The Triwives are very pleased to have a new guest blogger this month, Tariq Ali, triathlete and creator of the website, 3Dealz.  We were curious to learn how he came up with such an innovative site and decided to let him tell you himself.  We love his tips for getting a good deal.  And, don’t we all love a good deal.  Enjoy.

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Tariq and his family…

The triathlon season is coming and I can’t wait to pack my gear and head out for my first race.  Most of us right now are probably starting heavy training and trying to be in the best shape.  AND, with all the training, you are probably running low on nutrition and chamois cream; you are thinking of trying out a new bike saddle; you are thinking how a new racing wheel might make you faster; or you are putting more miles on your running shoes than probably your car.

As a triathlete myself, I find myself in need of new gear all the time and the easiest thing to do is go online between workouts and shop for running shoes, stock up on nutrition, new swim briefs, new socks, and the list goes on and on.  At first, I was paying full price for these items.  I thought, this is a niche sport and discounts don’t exist.  However, my credit card bills kept getting higher and higher, and I thought to myself that there must be a better way.  So, I started searching online for discounts and coupons.

I quickly realized I was so naive.  I found tons of coupons and discounts codes for everything I needed; I just had to search for them.  So, I started collecting them and the techie in me decided to build a database for all the online stores that I frequent.  Other athletes started asking me if I had a coupon to buy a new Garmin watch, or a tri suit, etc., so I decided to build a website and make them public for everyone to use and 3Dealz was born.  There are many coupons and daily deals sites, but let’s face it, we don’t really care about cheap oil change or 50% off pizza.  So, 3Dealz quickly became a popular destination for many runners, cyclists, and triathletes.3dlogophoto 3

Here are a few tips you can use before placing that next order:

1 – Shopping Search Engines.  This is a great place to start.  Many merchants upload their inventory directly to Google Product Search and many other comparison shopping sites.  Amazon is another good place to search, as they also display results from other suppliers.  Other shopping sites to consider are Shopzilla, Nextag, and Pricegrabber.

2- Look for Coupons.  After spending time searching and you have narrowed it down to a few online stores, next see if that store offers any discounts or coupons.

3- Use Social Media.  Follow the online stores you always frequent.  Many times they offer discounts and announce them on Twitter and Facebook.  Some even have discounts only for their Facebook or Twitter fans, so keep your eyes open for some of these deals.

4 – New isn’t always better.  Try to find last year’s models.  You can often get steep discounts on them.  Running shoes can be discounted as much as 70%.

5- Ask around.  Use social media to ask if anyone knows of a coupon deal on an item you’re looking for.  Forum communities are also a good place for that.

6- Join a club.  If you have a local triathlon club, look into joining them.  Most partner with local stores, masters classes, or your local YMCA and you can get discounted rates for being a member.

With just a little research, time, and homework, you can get the items you want AND save some money – that you can always spend later….

Tariq Ali is an Ironman athlete and an avid follower of technology.  He discovered triathlons in 2009 and has since competed in many Ironman 70.3 races and completed his first full Ironman in 2012.  He founded 3Dealz, a triathlon coupon and deal website.  You can follow his training and racing on Twitter @tariqhali.