So now that you’ve determined that you actually need to buy something to streamline or improve your technological life, and you’ve done what I suggested in Part One of our series, “Think Before You Buy,” then you already know what you really need and what you actually want, and the difference between the two. You’ve got a budget. You’re ready to go shopping.
So if you’re shopping for tech, there are a number of sites and tools you can use to make sure you get the best deal. I wouldn’t suggest doing all out and downloading all of them or making sure you check all of them every time you decide you want to shop for something, but they can certainly help, and they may be worth checking out if you’re looking for bargains on certain devices, peripherals, gear, or even items for your home:
- DealNews – DealNews actually is a family of sites, including DealMac, DealCoupon, and DealRam, among others. DealNews is one of my go-to services for deals when I go shopping on the Web, mostly because they catalog deals in categories; so if I’m looking for bargains on monitors, appliances, or even clothing, the main DealNews site can help me out. The network of sites is also special; for example Mac users have their own site where they can search for Mac-related bargains alone as well as other deals. Whenever I’m shopping around for something, the first thing I do is check DealNews maglie calcio poco prezzo and the deals that have already expired to get a feel for how bargains have trended over time.
- SlickDeals – SlickDeals is probably one of the most highly recognized deal sites on the web. It’s entirely community-generated, with a dedicated group of people out there hunting deals and bargains every day, and some of them are so hot that they’re only available for a few moments before the manufacturer or retailer pulls the plug on the bargain or the item sells out. It’s so popular that the fellow bargain-hunting geeks I know at work have made it their browser home page.
- TechSaver – Full disclosure, I freelance for the PC Mag Digital Network, of which TechSaver is a part. The great thing about TechSaver though is that it’s a blog that updates constantly during the day with some of the hottest and most relevant bargains from around the Web. It’s a break from the usual deal and bargain site, and it includes links to reviews by the PC Mag staff if the item on sale has one. The service also partners with TechBargains, another great bargain site, for a daily roundup of great deals.
- Deals.Woot – If you don’t know about Woot!, you really should bookmark it. But I’m assuming a base of knowledge where you probably know about the incredibly popular one-deal-per-day site by now. Deals.Woot is their new community-driven deal site, where users and Woot fans submit bargains they see around the Web or are notified about through their own sources so everyone can get their hands on a bargain. If you haven’t given Deals.Woot a try, you really should look it up – the bargains range from watches to coolers to processors to netbooks and everywhere in between.
In addition to deal sites, you may want to check out handy browser addons like InvisibleHand that will tell you while you shop if an item is more affordable at another site without you having to look around at all. It’s always best to shop around before buying anything, but InvisibleHand does something particularly remarkable and informs you not only that the item is cheaper elsewhere, but directs you to the cheaper site in case you want to take advantage of the bargain.
Now then. You have some bargain sites under your belt, but there’s more to smart shopping than finding the best price. You have to make sure you have the best deal. For that, you’ll need a little education. We’ll get into that under the jump.
So now that you have a few resources to go to for your deals and bargains on items of all types, not just technology, you should remember that not every purchase is best made thanks to a deal site. In those cases where you’re looking for something specific, you should check for sites and services that cater to the niche magliette calcio a poco prezzo you’re exploring. For just about every interest or item on the Web, there’s probably a community out there somewhere that caters to it. I mean after all, this site is an homage to the classy geek in all of us – the geek who’s looking to make more of an impression and add a little style and class to their own personal knowledgebase, right?
For example, if you’re shopping for a good bottle of wine, you can always check out sites like Wine Library and Cork’d, the former being a storefront for people looking to buy a good bottle of wine at great prices, and the latter being a related social network for people interested in and who love wine. If you want to get your wine knowledge on, those are great places to start (and don’t worry, we’ll talk more about wine in a future post.)
Similarly, if you’re into gourmet food, you can head over to Gourmet Library to learn a lot about specific gourmet foods…and then buy them to enjoy on your own. Even perishables are hand-delivered and packed to keep them chilled as they make their way to you. All of those sites are related and part of the same network, but they’re all great examples of how you can learn something about what you’re interested in shopping for at the same place you can pick up something that looks good to you. Sure, there’s Wine.Woot, but you’re not going to see video reviews of different wines or ratings and reviews from wine enthusiasts there before you buy.
Even if you’re not as passionate as the rest of the community, you know as well as I do that a little knowledge goes a long way to helping you make smart decisions instead of blind ones – and if you know enough to get yourself into trouble and not look like an amateur but not so much that you start pretending you know more than you do, you’ll be able to confidently make your own decisions but leave the door open to learning more.
So while you’re looking for more information on the things you want to buy, make sure you’re shopping for bargains as well. Some of my favorite deal sites will be yours once they save you some money – and subsequently depress you when you see the same item for sale again months down the road for a bit less than you paid. But that’s the nature of bargain hunting, even if you’re shopping at niche sites where you’ve spent some time studying up to make sure you’re making a smart purchase. Keep them in your repertoire; you’ll thank me later.