-honored tradition among sports fans, but in recent years, teams have started using mobile apps to persuade attendees to pay more instead. Pro baseball teams began selling seat upgrades through smartphones last season, and the Warriors have been doing the same. The idea is to boost demand by capitalizing on another tech craze working its way through professional sports: the use of cheap sensors to track people's exact location within the stadium. The Warriors are the first in the NBA to roll out iBeacons, sensors that use low-energy Bluetooth signals to communicate with any phone that has the team's app installed.

Get used to this idea. Since included the technology in an update to its mobile operating system last year, iBeacons have created a true fervor among companies wanting to sell you stuff. The Apple Store, , and several grocery store chains have been experimenting with them. Next to retailers, sports teams seem to be the most excited. The NFL tested out the beacons during the Super Bowl in February, and 20 Major League Baseball stadiums are adding them this ye ar.

Sonic Notify, the company that installed several dozen 2-by-2-inch beacons in Oracle Arena, says sports franchises are the ideal businesses to use this kind of technology. Stores have to worry about annoying their shoppers, says Aaron Mittman, the company's chief executive officer, while sports fans are more open to experimenting. "You're not going to get mad at the Golden State Warriors and go to some other arena instead," he says.

Perhaps. But it does seem that sports teams peddling ambitious mobile apps are getting ahead of their fans. The National Football League ran a test to see how people were using stadium Wi-Fi networks last season and found that they were pretty much just uploading photos to .

What's more, most Golden State fans are unlikely to get the team's notifications for now. Sonic Notify estimates that fewer than 30 percent of people who have phones equipped with Bluetooth Low Energy keep the feature turned on regularly. Only about 30 percent of U.S. smartphones have it at all, according to a recent study by , although the firm says about 80 percent of phones will have it within the next 18 months as people upgrade their devices.

Even then, the Warriors will still have to persuade people to download the team's app. There's also a significant nontechnical barrier: The team just doesn't have that many tickets to offer. Kevin Cote, senior director of the Warriors' digital efforts, says the team rarely has more than 50 extra tickets available per game, because its arena sells out pretty much every night. Right now, Golden State generally sells about half of the seat upgrades it pushes through its app. Extending the offer at just the right moment may help the organization sell more, but if the Warriors succeed in increasing demand for upgrades, there will inevitably be fans who try to get better seats only to find them taken. And that's just mean.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Great Deal: Amazon Now Offering Xbox One Titanfall Bundle For $449 With Free Shipping

Yesterday we reported that Walmart is now offering Xbox One Titanfall bundle for $449, a $50 off from the original price of $499. Now, the largest online retailer Promo Codes is now offering the same deal of selling Xbox One Titanfall bundle for $449 and it includes free shipping as well. This bundle includes: The Xbox One Console, the Xbox One Wireless Controller, the Xbox One Kinect Sensor, the Xbox One Headset, a one month Xbox Live token card, and a Titanfall full game token code Titanfall requires an internet connection and Xbox Live Gold Membership to play. The console is driven by a powerful combination of CPU,....

Read more at Microsoft News

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Deal: GameStop has Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate for $20

GameStop is offering Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate for the low price of $20.

If you haven't jumped on the monster-slaying bandwagon that is Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate yet, then GameStop is the next place you're going to want to go. They're currently offering the Wii U version of the game for $19.99, but if you're a PowerUp rewards card member, you'll be able to pick it up for $17. I checked online with various other retailers like Promotional Codes and Best Buy and it seems this is the best deal on the game so far. Amazon is currently sold out and the Best Buy list price is still $40.

Crafting armor from the monsters you've slain has never been so cheap, since the last deal Capcom themselves offered on the game was $25 for a digital copy.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Muriel Siebert's Brokerage Said to Seek Buyers After Her Death

Siebert Financial Corp., whose late founder Muriel Siebert was the first woman to buy a seat on the New York Stock Exchange, is exploring a sale, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The brokerage is working with Raymond James Financial Inc. to seek a buyer and could fetch more than $50 million in a sale, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is not public. Siebert Financial's shares closed at $2.04 yesterday, giving it a market value of $45 million.

The company is too small to appeal to private equity and could draw interest from larger Coupon Codes brokerages such as E*Trade Financial Corp., TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. and Scottrade Inc., two of the people said.

Known as Mickie, Siebert broke into the all-male membership of the exchange by paying $445,000 for a seat in 1967 after a career as a financial analyst. She died of complications from cancer in August at age 84. She started Muriel Siebert & Co., in 1969 and retooled it as a discount brokerage in 1975 as Wall Street adopted negotiated commissions rather than fixed ones.

At her funeral, she was remembered for her devotion to her dog, Monster Girl, and love of fast cars. She got her start on Wall Street as research analyst with Bache & Co. Siebert was also the first female superintendent of banks for New York State, and in 1982 unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate.

Siebert Financial "has been exploring opportunities to grow and enhance the firm's offerings, including through strategic alliances, since the death of our founder," according to an e-mailed statement from spokesman Tom Butler. "The board of directors will explore any options that enhance our competitive position and expand our product offering."

Billionaire Status

Siebert Financial, which went public in 1996, has 35,000 client retail accounts containing $7.2 billion in assets, according to today's statement. The brokerage offered clients the option to trade online, and for two brief periods in 1999, as Internet-related stocks soared, her ownership stake briefly made her a billionaire. Within months, some $700 million of that disappeared.

Spokesmen for Raymond James and E*Trade declined to comment on the sale. Representatives for TD Ameritrade and Scottrade didn't reply to phone calls seeking comment.

Siebert Financial's third-quarter loss widened to $1.6 million from $912,000 a year earlier, according to regulatory filings. Siebert held 90 percent of the company's stock as of April 2013, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The company is starting an investment management venture with Palladiem Partners LLC and Brinker Capital next month, according to today's statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Matthew Monks in New York at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Mohammed Hadi at James Callan