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Many people feel like there is never enough money. After paying bills and necessary expenses, there is often times no money for education, savings or an emergency fund. A budget is a way of tracking what you spend, deciding what needs to be paid and figuring out where you can cut back. As soon as you begin your budget, you will soon be able to find out if your money is being spent on things you truly need or just on things that you want. There are many areas included within a budget that you can but back.

Housing If you are living in a home that is beyond your means, it is time for a change. Options may include refinancing, finding a less expensive place, or finding a roommate.

Utilities Utilities such as gas, electric and water are all necessary, but can be better managed. Other utilities that are elective such as cable, internet and phone can either be disconnected to switched to a less expensive service.

Transportation Make sure you are driving a vehicle you can afford, including the payment, insurance and gas. If the car is too expensive trade it in or sell it for something you can afford. Carpooling is even an often for many people

Food Eating out is not a necessity, but nice sometimes. Eating out less will cut a budget drastically. If you work, take your lunch. Shop grocery stores that offer specials and cut coupons to save money.

Clothing Everyone needs clothing but this does not mean you need the most expensive. There are many second-hand and thrift stores that provide clothing at marked down prices. Clothing can also be passed on from one child to the next.

Healthcare Costs of healthcare continue to rise, but can also be managed. When you are filling prescriptions, ask for generic drugs. Ask a doctor for a discount when you are paying in cash. Always review doctor and hospital bills for accuracy.

Insurance Whether buying car or health insurance, it is important to shop around to get the best possible rates. Ask the agent for all the discounts that you qualify for, including low mileage, multiple car and good driver.

Saving money can be achieved by creating and sticking to a budget. You are able to decide what money needs to be spent and where you can cut back.

May 13, 2010   No Comments

DollarDays now Ships to Canada Eh!

DollarDays is proud to announce that as of today, our friends to the North can now take part in the enormous savings that American wholesalers are able to get when purchasing from DollarDays.

We’re excited about expanding our reach to Canada, and believe this represents an amazing business opportunity for both DollarDays and Canadian businesses alike.

May 11, 2010   No Comments

School is ending, but not forever

School may be nearly out, but why not start thinking about the impending month of August when back-to-school is back-in-style?

Today and tomorrow only, DollarDays is offering $3 wholesale backpacks. So rush on over and make sure to stock up before the summer starts, so that you have the product when the summer ends.

May 11, 2010   No Comments

Charity and Press

Owning a small business and trying to grow and maintain your business can often be a daunting task. You have just a certain amount of dollars each month that you are able to spend on marketing and advertising. The key to successful small business ownership is keeping your business in the forefront of everyone’s minds.

There are several easy win-win suggestions to help you maintain profitability and contribute to the welfare of your community in the interim.

What are the not-for-profits in your area of influence could use a helping hand? Is there a food pantry that serves your local community? Contact them and offer to be a collection point for a particular month. Oftentimes, the local community newspapers will write editorials for the non-profit organizations, even full-length features, and this translates into free media exposure for your small business. This is an endeavor that could save you hundreds of dollars in advertising fees in exchange for your time and talents to benefit the needy in your midst.

This works extremely well for almost any small business type in just about any community. Whether you act on behalf of the local ASPCA to collect blankets, food, toys or dollars for the rescued animals or just collect clothing for the local chapter of the American Red Cross – most of these organizations will even recognize your small business on their own websites as well as the local media attention you will receive.

You can even sponsor a teddy bear drive for the local police force. Collect teddy bears from your customers to give to police officers to place in the trunk of their vehicles. The bears can be given to children who are involved in motor vehicle accidents to help lift their spirits during a traumatic event in their young lives until the situation is resolved. The police will be forever grateful for your contribution and again, another media event as you present the police force with your loving gifts.

Another small business consideration would be to adopt a local school team event or sport. For the investment of a small donation to purchase uniforms or t-shirts, your small business will benefit from the team’s exposure at school events and your business name will be reflected in the school’s programs. A very worthy and smart business investment with a return on investment that is priceless.

Aside from the free media exposure, your small business will be making a huge impact on the community and the community will respond to your business. This is called “Good Will” and it is invaluable to any business to continually provide good will through community efforts. The value-add to your business can never be measured in terms of building relationships and driving the integrity and values of your small business name.

Think outside the box, but give within the community and you will see your business benefit from it.

May 10, 2010   No Comments

Wholesale Week in Review – 1st Week of May

Need Help Meeting Exotic Needs? — April 27, 2010
stingray leather iphone coverEcommerce sites must do one thing well if they are to survive: set themselves apart from the multitude of sellers trying to market more or less the same stuff. Offering exclusive or exotic items in a targeted niche is one effective method of attracting customers and keep them coming back for more. The online wholesaler, YourNeedsCompany.com, is offering a new line of sting ray leather accessories including iPod cases. As sting ray leather was used historically in ancient Japanese armor, this exotic and durable leather might appeal especially to the men’s accessories demographic, though they do have sting ray leather wallets for men and women in their product line.

eBay Sellers: Is it Time to Start Your Own Website? — May 03, 2010
EBay has raised its seller fees, again. Some sellers have left eBay in favor of other venues or their own websites. It may be time to consider eBay as an avenue to attract new customers to a website or for the collection of email addresses to be used for newsletters and email marketing. One way is to direct buyers to your “About Me” by offering them a greater selection of items similar to the listed item. You can also include fliers with shipments advertising your website. It may not be possible to eliminate eBay from your selling activities yet; however, it may be time to pull back on your listing and consider those high fees as advertising expenses for your own website.

Social Media Marketing Accountability — May 3rd, 2010
According to WholesaleMatch.com, 48% of Americans older than 12 are part of some social media group; the addition of social media to your marketing plan is increasingly important. Social media campaigns can be a complex and time consuming endeavor. One solution for business owners is to hire a marketing firm to manage social media campaigns. This article highlights the steps you should take to measure the success of the marketing firm you hire.

Wholesale Inventories Sales in U.S. Rose in February — April 9 (Bloomberg)
Inventories of US Wholesalers rose in February 2010 for the 11th consecutive month. Companies are increasing their orders as sales increase to the highest level in a year – a sign that the economy continues to gain strength. The 0.06 gain in inventory values in February came as a surprise to analysts who expected a more modest gain. Inventories of non durable specifically goods rose .08% while sales of non-durable goods rose 1.4%. Inventories of durable goods increased .5%. Reports indicate that there will be an increase in production in the coming months to replenish depleted inventory stockpiles.

May 7, 2010   No Comments

DollarDays Banner Ads Featured on Retargeter

A few days ago DollarDays was featured on Retargeter blog for our stellar banner ads. Maybe you’ve seen them. They liked our ads’ clean look and use of white space, our concise messaging, and clear call to action.
Banner ad
For big and small businesses alike, these banner ads can be hugely effective. So, we thought it would be a good idea to hand off a few tips on how to put together a successful ad campaign.

  1. Clear, short messaging Writing ad copy is a bit like writing headlines. For the intelligent, creative writer, there is oftentimes the desire to put way more information in an ad than they should. For whatever reason, it might be better to say “Wholesale Pricing” than it is to say “Wholesale Pricing on more than 20,000 items”. But it also might not be. Which brings me to my second point…
  2. Test…test…test… Sometimes you’d be surprised what works and what doesn’t. Pretty banners can sometimes reduce clicks. Sometimes pretty banners increase clicks. Either way, you won’t know until you test your creative.
  3. Include a Call to Action For savvy marketers, this is obvious. But most of us are not savvy marketers. You might be surprised how much better an ad performs when you write the words “Save Today” or “Start Saving” or “Call xxx-xxxx for more information”. Make sure to include some sort of descriptive action in your ads.

May 5, 2010   No Comments

Breakin’ out the Florals

Floral Flip FlopsAs summertime rolls in and people start thinking about vacations and the beach, what better time is there than now to stock up on summer’s most desirable footwear?

These floral print sandals look great, are comfortable, popular and for today and tomorrow, they are heavily discounted. If flip flops sell well for you in the days before summer, consider getting your floral Flip Flops right here on DollarDays Today!

May 4, 2010   No Comments

Interview with the Nina Cullen Owner of NiNi Bambini

DollarDays Please us give an overview of what your business is.

Nina Cullen I own a maternal wellness center called, NiNi Bambini, in Bedford, NH. We offer support, information, education and products to women and families from pregnancy through preschool. I am the owner, but I also do a myriad of jobs from facilitating groups, teaching classes, overseeing daily operations, running a counseling practice within the center and running the vacuum cleaner at the end of the day. I have four part-time employees, and we have a customer data base of 1,500 clients, 700 of whom are on our monthly newsletter list.

DD Where did the idea for NiNi Bambini come from?

NC I was a childbirth educator and doula for many years; doulas are people who are trained to support women through childbirth. I saw many pregnant couples and new parents who were in need of support and education beyond what they were finding through their hospital, obstetricians and pediatricians. Often women worked, gave birth and then returned to work within eight weeks. Often women were physically far away from extended family, and although they knew people from their work life, they really knew no other mothers with young children. I saw a need for a place where women, children and families could come to learn to be better parents.

DD Where did you come up with the name ‘Nini Bambini’?

NC Originally I had a partner, a woman named, Nicole, who was going to open the center with me. We took the first two letters from our names and made NiNi (hence the two upper case N’s). Unfortunately, Nicole has small children and soon realized that this was not the right time in her life to open a business. I liked the name and it stuck.

DD What need or niche in the market do you fill?

NC There are four million babies born in the US each year, and despite the economy, people continue to reproduce. There is a constant stream of new customers and a virtually never-ending supply of new babies!

DD Based on what I’ve heard and seen on your Web site, your approach seems somewhat unique in that it has a holistic approach, dealing with the health of the mother and child, from pregnancy to birth to early childhood. Talk a little about that is important.

NC A woman traditionally sees an obstetrician for the nine months of her pregnancy, and then for a follow-up visit six weeks after birth. After that, they are on their own. We are removed from the concept of “it takes a village,” women often don’t even know their neighbors, yet they continue to need the support of a community to help them navigate the waters of pregnancy and early parenting.

DD Who are your competitors, if any?

NC We really don’t have a direct competitor – although there are other infant specialty stores in the area, they definitely do not offer the kind of customer service that we do. There are other places to find playgroups or music classes, but not with the kind of atmosphere we offer. There are prenatal classes at most hospitals, but they are held in conference rooms with uncomfortable chairs, while we offer leather couches with ottomans.

DD What’s your client demographic?

NC Our typical client is a first-time mother, but that is mostly due to the fact that we’ve only been open for two years. We are now seeing returning customers who are pregnant with their second or third baby. Our women span the age range from early 20′s to early 40′s. We also have a fair number of grandparents and nannies who come to our classes. Most of our clients are in the upper-middle income bracket.

DD How has your business been affected by the recession?

NC The recession has had an impact on our business: people don’t spend as much, and some have had to opt out of classes for financial reasons. The recession really began as we were about 10 months into our first year, and while we feel a the hit, it hasn’t been as bad as it could have been. We instituted a “membership” program that helps us to gain income and helps keep costs lower for our customers. They pay $60 per year to become a member, and that gives them a discount on classes and access to “member Saturday” once a month when all purchases in the store are discounted 15 percent. Since Saturdays were traditionally a slow day for us, member Saturdays has helped with foot traffic as well as sales.

DD Does anything like NiNi Bambini exist in New Hampshire or elsewhere? If not, have you thought about franchising?

NC There is a similar business called Isis Maternity in the Boston area – they have three stores, and sell much higher end products than we do. The main income for Isis is from their retail sales, our income is distributed evenly between classes and retail sales.

DD What are some lessons you have learned about starting and running a business from your experience with NiNi Bambini?

NC I never anticipated how much work it would take to open a business! I have tried to surround myself with capable staff and a knowledgeable support team of friends, family and professionals. I’ve had to stop micro-managing every aspect of the business and trust that my staff knows exactly what to do!

May 1, 2010   No Comments

Affordable Fashion Accessories

Greetings fashionistas! If you are one of the many shoppers still out there gathering together the few touches of your Spring/Summer wardrobe together, listen here! DollarDays has the down-low on the must haves of this season’s accessory trends that don’t break the bank!

This season’s wholesale accessories are all about bold and edgy statements. Looking at jewelry, one of the biggest trends this we’ve seen this season are rock-and-roll inspired jewelry such as chains and studs but with a feminine touch. Mixing these with large plastic jewelry pieces and will be very common. The best part is, this type jewelry, especially the plastic pieces, can be found for low prices just about anywhere!

“Natural” accessories will also be large this season and will comes across in many of the jewelry pieces, hats and footwear. The use of straw materials are some most common within natural accessories and can be found mostly on hats and the wedges of many shoes. Natural jewelry pieces such as the classic surf style shell necklace will be another affordable, great-looking piece this season.

Now getting onto patterns and prints this season. Animalistic patterns are all the rage this spring/summer and you can find these prints on scarves, stockings, knee length socks, and shoes. These safari-like prints can be matched beautifully with the natural accessories mentioned earlier. Imagine, going out in your favorite summer dress and pairing it with a leopard printed scarf and a perky straw hat! Scarves for the spring and summer seasons don’t need to be thick and heavy like winter scarves, therefore, you kind find many light, warm weathered scarves at affordable prices.

One of the biggest fads this spring/summer is fringe. Fringe can be found on many of the clothing pieces this season but in term of accessories, you can find it on many of the handbags. Now besides seeing fringe on handbags, the biggest trend for handbags this season has been smaller, shoulder bags. A purse that fits all your essentials and goes comfortable under your arm has taken the place of top handled and/or larger bags. Here at DollarDays we have many beautiful designer wholesale handbags that will go wonderfully with the rest of your incredible wardrobe for the season!

April 30, 2010   No Comments

Save Money on Clothes

While you may always be on the lookout to save money, there are times when you simply have to buy something. Clothing is one example of an item that will at some point have to be replaced. Here are some tips to help you save money the next time you find yourself in need of new clothes.

Be Proactive: Take Care with Laundering
The agitating action of the washing machine is what cleans your clothes, not the water temperature. While hot water is fine for items you want to sterilize, most of your clothes can be safely washed in cold water. The color on your clothes will last longer, and your utility bills will thank you, as well.

Hit Department Store Clearance Racks
There is a natural inclination to buy clothes at discount stores when you are trying to save some cash. They have the best prices on paper products and cleaning goods; why wouldn’t they have the best prices on shirts and slacks, too? While the prices may be the lowest around, the quality will also be low. Clothes from your local discount stores will be made from lower quality fabric and threads, meaning that you will have more seams opening up. They will quickly lose their shape, and before long you will find yourself dissatisfied with the items.

However, when you visit your local department store and hit the clearance racks you will be able to purchase high quality, name brand clothing at discount prices. It is not uncommon to find clothes marked down seventy and eighty percent at the department stores. You will spend the same amount of money as you would have at the discount store, but you will be thrilled with the higher quality. Not only will the clothes last longer, but your pleasure with them will also stick around.

Local Thrift Stores
Thrift stores are a great alternative; especially when you are shopping for growing children or kids who are particularly hard on their clothes. It is not uncommon to find name brand outerwear that has barely been worn selling at ninety percent off its’ retail price. These are also great places to find children’s clothes that have barely been worn as people will donate those clothes that are outgrown too quickly.

Ebay for Professional Business Attire
There is a growing trend among professional women to sell off their business suits on Ebay and other online auction sites. Business attire is extremely expensive, rarely gets dirty and winds up on Ebay (or in thrift stores) when people get tired of it. For seventy to eighty percent off from the retail price you can pick up a stylish professional suit.

Dye Faded Jeans
Black and dark blue clothes, especially jeans, tend to fade over time. If you are required to have these items for work and find yourself constantly fighting the fade, consider dying them. This can save you substantial amounts of money compared to constantly replacing your dark colored uniforms.

Saving money when you’re buying clothes isn’t difficult. It may take a little more time. However the result of saving your hard earned money will make it well worth the extra effort.

April 23, 2010   No Comments