I said in my last entry that I'd be updating you as I work on earning a $500 IKEA gift card. I'll be documenting my time spent on the deal, as well as money spent on the deal.
I began the deal at 9:15 PM on May 19th. It took me about 40 minutes to pick 8 offers (2 "Silver" offers , 2 "Gold" offers , and 4 "Platinum" offers) that I wanted to try (for a fuller explanation, see this entry). I was careful to read the fine print (how long is this "free" trial? what is the true cost? do I have to send the product back if I cancel my membership?), so that I could try and spend the least amount of money, and not have to send a lot of stuff back. I e-mailed myself the terms to each of the offers, clumping them together by offer type (Silver, Gold, and Platinum), so it was only 3 e-mails and not 8. Then I e-mailed myself the terms of the overall gift card deal, as well as the link to check to see if my offers were approved.
Then I spent about 15 minutes, reading through the deals again and getting myself organized. I set up a daily reminder in my Gmail calendar, reminding me every morning to check the status of the various offers. Thankfully, I-deal, the company who organizes these deals, makes it easy to check; simply go to the web page, enter your e-mail address, and they show you a list, saying whether the offer is approved or pending. I also included in my calendar reminder the date I need to cancel each of the offers, in chronological order. Some of them are "free" for 7-10 days; others are "free" up to a month. I wanted to be really organized so I wasn't having to search through all of my e-mails every day to remind myself which ones to cancel.
By the next morning (May 20th), both silver offers were approved. On May 23rd, both gold offers were approved. As of now, none of the platinum offers have approved.
Today, May 24th, I called to cancel 2 offers that only had a 7 day trial. One of these offers has not yet been approved; this will be a test to see whether or not it still goes through, or if I have to do another offer. This particular one was $1 for 7 days, but then it costs $24.95. It's not worth the additional cost.
So far, I have spent $36.17. I will have at least 1 more charge, plus return postage, as 2 of the products need to be mailed back. This isn't too bad, as last time I spent over $70, just for the initial costs.
For more information on how I started doing these deals and what I've learned so far, go to this entry about my $500 Sears gift card.