During the holidays, it's natural to have the urge to splurge on gifts; after all, nothing is too good for our parents, siblings, spouses, and dear friends, right? However, a smart shopper never financially overextends himself during the holidays. But just because you can't blow a bundle on them doesn't mean that you can't blow their minds. Trick your loved ones into thinking that you spent a lot by choosing gifts that have a high perceived value or sentimentality. Here are a few gift categories that tend to seem more expensive than they are.
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Opt for Pearl Jewelry
Regardless of how easily this gem can now be produced on oyster farms, the pearl still exudes an air of class and elegance over many other jewelry options. We routinely see inexpensive choices — like this Two Row 8mm AAA White Freshwater Pearl Necklace ($17.49 via coupon code "dealnews30" with free shipping, a low by $6) — that have the luster and weight characteristic of pearls, which the average person will associate with a much pricier product. Take heed, though, because some people find pearls to be a bit stuffy; make sure you know your audience with this one.
Shop the Outlets for Designer Goods at Half Price
Though buying clothes for someone is often a dicey prospect ("Oh, you don't like American flag-patterned jeggings?!") opening a box to reveal a designer-brand cardigan can really pay off. But designer brands can be expensive even with Christmas sales. Enter the likes of Saks Fifth Avenue OFF FIFTH, Last Call Neiman Marcus, and J. Crew Factory. These stores are nothing but constant sales on name-brand clothing. Sure, you may find last season's fashions and special wares designed specifically for the outlet store, but that just means big savings — of up to 60% off. And in some cases, the giftee may never know your dirty little outlet shopping secret. ( Continue… )
December is in full-swing, and the weather outside is frightful! That's why today we're highlighting the five best outerwear deals of the week. Get ready to get cozy with 35% off a North Face girls' jacket, $91 in savings on an Aéropostale women's puffer jacket, and the best Eddie Bauer sale of the year.
Discount: Up to 82% off
Shipping: Free shipping
Expires: January 2
Is It Worth It?: Start your winter adventures off right with a click over to REI-OUTLET, where you'll score discounts of up to 82% off. (The banner advertises 50% off, but we found deeper discounts in this sale.) Prices start at just 73 cents and everything qualifies for free shipping, making this one of the best outlet sales we've seen from REI this year. Shop for clothing, accessories, and outdoor gear.
Price: $25.97 with $5.95 s&h
Lowest By: $3
Is It Worth It?: If your snow angel needs a light coat for rainy winter weather, get her The North Face girls' Altimont hooded jacket. Marked down by 35%, this Editors' Choice coat is only $26. Made of lightweight nylon ripstop material, the shell is treated with a DWR coating to provide protection from light water and wind. It comes in Metallic Silver only, in sizes XXS to M. ( Continue… )
With less than three weeks till Christmas, you may feel the need to go on a no-holds-barred shopping spree. But despite the never-ending sales, there are certain items you simply shouldn't buy before Christmas. In fact, our DealNews archives show that many of the year's biggest discounts — particularly on brand name items — come after the holiday rush, when retailers are desperate to rid their inventory of leftover stock. Unfortunately, not everyone has the luxury of giving gifts after the holidays are over, but if you're looking to fill your own holiday stocking, take heed of the shopping list below in which we've rounded up the products you should buyafter Christmas.
Brand Name HDTVs
The January Consumer Electronics Show is the premiere tech show for TV manufacturers, as this is when they debut their 2014 lineup. Soon after that, retailers will react by cutting prices on 2013 models. That means we'll start seeing new price-cuts on top-performing HDTVs. Last December we saw name-brand 55" 3D LCD HDTVs drop an extra 6% in price during the month of February, compared to their best November prices. In some cases the savings are even more significant, so depending on the TV you're looking at you could be in for a savings of $50 or much, much more. Furthermore, with Panasonic officially pulling the plug on its line of plasmas, there's also a good chance that we'll see big discounts on some of its top-rated plasmas like the ST60. ( Continue… )
A couple's vacation is the perfect gift for that special someone. That's why today we're highlighting five travel deals that would make great presents. You can go big with the least-expensive Dubai cruise we've seen, opt for fun with 40% off a stay at a Caesars hotel casino, or go local with the least expensive flights to California we've seen; any of these vacations will blow every other gift out of the water.
7-Night Costa Cruises Dubai Cruise for 2
Vendor: Costa Cruises via Dunhill Travel
Price: From $598
Lowest By: $540
Expires: December 9
Is It Worth It?: Whisk your honey away to the Arab world's cosmopolitan hub on a this 7-night Dubai cruise for two. This Editors' Choice gift idea is the least expensive Dubai cruise we've seen from any cruise liner in the past two years, with prices starting at just $598. This roundtrip cruise aboard the Costa neoRiviera departs from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on December 15 and includes stops in Muscat, Oman, and Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Click on "Cruise Details" to see this rate. Some restrictions may apply; fees, government taxes, and fuel supplements are additional.
8-Night Vacation Package for 2 to Greece
Vendor: Gate 1 Travel via Dunhill Travel
Price: From $3,358 via coupon code "DHSMA200"
Lowest By: $80
Expires: December 9
Is It Worth It?: If the Middle East isn't romantic enough, take your sweetheart's breath away by giving them this 8-night vacation to Greece. This flight and hotel package will take the two of you all over the Mediterranean country: You'll spend three nights in Santorini, three nights in Mykonos, and two nights in Athens. Prices start at $3,358 when you use coupon code "DHSMA200", which is an $80 savings. Your rate includes roundtrip airfare, flights between cities, daily breakfast, airline taxes, and more.
Enter the coupon code at final checkout. This price is based on departure from Newark, NJ, (EWR) with arrival in Athens, Greece, (ATH) on September 22, 2014; other departure cities are available for an additional cost. Some dates may be excluded and additional fees may apply. ( Continue… )
Outside of Black Friday, the holiday season remains a busy shopping for both the consumer and retailers. And as is the case with all things, the changing times have affected how we will approach our holiday gift list this year. From higher shipping minimums to expanding price matching policies, here are seven ways that holiday shopping will be different in 2013.
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Price Matching Gets Serious & Amazon Is the Target
On trend from last year, price matching is a serious business. And it has become an even more significant service in 2013. This year, a handful of brick-and-mortar stores will price match select online vendors, primarily Amazon. (In some cases, this is the only online retailer that they will match.) Target and Best Buy introduced the policy last Christmas, and then extended the policy to to match prices year-round. For 2013, both Toys "R" Us and Staples have joined the fray. Staples (which is apparently the second-largest e-commerce site in the world) will match Amazon in-store as well as over the phone for online orders. In most cases, you will need to bring up a current Amazon price on your phone and show it to a store employee to get a match. And even if a store doesn't have a policy in place with regard to Amazon, it doesn't hurt to ask!
The Shorter Shopping Season Will Lead to Panic Purchases
The shock of emerging from Thanksgiving and realizing it's suddenly December has already sent many shoppers into a holiday planning frenzy. And, as a result, there's a chance consumers may end up making unwise purchases. Believing that the holidays will be here "before you know it" might make some people feel uneasy waiting for prices to drop, and they might ignore the financially-responsible practice of shopping around in order to find the best deal. ( Continue… )
There are only a few weeks left until Christmas (and even less time if you're celebrating one of December's other holidays). If the space under your tree still looks a little bare, consider grabbing one or more of these crowd-pleasing, Editors' Choice camera deals. We've got deals for shutterbugs of all stripes, including $575 in savings on a jam-packed Canon DSLR bundle, a Nikon D5100 for under $500, and a Canon PowerShot for just $42.
Canon EOS 6D 20.2-Megapixel Digital SLR Camera Bundle
Price: $2,084 via $400 mail-in rebate with free shipping
Lowest By: $575
Expires: December 31
Is It Worth It?: If you've got a loved one that's serious about taking up photography but has none of the equipment, we've got the perfect gift idea. This bundle has everything she'll need, including the Canon EOS 6D 20.2-megapixel DSLR camera, the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens, the Canon PIXMA PRO-100 WiFi color inkjet photo printer, a 32GB SDHC card, a camera bag, and the Canon 13x19" semi-gloss photo paper 50-pack. Better yet, you'll even bag a $99.36 Adorama credit to spend on yourself! Assuming you'll use the credit, you're going to save a whopping $575 on this bundle when you redeem the mail-in rebate.
The Canon EOS 6D sports a 3" LCD, 1080p video recording at 30 fps, 4.5 fps continuous shooting, an 11-point auto focus system, WiFi, and GPS. The printer features a maximum print resolution 4800x2400 dpi, up to 13x19" wide-format printing, support for PictBridge, and Ethernet connectivity.
With the hectic holiday season upon us, it might be the perfect time to take advantage of these airfare deals to gift yourself with a little getaway. Or perhaps you could surprise a lucky someone with tickets to an exotic locale or favorite vacation destination. Whether you want to fly across the country or halfway around the world, check out these airfare deals to California, Las Vegas, Europe, South Africa, Hong Kong, and more.
Plan a European vacation around these Air France roundtrip fares to Europe (from $606, a low by $16; expires December 15). Book a flight to Istanbul, Turkey, where traditions of the East and West meet. Take a dip at a traditional Turkish bath called a hammam, and be sure to visit two of the most famous landmarks: the breathtaking Hagia Sophia and the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, also known as the Blue Mosque. Air France discount fares also include trips to Paris (from $1,074.44), picturesque and romantic year-round, and to Barcelona (from $814.74), which offers cultural flavors of both modern and old Spain.
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Alternatively, Scandinavian Airlines is offering the best base rates we've seen this year on roundtrip fares to Scandinavian cities (from $696.66, a low by $10; expires December 9), including Stockholm, Sweden. While the sunny hours are short in Scandinavia this time of year, sights such as the Royal Palace are also spectacular in the long evenings — all the more time to take advantage of the city's rich dining and nightlife scene.
Head north with Toronto Escapes, which currently offers discounted 1-way fares to Toronto via Air Canada (from $85, a low by $21; expires December 15). Whether you want to take in a Broadway play in the Toronto Theatre District or watch the Toronto Maple Leafs in action on the ice, you're sure to find something to do in this cosmopolitan center. ( Continue… )
Gift-giving is in full swing. And for most of us it means following the time-honored tradition of wrapping and unwrapping tokens of appreciation. But this year, such gift-giving is taking on additional meaning. Retailers like Warby Parker, Toms, and Threads are offering customers the opportunity to not only shop for themselves or their loved ones this year, but also for the less fortunate — at no extra cost. These buy one, give one programs will not only satisfy your desire to do good this holiday season, but they're also great alternatives to giving a family a goat.
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Wonderbag: Portable Slow Cooker
For every Wonderbag Portable Slow Cooker with Knorr Recipe Cookbook ($50) bought, the company will donate one to a family in need in Africa. The Wonderbag is a unique kitchen appliance that can cook food without direct heat or electricity via heat retention technologies. All it takes is a quick s simmer and the slow cooker does the rest, all while unplugged and without using any additional heating source. The slow cooker is a modern day convenience, sure, but families in developing countries who use Wonderbags also save up to 30% of their income otherwise spent on fuel for wood stoves. ( Continue… )
You know what's weird about holiday gift guides? They presuppose that your friends and family are too inconsiderate to actually tell you what they want. Gift guides assume that your loved ones would rather leave it up to you to blindly come up with the perfect gift than give you suggestions. But despite the fact that these guides might potentially cause an awkward "You don't know me at all, do you?!" kind of scene come Christmas day, sometimes your family and friends really don't give you any hints.
Enter the gift guides, which have been cropping up left and right. And going over every single one yourself is sotedious, right? Wouldn't it just be easier if someone rated all of these guides so you knew beforehand which one was the best? Well, your dreams have come true! We've put together this guide to the guides! (And if this article runs long, we'll draft a Guide to the Guide to the guides, etc.) Below are some of our favorite holiday gift guides for 2013, along with a sampling of what they're suggesting.
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Description: Probably the most anticipated of all gift guides, Oprah doesn't disappoint with yet another over-the-top, yet somehow relatable list. One may almost find the items she (or her "team") includes are down-to-earth, even if they are "splurges." But, c'mon, it's the holidays! "Treat yourself," right?! And then you see the $2,700 watch. Yeah, this one is aimed squarely at rich women.
Highlights: Pickwick & Weller T-Shirts 4-Pack (co-designed by Ashton Kutcher!) for $136; Present Cake (a cake that looks like a present) for $79; Oprah & Deepak's Meditation Master Trilogy for $100; Custom Illustrated Throw Pillow for $395; Caddylicious Stationery Set for $300; Rado True Thinline Jubilé Watch for $2,700; Truffle Risotto Kit for $500 ( Continue… )
Everybody take a deep breath: Black Friday has come to an end. While there are still some Cyber Week sales to consider, and an onslaught of holiday promotions is on the horizon, we can at least close the book on Black Friday 2013. And as we do so, we've got some amusing tidbits from #BF2013 (Did you know that one of the hottest deals of the week was a towel?) and some major gripes to share. But first up, we crown the King of Black Friday 2013.
Did Walmart Win Black Friday?
Deciding which retailer reigned supreme during Black Friday is difficult. If you had asked us what store was winning before the big event, we would have said Walmart; we analyzed the ads from all the major retailers (and within a variety of categories), and by far Walmart had the most standout deals.
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And come Black Friday week, the deals did indeed show up — but on many occasions, our staff had issues with the website itself. We frequently saw messages about the site being busy, which likely resulted in delays in getting deals. Despite these e-commerce fumbles, Goldman Sachs declared Walmart to be one of the top three retailers for the week, noting that the store "drove the market" with its promotions. Moreover, before Black Friday was even over, Walmart announced that it had already sold a record-breaking number of items, so we agree that there's a strong case to be made for Walmart. ( Continue… )