Finding deals in a flash

By Jody Rohlena on June 10, 2013 06:01:00 pm

Flash_sites-postI have to admit my current addiction is flash-sale sites! I’ve signed up for e-mail alerts from a bunch of websites that offer limited-time deals—I have to, it’s research for my job! But lately, I’ve been buying. The deals are just too good to pass up. But they can be addictive, so a few words of warning (as I sit here in my cute new wedges from!):

Check prices online before you buy. Make sure the deal really is a good one. is a great place to compare prices for everyday items; go to Kayak for travel deals.

Read the fine print. Often the merch is final sale, and if you don’t pay attention to the tiny type, you could get stuck with something you don’t love when it arrives. (Happily, when I missed the “final sale” note on an item I bought from, they gave me credit anyway. But I’m not counting on getting special treatment again.)

Get in early. Find out when sales start so you can get first crack at the good stuff, as well as selection for sizes and colors. Times vary a lot: Daily Fair (stylish furniture) and (fashion and beauty) start at noon, while sales kick off at 1 a.m.

For a good rundown of flash-sale sites, check out the July issue of ShopSmart. Found any good deals at one of these sites? Tell us about it!


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Jody Rohlena

Jody Rohlena

Posted at 06:01:00 PM in
Online Shopping | Sales | Saving money | Shopping

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Patricia Alsabrook

09:53:49 AM on Tue Aug 27 2013

could you do a report on QuiBids or Daily Deals bid sites. I tried once and it was terrible, you pay 10 cents per bid whether you win or lose. It seems more like a scam. thanks

Robin Melen

11:09:15 AM on Tue Aug 27 2013

Hi Patricia! We reported on QuiBids when it started up. Here's what we said then:

Can QuiBids save you 95 percent?
THE AD “Are you ready to save up to 95 percent on what you want most?” That’s the pitch in a TV ad for the penny-auction site The spokeswoman calls it “an exciting new way to shop for products like iPads, MacBooks, HDTVs, cameras, appliances, and more.” But can QuiBids really deliver great deals?
THE CHECK For every person who gets a product for pennies on the dollar, many others spend money and end up empty-handed. That’s because, unlike traditional auction houses, QuiBids charges you to bid even if you lose. Each bid you make costs
60 cents. Auctions are timed, and the last bidder wins the right to buy the item at the final price, plus the cost
of shipping and the value of each 60-cent bid he or she placed. The initial time for bidding can be hours, but new bids add as much as 30 seconds to the clock. So you never really know when an auction will end, even if there are only seconds left.
THE BOTTOM LINE It’s best to think of QuiBids as entertainment, and as with gambling, be prepared to shell out—whether you win or lose.

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