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6 Steps to Staying on Top of the Best Deals

by on November 02, 2010
in Health and Home, Shopping, Money Savers, Tech 101, Time Savers :: 6 comments

Tons of retailers offer great shopping deals online and off. But staying on top of these deals, especially if they are time-sensitive or you are looking for deals on a specific product, can be a challenge.

Here are six ways I recommend to stay on top of the action, while reducing some of the noise.

1. Subscribe to RSS Feeds

Yes, good old fashioned RSS feeds are a great way to automate gathering deal information. Many retailers, such as Walmart.com, have feeds broken down by category—books, electronics, baby—and even type of deal—clearance, special buys, rollbacks. Each time the site posts a new deal, it is published to their RSS feed automatically.

While setting up RSS feeds sounds really techie, it's actually very easy. You can either set up a standalone application, such as Microsoft Outlook, or use a "cloud-based" system, like Google Reader. The great thing about Google Reader is that your RSS feeds are available regardless of the device you are using.

To subscribe to the feed, just click on "Subscribe to this feed" from within the feed or paste the URL into Google Reader.

2. Configure Google Alerts

Google Alerts enables you to receive customized email or text alerts any time a website publishes a deal related to what you are searching for. Queries may be broad, such as “Home Depot coupon codes” or focused, such as "Samsung C8000 50" LCD sale". And you can fine-tune your search strings by including and excluding terms until your search results are relevant to your interests. Avoid a flood of emails by selecting “Once a Day” alerts, which sends a digest message each evening.

3. Use a Deal-a-Day Tracker

Several dozen websites track deals around the Internet, essentially “doing the dirty work” on your behalf. Some websites post a daily blog post, while others use an automated system that lists the deals each morning.

It's hard to recommend specific sites because there are so many. Search for "deals" and your area of interest, and you'll find plenty of choices.  Some interesting ones to check out are zerodaydeals.com and techbargains.com.

4. Receive Deals by Email

Several websites enable users to subscribe to their deal newsletter, which sends an email daily or weekly with the latest deals. For weekly offers, take a look at offers.com.

Getting all those deal emails can clutter your mailbox, so I recommend creating an email “filter” or “rule" that moves all your messages from deal websites into a separate folder.

5. Check Your Favorite Websites

Retailers post time sensitive deals on a routine basis, so determine when your favorite stores post their daily deals. Identify posting patterns by looking at the date and time stamp of their website, and then habitually checking the website around that time. Typically, the most time sensitive deals sell out within a few hours. In addition to the obvious big sellers, such as Walmart and Amazon, sites like woot.com specialize entirely on running daily deal promotions.

6. Twitter

Many major retailers use Twitter to post deals and special promotions. And, if you use a product like TweetDeck to manage your Twitter access, it's easy to set up a search that will notify you when it find a Tweet with the words "Sony PS3" AND "deal".

Selena NarayanasamySelena Narayanasamy loves everything that has to do with technology, social media, blogging and writing. You can find her rambling on Twitter or writing on her blog.

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Discussion loading

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Google Chrome (and Google search)

From Khürt on November 02, 2010 :: 9:12 am

Google Chrome (and Google search) appear to think Selena’s web site would be dangerous to my computer.

I got this message when using the Google Chrome browser on Windows XP.

http://cl.ly/3559

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I love PriceBlink. It's

From Dana on November 02, 2010 :: 9:23 am

I love PriceBlink.  It’s a price comparison browser add-on that instantly tells me if I’ve found the lowest price while I’m shopping on line.  It includes shipping charges, user reviews, and coupons.  All right there while I’m shopping.  It’s awesome.

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Thanks, Khurt. I'm seeing that

From Josh Kirschner on November 02, 2010 :: 9:33 am

Thanks, Khurt. I’m seeing that too, now.  We have removed the link to the website until we can ensure that it gets cleaned.

Best,
Josh Kirschner
Founder, Techlicious.com

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Thanks for pointing this out!

From Selena on November 08, 2010 :: 1:36 am

Thanks for pointing this out! I’ve been having this problem with wordpress. I’m working on finding out what the issue is now.

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These are great tips. I've

From Susie Michelle on January 23, 2011 :: 7:14 pm

These are great tips. I’ve set up google alerts for specific items I’m looking for, and it works well. The more specific your string of keywords, the better. There are also coupons and deals sites that focus on particular categories, such as jewelry or weddings or office supplies.

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From james on March 03, 2011 :: 5:02 am

I got this message when using google chrome on window XP .

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