It’s Cyber Monday! Time to break out those wallets and throw caution to the wind. It’s the day where we all learn about a product, decide we absolutely must have it and then buy it because it’s “such a great deal!”
We’re not going to compile a list, because everyone else already has. We’re just going to point you to some good ideas. So, here you go!
Couldn’t find anything to buy? Good job – you did better than us.
Crowdfunding has been a popular way for individuals and upcoming businesses to fund their ventures. Crowdfunding can involve people requesting money for personal reasons, as often seen on GoFundMe, but it can also be used to bring potential new products to life. A look at Kickstarter’s most funded campaigns currently shows smart watches, coolers, card games, backpacks, and more.
Crowdfunding is a great way for people to turn their ideas into real products, and they can also be a cool way for consumers to get in on interesting new trends. Depending on how much you chip in, you get certain perks. Here are just some of the cool campaigns running right now. And for future reference, check out Indiegogo’s trending campaigns and Kickstarter’s popular projects for the most recent trends.
- What it is: Curriculum for learning about technology
- Cheapest perk option: $35 (a one month subscription to the crate)
- What it is: A water filter with a straw that makes most water safe to drink
- Cheapest perk option: $56 (one FIXT Nomad)
- What it is: A light that can be placed in all different places and is flexible and versatile
- Cheapest reward option: $44 (one Luminoodle Task and its accessories)
- What it is: A product that works as both a laptop carrier and stand, including numerous pockets and plenty of space
- Cheapest reward option: $5 (to join the community for updates and special deals)
- What it is: A fun dock for your iPhone that acts as a stand and as a throwback to older days
- Cheapest perk option: $38 (one Retroduck)
- What it is: A game with card and board game elements and a dark fantasy setting
- Cheapest reward option: $1 (to get updates on the campaign’s progress)
- What it is: A skateboard with weight and motion sensors that just require you to tilt your body to start moving
- Cheapest perk option: $39 (an individual StarkBoard Charger)
Prime seems expensive: the upfront annual cost went up to $99 since I signed up years ago. But if it was worth it to me then, it is a steal of a deal now, if you consider all the newly added benefits you get access to.
Get Prime by the month: Don’t have $99 lying around, or don’t think you need an entire year of Prime? Sign up by the month and pay $10.99. And you get a deal if you qualify for low-income benefits: it’s only $5.99 per month for customers with an EBT card. Sign up for Prime around Thanksgiving and cash in on all the online Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals, with free shipping to boot, and then drop it when you’re done.
Prime Student: Use your school email (ending in .edu) to score four $49-years of Prime. Act soon and you can get 6 months free.
Amazon Household: A Prime account is for your whole household, not just one person. Two adults living in the same house, and with separate Amazon accounts, can link their accounts to share the benefits of a single Prime account. You can share payment methods, and even add profiles for up to four children so your kids can take advantage of all the free reading and streaming of videos and music without being able to order anything. (You cannot use Amazon Household if you have a Prime Student discount).
Prime Wardrobe: Try before you buy. Choose 3 or more items of clothing, and have them shipped to you to try on. Send back what you don’t want in a prepaid box, and only pay for what you keep. Keeping more items earns you discounts, too: up to 20%. Currently, Prime Wardrobe is in beta, but you can ask to be notified when it launches.
Prime Video: Originals like Transparent and Catastrophe are available. They also have Downton Abbey, The Wire, and you can pay a little extra for channels like Showtime and HBO.
Unlimited cloud storage for pictures: Store as many precious memories in the secure Cloud Drive as you want, and stop worrying about losing them.
Prime Music: Choose songs, albums, or a station. More than 2 million available songs and you can also upload your current collection and listen on any device with the app. There is also a paid subscription that gives you access to tens of millions of songs for $7.99 a month; however, the family plan is $14.99 per month and allows up to six family members to use it. That’s $2.50 per person! Quick, I need five people! Anybody?
Food: Have some grocery staples shipped to your door: Prime Pantry boxes ship for $5.99, and you can save 15% with Subscribe and Save. Weekly deals and coupons also make grocery shopping online attractive.
Prime Rewards Visa: For serious Amazon shoppers, the 5% back (in credit, not cash) may be a draw. Add a $70 gift card for signing up.
Free two-day shipping: Of course, this perk is awesome, but it can only be used for certain items. If you shop Amazon for everything, this perk may be worth the fee on its own: leading up to Christmas, the free shipping alone more than pays for my account. However, sometimes you can opt in for slower shipping and get credits for books, music, and more.
Prime Reading: There is a large rotating collection of books, magazines, comics and more available free with your Prime account, and some even have Audible narration, if you would rather listen.
Video games for Prime: Twitch Prime includes a Twitch subscription and free content. Prime discounts on video games could save you some real money, and some pre-orders are delivered ON THE RELEASE DATE. That means you can skip the line and still get that new game the second it is released.
It’s hard to resist all those perks for about $8.25 per month if you pay by the year. Amazon Prime members are much more likely to only shop at Amazon (I can see why), but beware: sometimes they have the best deal, and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they really don’t, and getting free shipping may not make up the price difference, especially considering that other online retailers like Walmart and Jet are making a major effort to compete by offering their own free shipping. So remember to shop around.
“It’s June,” you say. “Who starts shopping for Christmas in June?”
“Smart people,” I say. “That’s who.”
At least if you have a gamer in the house (you can buy Christmas presents for yourself too, right?). Major game retailers are running some major sales on usually expensive, highly coveted games and consoles, and being in the right place at the right time is the name of the game (see what I did there? I’m sorry) in scoring (I’ll stop) a deal.
But a new console will also be coming out, and it is so highly coveted that right-place-right-time maneuvering will likely be the only way to lay hands on it before Christmas for the original $79.99.
Nintendo Classic SNES console
Nintendo just announced the September 29th release of a new mini Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) console that looks exactly like the old-school original.
We wants it.
AND it will come pre-loaded with 21 of the best, most nostalgic titles from the 90s, including a never-before-released Star Fox 2.
We NEEDS it.
It comes with an HDMI cable to connect to modern TVs, two controllers with extra long cords, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Nintendo assures its customers that production for this limited-edition console will exceed that of the over-desired, under-produced Classic NES released last year. However, stocks are expected to sell out within minutes of release, and those who want to buy one will have the best chances with a pre-order, which is expected to open soon. Even the pre-order is expected to get dicey, so keep your antennas up.
Major game retailer sales right now
Playstation is running a Mid-Summer sale now through 7/11 includes titles for PS3, PS4, and PS Vita.
- Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (5.99: 70% discount)
- Grand Theft Auto V (35.99: 40% discount)
- Rachet & Clank (9.99: 50% discount)
- God of War III Remastered (5.99: 70% discount)
- The Last of Us (4.99: 50% discount)
- I Am Bread (3.89: 70% discount)
That list is just a tiny taste of what is available. For the whole enchilada, visit the PlayStation store.
Gamestop wanted in on the summer game heat, so they are running some bundle sales on older consoles with games, including:
- Xbox 360 Call of Duty Blast from the Past Bundle– $79.99 ($50 discount). Comes with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Black Ops, Modern Warfare 2 and 3.
- Xbox One Shooter Blast from the Past Bundle– $179.99 ($20 discount). Comes with Star Wars Battlefront and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.
- PS3 Call of Duty Blast from the Past Bundle– $139.99 ($40 discount). Comes with Call of Duty: Black Ops, Black Ops II, Ghosts, Advanced Warfare and Modern Warfare 3.
There are several deals also on Wii and Wii-U consoles.
And of course, Steam’s Summer Sale is still going full…you know. Whether your gamer prefers digital or disk formats, console or PC, PlayStation, Xbox, or Nintendo, now is the time to snag some gifts!
Steam, online retailer of PC games, is having their annual massive Summer Sale, running from June 22-July 5, and steep discounts on a large catalog of popular games seem almost too good to be true. 30%, 50%, even 90% discounts have been taken on popular classic games, major franchises, and new releases. During the writing of this article, I had to stop and buy some games myself, one of which was Fallout 4 ($14.99), which I’ve coveted since it was released. Maybe the weather is too nice to stay inside and play games, and maybe I’m chronically too busy anyway, but at least I know it’s sitting there waiting for me if ever I do find myself at leisure. Just like about 25 books I haven’t read yet.
Here are just a few of the titles on sale:
Some games never lose their charm, even when newer and more sophisticated titles have been released. Maybe you are nostalgic for the games you used to play; or maybe, like me, you are interested in titles that have maintained their draw long enough that you need to see what all the talk is about. Here are a few classic titles you can find:
- RollerCoaster Tycoon Classic Collection – $11.24 (66 percent off)
- Star Wars: Dark Forces – $1.49 (75 percent off)
- Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces 2 – $1.49 (75 percent off)
- Doom Classic Complete – $3.74 (75 percent off)
- Wolfenstein 3D – $1.24 (75 percent off)
- Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour – $9.99 (50 percent off)
- Fallout Classic Collection – $4.99 (75 percent off)
Some of the games coming out lately look incredible, with cutting-edge graphics and game-play, and dynamic story-telling. And no one thinks they are more incredible than the game studios producing them: some of these games normally retail for $50 and $60. If you are anything like me, that kind of price tag gives you chest pain. Move fast while these deals last!
- Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor– $3.99 (80 percent off)
- Dishonored 2 – $19.99 (50 percent off)
- The Witcher 3 – $24.99 (50 percent off)
- Dark Souls 3 – $23.99 (60 percent off)
- Fallout 4 – $14.99 (50 percent off)
- Stardew Valley – $8.99 (40 percent off)
- Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon– $3.39 (66 percent off)
- Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier– $6.79 (66 percent off)
- Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands– $40.19 (33 percent off)
- All Final Fantasy games, 3-10, 10-2, and Type O are 50% off
Stickers and Trading Cards
Every day of the Summer Sale, new quests are available to you on the Steam site. Quests involve things like viewing all the games in your Steam Discovery Queue and reviewing your preferences. Completing quests unlocks stickers, which you can arrange in your virtual Sticker Book.
Trading cards are granted for playing games through Steam, and you can craft badges with the cards which are then displayed in your profile. The badges can be traded, sold, or bought, and grant certain community perks. This also increases your Steam level, and additional cards can level up your badge. Summer Sale trading cards are only available during the sale, however, so if you want one (or more), act fast! More details can be found on store.steampowered.com, once you sign into your account.
I know Christmas is a long way off, but with prices like these, it’s time to treat yoself.