Just want to wish you all a happy Valentine's Day and tell you about my favorite Cricut store... Ebay!
There are some pretty awesome deals that you can snag if you are looking for Cricut cartridges. Just do a search for "Cricut" or "Cricut Cartridge" and sort the results by "ending soonest". You can routinely get cartridges for $20 and under. They retail for around $49.99 at Michael's stores and the weekly store coupons don't count towards Cricut products (booo - what's up with that?!). So, if there is a cartridge you are looking for, it's defintely worth stopping by Ebay first.
The first step to buying cartridges on Ebay is to put several of the same auctions in your "watch" list and wait for a few of the auctions to expire. You can start to see the range of prices that people are willing to pay for that cartridge. The next step is to follow each of the cardinal rules listed below (no cheating, people!).
First cardinal rule - don't pay more than you realistically have to spend. You will hate yourself afterwards. As Suze Orman would say, "Stand in your financial truth." Buyer's remorse is ok when you can take the item back to the store, but that doesn't work with Ebay, so just don't do it.
Second cardinal rule - don't bid on something until the last 15 seconds of the auction. When you bid in the last 15 seconds, enter your highest bid and hit the "confirm" button when there's about 10 seconds left. This prevents others from swooping in and taking your steal of a deal away from you with a bid that is only 50 cents higher than yours.
Third cardinal rule - don't pay more than others have paid. Refer to your watch list for completed auctions and final sales prices. Do a last minute search and see what the "Buy It Now" prices are for that cartridge (Buy It Now cartridges are almost always higher, but you never know and you always want to make an informed purchase). And DON'T PAY MORE than anyone else. Trust me when I say that the cartridge will be listed for sale on Ebay again and you will regret buying a cartridge for $22.50 when 3 other people got it for $17.50.
Fourth and final cardinal rule - don't pay for shipping. There are plenty of sellers who offer free shipping. The cartridge prices are usually within a certain price range (with or without shipping), but tack on the shipping charges and it can really make the final price skyrocket, which eats away at your crafting budget. The only exception to this is for auctions that are a steal of a deal even with shipping, but still, those are few and far between.
The only other rule is that you don't talk about the rules. <silence> <crickets> C'mon, Fight Club? Anyone? No...?