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Get Oprah's Favorite Things for 2018 Curated on Amazon
Posted on November 7th @ 9:11 am ET in Industry News

For the fourth consecutive year, the always-popular Oprah's Favorite Things list of gift ideas has been curated in one place on Amazon and you can order most of the items on this year's list from Amazon including items such as Littbag handbags, Embark dog DNA kits, Helix mixers and more.

Check out the full list for gift ideas for the techie, the chef, the beauty crush, the foodie, the traveler and more. The list also has sections for gifts under $50 and a set of gift ideas for your pets.
Amazon Expands Free Shipping to Everyone for the Holidays
Posted on November 5th @ 8:44 am ET in Industry News

As if you needed another reason to shop with them this month, Amazon announced today that for a limited time, all Amazon customers can get free shipping with no minimum purchase on items shipped by Amazon. This offer applies to hundreds of millions of items sold by Amazon and select third party sellers (when those items are shipped by Amazon).

Note that this free shipping can take longer to arrive and is not the same 2-day (or faster) shipping that Prime members receive. If you haven't had Prime before, we strongly suggest using your free 30-day trial now so you'll have it for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Read the press release here.
Apple Announces New iPad Pro, MacBook Air & Mac mini Devices
Posted on October 30th @ 11:36 am ET in Industry News

This morning Apple made several new product announcements during their presentation at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. With Black Friday being under 4 weeks away, it should be interesting to see what kind of deals we see on these items in the coming weeks and months.

The new products introduced are new iPad Pro tablets in 11" and 12.9" sizes, a redesigned MacBook Air laptop and a massively upgraded Mac mini desktop. While we don't expect to see these items in actual printed ads this year as those were finalized weeks ago in most cases, we could see online-advertised sales for these new products. As always we'll keep you updated.
Best Buy Brings Back Free Sitewide Shipping on Everything
Posted on October 28th @ 6:24 am ET in Industry News

As we expected, Best Buy has brought back their popular free shipping promotion for the holidays. From now through Christmas, you'll get free shipping on everything on with no minimum purchase required. Best Buy also offers free in-store pickup on many of their items.

This free shipping is especially useful during their various My Best Buy Early Access sales which will take place in a few weeks and give you advance access to some of their Black Friday deals.

Best Buy's eBay store also has free shipping on thousands of items. A perk of ordering through their eBay store is that you'll also earn at least 1% back in eBay Bucks to use on a future eBay purchase.
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Posted on November 12th @ 1:55 pm ET in Site News

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Target Announces Holiday Plans Including Free 2-Day Shipping
Posted on October 23rd @ 5:06 pm ET in Industry News

Target today announced their strategy for the holiday season. They have several great initiatives this year, including bringing back free shipping on all purchases starting on November 1st. New this year: they have upgraded the free shipping offer to free 2-day shipping.

Target will be putting a big emphasis on toys this year with nearly double the number of new and exclusive toys. You'll also find more than 20 new and exclusive brands in stores this holiday season. Target will also feature over 1,400 new and exclusive gift ideas with most under $15.

Target has also expanded their same-day delivery offering through Shipt which is now available to hundreds of markets in 46 states. Their Drive Up service has also reached nearly 1,000 stores. Read Target's full press release here and let us know what you think on the forum.
Amazon Launches Holiday Electronics Gift Guide
Posted on October 21st @ 6:14 pm ET in Industry News

Amazon has unveiled their popular Holiday Electronics Gift Guide with over 600 gift ideas available for ordering on Amazon. As always this guide was put together by Amazon's product buyers.

This years gift guide is divided into 12 categories for you to browse including new releases, personal care tech, smart home, gaming, on the go and a selection of gift ideas for under $100.

Look for Amazon's other gift guides, including their popular guide to home gifts to show up soon.
Amazon Introduces New Kindle Paperwhite E-Reader
Posted on October 16th @ 9:17 am ET in Industry News

This morning Amazon introduced a new version of their very popular Kindle Paperwhite e-reader. The new model has a thinner and lighter design with a flush-front display and is now waterproof. With Bluetooth, you can also listen to Audible audiobooks via Bluetooth headphones or speakers.

The new model will be available on November 7th although you can begin preordering today starting at just $129.99 for the 8GB model (twice the storage of the previous version). For a limited time you will also get 6 months of Kindle Unlimited for free, which is a $60 value.

As with all of Amazon's devices, expect discounts on this model during their Black Friday sale.
Amazon Unveils Their 2018 Top 100 Holiday Toy List
Posted on October 15th @ 9:35 am ET in Industry News

Today Amazon posted their annual list of the top toys. This year's list features 100 toys which were hand selected by both kids and Amazon's toy buyers. Nearly all of the toys on the list can be ordered right now on Amazon, and many can also be ordered using their Alexa voice service.

Some of this year's top toys include the Harry Potter LEGO Hogwarts Great Hall, the L.O.L. Surprise Bigger Surprise!, the Fisher-Price Think & Learn Rocktopus and the Barbie Care Clinic Vehicle.

You can browse this gift guide by age range and across 11 categories such as tech toys and arts & crafts. We expect Amazon to heavily feature toy deals prior to, during and after their Black Friday sale in an attempt to make up for the absence of Toys R Us this year.
Amazon Becomes Official Retail Partner for ABC's Shark Tank
Posted on October 15th @ 9:35 am ET in Industry News

Amazon announced today that they have become an official retail partner for ABC's hit show Shark Tank. The Amazon Launchpad Shark Tank Collection will highlight products seen on the show.

Starting today over 70 products from the first 9 seasons are available for purchase on Amazon, and products from the current 10th season and future seasons will be added over time. Products available now include Hatch Baby, Third Wave Water and Stasher, among others.
Sears Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection
Posted on October 15th @ 8:54 am ET in Industry News

Early this morning Sears filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after securing a $300 million loan to keep their stores running and employees paid, at least for now.

Sears also announced that they will close 142 stores which is in addition to the 46 stores they previously announced would be closing by the end of the year. The Sears and Kmart web sites will remain functional as well during the attempted reorganization of the company.

While there is a good chance we'll still see a Sears Black Friday ad this year, this move appears to just be delaying the inevitable as many shoppers will avoid the longtime retailer. If you have Sears or Kmart gift cards or Shop Your Way reward points, use them as soon as you can.
Changes to Walmart's Saving Catcher Coming Next Month
Posted on September 24th @ 1:34 pm ET in Industry News

Walmart is making changes to their very popular Savings Catcher program effective on October 29th so if you use this program, these changes could impact how you shop at Walmart.

Starting next month, Walmart Pay will be the only way to submit your receipts and redeem Savings Catcher earnings. You will no longer be able to scan paper receipts or use a desktop computer. Walmart Pay lets you pay with your credit or debit card (or a gift card) using your smartphone.

For more details including the email Walmart sent regarding these changes, see here.
JCPenney Unwraps ''Top 20 Toys'' List for the Holiday Season
Posted on September 21st @ 3:51 pm ET in Industry News

JCPenney recently unveiled their Top 20 Toys for the 2018 holiday season. JCPenney will also try to fill some of the void left when Toys R Us disappeared by sending out their own toy catalog this year, complete with a sticker sheet for kids to mark the items they are hoping to receive.

Among the toys on the list is the L.O.L. Bigger Surprise (which releases this Tuesday), LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Great Hall, Mickey Mouse 90th Anniversary Plush, Furreal Friends Chompin' Dino and many others. See the full list and more details on JCPenney's plans here.
Amazon Unveils New Alexa-Compatible Smart Home Products
Posted on September 20th @ 6:49 pm ET in Industry News

Amazon announced a bunch of new smart home devices today that are compatible with their Alexa voice assistant. Among these are new versions of the Echo Dot, Echo Show and Echo Plus.

Also announced is the Echo Auto which is the first Echo for your vehicle, the Fire TV Recast which combines a Fire TV streaming device with an OTA DVR, and the new AmazonBasics microwave with Alexa technology built in. A new Echo Sub can be paired with existing speakers for extra bass.

You can check out all the new products here, although we strongly recommend waiting a couple months as Amazon will likely offer deep discounts on these items during their Black Friday sale.
Sony Announces PlayStation Classic Retro Game System
Posted on September 19th @ 8:58 am ET in Industry News

Earlier this morning Sony announced the PlayStation Classic, a retro styled game system which plays 20 classic PlayStation games. Following up the success of Nintendo's NES and SNES classic systems, this system should be a very popular item this holiday season.

You can already pre-order the system for $99.99 from Best Buy and GameStop and we expect more retailers to offer it throughout the day. Release day is scheduled for December 3rd. The system includes 2 wired controllers, although you'll have to provide your own USB power adapter.
Bon-Ton Sites Re-Launched Under New Ownership
Posted on September 16th @ 9:43 am ET in Industry News

The websites for the Bon-Ton family of stores re-launched this week under new ownership. CSC Generation Holdings, which owns other e-commerce sites such as DirectBuy, won the auction for the rights to Bon-Ton's trademarks, domain names and customer lists.

For now, it appears that the products sold on these sites are items that are drop-shipped directly from either the manufacturer or a distributor. The new Bon-Ton does not have any warehouses with product and they do not carry any of the old Bon-Ton exclusive merchandise lines.

While the new owners expressed their intentions to open physical stores, we would be surprised if this goes beyond an online-only endeavor that, other than using the names and logos, has virtually nothing to do with the original company which operated for 100 years.
Amazon to Sell Live Christmas Trees & Wreaths This Year
Posted on September 15th @ 11:33 am ET in Industry News

Amazon will sell a selection of living Christmas trees and wreaths this year, some of which will be eligible for free Prime shipping (get a free trial of Amazon Prime here).  We expect to see some of these trees appear in Amazon's Black Friday sale, possibly as limited quantity Lightning deals.

The collection of trees will include Fraser Fir, Balsam Fir, Black Hills Spruce and Norfolk Island Pines. Sizes will range from 2 to 7 feet tall. A 7-foot Fraser Fir will cost $115. Pricing for all varieties will be announced at a later time and orders will be taken starting in November.
Nintendo Announces Super Smash Bros. Switch Bundle
Posted on September 14th @ 7:43 pm ET in Industry News

One of the items you can be sure to see in Black Friday ads each year are the special video game console bundles that the manufacturers put together each fall to boost sales during the holiday shopping season. Nintendo has just announced their bundle for this year.

The Super Smash Bros. Ultimate bundle for Nintendo Switch will come with a special edition dock, Smash Bros. Joy-Con controllers as well as a download code for the game which comes out in December. Best Buy is already taking preorders, however if you can wait, there's likely to be discounts of around $50-60 in the Black Friday ads and during online sales this year.
Countdown: Just 100 Days Remaining Until Black Friday!
Posted on August 15th @ 9:12 am ET in Industry News

Today marks the 100 day milestone in the countdown to Black Friday 2018. Just a reminder that if you'd like to start discussing the sales and rumors, our Black Friday forum is already open!

As we do every year, we will soon be posting our official Black Friday predictions for 2018 where we'll speculate on the hot items and the prices they'll be offered at so look for that soon as well.
Black Friday Countdown: 6 Months Until Black Friday 2018
Posted on May 23rd @ 10:00 am ET in Industry News

We are officially half-way to Black Friday 2018! Today marks the 6 month point in the countdown towards the big day. We know many of you are getting excited about the big day and some are even putting off big purchases until you see the Black Friday deals.

We're busy working behind the scenes to prepare for this year including designing a new t-shirt, performing site updates and much more. We'll be back soon with more Black Friday news and before Black Friday, come back in mid-July for our coverage of Prime Day 2018!