Tag Archive for 'how-to'

How do you find a good deal?

Search and compare

This is probably what everyone starts with. Search for it on the Internet. Chances are it is already offered by someone at the price you like. Don’t use Google though. I suggest one of these deal aggregators. They will allow you to focus your search and build your efforts on the efforts of thousands bargain hunters like you.

Once you feel you are up to something good, relieve yourself from the doubts by comparing the price to other offers out there using a price comparison site.

Patience, patience, patience…

The really good deals don’t just happen every day. You often need to wait for them weeks or months. Many web sites (including one I maintain) offer deal alerts. These essentially help you organize yourself. Add an alert for the items of your interest and monitor your e-mail box once a week or so. You might also want to keep a log of the best deals you find along the way. Once the price is looking attractive – go for it.

If you know exactly what you need and that something happens to be selling on NewEgg then this little tool might help you. Find the item on NewEgg, add the item # to the PriceTrackr database, and bookmark link to the chart. Visit it once a week to look at the price graph and check how the price has changed.

Don’t be afraid to ask. You might just get it.

DealTaker has a forum that allows you to ask for a deal from Overstock. Just post what you would like to buy. You can even mention the price you are willing to pay. They periodically review the requests and sometimes (I guess whenever it makes sense for them to do so) they will offer deals on the requested or similar items.

Something for you geeks.

In case you have the time or are really just enjoying the bargain hunting process (like myself) then forums at FatWallet and SlickDeals – the two most popular destinations among bargain hunters – offer endless opportunities for you. You could use this little tool as a starting point to get an idea of what the people at these forums are up to at the moment. Also before you rush make sure you know the language these geeks speak.

Decrypting forum postings

Looking back at the early days of my bargain hunting I recall that reading and understanding what people write in the forums can sometimes be a difficult task. It certainly took me time to get used to the slang and to learn the common abbreviations. I will try to summarize what I remember.

Abbreviation Notes
AR – After Rebate Expect to pay full price and then get a rebate in a form of a check or store credit. It is usual for the merchant to require you to mail a receipt and/or UPC code cut out from the product packaging to get the rebate.
MIR – Mail-in Rebate The form of a rebate when you receive a check or coupon back by mail. It is typical for a MIR to take several weeks to get processed. See also: Definition by Wikipedia, Rebate Company Info from FatWallet
AC – After Coupon The final price implies use of a discount coupon or a promotion code.
YMMV – Your Mileage May Vary Usually means the deal may not work for some people while it will work for others. See also: Online bargain hunting
FAR- Free After Rebate While the price may actually turn out to be 0 after you deduct rebate amount don’t forget that you might still have to pay the tax and/or shipping costs.
S/H – Shipping and Handling Something people tend to forget to mention when they post a deal.
P/M – Price Match Merchants often offer a price match guarantee. This means that if you find the same product from a different merchant the seller will refund the difference (or more) to match (or beat) the competitor price.
OOS – Out of stock This is what usually happens very soon after a good deal is posted on one of the popular bargain hunting sites
GC – Gift Certificate Something you usually try to get rid off. ;-)
OP – Original Poster (the author of the thread) The person who gets the reputation points for a good deal or a lot of flame for a repost.

See this SlickDeals posting for a more complete list of abbreviations.

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