Last week’s Click Frenzy debacle proved that we’ve got a keen appetite for hunting down bargains. Click Frenzy might have been more whimper than bang, but there are plenty of functional sites that make it easy to hunt down good deals. These are our five favourites.
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Here at Lifehacker, we track technology deals through our Dealhacker posts and provide exhaustive coverage of mobile phone plans and Internet service providers through our regular Planhacker columns, while Elly’s daily App Deals roundup lets you know the best discounted and free apps. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to finding discounts that work for Australian shoppers. (Note that we haven’t included group deal sites or cashback sites in this roundup; those are separate categories we’ll revisit another time.)
OzBargain takes a community-driven approach — readers submit deals and vote on them, so the best options are always clearly visible. That makes it the ideal first port of call for checking out discounts of all stripes, whether that’s a deal from a national chain on cheap DVDs or a giveaway of free drinks at a railway station that’s only going to run for an hour. You can browse the site casually without a membership, but the free signup is worth it: as well as letting you vote on and submit deals yourself, you can also customise what you see, so you can block categories that don’t interest you.
Catch Of The Day remains the best known of the “daily deal” sites, offering a single product for sale for just 24 hours. The site has expanded its remit since then, and now offers a range of items (as well as launching spin-off sites such as GroceryRun). Not everything the site sells is worth swooping on, but it does regularly offer discounted prices on name-brand goods.
Lasoo aggregates the catalogues from major retailers and puts them in a searchable format. If your preference is to shop in actual stores rather than head online, it’s a very useful resource for identifying what’s currently on sale. (While many of the retailers Lasoo lists do sell online as well, its emphasis remains clearly on bricks-and-mortar products.) Its search systems are efficient and easily let you narrow down results to a specific retailer.
While strictly speaking staticICE is a pure search engine rather than a forum for highlighting deals, it’s an essential tool whenever you’re looking to buy computer hardware. Any time you’ve found a bargain on hardware elsewhere, it’s worth a quick check to see if staticICE can identify a cheaper price.
Lifehacker readers will know that we often highlight good deals on iTunes cards, in line with our belief that they’re the best way to buy anything through the iTunes store. Gift Cards On Sale aims to cover every current Australian iTunes card deal, as well as any other deals on gift cards in the local market. If you’re a very regular buyer, it’s worth bookmarking.
Honourable mention this week to RetailMeNot, which is US-centric but has handy listings for discount coupons in some categories (anyone for pizza?)
Got another favourite deal site that we’ve missed? Tell us in the comments. (Again, we’re not looking at group deal or cashback sites this time around.)