“My friend is really into Star Wars. Could you find a few deals for me?”
This question, though paraphrased here, was recently posed to “Sassy Shoppers,” a new Maine-based Facebook group that is rapidly gaining popularity.
In response to the inquiry, group founder Jennifer Murray of East Millinocket posted links for a Star Wars Science Force Trainer, 73 percent off; a Hailfire Droid RC Vehicle, 50 percent off; and a Mighty Beanz Star Wars Tin, 74 percent off.
“I just post the cream of the crop,” Murray said.
Each day, group members share printable coupons, online deals and coupon codes. If someone is low on toilet paper, it’s not usual for a post to pop up asking for help finding toilet paper coupons. But with the holidays fast approaching, the usual grocery coupons are being replaced by tips for finding gifts at reduced prices.
Murray created the group after news of her shopping expertise went public in June, when she was featured in Bangor Daily News story on couponing. After the article was published, strangers started sending her friend requests on Facebook, and she figured that they wanted her help finding sales and using coupons.
So she created Sassy Shoppers.
At first, she knew everyone in the group, but in the past week, group membership has spiked to about 250 members.
“It’s mostly people from Bangor and people up here in the Katahdin region, but I have people on the coast now, and there’s a group in Carmel who have joined up,” Murray said. “So even if I’m gone for a few days or I’m not online, there are still people posting what they’re finding in their own communities, which in the most part are in Maine.”
The group is an open public forum, though some members do more posting than others. Melissa Doyle of East Millinocket regularly posts coupons and discounts for Shaw’s and Rite Aid while other members share links for high-value printable coupons.
“It’s a way to save money,” said Doyle. “And up here, let’s face it, everybody needs to save money.”
It’s also a place to for shoppers to share great in-store sales instantly.
Recently, Murray’s teenage daughters reaped the benefits of an incredible sale on dresses at Macy’s. Murray posted the sale on Sassy Shoppers’ Facebook page before she even made it home.
“I don’t care if it’s at Macy’s or Justice or Express in the mall,” Murray said. “If someone has been to the sale, post it so the rest of us can go and find it.”
On Cyber Monday, Nov. 28, the group was all about online deals. Murray, an online shopper for nine years, posted links on the group page all day long.
“Every year, I find I’m doing more of my Christmas shopping online,” she said.
Amazon.com is her go-to site because of the great deals, easy search engine, tax-free prices and typically free shipping. On Amazon, you can search for merchandise that is a certain percentage off or less than a certain cost. She also frequents overstock.com and simply searches on google.com for deals on specific items.
“People just don’t want to take the time to look, so that’s what I do. I like spending other people’s money,” said Murray. In a more serious tone, she added, “I have been in situations where I couldn’t afford a lot. And back then, I didn’t know what I know now. And I don’t know – it’s kind of like I’m giving back a little bit, to whoever. I’m just helping them out.”