Top Ten Bargain Websites
It's hard to imagine how holiday shopping got done before the Internet age—safe to say it was a headache, and a waste of CO2 (you know, with all those minivans cruising from mall to mall in search of the primo pre-Christmas deal). We don't know—we can't even remember that far back. These days, Christmas shopping is as easy as knowing all the good bargain hiding-places on the web.
Well, we'll do you one better: Here's a list of the best bargain aggregators on the web—they do all the deal-scouting for you—plus deals on stuff we just think you need.
1: the find
The find is essentially a search engine for shoppers, and using it as easy as knowing what you're shopping for. New bicycles for the kids? Just enter “bicycle” in the search field, and “the find” finds deals on everything from bike pumps to inner tubes, in addition to pages upon pages of deals on bikes from stores like Toys R Us and Sports Authority. If you feel like going out, you can also tweak the search to look for deals at specific stores in your town or your neighborhood, and even to look through your favorite stores for the best prices. Check out the find at: http://www.thefind.com/.
TUAW (The Unofficial Apple Weblog), part of AOL's stable of tech blogs, is central command for Apple geeks, linking Apple-related news stories and nerding out about the iPhone app that can teach CPR or Apple's WiFi baby monitor, tittering about the inner workings of Apple itself while going long on the pros (and, occasionally, cons) of new products. Plus, everyday the site's editors run down the best deals of the day from across the web—some of which aren't even tech-related—steep Walmart iPhone discounts, paired with deals on LCD screens from Dell and Timbuk2 bags from REI. Check out the deals at TUAW at: http://www.tuaw.com/category/deals/.
Flip cameras have been around for a couple of years, but this year holiday sites are naming the handy little camera/camcorder a sure-fire Christmas hit for 2010. They're good for tiny projects (capturing your kid's shiniest little league moments, for example) and for professional projects, too (bloggers and internet journalists have made the Flip a staple of on-the-go, high-quality citizen journalism for the last couple of years). With the Flip's included software, putting a video together is as easy as dragging and dropping. Theflip.com is offering a few cool deals for the holidays, including free two-day shipping and a coupon for a free camera accessory with purchase of a camera. The HD camera runs at $149.99 for the 4 GB model, and $199.99 for the 8 GB model. Check out the Flip cam at: http://store.theflip.com/en-us/.
4: Bass Pro Shops
Bass Pro Shops—the nationwide retailer of hunting, fishing, and camping gear—has an online guide to the surprisingly large list of stuff the BPS stores do to ring in the merriest of seasons. In addition to deals on their staple fishing gear, there's a guide to the boy-centric children's toys for sale at BPS, including electric trains and miniature slot cars, and a “skeet shooter game” that's on sale right now for $49.94. The site also functions as something of a guide to the stores themselves, each of which all offer something a little different for the holidays. Kids can practice their fly fishing and skeet shooting skills in the store, and even sit on Santa's lap. Hopefully Santa will change out of those fly-fishing waders, first. Check out Bass Pro Shops online at: http://www.basspro.com/.
The online retailers “woot!” derive their name from videogame-nerd slang for “awesome!” The one-crazy-deal-at-a-time site is designed to inspire “woot!” moments, in nerds and non-nerds alike. A classy three-shelf DVD player for only $49.99? woot, for sure! But the deal only lasts as long as supplies do, which can be as short a time frame as a few minutes. Then—poof!—another sweet deal on a random sale item pops up on the homepage. Precision Valet Garment Steamer for only $69.99? Awesome! Check out wOOt! at: http://www.woot.com/.
6: Steep and Cheap
Steep and Cheap is like woot!'s fitter younger brother, offering the same speed-deal-roulette format, but only for high-quality outdoor gear. It's a particularly good place to find deals on ski and snowboard gear, from quality bindings to brand new boards, but you have to be vigilant—as with woot!, these deals don't stick around for more than a few minutes. At this second, Louis Garneau Freeshape FX Apex II Snowshoes are only $119.99—that's 52 percent off the original price. Can't beat that deal with a ten-foot ski pole. Check out Steep and Cheap at: http://www.steepandcheap.com/.
DealCatcher is a site for the eagle-eyed shopper—it's a list of deals on a huge variety of items offered on other sites, laid out like knick knacks at a flea market (we count 89 deals running on the site's homepage alone). If you're the studious shopper who can spot the diamond in the pile of rocks, this site is for you. The deals range from purses and backpacks—a $60 canvas messenger bag going for a cool $15—to a coupon for free drinks a Chili's and a $25 kids' train set going for ten bucks. But just like the majority of great bargains on the web, these deals don't usually last for more than a day—so jump on the site and get scannin'. Check out DealCatcher at: http://www.dealcatcher.com/.
8: Retail Me Not
This little website—much tidier than the cramped bazaar at DealCatcher—offers a similar concept as DealCatcher, but with a more pared-down premise: A list of coupon codes for lady-centric deals on clothes and accessories (plus cool DIY clothing sites like Threadless.com, which allows users to make and sell their own t-shirt designs, and Snapfish, the members-only photo sharing site). It requires a lot less vigilance, but a little more patience—if the coupon you seek isn't on the site today, check back tomorrow, when a new slate of deals pop up on the page. Check out Retail Me Not at: http://www.retailmenot.com/.
Overstock.com is the proverbial warehouse of the Internet. It's super easy to navigate—the National Retail Federation even declared that the site has the second best customer service of any retailer in the U.S. (not something your average overstock warehouse would be able to boast about). And the deals are hard to beat: Forty-two percent off a Bodipedic memory foam mattress, down to an even $300 from $519.99. A Canon EOS Rebel Digital SLR Camera Kit, for $499.99 (that's 41 percent off the list price). And they sell pretty much everything—you can even buy a car or a house. Check out Overstock.com at: http://www.overstock.com/.
Techbargains is part tech reference library/part coupon book for sweet gadget deals from across the web, aggregating deals and then passing its judgment. Following the same basic flea-market format as DealCatcher, Techbargains is for those with a knack for picking out deals and a serious tech nerd streak. In addition to coupons from Dell, Best Buy, and Apple, the site is a go-to guide on what to buy and what not to buy, publishing a tech review every day or so, mostly commenting on the newest hardware and software for PCs. Check out Techbargains at: http://www.techbargains.com/.