Best Deals Sites Online – SlickDeals
April 15, 2009
The best deals sites are the ones that can save you the most money with the least amount of hassle. There are whole communities online dedicated to finding the best deal on everything from toothpaste to televisions! Most of these communities are valuable because of their members- people find a deal and list it for others to take advantage.
Deal sites like these contain a wealth of information, and great bargains on almost anything you could ever want to buy, plus some things you never even imagined needing to own. A savvy shopper could spend all day trying to keep up with all the different deals posted on these sites, but for those that don’t have the time to browse them all, it is helpful to have an overview of the best features of each.
Over the coming days we’ll take a look at what Christy considers to be the Big Three (SlickDeals, Hot Coupon World, and FatWallet) along with some tips about navigating the sites, and the strengths and weaknesses of each. (Thanks to Christy from Art of the Coupon who shares her money saving expertise with us in this series of posts)
Slickdeals offers a wide range of deals, submitted by individual contributors to the site. The site itself is divided into 5 main deal forums, in addition to some discussion forums that I rarely stray into. The types of deals offered are separated into different forums including:
Hot Deals: In this forum, posts cover a vast array of products ranging from Ipod Covers and computers to fine china, linens, towels, furniture, clothing and big screen TV’s. Any time a contributor finds a deal on a product that he or she thinks might be of interest to the community, that member starts a thread in the Hot Deals forum.
Deals can be for a specific product- for example, today a member posted an Xbox 360 available for $199.99 at an online game website- or for a more general group of products- like a post highlighting a website offering 10% off pet meds at a certain site or an extra 15% off a department store online sale.
Thread titles are fairly detailed- they usually include the product, the price or discount and any other information the poster deems relevant, like whether the deal is online or in store (Brick & Mortar, abbreviated B&M) only – so you can browse through at a glance to see if there is something of interest.
Freebies: This forum features all sorts of opportunities to get things for free. Common posts offer links to sites giving away product samples, no cost MP3 downloads, or advertising free local events. There are also subforums that offer free magazine subscriptions, or links to surveys you can complete to earn cash or prizes
Coupons: This forum lists coupons and discounts for use both online and off. There is a master list of printable coupons for things like food, pet products, or health and beauty products that you buy at your local grocery store.
There are also over 400 posts listing different coupons and codes for use at almost any store that you can imagine from Staples and Office Max to Dell and Home Depot. Some of these coupons are printable, but others are just discount codes for you to type in when you check out online.
Contests and Sweepstakes: This forum features a list of different contests and sweepstakes you can enter to win various prizes. Thread titles usually list the prize(s) and the date the contest ends.
Drugstore/ Grocery B&M Deals and Discussion: This forum focuses on deals you have to go to your local store to get. The forum doesn’t cover every local grocery store, but instead focuses on the Big Box stores that almost everyone has in their towns. The weekly ads for Walgreens, Rite-Aid, and CVS are posted weeks in advance, along with coupon matchups so you can plan ahead. There are also threads for Target, Wal-Mart, and K-mart.
Navigating Slickdeals: Navigating the site is easy and intuitive, and there a number of different features set up to assist a viewer in finding deals that interest them.
There is a Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down system that lets a browser know at a glance which deals are hits and which are misses.
When you open a particular posted topic, you can see comments from other viewers- perhaps free shipping codes to make the deal a little sweeter, or comments from disgruntled past users of a particular product or website who warn other Slickdealers that a deal might not be as good as it seems.
You can set up Deal Alerts to send an email when a topic is posted with a particular word or set of words, within a particular forum For example, if you are interested in surveys offering Amazon gift cards, you could set up a deal alert to email you every time someone posts in the Surveys sub-forum with Amazon in the title.
You can subscribe to posts (threads) you are interested in by using the “Thread Tools” option within the post. Subscribed threads are listed in your User Control Panel (User CP) so when you sign in you can see a master list of any of your subscribed threads that have been updated with new comments from other users.
You can also use Stickies to stick topics of interest to the top of the forum, so when you open that forum you can access those posts quickly
The Search feature is very intuitive and easy to use. You can specify whether you want the searched keyword to appear anywhere in the discussion, or in the post title only. You can also limit your search to a certain forum or date.
You can also subscribe to specific forums via RSS so that new posts in a particular forum are sent to your feed reader, just like new blog posts are for blogs you subscribe to.
Who Should Use Slickdeals?
The Freebies and Hotdeals sections on Slickdeals and FatWallet are almost interchangeable because there are a lot of people who use both sites. When a good deal is posted on one of the two sites, someone almost immediately posts the exact same deal on the other.
So, if you are interested only in Freebies and Hotdeals, you could choose between the two depending on which site you prefer to look at. The Coupons and Drug Store forums on Slickdeals offer similar information to Hot Coupon World. Again, when an ad is posted on one of these sites, it will usually show up on the other shortly after. The discussion in these forums on Slickdeals tends to have more useful information than Hot Coupon World, but the discussion can get long and you may have to read through a lot of pointless posts to find relevant information.
If you have time on your hands and want to make sure you don’t miss one single hidden drug store deal- then you should stick with these forums at Slickdeals. If you just want a summary of the advertised deals and not a lot of chat, you may prefer Hot Coupon World.
All posts by Ben Edwards