I loathe paying full price for things, and I’m sure most of you feel the same way. Therefore, over the past few years I’ve developed a methodology that can typically save me anywhere from 30% to 80% on products that most people buy at brick-and-mortar stores. For example, two years ago, a Microsoft Xbox 360 Pro retailed for $400 at retails stores (Best Buy, Walmart, etc.). However, with only an hour of research, I was able to buy an Xbox 360 Pro system bundle, an extra controller and two games (PGR 4 and Blue Dragon), for $340. So, to summarize: I paid $60 less than the retail price of the Xbox 360 Pro plus I received an extra wireless controller and two games! Additionally, in the last month I’ve saved $210—75%—on a new tennis racquet, 65% on a new Original Penguin button front coat, and $100—75%—on supplements from GNC (including 128 caplets of Gakic Hardcore, an $80 product, for free). So, here’s how I do it.
DEALNEWS. As soon as I become interested in purchasing something I go to the web for help in finding a lower-than-retail price. One of my favorite websites for checking out discounts, sales, and deals online is dealnews. Currently, I have four alerts set up on the website: Armani Exchange, Lacoste, ExOfficio, and iPod apps. Therefore, whenever there’s a deal on any of the products I set up an alert for, say $20 off $100 at Armani Exchange for example, I receive an immediate email. The iPod apps alert is especially awesome; every morning I receive an email with recent apps that have dropped from a few dollars to free. You can set up alerts by registering for the website (which is free), and going to your profile. Overall, Dealnews is an incredibly rich website with more deals on products than any other site I’ve seen. Navigating through the website can be a little tough at times (because there are so many products on the homepage alone), but the search is quick and effective.
RETAILMENOT. Sometimes I just can’t wait to buy something, or I need to buy it in a store. Case in point: the other day I wanted a new dress shirt for a night out with some friends. So I logged on to RetailMeNot and searched for “JCPenney”. I was able to find a $10 off $50 coupon, which saved me 20% on a new shirt I bought in store. As you can see, a quick search saved me $10, whereas someone who bought the same shirt but wasn’t aware of any active JCPenney coupons paid full price. RetailMeNot proudly boasts 50,000 stores in its directory. Unlike dealnews, RetailMeNot’s core crowd is people who need coupons—not people looking for the hottest one-time deals (such as the free iPod apps). However, if you have your mind set on a store now and can’t wait for a sale to pop up on dealnews or SlickDeals, RetailMeNot is a great way to save some money.
FROOGLE. Similar to RetailMeNot, anytime I desire a specific product and I can’t wait, I search for the product with Google’s Froogle search. For example, for a trip I wanted another pair of ExOfficio boxers, however, I hadn’t seen any stellar deals in my deal alerts on dealnews and Slickdeals, so I used Froogle. Searching Froogle for “exofficio,” I found a pair Give-N-Go boxers for just under $20—roughly a 25% percent savings over the MSRP. Then, in conjunction with Froogle, I used RetailMeNot to find a free shipping coupon code.
SLICKDEALS. The original website I used to visit on a daily basis for all the latest one-day sales and discounts, SlickDeals is a haven for lesser known deals around the Internet. When I built my computer, every part of the computer was bought after finding a deal on the hardware through SlickDeals. My favorite section of the website is the forums: I check both the “Hot Deals” and “Freebies” sections regularly. Similar to dealnews, SlickDeals is only beneficial if you’re not in a hurry or not too particular about what you’re looking for. However, browsing SlickDeals daily has led to an abundance of cheap items I’ve bought, such as electronics, clothes, and plane tickets.
Any big websites I missed? How do you find the best deals online?
Also, as a side note: If you like to join Gilt Groupe, the high-end designer clothes website linked to in the first paragraph, click here for an invite link.
Additionally, for the third week, here’s my weight update: