Of course, that means that I travel to New York City more and more. Nowadays I'm there every other week.
The problem with this arrangement? Hotel costs. OMG.
The real estate boom has created a hotel shortage in New York, as anyone who travels there frequently knows. I used to easily Priceline hotels for under $100 a night. Not anymore. A Holiday Inn Express goes for $250 a night and up. A Marriott is at least $350 a night, and that's only if you book well in advance. This summer I got stuck with a $500 per night bill at the Doubletree, the cheapest room I could find. Five hundred dollars! For a Doubletree! (No offense to the Doubletree, but I've stayed at the Ritz for less.) Since I'll be in New York this November and December for the busy holiday season, that means racking up tens of thousands of dollars in hotel bills in just two months.
On one of my recent trips to the New York office we got to talking about this problem over lunch and someone said, "You could rent an apartment for less than what you'll spend on hotels!"
It was an interesting proposition. After doing the math we realized that for the same price as two months in a hotel we could indeed get almost nine months of rent. Brilliant! We searched around and found a great apartment. In DUMBO. A commute of just two blocks! The perfect solution.
Or was it? This created another problem: How would we furnish it?
Since we gave up dumpster diving back in undergrad, we came up with what I think is a great idea. We've spent the last decade helping people find deals on hundreds of thousands of products. Why not furnish the apartment solely from deals on our sites? That would keep costs down while providing an interesting challenge. And before you question our commitment, please remember that we've even listed toilet paper deals from Amazon.com and drugstore.com. I'll be reviewing the experience, from the store that sold the item to the delivery process to the product itself. I'll cover everything from TVs to furniture, linens to blenders. (Okay, I didn't really need a blender, but we listed the KitchenAid KSB5 5-Speed Blender for just $32.39 shipped free. Man, that was a great deal.)
Over the next few months I'll detail the purchases that transform the blank canvas of a Brooklyn apartment into what will henceforth be known as the dealpad. The only exception to the rule will be food, although there are occasional deals on that, too. (I noticed a coupon on the side of the Fresh Direct truck that's been making deliveries to my building. Hunting for deals never ends.)
It will begin next week, when I break down the most important purchase of any new dwelling -- the TV.
Dan de Grandpre is dealnews' CEO (a.k.a., Chief Dealguy) and a small town boy who loves life in New York City.