Bulk Buying and Other Resourceful Consumer Trends

(NewsUSA) – When the economy nosedived, and companies had reason to be scared, a few businesses got resourceful.Low incomes and record job losses pushed consumers toward trends like buying in bulk and using group discount websites. And where there was demand, supply soon followed.In came the success of wholesalers like Costco, Sam’s Club and BJ’s. But warehouse clubs weren’t the only stores seeing growth in bulk sales. Farmers markets, co-ops and natural food stores observed more supersized shopping. Whole Foods said bulk food purchases were growing by approximately 25 percent every year.That wasn’t the only buying trend to emerge, however."The Groupon following led to an explosion of similar sites, like LivingSocial and Dealfind, not to mention all of the city-specific ones," says Joe Kalfa, the leader of a new movement of group buying called All Our Power."You can buy virtually any commodity in bulk and get all kinds of group discounts on spas, restaurants and vacations galore, but what about monthly expenses like car insurance, gas and health care? It seems to me like there’s room for some improvement," adds Kalfa.Well, maybe there is.According to Time magazine’s Moneyland, warehouse club members can save 25 to 35 percent on their food budget. Shoppers who forego packaging altogether and buy food from bins or dispensers save anywhere from 30 to 90 percent over prepackaged products.Imagine those types of savings applied to insurance policies, gas prices, medical bills, cell phone plans and more.All Our Power, which seeks to rally 10 million members and secure membership discounts from all kinds of service providers and retailers, could be the next group-buying trend to take flight.A buzz has already formed around the young movement as consumers worldwide realize the potential benefits of a free membership with access to serious negotiating power.Are you tired of paying too much for car insurance or gas? You’re not the only one. Sign up and learn more about your buying power at www.allourpower.com. Or, see what others are saying on Twitter @ AllOurPower.

What Are You Paying Too Much For?

(NewsUSA) – The 99 percent has watched gas prices follow a perpetual climb that has left consumers wallowing at the pump. By the beginning of April, the national average was $3.92. Though it’s since fallen about 18 cents for most regions, the west coast is stillstaring at billboards offering $4.37 a gallon.Fuel isn’t the only cost crippling middle-class Americans. While the consumer price index (CPI) may be relatively unchanged on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Wall Street Journal says core inflation is rising — and the Federal Reserve can’t ignore that for long.Core inflation, an estimate excluding food and energy costs, rose in April for the eighth time in the past 11 months. The increase in core inflation can be pinned on the typical products and services, which are primarily the ones we can’t live without."CPI numbers report annual spikes in the usual suspects: rent, used cars, air fares and medical services. As higher and higher prices meet stagnant income levels, Americans lose their purchasing power," says Joe Kalfa, founder of All Our Power (AOP). AOP is a growing social movement seeking to create the world’s largest group purchasing organization with free membership.Group purchasing gives individuals a platform to negotiate with megacorporations, and AOP wants to put purchasing power back into consumer hands.As more people join the movement, AOP aims to secure discounts and membership benefits for a variety of consumer products — car rentals, health insurance, cell phone plans, groceries and maybe even gas.The trend in Groupon-style buying shows marked interest in discount opportunities. The Occupy protests made income inequality a national issue, but purchasing power is still diminishing.According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, average personal income rose from 2009 to 2010. However, the richest 1 percent of Americans received 90 percent of that growth. More recently, MarketWatch reported that hourly earnings flatlined, and when adjusted for inflation, wages actually dropped.As a result, U.S. News Weekly says big retailers like Costco and Target saw sales below expectations. With two eyes glued to income inequality and consumer unrest, AOP may offer a solution for individuals who are tired of unreasonable prices.To learn more about your purchasing power, visit www.allourpower.com.