Using Twitter to Save Money

Perhaps my favorite online development over the last year or so has been the explosion of Twitter. For those living under a rock who have not yet heard about Twitter, it’s pretty simple: it’s like instant messaging except everyone can read conversations and join in. You sign up for a free account there and can then send messages (and respond to the messages of others) whenever you want, from your computer or even from your cell phone via text message. You can also “follow” other people who have signed up for Twitter, enabling you to see all of their messages at once. So, when you visit Twitter, you’ll see the latest updates of all of the people you’re following (i.e. the people you’re interested in).

If you’d like to take a peek, feel free to check out my own updates. I also make Simple Dollar updates available on Twitter.

Anyway, one of the hottest topics among online marketers and bloggers is how exactly someone can use Twitter effectively to gain a following and perhaps grow one’s business. Twitter is particularly interesting in this regard because it allows one person to carry on something of a conversation with a large crowd of people that want to hear what they’re saying. Take my own account, for example: if I send an update, I’m effectively talking to 2,000 people who have chosen to hear what I have to say.

Surprisingly, out of this creative explosion has come a ton of bargains. Quite a few people have jumped on Twitter as a way to provide coupons for their business in a very inexpensive way. Others have written computer programs that scour the ‘net for bargains and post them automatically to Twitter. Still others are exploring giveaways and contests.

I’ve followed quite a few Twitterers who are trying these things and I’ve found ten well worth sticking with. Even if you don’t find them worth following, you may find this post worth bookmarking so that you can check in on these accounts from time to time.

Ten People I’ve Found Worth Following for Savings

1. DellOutlet

Dell already has excellent prices on computer systems, but they’re giving out some incredible deals directly on Twitter via the DellOutlet account. There are at least two items that I’m considering buying from Dell, so I’m just waiting until they pop up with great coupons on here. If you’re considering upgrading your PC, this is one that’s well worth following.

2. amazondeals

Every day, Amazon throws up a few “lightning deals” on their site, which are simply individual items sold at a pretty stiff discount for just an hour or two. I tend to follow these pretty closely, as there are often deals on there that can be “turned” for a profit or can be given as gifts later on (several of our Christmas gifts came from this feature). Amazon has chosen to share these on Twitter, which has made it very easy for me to keep tabs on these deals.

3. AmazonSteals

This one’s similar to the above “amazondeals” account, except this one isn’t directly affiliated with Amazon and it also digs deeper into specific Amazon categories to find steeply discounted items. It actually forms a very nice pair with amazondeals for digging up great deals buried within Amazon.

4. amazonmp3

A legal mp3 album every day for $2. That’s basically what this account offers. The mix is widely varied, but I find about one album a month that’s well worth it for me (most recently, Urban Hymns by The Verve, which I listened to over and over again about twelve years ago).

5. dealyzer

This account seems to simply scavenge the web for huge discounts of all kinds. The mix is quite varied, but I find things regularly on here that are worth following up on (for example, I got the Planet Earth documentary set for my son for $34 shipped directly from Discovery because of this account).

6. shoppersshop

This is a very low traffic version of dealyzer. Outside of the pre-holiday sales, there’s only about one update a week or so, but when they come, they’re almost always well worth it. I actually found several of the other accounts listed on this page by following shopperssshop.

7. DealUniversity

Here’s another strong deal aggregator, but this one focuses almost exclusively on electronics deals. Their picks really are a mixed bag, but there are enough gems that come through to make it worthwhile if you are good at sniffing out deals on tech items.

8. cheaptweet

Cheaptweet is basically just an aggregation of the top picks from CheapTweet.com, which itself just scours Twitter for sales and other deals and allows users to vote up the best of the lot. There’s a fair amount of conversation in there, too, but when the deals come through, they’re usually good ones.

9. booksamillion

Run by the folks behind the Books-A-Million book chain, this account offers up deals on … books. Following this account is like shuffling through a good bargain table at a bookstore – you won’t be interested in most of it, but every once in a while a dirt-cheap new book will float through.

10. SmartyPig

I felt it appropriate to mention SmartyPig here, since I’ve been following them practically since their inception. SmartyPig is an online savings account with a goal-setting twist. So why mention their Twitter account? Every month, they give away a SmartyPig account with $100 in it on their Twitter feed (and their methods for determining winners is both transparent and entertaining). The traffic on here is pretty low, too – most of their Tweets are related to their monthly giveaway.

Do you know any other Twitterers that offer good deals on Twitter? Let us know in the comments!

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