Deal or No Deal host Howie Mandel’s banker has nothing on these Web sites.
If you’re looking for a retail score but don’t want to pay top dollar—in fact, if you want to pay bottom dollar—there are plenty of resources online. Staff-based or user-driven, varied or focused, different sites may be better suited to different people, but no matter what you’re after, these five site will help you find it on the cheap.
Woot.com is perfect for finding a deal without getting overwhelmed by the magnitude of other sites. They feature one deal per day and keep it up until it is sold out or until 11:59 p.m. central time. Although they only post one a day, their faithful users frequently update the forums with deals of their own. Founded in 2004 by electronics wholesaler Matt Rutledge, the Web site proudly proclaims, “We anticipate profitability by 2043. By then we should be retired; someone smarter might take over and jack up the prices.” Branches of the site include shirt.woot.com, wine.woot.com and sellout.woot.com, in association with Yahoo Shopping (Stock Quote: YHOO).
Fatwallet.com began in 1999 as a one-page listing of coupons for a few retailers and boasts one of the cleanest home pages of the bunch. It now has three sections: coupons, heavily trafficked forums, and cash back opportunities. The coupon portion is a searchable database and continually updated blog. The site really took off with the addition of the Hot Deals Forum, which has a massive following and is broken up into a variety of topics like free stuff (sounds familiar!), travel (that too) and finance. Unlike many of the other sites, this one offers cash back to users who shop at one of its more than 800 merchant partners.
Slickdeals.net is a user-driven site that offers about ten deals a day on a wide variety of items with a loose focus on electronics. To keep this user-driven community model, they refuse to allow paid placement for their home page deal listings. The easily navigable site keeps the main roll of deal listings moving and deactivates the link to a deal once it has expired. The home page is supported by the coupon, forum, blog and tools sections of the site, which attempt to make it even more user-friendly. Under tools, users may price search, find store ratings and even find extremely cheap items on Amazon (Stock Quote: AMZN) that will push their order just over $25 to get free shipping.
Dealnews.com compiles data from more than 2,000 online retailers daily to post more than 100 deals per day. They guarantee the prices are the lowest they could find, from a reputable dealer, claiming they ban all stores with a history of poor customer service. In addition to their daily deals, they offer email alerts on specific items, a forum dedicated entirely to Macs (Stock Quote: AAPL) , a daily newsletter and a selection of RSS feeds. The fast growing site is even in the market to hire a few new people on to its staff.
Deals2save.com has one of the busier home pages but provides a wealth of coupons and tips that are broken into several categories like grocery, travel, health and beauty, home and garden, baby, and pet. The home page is updated daily with a dozen or so featured items but keeps up continual links to thousands more on the top and side banners. Unlike the other sites, there is no user forum but there are various links to allow users to comparison shop on specific types of electronics and office supplies. It is one of the less trafficked sites but can still provide some great deals.
—For the best rates on loans, bank accounts and credit cards, enter your ZIP code at BankingMyWay.com.