Most people love a good deal — scratch that — most people live for a good deal. There are few things better than scoring a yearlong subscription to GQ, a Husky duffle bag, and guided Kayak tour for two (hot apple cider included) for under $50. Well, there is, but a great deal is a hard thing to pass up considering our current economic state, the high cost of living and our driving desire to find the best bargain in town. Thankfully, there are scores of fantastic websites for finding that local massage, coveted pair of high-end headphones, and anything else you might desire on the cheap.
A quality deal site doesn’t typically provide the deals in question but functions more as a portal to outlets that do, scouring thousands upon thousands of reputable online retailers for discounted items and services while rounding the best of them up in one convenient spot for consumers to peruse. Some retailers simply rely on offering the lowest price available, others offer deals in the form of cyber-coupons and gift cards, and still others choose to package their products with free shipping and other basic incentives making an online purchase more enticing than a trip to the local shopping mall. Because, let’s be honest, malls are a surly breeding ground of strange.
Here are our top choices for the best deals sites on the Web so you can browse before you buy and land the best price imaginable on whatever you may or may not need. Also, be sure to check them often as possible as deals come and go quicker than your run-of-the-mill YouTube celebrity. Seriously though, I can think of far worse things to spend $5 on than a subscription to GQ.
Check out our picks for the best shopping apps, best online thrift stores and our guide on how to score holiday shopping deals without stepping foot outside.
Sites like FatWallet and SlickDeals may be great if you’re trying to land a micro SDHC memory card or a Cabella’s three-season jacket, but they’re not the best when it comes to purchasing deals for local restaurants, services and other hangouts within your area. That’s where Yipit, a New York-based tech startup, comes into play. The three-year-old site serves as an aggregator and comprehensive filter four all things local, compiling daily deals from popular sites like Living Social, Groupon, and Facebook among others. The site’s polished interface, adorned with a tile-based design and blue highlights, is by far the easiest to use of all sites on our list, and the filter system cannot be beat. Too bad Yipit no longer offers an official app on Apple devices.
Although not available for every region, many users can select their location from a drop-down list of popular cities located throughout the United States and Canada, with additional filter categories such as dining, fitness, and retail offering further means of molding the location-based results to fit an individual’s personal preferences. Moreover, Yipit breaks down the results by either relevancy or recency, allowing you to quickly view the latest travel packages for your local ski resort or pick up tickets to a comedy showcase no matter if it fits your personal interests or you’re just looking for a solid deal. The site also accepts coupon submissions from businesses and the site features a built-in search utility that provides an easy means for narrowing down specific deals, each accompanied with Yelp reviews for the specific establishment or service within differing price brackets.
Best for: Finding deals for local events, retailers, dining establishments, and fitness services.
FatWallet is an apt name to say the least. Like a leather wallet packed to the brim with credit cards, cash, and coupons, the site offers a healthy mix of features and services for those looking to grab the most lucrative of deals from major retailers and niche services. Although the comparison shopping site has been a mainstay for years, first landing on the scene more than 14 years ago, it has remained one of the market cornerstones ever since its initial debut given its nice integration of an excellent deal forum, robust coupon search utility, and novelty in-house cash back program. Whereas deals were once mainly comprised of electronics such as laptops and camera flashes, the site has broadened its forte in the last year or so, offering everything from diamond pendants and plastic storage containers to work attire and children’s toys.
FatWallet is by no means the prettiest site. Donned in grey interface with military-green highlights, it’s clunky and exhibits a daunting heap of text and links at any given moment. However, that is not to say it’s not functional. Users can quickly scan the latest deals by category, whether it be electronics or clothing, or search for specific items using the site’s accompanying search bar. It’s not quite as easy or convenient to check out local deals as it is with the aforementioned Yipit — but they’re still offered — and even encompass several more cities than are available through other sites on our roundup. Still, the site’s active community forums belie all other notable facets of FatWallet, providing an avenue for community members to sling the best offers they find on the Web and post questions pertaining to products or services they might seek.
Best for: Finding bargains on electronics, crowd sourcing specific deals, and comparing purchase prices.
I doubt there’s ever been a more driven, well-informed, and downright frugal community of shoppers than those meticulously scouring the Web and helping curate the frontpage of SlickDeals alongside the site’s editorial team. The deal-hunting behemoth, now nearly 15 years old, relies heavily on users to fill its content opposed to auto-generating feeds from networks, retailers, and other avenues. Users vote upon and rank each of the site’s primo deals and coupons, allowing shoppers to quickly view the hottest items without much digging, and each individual deal thread contains incredibly helpful user comments assessing the deal’s validity, value, and availability. Moreover, active users often post and link to additional promos and coupons that may potentially stack upon existing offers, providing you with a slew of extra savings opportunities you may have missed otherwise. That is, assuming you capitalize on the offer before it officially expires or manages to sell out.
Despite the heavily-saturated interface, navigating SlickDeals is easier done than said. The site features a standard search bar for locating specific items and category panels for viewing popular posts, trending posts and any consumer good can thing of. It’s product selection is diverse and extensive, incorporating categories for apparel and groceries in addition to electronics and travel, while the Coupons portion of the site allows users to comb through retailer-specific deals from Amazon, T-Mobile, Macy’s, and the like. The community forums are also bustling — potentially more so than FatWallet at times — but it’s the mobile app for Android and iOS that’s the real kicker.
Best for: Finding deals on all goods, checking which deals are still valid, and browsing retailer-specific offerings.
It’s tough to not find something for everyone when a site culls from more than 2,000 online retailers and shuffles through thousands of individuals deals a day. That’s one of the hallmarks of DealNews though, it does all the heavy lifting and lays more than 200 new offers at your fingertips on the regular. It’s essentially a network of sites, one that includes the Apple-centered DealMac among others, all which are bundled beneath an umbrella location for easy access. The site touts an immense back catalog of deals, primarily revolving around electronics, and other tech-related gizmos, along with exclusive deals and promotions offered nowhere else on the Web. Aside from Yipit, DealNews is also sports the most attractive interface of our selection of go-to sites (even if the gleaming-purple logo looks like a blatant ripoff of Spotify’s now-iconic green emblem). Navigation is nearly effortless considering the simple drop-down menus near the top for clothing, computers and home and garden offerings, each of which is further divided into a slew of filters pertaining to screen size, manufacturer, and overall style among other options.
DealNews remains one of the most beloved sources for holiday and Black Friday deals as well, with a panel dedicated to highlighting gift ideas from the likes of Sony, Home Depot, and a laudable abundance of manufacturers. There’s even a portion of page presenting deals on specific items, such as polarized sunglasses and remote-controlled cars, if you’re completing blanking on suitable gift to give your significant other, friend, or distant relative. The site’s up-to-date offerings are robust, whether your an official member or just a casual onlooker, and the coupled Android and iOS provides greater functionality on the move with pop-up notifications and comprehensive tools for saving deals for later purchasing.
Best for: Finding bargains on electronics, shopping for the holidays, and landing exclusive deals not offered anywhere else.
You know you’re probably doing something right as company when Amazon opts purchase your site after several years of operation, whether the outcome is catastrophic or for the better. Woot, quickly acquired by the aforementioned shopping giant in 2010, is still one of the best bets for acquiring deals on tech gear, wine, shirts, tools, and several other types of desirable products. The interface is slick, with a streamlined green navigational bar at the top and gift ideas housed near the bottom, and includes a featured daily deal located directly at the top of the homepage. The showcased deal fluctuates between categories — it’s just as likely to highlight a sewing machine as it is an exercise bike — but each is accompanied with a humorous and informative write-up detailing said product and its specifics. Although there is only one feature “Woot” per day for the main page, each category and subsite also offers its own deal, whether it be an Elini Barokas watch or a De’Longhi espresso machine.
The active community is also engaging, participating in polls, discussions, and the user-curated deals portion of the site entitled Deal. Woot. Individuals offers are ranked according to their respective upvotes and downvotes, with the highest-rated offers landing near the top of the page with their corresponding comment resting below. Additionally, the featured deal of the day includes a discussion panel on the product, along with purchase statistics such as the number sold and the states in which users officially declared they wanted to purchase one. However, when deals are gone, they’re gone for good.
Best for: Finding deals on all goods, shopping for the holidays, and snagging steep deals on less-than-desirable items.
Not all deals are created equal. Sometimes it’s worth it to check out more than one site for potential offers given each is typically tailored for a certain clientele and audience. Some sites focus on the tech aficionado or fashionista inside all of us, while others feature a smaller, handpicked selection of exclusive goods and services not offered on any other sites. Assuming you’re not in a mad rush for the shopping cart or twiddling your thumbs over a soon-to-expire listing, check out some of the runner-up deal sites below for a closer look at the bargain-based shopping landscape. Again, GQ.
Well, did you manage to score something at a great price using our picks for the best deal sites? Do you have another site suggestion not on the roundup above? Let us know in the comments below.