Looking for a bargain? Black Friday and beyond (updated 11/09)

There are bargains out there, and not just for Black Friday.  You just need to know where to look. These are some of my favorite sites:

Black Friday Ads:

Online Coupons:

  • RetailMeNot.com: One of the largest coupon collections on the web, usually the most up-to-date coupons available.
  • CouponCabin.com: variety of online coupons

Printable/downloadable local coupons:

  • MommySavesBig: collection of printable national coupons for in-store use
  • ValPak.com: miss a coupon from the newspaper? Chances are it was through ValPak and you can print it direct here.
  • RedPlum.com: another source for printable coupons
  • Upromise.com: a different type of coupon service where you can save money and save for college.

Computers & Electronics:

  • Techbargains.com: one of the original sources for those infamous Dell coupons.
  • DealHack.com: very broad selection of bargains, especially those crazy Amazon Friday deals.

Product Reviews:

  • Amazon: Even if you are not buying from Amazon, research your gifts by reading the reviews.  These reviews are typically your “average user” and should be considered as such.
  • Consumer Reports:  not the widest selection of reviews, but they usually have updated reviews in the Fall before the Holiday rush.
  • C|NET:  not the widest selection of reviews, but they usually review the hottest items.  Plus, members can also chime in with User Reviews.    Look for an Editor’s Choice list.

Camera Reviews & News:

  • Canon Rumors:  best source for inside Canon info on upcoming cameras, lenses and more.
  • Nikon Rumors: for the Nikonmaniacs
  • Digital Photography Review (DP): news and reviews for all top brands.
  • William Castleman:  if you are considering an expensive Canon L lens, this is the place to start.
  • Photozone: camera reviews and lens with specific testing on full-frame and cropped sensor dSLRs.
  • Digital Camera Resource:  pulls independent reviews from multiple sites
  • Camera Labs:  these reviews include specs, sample shots and comparisons across various comparable models.
  • Northern Lights: reviews of camera equipment, software and printers
  • Steve’s Digicams:  used to be one of the largest independent source of camera reviews.  New owners, new site.

Bargain shopping/comparison sites (be sure to check the vendor’s website ratings below!):

  • Google Shopping: one of the best deal finders on the web
  • Yahoo Shopping: more than just Yahoo storefronts, this service now pulls info from major websites too.
  • Bing Shopping: not to be left out, the former MSN shopping service is growing.
  • CheapUncle.com: affiliated with couponcabin.com, one of the newer shopping sites
  • Shopping.com: one of the original shopping services
  • PriceGrabber.com: the other original shopping service
  • ebay.com: look for PowerSellers with a very high feedback rating! Many companies now sell refurbished equipment direct to the consumer through ebay.

Website Ratings:

  • ResellerRatings.com: is that online price too good to be true, check the ratings of that seller here.
  • Bizrate.com: one of the first rating services for online storefronts
  • NexTag.com: another rating service for online storefronts
  • Google Shopping: Google now collects customer reviews and displays them for various sources

Planning your Shopping Route:

  • HopStop.com: need to combine a trip with trains, subways & buses? HopStop with do it. Also has great maps and city guides.

Beware of Camera Prices too Good to be True.  The web is the great equalizer. Anyone can put up a website and compete for customers. If you are purchasing from a NEW vendor, be sure to Google “review [vendor’s website]” before you commit to a purchase. This is especially true with electronic/camera vendors. Be careful and do your research BEFORE you enter your credit card.

One thought on “Looking for a bargain? Black Friday and beyond (updated 11/09)

  1. I just wanted to thank you very much for this illuminating article. I have already bookmarked your site, when I have more free time I am going to have to do some further reading. Well back to my dreaming of Panama or back to the books – I wonder which one is going to win out. 🙂

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