Everyone wants a good deal – the best deal they can get – regardless of their socio-economic status. I am no exception to the rule and so I turned to best-selling author Mark Di Vincenzo, who has written a book filled with tips on "how to save time and money, live healthier, look better, and make savvier choices in your careers and social life." It is a follow up book to his 2009 best-seller "Buy Ketchup in May and Fly at Noon."
I asked him about his new book's catchy title: "Buy Shoes on Wednesday and Tweet at 4:00." He loves it as a title, but the "buy shoes on Wednesday" is the only tip in the book that does not have a "satisfying" explanation. A company called Shopittome.com track on-line sales of clothing retailers and found that Wednesday was the best day to buy shoes online because one can save 40 percent - why? No one really knows.
The ideal tweeting time is between 4-5 p.m. because Twitter found that this is when most of their users are active and therefore gives your Tweet "maximum exposure" and the most chance of being retweeted. Second best time to Tweet is noon EST as it is lunch hour on the East Coast, the start of business on the West Coast and end of business in Europe as people there leave their offices and check their Twitter accounts one last time before they head home.
I asked what his favorite tip was and his coy response was he has three daughters and none are favorites and the same goes for the tips in his book. However, he agreed to give me his top 13 list, which he likes as they are "surprising."
Top 13 tips:
• Cars: Best day of the week to take your car in for a repair is Monday morning. People do not want to be late for work the first day of the week and thus fewer people drop off their cars to repair shops. So car repair shops will either offer deals or be more receptive to your suggesting a deal (you have to be proactive in asking for deals). Thursdays tend to be slow and no one knows quite why, so it's also a potential deal day. A follow-up car tip is to do your oil change every 5-10,000 miles vs. every 3,000 miles as the quality of oil has improved and therefore does not necessitate more frequent changes.
• Beauty: Best time to color your hair is when it is slightly dirty because "there is something called hydro-lipid film that protects your scalp and could really irritate your scalp," said Di Vincenzo. So, if one's hair is slightly dirty then one has more scalp protection.
• Beauty: Best month to get a facial is September. We expose our skin to the sun in the summer and are thus more likely to do damage to our skin. So, Di Vincenzo advises, "If you only get one facial a year, it should be in September so as to provide healing for your skin."
• Charity: Best day of the week to ask for a donation is Sunday. Studies have been done on this and have found that "people who are asked to give on a Sunday give 51 percent more than any other day," according to Di Vincenzo.
• Health: Best time of day to get anesthesia is in the morning. If one gets it in the afternoon, one is four times more likely to have a complication. In the morning, according to Di Vincenzo, the anesthesiologist is "fresher and less distracted and the whole surgical team tends to be more on the same page early in the morning."
• Health: Best time of day to eat lunch is at 11 a.m. and at 2 p.m. Di Vincenzo says that nutritionists and doctors are telling us to have four meals a day – one large breakfast, two small 300 calorie lunches and a small dinner.
• Health: Best time of year to lose weight is winter. The reason is "brown fat" or "brown adipose tissue." It is also known as the "good fat" because it burns calories instead of storing them and in brown fat goes into "overdrive" when we feel cold.
• Health: Best time to work out is 5 p.m. in the afternoon. Our muscles are warmed up by then and we tend to have better lung performance and our stamina is better. It is also more practical because it is considered a good time for people who have 9-5 jobs and can work out after they leave the office.
• Money: Best month of the year to ask for a promotion is January. This holds true for companies that have a fiscal year ending in December. Companies are still hiring in December and are still in "saving mode" so managers are not into spending a lot at the end of the year. However, January is the beginning of the fiscal year, when they are not as concerned about saving and how a promotion could affect the bottom line.
• Housing: Best month to sign an apartment lease is in December because the weather is bad, it is the month with the least amount of light and people are thinking about Christmas and shopping, not moving. So, if one is willing to move in December, one would be in the "driving seat as a consumer" and thus negotiate short-term leases, smaller security deposits and waive fees.
• Breaking up is hard to do: Best time of day to break off an engagement or any kind of break-up is in the evening. Di Vincenzo urges us to deliver bad news in the evening because in the morning blood pressure is higher and one is more likely to get a heart attack in the morning. He stressed that the American Heart Association takes this "very seriously" adding it has asked companies to do their lay-offs in the afternoon.
• Food: Best time to buy bread and best place is in the evening and at the dollar store. In the evening, owners and managers of bakeries and groceries are looking at their inventory and would much rather sell it than throw it out so one is more likely to see half price sales for bread right before closing time. Dollar stores all over the country are increasing their inventory and are now starting to sell bread for $1 i.e. for a third of its original price. So, Di Vincenzo's additional tip is to "buddy up with someone at the Dollar Store to find out when they get their bread shipments in to buy it at their freshest."
• MONEY / HOUSING / VACATION: Best time to buy a timeshare is NEVER. Di Vincenzo writes that it does not even make sense if someone gives you a timeshare as maintenance fees go up over time and "you usually can't resell your timeshare for more than a few pennies on the dollar. And you can't write it off on your taxes either. So, if you have money to burn, go ahead and buy your timeshare."
Di Vincenzo credits his wife of 14 years for giving him the idea to write his first book. "She woke up in the middle of the night and had this idea. When I woke up, she was standing over me with a legal pad saying you should write a book about best time when to buy things," he said.
He decided to expand on the theme and "Buy Ketchup in May and Fly at Noon" was born in 2009. When I asked him if his wife follows the advice in either book, he laughed and said "sometimes." Why not all the time? "Sometimes your schedule doesn't allow you to do it and let's face it, sometimes you want to buy the shoes now!"
Buy Shoes on Wednesday and Tweet at 4:00 is published by William Morrow and is on sale at a bookstore near you.