By Steve Bass | Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 11:31 am
Is your bargain-hunting urge quelled? I hope not: I have a bunch more sites to help you find bargain-priced products, coupon codes for discounts or free shipping, and tools to make bargain hunting easier.
Before you start reading, take a look at Cheapsim, a site dedicated to finding cheap deals on hundreds of items, and in dozens of categories. It’s worth a look (and the owner, Max Levitte, is a TechBite freebie reader.)
I couldn’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent trying to find a discount code to use at a site’s checkout page. I feel cheated if I know there’s a discount to be had — and I might be missing it.
When I get to a site’s checkout page, my typical next move is to open a new browser window and Google the site’s name and the words promo code or discount code. That, folks, is crazymaking. That’s because at last count, a Google search will bring up roughly 2 million sites offering coupon codes.
A better way to work the system is by using a coupon code site before you start shopping. And here are some of the coupon code — and daily deal — sites I’m happiest with; you’ll need to choose the few that fit your needs the best.
If you don’t want to visit all these sites every day, try DealFan, an aggregator for many of the coupon code sites above.
I remember buying a fat book of two-for-one discounts at a charity event eons ago. Judy and I paid $25 or so and used maybe two dozen coupons.
Now we pick and choose the same sort of discount on the Internet. The difference is the deals are time limited — grab it today because another one will replace it tomorrow. The deal typically asks you to spend, say $20 to get a $40 coupon. I spotted one the other day for a local fast food joint — $5 got me $10 — and perfect for a quick lunch.
At the top of the food chain is Groupon (and yes, they’re an advertiser). Living Social is another daily deal site and they’re occasionally more liberal than the others. For instance, many retailers’ coupons are restricted to one per person or table. Living Social allows two coupons per table for parties of 5 or more. You might also look at the Daily Dealster‘s variety of deals as well as KGB Deals. And if you’re only interested in eating out, try Restaurant Coupons.
You can subscribe to each and get daily e-mails. But there’s a more efficient way to get updates on Groupon-like sites: Use an aggregator that shoots you a daily e-mail with a report with the best deals. When you register with aggregators, the e-mail will have just the deals in your area. Deal51, Yipit, and 8Coupons are the best of the bunch.
With all of these daily deal products, make sure to do a quick analysis of each discount — the small print — so you don’t get burned. For instance, I spotted one on Groupon that couldn’t be used with other offers, such as happy hour. It turned out the deal was useable just one day a week. Some Daily Dealster restaurant coupons warn you that an 18-percent tip will automatically be added to the bill when you redeem the coupon.
You also need to be judicious and think through how the deal will work for you. For instance, if two of you are going out to dinner, the $5 for $10 or even $10 for $20 deals barely make a dent at some restaurants. That means you may end up laying out another $20 or so. So one rule I have is not buying a restaurant deal unless I end up with at least a $40 coupon.
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