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February 25, 2005 11:32 PM   Subscribe

This is...bad...
posted by Bokononist at 1:00 AM on February 26, 2005

DealUniversity | dealcatcher | dealnews | eDealFinder
posted by TheIrreverend at 1:05 AM on February 26, 2005

Lacking any commentary, this becomes nothing more than a free text ad. Hopefully it will be removed.
posted by Xkot at 1:35 AM on February 26, 2005

If you need me to spell it out for you, this is a compiled list of resource websites which provide up-to-date bargains and coupon codes for discounts on products, and while they may not be of interest to you, I can tell you that by using one of these websites, I recently saved about $100 on a new monitor.
posted by crunchland at 2:06 AM on February 26, 2005

Nice set of links. 'Best of Web' is not restricted to art galleries and essays.
posted by Gyan at 2:09 AM on February 26, 2005

Good links. I've been buying 90% of my gadgets through Slickdeals and Fatwallet for years now. I'll have a look at the other ones.
posted by Manjusri at 2:40 AM on February 26, 2005

Crunchland - that's the bit of data that would make this a better front page post. Next time, include the context so you don't appear to be linking for dollars.
posted by Xkot at 3:18 AM on February 26, 2005

I didn't think I appeared to be linking for dollars before I explained myself. There's no indication that there was any sort of referral information in my links, nor would you conclude that by actually going to the sites I linked to. But I understand that it's easier to make rash, uninformed reactions than it is to investigate the facts before jumping to conclusions.
posted by crunchland at 3:25 AM on February 26, 2005

I read Deals of America daily. It appears to me, a casual Fat Wallet reader, that most of these sites find their bargains through community sites like Fat Wallet and simply link to the items with their own affiliate identification numbers.

A word of caution to the uninitiated. These third party sites are advertising products in ways manufacturers and resellers might not otherwise be able to or worse, might not want them to. Limited circulation coupons and discount codes are often posted for general use. Prices are listed after rebates. Questionable price matching practices are regularly advocated. While an experienced reader may be familiar with such practices, new readers may be a bit shocked when that $600 off Dell Laptop promo code fails to remove a penny or when they take a promotional coupon they printed from the web, spend their time shopping at Staples physical store only to find their coupon rejected.

If your comfortable with grey market purchases, Pricewatch is an old standby. Pricewatch is a price search engine, which has been famously gamed by resellers. Be warned that many times a price on Pricewatch will not be available when you go to purchase the item. Worse yet, you may find that after your purchase, after your credit card has been charged, after weeks of waiting for the product, the reseller may not honor the price of an item they never told you was back ordered. The absolute worse case scenario is you never know when you're buying from a company that is involved in extraordinarily sketchy business practices, like selling system pulls as new, operating under a new DBA this week, selling stolen goods, etc. In the late 90's, after several extremely frustrating experience with Pricewatch listed vendors, I gave up on the site altogether. One company shipped me used, bad RAM and went out of business while my order was in transit. Several tried to bait and switch with prices as the processor market fell through. In short, just be careful.

At the moment I use NexTag as a price search engine, but you may prefer PriceGrabber or any of the sites that use affiliated searches through a price search engine, like I'll cross reference prices with eBay, Amazon and Amazon Marketplace, which sells used items alongside their new items. After a bit of price research, I get a pretty comfortable feel for the market and may check local stores for coupons on Fat Wallet. I'll check eCost or Overstock for refurbished or liquidated models, though I haven't found a good search engine for finding refurbished products. It's usually hit or miss. eCost sells open boxes and has daily closeout sales, along with new and refurbished products.

One last word of warning, beware of the shipping price games many companies employ. eCost is regularly one of the cheaper places around, but usually not the cheapest. They offer free shipping every day. However, what is not clear to new users is every order is charged a handling fee which often closely matches the cost of ground shipping. The handling fee varies with every item, but is usually around $5.00. newegg, on the other hand, generally has some of the lowest prices around and is quite up front with their shipping prices. newegg is well known for their fast processing and shipping times, but after shipping fees, their prices can be quite mediocre. The key is to know the final price of an item, including shipping, tax and handling.

Other companies will list their products at outrageously low prices, besting their nearest competitor by $15.00, but will have shipping prices of $14.95. This is not as common, but you'll see it from time to time. This allows the company to keep a larger percentage of the total price if you should return the item, since shipping is rarely refundable. When I say shipping is $14.95, I mean they are charging you $14.95 for an item weighing less than a pound to be sent ground service.

Lastly, many companies still don't make shipping costs part of the product research phase. One of my biggest gripes about Amazon is that their shipping cost is hidden away till the very end of the checkout process. Sure, Amazon offers free shipping, but it's on a limited subset of what they sell. It's not available for Marketplace, zShop, auction or Amazon partner orders. Sure, the item may say it qualifies for free shipping on the product page, but it's not always clear who you're buying it from unless your familiar with their multiple vendor approach.
posted by sequential at 3:53 AM on February 26, 2005

It was obvious to me what the links are about, even without the explanation, and I appreciate the post.

I like the tag on dealnews: "How to go broke saving money."
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:04 AM on February 26, 2005

That last point is very true, sequential ... one "deal" I saw recently was for a 5.1 surround sound speaker system for an amazing $49. Of course, the cheapest shipping cost was via Fedex at $35, with normal USPS shipping coming in at a whopping $57. Talk about hidden costs!
posted by crunchland at 4:18 AM on February 26, 2005

I also found the links' shared theme fairly obvious and found them handy, what with being a cheap bastard and all.
posted by picea at 5:03 AM on February 26, 2005

I use these types of sites before I buy anything electronic or computer related. Back in the dot com boom days you could find items at well below cost or even for free, thanks to posts on deal sites. Those were the days.

The volume of posting traffic on these sites, Fatwallet in particular, is amazing. On some days, if you hit refresh right after reading the title links, you are presented with a half page of new links.
posted by SteveInMaine at 5:19 AM on February 26, 2005

This is a fucking terrible post.

Froogle, Anandtech Hotdeals Forum, etc., etc., etfuckingc.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:32 AM on February 26, 2005

Xkot has posted no links 53 comments to MetaFilter
crunchland has posted 266 links and 1701 comments to MetaFilter

I think crunchie knows how to post being #10 on the list of FPPosters to this site

I'm glad to see this thread. I used to use dealnews all the time when my gf lived in NH. Anybody know some good sites for the UK or Canada?
posted by srboisvert at 5:33 AM on February 26, 2005

It was obvious to me what the links are about, even without the explanation, and I appreciate the post.

Me too. Thanks crunch (and sequential.) I knew about some of these sites but not all.
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:14 AM on February 26, 2005

I also use passwird alot
posted by ElvisJesus at 6:35 AM on February 26, 2005

Thanks crunchland!
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 7:13 AM on February 26, 2005

Great post, I check out Fatwallet every day but didn't know about most of the others. And sequential's comment is a wonderful addition to the thread.

Xkot, don't be a jerk.
posted by LarryC at 7:21 AM on February 26, 2005

...and don't forget Woot. One deal a (week)day. Usually posted around 1 AM and the good ones sell out fast.
posted by PlusDistance at 7:33 AM on February 26, 2005

sequential doesn't speak for everyone with his essay.

I really love pricewatch. I have never seen a lower price than I could find there and the prices have always been honored. Just my two cents.
posted by zwemer at 7:57 AM on February 26, 2005

Bookmarked them all. Thanks, cruchland.
posted by Cyrano at 7:58 AM on February 26, 2005

err, crunchland.
posted by Cyrano at 7:59 AM on February 26, 2005

I'm a regular user of GotApex . Found some really good deals thru there.
posted by white_devil at 8:11 AM on February 26, 2005

One thing to bear in mind regarding Cheap Ass Gamer... they barely post anything good on their front page anymore. The best gaming bargains on the site can be found in their Cheap Ass Video Game Deals forum (sorry no direct link, but they require registration). That's where I found out about things like Kmart's periodic 50% off Blue Light video game specials and the Toys R Us 90% off green tag sale.
posted by MegoSteve at 8:17 AM on February 26, 2005

bookmarked too--thanks crunch, from all us cheap bastards. : >
posted by amberglow at 8:21 AM on February 26, 2005

Mother Of all Deals - site that caches most of the bargain sites listed above. So instead viewing 6 different bargain sites, use just one. Also you can search their database knowing you're not missing any.

I also fancy
posted by pez_LPhiE at 9:15 AM on February 26, 2005

awesome, pez. thanks.
posted by crunchland at 9:20 AM on February 26, 2005

i thought this was good post - i added a number of bookmarks to sites listed here.

posted by specialk420 at 9:30 AM on February 26, 2005

ResellerRatings can be helpful for sorting out some of the sketchier businesses that sequential mentions.
posted by Galvatron at 9:44 AM on February 26, 2005

posted by poodlemouthe at 9:57 AM on February 26, 2005

For Canadians: RedFlagDeals.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:53 AM on February 26, 2005

I think this is great. I was going to post something like this but didn't wanted to get called out for "advertising."

Also, the best deals on fatwallet, I've found to be in the forums. You don't have to register but it helps because then you can sort by date and ratings. Very helpful. Word to wise: do not post a question in the Hot Deals Forum.

Plusdistance, have you gotten a bag-o-crap yet?
posted by Jim Jones at 11:11 AM on February 26, 2005

posted by Hands of Manos at 11:29 AM on February 26, 2005

One thing I hate about some of these sites is that they won't tell you the website of the deal. Instead, they hide the info in a code and forward you to the site. Motivation to find a different dealsite.
posted by Jim Jones at 11:55 AM on February 26, 2005

For UK: Money Saving Expert
posted by laukf at 12:06 PM on February 26, 2005

Xkot has posted no links 53 comments to MetaFilter
crunchland has posted 266 links and 1701 comments to MetaFilter

I think crunchie knows how to post being #10 on the list of FPPosters to this site just got history spanked! You gonna take that, Xkot?
posted by graventy at 1:15 PM on February 26, 2005

Graventy, I just don't see the point in arguing with someone who equates post count with credibility. I don't have an interest in any further commentary.
posted by Xkot at 1:36 PM on February 26, 2005

Have to add one more resource I use regularly: Froogle. It's most useful when you know exactly what you want. I enter specific model/part #'s to find best price.

And I use it as a reality check to ensure the "deals of the day" are in fact good deals.
posted by Bradley at 8:25 PM on February 26, 2005

I don't classify froogle along with these other sites. While I do use it from time to time to check and make sure I'm not completely overpaying for something, it doesn't provide discount codes or alert you to hot deals on the web like the other sites do.
posted by crunchland at 8:52 PM on February 26, 2005

Here's a few more:

* Cool Savings (coupons) (free stuff) (samples) (registration required)
* Ebates (revenue share) (registration required)
* Deal of Day (popups)
* Big Big Savings (ecoupons) (free stuff)
* Flamingo World (coupons) (ecoupons)

Note that if you go to all of the sites on this page, you'll notice a significant amount of overlap in deals. Additionally, it should be noted that many of the "free offers" are free in exchange for your personally identifiable information. Though many of them will give you the option to opt out, in one form or another, others will share your information with third parties. If your privacy is valuable or if you don't wish to share your email address, read the privacy policies, EULA's and especially the details provided in the offers themselves.
posted by sequential at 11:49 AM on March 3, 2005

Hrm. Motherofalldeals is already shut down. Must've been really, really useful to have been slapped so quickly.
posted by codger at 12:24 PM on March 14, 2005

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