I recently got 40.00 worth of free (yes, really free) giftcards to use online at Walmart.com or Sams.com. I don't know if this is repeatable.. but might be worth a try for someone next year.
Here's how it went.
I did a pre-order of a highly desired video game back in November (Zelda Twilight Princess for the Game Cube). The game was due out December 10th or 11th, close, but reasonably in time for Christmas. I wasn't terribly worried as I had bought a used GC with two controllers, 2 mem cards and about 7 games, all in one auction (what a deal!).. so the gifts were covered, but really wanted TP also, if I could get it.
December 10th comes along and I get an email from WM... saying that the shipment would be unavoidably delayed. Hmmm.. so I go searching the web and several places that would ordinarily sell it are NOT taking any more pre-orders. Okie Dokie.. I keep on looking.
I finally find a forum where someone posted that a major retailer (maybe it was Circuit City.. I really don't remember) was going to have them available starting the next day at 5pm, but they were not taking pre-orders. Being that we live in the sticks.. CC is a bit of a drive. I decided to check our local WM to see if they might have it.
So, my son and I go to WM the next day and check things out. I do some regular shopping and then meet him over in the game dept. I asked if he found it. He said, no, they don't have it. I asked.. did you ask a clerk? Son: no. I find a clerk and asked if they had gotten TP in. Lo and behold they did have it!! So I bought it, thinking I'd cancel my online order.
Get home, log on, follow the directions in the email that WM had originally sent me on how to cancel the order. Didn't work. There wasn't a link to cancel where they said one would be. Ooops. OK.. so I find WM help dept and email them asking what to do.
Next day, WM emails back and asked that I contact them via an 800 number. Yeck. I hate dealing with computerized phone messages. So I decide to put it off a day...and the day after that I get an email from WM saying that they will NOT be able to fulfill my order and in compensation would I accept a $25.00 gift cert. (online only). Whoopee!!
Of course I accept it and go off to see what I can spend my windfall on. Hmmm... ok, books are good and WM only charges 97 cents for a book delivery. So I choose a book.. and order it and get an estimated delivery date of Dec. 20th (or thereabouts).
A few days later.. WM emails again.. they will not be able to deliver in time.. and would I accept a $15.00 GC? This is too funny... I accept again.
Two days after Christmass...I receive the book I ordered.. and still have 26 dollars and some change to spend.
I've ordered two more books.. we'll see what happens. They are supposed to arrive this week.
I think the moral of the story is.. If you don't have to have something by a particular date.. try ordering it from WM.. you might get it AND some extra spending $$.
Perhaps a secondary moral is Sometimes Procrastination Pays.