Posted on 5/31/2011 22:38 EST
Daily Candy: Another site like Groupon? Not exactly. Daily Candy looks more like an online magazine or blog. It's got a little more of a focus on fashion than other sites offering sales each day, thus, women make up the majority of users. It services 12 major U.S. cities in addition to London, and you can view deals by area or by category. You can also view all deals covering all cities at once; the layout is pretty easy to navigate in list form. You can also get a daily newsletter emailed to you, plus there's an iPhone app. Deals include 74-percent off Puma bikes and sales at major retailers like Bloomingdale's.
This site gets great reviews from both Viewpoints and SiteJabber users. SiteJabber posters say the newsletter has good deals, few bad ones, and puts everything in a quickly-digestible format. Due to the fashion bent, several Viewpoints users love that the site tells them what's affordably trendy and fashionable at the moment. Users on this site also like the creativity and the well-written analysis of various trends. This is a site we'd recommend using, though men might feel a bit left out in the fashion department.
Gilt City: One of the more recent startup sites to offer sales each day, Gilt City was built off Gilt, which allows users to sign up for up to 60-percent off luxury brands. Gilt City, which already has an iPhone app, only expanded to include more cities than its inaugural New York last fall. It's now in six cities total and claims to offer up to 75-percent off on certain deals. There are categories like food and drink, shows and events, and retail and services, and deals offered daily for a limited time. Pretty standard compared to other daily deals sites.
Where the site gets interesting is in its bargained-down offers for luxurious places like Hamptons night clubs and country clubs. The site admits it's aimed at a more "high-end" clientele. Another interesting component is that the site lets users buy up to five coupons on a single deal, something other sites prohibit. According to a TechCrunch review, the site has failed to drum up the kind of excitement and demand that others offering sales each day, like Groupon, do. This site had few reviews -- maybe because rich people don't bother to write evaluations. All kidding aside, a USA Today review points out that even with the discounts, the deals are still pretty pricey for the average budget-conscious consumer. It gives the example of a wine and cheese tasting offer marked down from $130 to $75. Deals also go very quickly, the review states. Since this site is targeted more at wealthier folks, it's not something we can recommend for Cheapism.
Brad's Deals: Maybe people like this site because it has an actual person's name in the title. Brad's Deals says the deals are hand-picked by Brad himself (Brad, by the way, is Brad Wilson, who founded the site in 2001 when he was a poor college student). Perhaps it makes it more personal than a name like "Groupon", which exposes the group mentality of buyers. It's similar in setup to other sites selling sales each day that we've seen, and Top 10 Reviews likens it to DealNews, which we reviewed favorably. There is a list of coupons with codes and discount percentages. You can also search for coupons yourself. There are heaps of deals for the major retailers like Target and giveaways for prizes like iPads. There's also a blog offering budget-friendly tips.
Users and review sites love Brad. Top 10 Reviews says it's easy to navigate and packs more punch than other deals sites with its new steals and printable coupon code sections. Deals are legitimate, come in a wide variety, and offer good price cuts. One of the best pros to BradsDeals is that it puts all the info -- coupon code, expiration date, any extra details you need to know -- in one spot so you don't have to look in multiple areas. This really adds convenience for users. A single SiteJabber user praises the site for its cheap finds and the blog FrugalNovice loves that Brad consolidates and regularly updates deals. We stand behind this site as a good way to find sales each day.
Posted on 5/25/2011 22:15 EST
Livingsocial: An international site that brings you a deal a day for your city, Livingsocial claims to offer up to 90 percent off on dining, activities, and services. You can click on it to buy it and share your purchase with others -- the coupons will be sent to you via email. The deal page tells you simply how much of a discount you get, the original value, how many people have bought the deal, and how much time you have left to buy it. There's also a "fine print" section listing any restrictions -- like a limit of one purchase per person -- and the date by which you need to use the deal.
This system seems to work well because you don't have to worry about sifting through a long list of coupons or deals or having your email cluttered with messages. Livingsocial also has an iPhone app to make getting your deal a day even more convenient.
Unfortunately, reviews for this site from users are pretty weak. ResellerRatings posters say coupons they've purchased on Livingsocial were not sent to them despite having their credit cards charged, and confirmation emails are often not sent. Others say they had trouble getting refunds when they changed their minds on a deal. Customer service is of little help, users add. Users on SiteJabber report suspicious charges on credit cards tied to their Livingsocial accounts, possibly from the site charging the card more than once or for other deals. Others on the site say the deal-a-day service seems to just want to collect personal and credit card information and then randomly cancel orders. This is definitely not a site we'd recommend due to all these issues.
Groupon: This site works very similarly to Livingsocial in that it offers a deal a day that a group of people buy to bring down the cost. You can buy it and share the purchase with your friends as well. The site tries to reduce the cost by 50 to 90 percent. You can personalize and also access deals from your phone. Some deals include a spa package for 50-percent off at $65.
SiteJabber users are a little less scathing in their reviews for this site than Livingsocial, but not by much. Their qualms include the businesses not honoring coupons and deals that come with strings. One poster describes buying a wine deal for $25 with a $75 original price tag, but being asked to sign up for a $129.90 membership to actually get the discount. Others say the quality of service of certain coupons is questionable. To summarize one user‘s gripe, how good is a $12.50, hour-long massage actually going to be?
Viewpoints reviews are much more positive, however, with users liking the deals offered and the site's ease of use. Users also like the local aspect of the deals and the fact they could save on activities. Cons listed include only a single deal a day, poor customer service, and delayed refunds. This is a site we'd recommend using with caution. It seems to help save on certain services and items, but always read the fine print and check reviews of the merchant before buying.
Scoutmob: This new site claims to focus on the small guy, the unique restaurants and businesses that give a city grit, flavor, and charm. It's unique in that it sends deals directly to your phone, so you don't have to worry about confirmation emails or printing (though you do have to sign up with the site and will get deals to buy via email). You also don't have to worry about handing over credit card information -- you just get the deal texted to your phone and show up at the business. There's also an app, so you can just do the whole shebang from your iPhone, though it's OK if you just use a regular mobile phone to get deals.
The setup looks similar to other deal-a-day sites by telling you how much the discount is, who already bought it, and how long you have to get it. A sample deal for Seattle includes 50 percent off at a coffee shop -- most of the deals are for eateries or cafes. What's different here is that you're getting a coupon that you can use for a certain time period for free. You don't ever even have to use the coupon if you don't want to. This differs from Groupon, which requires you to actually "buy" the deal first.
The number of cities this relatively new site serves is limited thus far -- New York's not even on the list -- but Scoutmob is getting early praise and is said to be giving Groupon a run for its money. In a comparison of the two sites on Mokabala, Scoutmob is the winner because it doesn't require users to buy, and it offers deals to independent and trendy places. Plus, it seems to help out the merchants more than Groupon does -- Scoutmob takes $2 per customer who uses the deal as opposed to 50 percent taken by Groupon -- which probably makes for a more pleasant experience. A Reuters story on the new deal-a-day site is also favorable, praising its local focus and ease of use. If this site is in your city, we say give it a go.
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Posted on 5/24/2011 7:17 EST
Memorial Day means more than summer being just around the corner and the end of the school year -- it also means big-time sales on scores of items, from chlorine for the pool to a car for getting around town. Major retailers around the country are already offering holiday weekend deals in-store and online.
If you need to update your wardrobe for summer, you'll find holiday weekend deals at Reebok, which has 40-percent off all sale items with the code "SALE40." Backcountry.com also has a 40-percent- off promotion over the holiday.
On the technology front, MacMall is mounting a Memorial Day sale of up to 67 percent off certain items, or 100 percent with mail-in rebates. Items range from the small, like a AC/USB power adapter originally $29.99 that can be purchased for free with the rebate, to big, like iPads knocked down by $260. Best Buy will offer discounts on tons of products, like $4.99 DVDs, 5 to 30 percent off digital cameras with free shipping, and sales on all iPods.
If you want to spruce up your home with more than new technology, as of May 25 Macy's will offer holiday weekend deals on home wares purchased online. Savings range between 20 and 50 percent on products such as mattresses, furniture, and kitchenware. Home Depot is hosting Memorial Day deals on paint, such as $5 off a gallon or $20 off 5 gallons.
Need to get the backyard ready for summer? Then you can head online to PoorGear Plus, whose deals started last week. You can save $20 on 40 pounds of chlorine tablets and 10 percent off other chemicals. Pool toys are 15 percent off, and there's also free shipping. If you're looking for outdoor gear, REI is having an anniversary sale over Memorial Day weekend that includes 30 percent off camping, hiking, and travel items. Likewise, Walmart.com is having a summer savings sale on pools, play equipment, tents, and more. Target is offering holiday weekend deals on patio furniture, grills, and play equipment, all with free shipping.
You can even get a discount on a new car this Memorial Day. Nissan is holding a holiday tent sale on leases for Altima and Maxim. If you'd rather fly than drive this summer, there are Memorial Day travel deals, too. Among the holiday weekend deals are Vayama.com's offer of $40 off per booking. Hotels.com is offering up to 30 percent off bookings, Travelzoo.com has 55-percent off deals, like airfare from $39, and Expedia.com has hotel steals for this weekend, as well.
Posted on 5/19/2011 16:05 EST
Spring cleaning is underway, which means people are getting rid of their old wares by throwing them out, donating them, or hosting garage sales. If you're in the market for home goods, gently-used clothes, yard furniture, and assorted other items, then you'll need a yard sale app or website to point you in the right direction.
Usually, garage sales are advertised in the days before they occur via flyers posted around the neighborhood or ads in the local newspaper. More and more, however, people are posting their events on Craigslist in the For Sale section under "garage sale." In addition, Craigslist now has a freeiPhone app to help you find goods and events on the go.
Sites for finding cheap yard sales have sprung up over the last few years. There's OA Online, which lets you plunk in a date and a ZIP code to find an event near you. Garage Sale Tracker not only lets you find garage sales, it also sets up a route for you to follow to take advantage of several events in one day or weekend. This site also has a garage sale app for iPhone. Garage Sale Cow shows a monthly calendar of garage sales in your area, including the number on each day, and lets you search within 5 to 50 miles of a certain ZIP code.
There are several other sites that offer similar functions for finding cheap yard sales in your area. GarageSales.com and Yard Sale Search, a very Craigslist-looking site, simply list events. Yard Sale Treasure Map lists sales by date, by city, and by distance on a map; Gsalr.com also features a map in addition to a garage sale app. Patch.com, the hyper-local neighborhood sites built by AOL, now post community events like garage sales. Check the site nearest to your town to see if cheap yard sales are coming your way.
And now for still more yard sales apps... Garage Sale Rover gleans listings from Craigslist and other sites and gets you to them with GPS voice. There's a cost of $3.99. IGarageSale is a $1.99 yard sale app (free for the "lite" version) that's unique because it lets you search for a specific item and tells you at which sale you can find it. Yard Sale Mapper mines from Craigslist and Yard Sale Treasure Map to find local sales. Garage Sales App is another option.
Now that you're on your way to your yard sales adventure, remember to always set out with a plan. As with couponing, daily deals, and bulk buying, you don't want to end up spending or buying more than you intended. You might even want to make a list of what you're looking for so you don't get swayed by glittery junk or products that serve no purpose. Also don't forget to use your bargaining powers to snag an even better deal on a steal. Last, but not least, make sure you really want the item, because there's no returning it after purchase.
What are your tips for finding cheap yard sales?
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FlamingoWorld: Perhaps a weird name for a site specializing in online bargain hunting, FlamingoWorld registers immediate problems by not having its coupon list in date order. So, a coupon up top might expire on May 18, the ones after expire in December, then one after that expires May 16 -- all of which makes it hard to know which deals to jump on first. The site does list the coupon codes attached to the deal in addition to the expiration date right on the home page, which is a plus. Most of the site's deals seem to be for clothes and home items.
Top 10 Reviews has ranked it No. 10 out of the 11 coupon sites it reviews, saying there are a good range of legitimate coupons and a tracker to tell you when prices drop even more, but the lack of a decent help option makes the site only so-so. This site has a single 5-star review from ePinions 2000 in which the reviewer says one of the cons is the inaccurate expiration dates. We don't recommend this site for finding deals, because of reports about wrong expiration dates and the lack of order to them just seem like a headache.
Coupon Sherpa: This portal is different from the other online bargain hunting sites in that it had an iPhone app before it had a web site. In fact, the site's founder said he started the site to directly help the iPhone app. Once the site launched, its aim was to provide coupons that were at least 99-percent reliable, meaning there were few that didn't work or that had expired. It also aims to offer coupons in many forms other than codes, such as printable and online.
The site is only about 18 months old, and reviews for the site itself are limited. One thing that came up other than the site's decent listing of deals for everything from cereal to computers from major retailers is its reporting of coupon news. For instance, the site recently did a blog post on the authenticity of consumer reviews. Other posts have focused on Black Friday shopping tips. We think this is a good additional feature to have besides offering daily deals and sets Coupon Sherpa apart from other sites. Its commitment to coupons that work make this a site worth trying.
TechBargains: This site for online bargain hunting of tech products is not easy on the eyes. It's basically a bunch of blue text and links in the body of the page and in both sidebars. This design makes it very hard to actually read the information and sort out what is what. Instead of listing the actual coupon code, you have to click on a link to get it. Another issue we have with this site is that it tells you the current price, but not the original. That may be well and good for tech-savvy people who immediately know when a DSLR camera is a bargain, but the rest of the general public may need more info on what constitutes a "sale."
All that being said, PC Mag likes this site, saying that in addition to giving you in-store and online deals, it gives you more savings tips, like buying a credit card at one store to save on a tech product at another. A ReviewOn assessment likes that you can get daily alerts that tell you when to buy products and that the site is updated throughout the day with new deals. We think this site is good for people who already know the tech market, but others may have trouble navigating and knowing what's a good deal.
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