From buying a car without haggling to the best laundry detergent to get out stains
Here's your look at the top consumer headlines with Danielle Serino. It's 'One For The Money.'
The Dirt on Suds
Unless you're fancy schmancy, laundry is like death and taxes. Ya’ can't get away from it. But I never know whether I have to get an expensive brand, or the cheaper ones will do. It's why Consumer Reports did the dirty work, testing 46 brands on everything from grass stains to body oil. And some of the cheaper ones out cleaned the pricier ones.
The two most expensive brands happened to have tied for tops. Tide Plus Ultra Stain Release and Persil Pro Clean Power Liquid 2 in 1 at 25 cents a load.
But Green Works Laundry Detergent, was close behind and two membership club brands Ultimate Clean from Sam's and Kirtland Signature from Costco all ranked excellent or very good. And they're half the price.
Near the bottom of the list was Woolite, which is more expensive than Tide at 28 cents a load, Xtra ScentSations and Traders Joe's.
No matter which brand you choose, measure, measure, and measure. Don't just pour your detergent into the washer willy nilly like I do. And if your clothing isn't really dirty, you can probably get away with using a little less than they recommend.
Sell your Stuff
Let's go from cleaning your clothes to cleaning out your house. It's a good way to make a little cash before the holidays; which I've actually done with jewelry I never wore. And selling that extra stuff is usually pretty easy if you go to online sites like Craigslist or eBay. But did you know there is somewhat of a science to it?
For example, October is the best time to sell snow gear for kids. That's because parents want to avoid buying earlier in the year and having their kids outgrow it. So they're in the market.
In November, it's bikes. In the summer, there is so much competition, you're more likely to get your bike noticed in the winter months.
In December, unload your treadmill. People are looking to buy them as gifts, or are getting ready for that new year resolution stuff.
And in January it's TV's. The Super Bowl gets people in the mood to buy ‘em. And since they're already strapped from the holidays they won't want to pay full price.
No pressure purchases
Now this isn't the best time to sell a car…that's March. But it’s a good time to buy. And here are some ways to do it without the haggling.
-Car brokers and Concierges. They take care of everything from finding the car to delivering it. Concierges charge a fee, usually based on car's price which may be about 6 percent. Brokers get about $300 to $500 hundred dollars from the dealer. That may give them an incentive to charge more, so make sure you read reviews on the particular service you want to hire.
-If you don't mind going to the dealer, there are no haggle car lots like AutoNation and CarMax. But you will have to negotiate financing.
-Car buying clubs like AAA, Sam's Club or Costco have cars with preset prices and guaranteed savings. But again, financing is handled separately.
-And then there are a bunch of online sites that offer no haggle pricing as well.