Save 10% or more on almost anything: I don’t know why I didn’t think of this years ago, but I just kind of stumbled on the idea.
They just announced the Seacoast Half Marathon for November and I started looking at different options for accommodations for the weekend of the race. Last year a friend stayed in a super-phat suite at Wentworth By The Sea and I got to thinking it would be a cool way to make a nice weekend out of it.
Until I saw that rates for a standard room are $250 and up.
So I started playing around on the Interweb and found a whole mess of eBay listings for Marriott Gift cards at reduced rates. Generally speaking it looks like you can get a $100 gift certificate for roughly $89, but there also seem to be deals on 2-for-1 nights and property-specific packages. I’m still thinking Wentworth is out of my price range (last year I drove up on the morning of and home via Haverhill in the afternoon and was none the worse for wear), and I’d imagine if you were going to do it, you’d have to check the restrictions, expiration dates and trustworthiness of the person selling the gift certificate.
Then I started checking other merchants I use on a regular basis, and found that in almost every instance you can buy cut-rate gift cards. The savings aren’t always huge (auctions on the verge of ending seemed to average in the 10-15% savings range) and, in some cases, may not be worth the effort, but it’s probably worth checking before making a major purchase.