Do You Deal?

It's come to my attention that my friends consider me the "deal king." I can think of better nicknames, but I can also think of a few worse ones, so ok. I got to thinking about all the places that Jo and I find deals, and thought I'd share a few. In truth, I think she finds way more deals than I do. The toughest part of deal finding is what I call the "Costco Effect." The Costco Effect explains the phenomenon where you walk into a place like Costco (or a web site) and see all sorts of stuff on good deals that you didn't know until right then that you couldn't live without. You know what I'm talking about: the stainless-steel 22 piece barbeque tool set, the 5-pack of flash memory cards, or a 3-pack of 24" summer sausage! We've all fallen victim to those deals.

On the net, here's a short rundown of my favorite deal sites:
  1. Spoofee. I like deal sites that a) show me a picture of the item and b) don't have so many deals that I never have a prayer of getting through them all. Besides, who really needs to know about free samples of glow-in-the-dark nylons, etc. Spoofee meets both of these criteria, has RSS feeds (so you can have the deals pop up on Google Reader or iGoogle, etc.), and has a rating system that shows you whether the deal is really that great. For these reasons, Spoofee is my favorite deal site.
    *I have to share, though, that I'm really not a fan of mail-in rebates any more. I never liked them, but I tolerated them for years. Now, unless it's something really compelling, (like the 24" LCD I got a $70 rebate on a few months ago), I won't go through the hassle. Can anyone justify/explain why it would actually take 12-16 weeks to cut a check in 2008?! No way.
  2. Slickdeals. I've only started using this one recently. It also doesn't post so much stuff that I can't consume it. Though it doesn't do pictures. What I do like, though, is that it provides a little more detail about each item, as well as dimming out the items whose deals have expired. It even does a little fire icon to show items that are judged (through some secret algorithm) to be really hot deals. You can do RSS feeds on it, as well. I found several really great items here before Christmas, including a George Foreman grill for Jo that was about 60% off. I find that about half of the really good bargains show up on both spoofee and slickdeals together. They have forums that are very handy for ensuring that deals actually work, that quality of items is as expected, etc. I'm amazed, really, at how much dialog people can have over something simple like gummy bears on sale.
  3. Overstock. I'm not sure if it really qualifies for a "deal" site in the pure sense, but we've found plenty of things here that have worked out well, and their shipping is reasonable, plus their return policy has worked out nicely for us on a couple of occasions. They really do have quite a large selection of stuff, and the quality has been quite good in our experience.
  4. Costco. Another non-purist "deal" site, but lots of good bargains to be had, nonetheless. Costco.com is technically a separate company from Costco, and you can pay online with any credit card (as opposed to AMEX only at real Costco's). The selection is much bigger than the stores, and you can return stuff to stores if you need. I've learned, though, that it's not a great deal just because it's there. The best stuff comes from matching with the coupon books Costco sends you in the mail a few times each year. The best deal I've found: tires.
  5. Chainlove. This is a collection of specialty sites that sell one item at a time from a particular outdoor genre. Chainlove does biking gear (and will shortly be launching a sibling that does pure mountain-biking stuff). The parent company, backcountry.com (based out of SLC), also has several other storefronts that do the same one-item-at-a-time clearance, but for different genres: (can RSS these as well)
    dogfunk.com (snowboard gear)
    steepandcheap.com (outdoor gear)
    tramdock.com (ski gear)
    whiskeymilitia.com (skateboard, surf, snowboard, wakeboard, and bmx market)
    backcountryoutlet.com (all sorts of discounted outdoor gear)
  6. Woot. I've not actually bought anything from here yet, but their methods are pretty funny. They also sell only one item at a time, but usually add a few paragraphs of highly strange dialog around the item and its description. It's worth a watch just for a laugh, if nothing else. Their discounts can be very steep, but you should be sure of the quality of the items, as some are questionable, according to the forums. Can RSS these as well.

More sites, but I'm not as fond of these:
  1. Deals of America. Though it's not a bad site, there's just too much material for me to consume. I don't have enough time to sit and watch everything that comes up here, and they have hundreds of items each week. I only go here if I'm looking for something in particular that I just need a deal on right now. Can't recall that I've ever actually made a connection and purchased anything, though. But they do have nice little pictures.
  2. FatWallet. This one is another full of discount codes and coupons that can come in handy.
If you have other sites you're addicted to, pass them on. This is a good chance to share and find even more places that will sell me stuff I didn't know I needed!

BTW, Happy New Year.

Comments

kevandcan said…
Thanks for posting these sites. I have used slickdeals quite a bit. We got some GREAT tickets to New Cal on Cheap Tickets.com too.
Kristin said…
Heck yes I am a bargain shopper! I rarely buy anything at retail price (except groceries - that's too much work).

My other favs are sites that post those "coupon codes" for shopping sites; like www.couponcabin.com and www.retailmenot.com. Great way to save 20%, or get a discount on shipping, or whatever.
Sam said…
I'm a fan of techbargains.com for my techie stuff... it can be sorted by store or category, and it shows you pictures.

I recently found this one too: dealnews.com. It's user driven (digg style), and it's broken down into categories with pictures. Best part is that you can set up RSS feeds by store, category, recent additions, or 'editor's choice'.
Lori said…
Good post, good post. I hadnt seen some of those sites before.
Sam is a deal-searching junky. He rarely buys anything, he just likes finding the deals :)

Myself, i'm a HUGE fan of retailmenot.com
I rarely pay shipping or full price on anything online due to their coupon codes.
Unknown said…
Good to know! We aren't really "dealers"- usually if I need a deal I just ask Lori where to shop:). But now we know.
James said…
Ah, I didn't know you were a fellow SD/Fatwallet-er! See you on the forums...
Paz123 said…
Great post.!! Well, I am a big fan of snowboarding and DogFunk is my favorite store to get snowboard gears.

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