Money Monday: Why the Last Gasp of Sears Is a Good Thing

It’s no secret that Sears, a popular chain known for selling a house via snail mail, is in big trouble. It’s a penny stock, just got rescued from bankruptcy, and the corporate executives are leaving with golden parachutes while people like you and me aren’t getting severance pay. The company refuses to die, however, and is getting creative with its attempts to move into the Twenty-First Century.

For example, there’s an app called Win It! Available for Android, this app actually lets you win prizes you want–you pick your prize from an ever-changing list. You watch a short ad, maybe about 30 seconds, or answer a simple poll question. You are then taken to a wheel to spin. Most of the time you’ll win nothing, but sometimes you can win points that can be used for coupons for percentages off at the physical store. And, of course, it’s possible to win things like a rice cooker.

Sears also has a cashback website called ShopYourWay.com. It’s best known for giving $2 cash back for every Uber ride you take. Needless to say, if you frequently take Uber like I do, you’ll build up a lot of money very quickly. I so far have redeemed a Nerf gun for my nephew’s Christmas present, a Minnie Mouse cash register for my niece’s Christmas present, a Martha Stewart tortilla press, a wok, an electric griddle, a pair of Reeboks, and a Black and Decker waffle iron–all for less than $10. Typically if you have enough to cover the full amount of the good, you only pay shipping, and that can be waived if you agree to pick up the item at the store.

Sears’ last gasp and prolonged death may not be final, so using ShopYourWay.com is risky and Win It! may not be around forever. But if Sears survives, it will be due to these programs. What happens remains to be seen, but I personally am not counting them out just yet.

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