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Archive for the 'Deal Site Reviews' Category

Cheapism – new online resource for cheapsters

cheapismI recently stumbled upon a new consumer product reviews site which caught my “bargain hunting” eye. Max Levitte, the co-founder and CEO, worked for 3 years as a General Manager for ConsumerSearch.com before taking the entrepreneurial route and launching his own (similar) venture,… with a twist. Cheapism is all about saving money. You can trace the line from Budget Product Reviews to Thrifty Resources to Cheap News (the company blog).

I browsed around and read several reviews for different product categories to see if I can learn anything new and was pleased to find a few useful shopping tips regarding product features that I wouldn’t otherwise pay attention to, things like “carrying handle is a must have for a portable space heater” and “when choosing a vacuum, pay attention to the length of the power cord”. It certainly pays to do your homework and Cheapism reviews is a great resource if you need a head start.

My favorite part of the site however is the Cheap News where Cheapism writers post short daily updates linking to news stories from around the web. I love the assortment of the picks, just the kind of news I am looking for when scouring my RSS feeds and newspapers. The part of Cheapism I didn’t quite like was the site navigation and this is where Mr. Levitte can learn a trick or two from his past employer, ConsumerSearch.com, who I think offer a cleaner and more convenient user experience for the shoppers.

What resources do you use when researching a consumer product? Do you have a favorite product reviews site? Please share it in the comments!

Popular Coupon Sites – February 2009

This is February 2009 revision of the Popular Coupon sites list. You can find the previous revision of the list here.

The change in rating shows the difference compared to January results. This list currently has 31 sites - one more than in January (webbyplanet.com is in). On average the coupon sites have lost (3.26%) in February.

The best performer is 8coupons.com (18.41%), who also moves up by 3 positions, and the worst result comes from currentcodes.com (-27.3h%). Enjoy the complete list below!

# Web Site Alexa Rank Page Rank Online Since
1 retailmenot.com (info) 1453 (-7.95%) 6 27-Oct-2006
2 (1) eversave.com 1833 (17.25%) 4 08-Apr-1999
3 (1) coolsavings.com 1929 (-9.17%) 5 03-Jun-1996
4 coupons.com 2577 (9.29%) 6 07-Sep-1994
5 couponmountain.com 5502 (-1.64%) 5 05-May-2001
6 couponcabin.com 7177 (-13.2%) 5 27-Feb-2003
7 coupons.smartsource.com 14366 (9.68%) 5 27-Apr-1995
8 mycoupons.com 20076 (-1.3%) 5 16-Feb-1999
9 couponmom.com 21393 (-0.26%) 6 25-Jun-2002
10 savings.com 23628 (2.04%) 4 20-Apr-1995
11 ultimatecoupons.com 26218 (-6.54%) 4 02-Jul-2001
12 (1) tjoos.com 29526 (2.55%) 4 16-Jun-2007
13 (1) hotcouponworld.com 30328 (-21.85%) 4 15-Jun-2006
14 couponwinner.com 30550 (1.2%) 4 30-Jan-2006
15 (1) deallocker.com 34580 (-7.02%) 4 24-Mar-2007
16 (2) fabuloussavings.com 35820 (5.84%) 5 27-Jan-1999
17 (2) wow-coupons.com 35875 (-12.7%) 4 26-Nov-2003
18 (1) valpak.com 37255 (-5.2%) 5 22-Jun-1994
19 (3) 8coupons.com 41494 (18.41%) 5 11-Jun-2006
20 (1) couponcodes4u.com 41688 (4.02%) 5 01-Aug-2007
21 (1) flamingoworld.com 45015 (-3.05%) 5 19-May-1999
22 (1) couponseven.com 53933 (-13.56%) 4 23-May-2006
23 couponshare.com 55451 (-8.89%) 4 21-Jan-2002
24 thegrocerygame.com 59871 (-5.41%) 5 28-Aug-2001
25 (1) couponchief.com 60013 (-3.89%) 5 15-Jan-2005
26 (1) currentcodes.com 72954 (-27.3%) 5 27-Dec-2000
27 gogoshopper.com 73342 (-18.52%) 4 16-Dec-1999
28 couponheaven.com 77744 (-11.28%) 3 28-Sep-2003
29 (1) couponsurfer.com 80682 (6.11%) 4 11-Feb-1998
30 (1) shopping-bargains.com 85261 (-12.18%) 5 20-Feb-1999
31 (1) webbyplanet.com 99538 (13.37%) 4 09-Feb-2006

Computer Shopper magazine review

computer shopper coverI was somewhat surprised when I received an email from ReviewMe last week with a review request from Computer Shopper, the computer magazine. Yes, the very same one that in 90’s was as thick as the Bible and featured prices on computer products from hundreds of merchants. It has significantly gone down in volume ever since (100 pages in May edition) but still remains a very well recognizable name among computer enthusiasts in the US.

A little bit of history. The magazine started in 1979 in Florida and was the first nationwide classified advertising newsletter devoted entirely to the computer hobby. Think of it as the pre-Internet price comparison tool for mail order computer merchandise. Stan Veit who became the Editor-in-Chief in 80’s has added more meat to the product price tables and turned the magazine into a successful publication that would rival TV Guide for newsstand circulation. The Shopper changed several owners in the following years and is currently run by SX2 Media Labs, a VC-funded startup.

The growth of the Web is probably the main factor that contributed to the magazine decline, and judging by this ReviewMe request, the new owners recognize it by betting on the online version, which I personally prefer over the paper one. So why would you want to read the magazine now, and what does it offer for the bargain hunter type of crowd?

Besides the daily computer and periphery reviews, which is the magazine’s main strength, there is a rubric called ShopTalk which features daily news bits for gadget junkies with money. I especially like the DealHunter page where the editors post daily picks for budget oriented consumers. Another interesting place to visit on Computer Shopper is the downloads page which is one of the largest available portals for free software downloads on the Web.

The email I received with this review request also mentions the recently launched Deals and Coupons section for computer products. After examining it I do not recommend you spending your time on it. Not only it is hard to navigate, it also doesn’t seem to offer anything else but a product feed from affiliated merchants, some of which can barely be called deals.

My overall impression from the website is not very positive, mostly because of the overwhelming amount of display ads. Being a shopping magazine it can and must have less ads to remain a growing online business. Do you subscribe to Computer Shopper? Have you been to their website recently? Please tell me about your own impression in the comments.

This is post is sponsored by Computer Shopper via ReviewMe

EverSave.com Review

This week’s review is about Eversave.com, which is one of the top coupon sites in Yan’s listing. First impression on looking at this site is that, it is a nice & pleasantly designed site which is not just for coupons only, but includes a lot more content.

Eversave.com features an extensive recipe section, which lets you find recipes by multiple approaches. There is also an “Articles & Tips” section, which includes articles covering a very broad array of topics. Most of the articles are very concise and carefully plug links to various coupons and advertising (annoying) features of the website.

Design and looks are very professional. However most advertising (including the “Hot Offers” link in the navigation bar) take you to pages which force you to pick (click) a link/offer. If you have ever visited the free giveaway websites, which insist on signing up for offers, this is almost like that. When you enter such types of pages, regular navigational elements will be missing, making it tough to not click the links they want, unless you use your browsers back button.

Eversave frontpage

On researching about the coupons in detail, very few are real coupons, most are just links to promotions/offers going on various sites. And all of these are done by partnering with keycode.com, which is more of an advertising channel for merchants (by telling about various offers they have) and not a coupon site by definition. However occasional, merchants might give special offers for keycode.com with a special code. So eventually, eversave.com will never get the typical coupons you want to find. But will help you find “links” to promotions.

Eversave also features printable store coupons, which is again just front for its parnet smartsource.com, which is one other coupon site, which require special software to be installed, to enable printing coupons.

So in a nutshell, Eversave is not a coupon site at all. It is a just a well designed site with cleverly drafted content and navigational menu items, which hope to take you into an annoying advertising technique. In addition, there are also “links” (not coupons) to several online stores which features promotions in those stores.

Daily Deals Site – BradsDeals.com Review

This week’s review is about BradsDeals.com. Bradsdeals.com happens to be the last item in Yan’s this month revision of popular deal sites and is also the youngest site (Jun 2005) without a review.

This is a really simple site with a handful of clear menu items on top, taking to various sections of the sites. Briefly, the three vital sections of the site are deals, coupons and forums.

Like many other sites, every deal posted to the main site, results in one thread added to the forum. There is also a section in the forum, which lets users submit deals, however there is not a very high amount of activity there. Coupons section has a decent collection of coupons (2000+ coupons from 800+ stores).

There is a site search right on top of every page. A quick checked proved to be very unimpressive. I tried to search for “external hard drive”. There are several items, with the same phrase listed as a part of the name. However, the search system performs a logical OR query and no ranking for best results. So, the first external hard drive in the results I got was at about 10th position only.

Brads Deals Screenshot

The core elements of the site - deals - have a picture with a paragraph which describes the product in short and how to get the deal. Bradsdeals makes a paragraph with this information, while other sites make bulleted points or something like that. Also the deals feature a slightly bigger image than other deal sites and the deals are in a 2 column layout, thereby giving it a look which is not very typical to a deal site.

One thing which is obvious on visiting this site is the high media coverage it has got. The header section shows that this website has been featured in several main stream news media. Also the left column of the home page shows screen grab of Brad Wilson live of some news channel. I am not sure how this website has managed to get so much media coverage, while there is nothing exotic. Surely, this media coverage should have helped them a lot in becoming popular.

Yan’s listing shows that this website is online since Jun’05, which I believe he should have picked up from Alexa. However digging into BradsDeals.com shows that it has actually been online since 2001. It is a known fact that most deal sites created around & before that time period have all become popular and have regular visitors. This answers the question, how come they are one among the popular deal sites?

For me, this is just one other deal site. Just nothing interesting.




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