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How to shop and save money during the holidays

Jim Debetta

Jim DeBetta’s product development and sales experience has amassed millions of dollars within the retail selling world. Known nationally as a trusted coach and mentor to thousands of inventors and entrepreneurs, he knows how to take new ideas from a sketch on a napkin to selling the final product to major retailers worldwide.

Jim’s career in retail began at an early age with the family business – a fireplace and home hardware company. After graduating from college, Jim went home to help expand the business from a small successful operation into a multi-million dollar business and became one of the most recognized and respected store of its kind on Long Island. Jim stimulated new business, purchased products from all over the world, and ran the overall daily operations.

Jim decided it was time to grow and joined a start up firm that imported binoculars, telescopes, and optical products for children. His retail customers included a “who’s who” in retail such as Target, Wal-Mart, Radio Shack, Sears, Michael’s, Cabelas, Home Shopping Network, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Discovery Channel Stores, Costco, and many others. Jim employed nearly 20 people inside and had dozens of sales reps all over the US, Canada, and Europe. Ultimately, Jim helped expand the company from virtually no significant revenue to a leading brand in the industry that has sold more than 50 million dollars of product since the mid 1990′s. When Jim was ready for a new adventure, he left the company as President and Chief Operating Officer.

Jim decided he was ready for yet a bigger challenge and joined a leading premium incentive company as their National Key Accounts Manager. Jim represented major national brands for this $100 million a year premium incentive firm such as Toshiba, Sony, Nikon, Nautilus, Movado and others. The products were used to create various incentive programs for fortune 1,000 companies around the world.

Jim’s experience has reached far and wide working with various products, retailers, manufactures, and factories. He knew it was time to help those that had a product in mind or ready for production. His goal was to teach others the process without unnecessary expense, time and red tape. That is how DeCavi Corp was born.

As the founder of DeCavi Corp, Jim has helped thousands of inventors and start-ups learn how to get their products developed and sold to major retailers. Jim then merged his firm with the renowned Slingshot Product Development Group which employs a team of 35 engineers, designers, and marketing experts who help individual inventors and Fortune 500 firms alike. Both are recognized as leaders in the inventor product development and commercialization arena. Today, Jim continues to broaden his reach into the world of consumer products and has formed DeBetta Enterprises which is a private consultancy that coaches and advises inventors and entrepreneurs on everything from manufacturing to sales and marketing of consumer products. Jim also heads up the Retail Distribution arm of Kevin Harrington’s TV Goods corporation which today is fueled by the hit ABC reality show Shark Tank.

""Jim teaches inventors how to create sales and marketing strategies, understand the world of licensing, develop a product using CAD design, raising money to fund a business, and locating factories overseas to produce products. Jim is now reaching out to individuals who want to learn how to do it for themselves. Learn how he does that by clicking here.

Jim is a Professional Member of the United Inventors Association, a member of the Georgia Inventor’s Association, Rocky Mountain Inventors Association, and was the former co-host of the Launch Hour – a popular radio program for inventors and entrepreneurs. He is also the author of The Business of Inventing and has written hundreds of articles for industry publications, newspapers, and websites such as Inventor’s Digest, Georgia Magazine, and Entrepreneur Magazine. Jim also appears as a guest speaker for leading trade and consumer organizations, speaks at international conferences, and hosts forum and blog discussions on prominent invention and entrepreneurial websites.

Although this is not something I write about regularly, I thought I would share my recent shopping experiences at retail with the hopes that some of you can save some money on items you want to buy during the holiday shopping season.

I read a survey recently that talked about how many retail store managers have been given permission to allow you to haggle prices of products. For most major retailers, this is something that has never really happened. For example, if you walked into a Best Buy and looked to purchase a new TV, you would simply pay the price as stated and that was that. Today, some of these managers are empowered to allow for discounts should you ask for them and the key is YOU must initiate the negotiations. It makes no sense for the manager to offer you a discount because it is in their best financial interest to sell products at full price. However, in these tough times, retailers want to reduce inventory and earn what they can so do not be afraid to ask for 10 or even 20 percent off of the price. If you can save 20, 50, or even hundreds of dollars simply by asking that is money in your pocket that can be used for other things such as gas, food, or savings!

I tried this out last week when I went into a Williams Sonoma and was looking to purchase a few things for my wife. I asked the store manager for a discount on an item and without hesitation she said fine and I get 10 percent off. How great is that?! All I did was ask….and I did receive!

The point of this is that today many retailers are hurting from the recession, especially local retailers, and while not every retail store manager will grant your request, you need to ask for whatever you can get especially on large purchases. You can also see if they have any floor models which they will usually discount anyway or shop a competitor first and then come to the store you wish to buy from armed with this info. Many retailers will match their competitor’s price and that can mean more savings for you. Also, if you are a loyal customer of that retailer let them know that as well. I have used this more than once to get a discount.

Happy shopping!

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