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Features Archives for 2011

L.L. Bean's Free Shipping Offer Is About Customer Service

L.L. Bean is aiming to be the next Zappos, using free shipping as a customer service tool to stand out above other online apparel retailers. Will the gimmick work to draw you in?

Rumors? Pay With Your iPhone 5, Xbox Delays, Cloud iTunes Pricing

Contrary to popular belief, a lot of lies can be found on the Internet. When we find one, we wrestle it to the ground and throw it into our Rumor Roundup, for your reading pleasure. This week's edition is like mom's pie: Full of Apple! Enjoy!

Walmart v. Dukes Pits the Retailer Against Class Action Discrimination Lawsuit

After 10 years of battling, Walmart will be facing the Supreme Court to decide the future of what could be the largest class action sex-discrimination lawsuit in our history. What does it mean for the nation's largest private employer, and what does it mean for you?

One Way Shopping Online Is Safer Than Buying in Stores

When you buy something using your credit card, a lot of activity is taking place behind the scenes, and that activity differs whether you are buying online or in a store. Which is safer? Our consumer advocate, Mitch Lipka, details one way you may be safer buying online than in a store.

Move Over SCOTTeVEST, iClothing for the iPad is the New Accessory

Need a place to stash your iPad, but it's too big for your pocket or an armband or any other holster? This fashion need has now met the mother of invention and driven an entirely new line of tablet-friendly clothing. Here's what you need to stay on the cutting edge of mobile fashion with your iPad.

6 Best Choices for Food Storage Containers

When it comes to reducing the carbon footprint in the edibles department, our Green Dad columnist is a big fan of reusable storage containers. But what are the best options that will help save your food, your health and the earth, and at the same time help you save a few bucks? He's got a list of six great choices so you can truly enjoy your leftovers.

6 Ripple Effects on Electronics From the Japanese Disasters

While a great many products are made in China, some critical components for everything from laptops to cars to the iPad2 comes from the area in Northern Japan hit hardest by the disasters there. What does that mean for consumer prices in the U.S.? Here's how six different products will be affected.

5 Must-Have Discount Tennis Gear Items: Shoes, Apparel and More

If you aspire to be or are one of the 30 million people in America who play tennis, then you might have already snagged one of the stellar daily racket deals we've listed. But, while a quality racket is likely to be your single most expensive purchase, you'll still need to buy some additional gear before you can hit the courts. And with our savvy picks, you can properly prep for tennis and still save at least $46.

6 Ways to Stop Yelling at Customer Service Reps

Last week, more than half of our readers told us they tell at customer service reps at least some of the time, so today, we offer some practical advice on how to stop the yelling and start getting what you want. Here are six ways to get what you want without flying off the handle.

Core i7 Laptop Price Trends Reveal Magic Price to Buy

The mobile Core i7 processor is Intel's top-of-the-line laptop CPU. We graphed the best deals on first-generation 16" and 17" Core i7 laptops over the past 12 months and discovered the magic price to pay.

Obsessed with Big Buck Hunter & Other Arcade Games? Now Play at Home

Some people head out to drink at their local bars just for the chance to play a few arcade games, especially retro ones. But if you'd rather skip the beer and just focus on the games, you can now play at home. We tried out the new versions of Big Buck Hunter and its ilk to see if they're worth the money.

Walmart's Pick Up Today Program Raises the Bar on Instant Gratification

The competition is heating up for those who want to order something on line and have it in their hands a little while later, for no additional shipping fees. Walmart's new "Pick Up Today" program can have items in your car four hours after you order them online. Can it compete?

This Week's Rumor Roundup: More iPhone 5 Details, LCD Kindle

As we head into spring and the days get longer, people have more sunny hours to daydream. It just means more rumors. That's cool, we'll take all comers and shove 'em into our Rumor Roundup! Enjoy!

How to Use Local Deals to Save Money on Your Next Vacation

Thanks to local deal sites like Groupon, travelers can score great deals while on vacation. But how to sort through the seemingly endless list of copycat sites? Here's the ins and outs of the best sites, and how you can take advantage of them on your next vacation.

The Real Reasons Why People Yell at Customer Service Reps

We’ve all done it at some point: Yelled at a customer service representative over the phone for bad service. Why do we do it when we know it's not good behavior? There's a lot going on in the heads of the yellers, and we got to the bottom of it.

7 Best Ways to Make Your Batteries Last Longer

Count up how many batteries you use in your house. Multiply that by the number you need to buy per year. Now multiply that by the cost. While your head is still spinning from the impact to your wallet, find out what our Green Dad columnist, Lou Carlozo, found out about maximizing your battery power — and not one of the tips involves putting unused batteries in the refrigerator.

Price-Checking Amazon's Subscribe and Save Program

Pop Tarts for 18 cents each? Raisin Bran for $1.74 a box? Too good to be true, or just the best deal on the Web? We did a little price-checking and follow-up with regular customers to see if Amazon's Subscribe and Save program gives the best prices, and is worth sticking with over time.

Why Wait in Line When You Can Buy Online? iPad 2 Fans Answer

There were hundreds of stores selling the iPad 2 on its release day last Friday, but still thousands lined up around the country at Apple stores to get their hands on the new gadget the very first day. Why? We took our video camera to the Apple Store in SoHo, New York, to find out why people would choose to wait in line when they could order online.

7 Safe and Smart Ways to Avoid Scams and Donate Money to Japan

The devastation in Japan has people around the world digging in to their pockets to help. We lined up our new columnist, consumer advocate Mitch Lipka, to give his best advice on donating money, from avoiding scams to how to maximize the money you give with matching donations like the one being offered by dealnews.

12 States Where Amazon Is at War Over Sales Tax

Anyone who's saved money buying online and avoiding sales tax should pay attention to the battle over sales taxes going on between Amazon, and other Internet-only retailers, and a dozen states around the country. The debate is getting fierce, with small businesses and your wallet caught in the crossfire.

This Week's Rumor Roundup: iPhone 5, Kindle, Sheen, more

Rumors live only a brief time upon this earth. That's why we have to put as many as we can find into our Rumor Roundup. It's our way to be sure these unsung heroes of the Internet have their day in the sun.

How to Save Money Brewing Your Own Cheap Beer at Home With Online Kits

With St. Patrick's Day approaching, what better way to prepare than to drink all the quality beer you want without paying a huge tab? We've rounded up the best beer kits available on the Web to quench your thirst.

Coach Goes After eBay Sellers, Even Those Selling Authentic Bags at Discount

Luxury handbag maker Coach is faced with a lawsuit for going after eBay resellers, even when they are hawking authentic bags. How far is too far when a company is trying to protect its reputation, its copyright and its bottom line? Find out the inside story, and then tell us what you think.

6 Ways Early Adopters Think Differently Than Other People

As people begin lining up for the iPad 2 release on Friday, we take a look at what drives early adopters. Do they think differently than those who wait for price drops? Do they get some special benefit out of ordering up the latest gadget on the market, regardless of what it costs?

4G Face-Off: Battle of the 4G Smartphones

2011 is shaping up to be the year of the 4G network with practically every mobile carrier prepping its next-gen network and building an army of 4G smartphones. But how do these new phones stack up when compared? We take a quick look at some of the most anticipated 4G phones to find out.

5 Must-Have DSLR Camera Accessories

With such great deals out there for digital SLR cameras, just about anyone can channel their inner Annie Leibovitz. While additional equipment can run the gamut in price, our list of must-have accessories keep the true cost of DSLR photography in check.

Black Sneakers? Or White? Or Purple? What the Color Choice Says About You

You might not have realized the last time you picked out sneakers that there's a science to how sneaker manufacturers choose the color combos. But we've got the scoop on why they match the hues the way they do.

Analysts Predict $3 Billion Future for Online Sales, What Do You See?

Black Friday and Cyber Monday gave online retailers a major kick in the pants in 2010, spurring revenue growth for the first time in years. So now analysts are predicting a healthy upward curve for sales. But when will online shopping actually overtake stores? Place your bet in our poll.

Do-It-Yourself Organic Pest Control That Can Improve Your Skin?

While nobody likes to talk about it, we all have pest issues at some point (and we're talking about real pests, not computer viruses). If you've ever worried about spraying toxic chemicals around your house, especially where you eat, then we've got some solutions for you — some so safe you can drink them

Gear Up For Jogging Without Running a Huge Tab

If the intermittent appearance of the sun recently has encouraged you to buy a new pair of running shoes from one of the numerous choice sales we've listed, then congrats! You've taken the first step toward spring fitness. But, if you truly want to shake off the shackles of cold-weather apathy and get moving, you still need an extra accessory or two.

How Stores Trick Your Eyes, Ears and Nose to Get You to Spend More

Ever wandered through a store and suddenly felt relaxed and didn't know why? It could've been the soft background music, or a lavender scent, or some other gimmick the store is employing to get you to spend more. Find out what's behind the secret efforts.

Tablet Face-Off: Apple iPad 2 vs. Motorola Xoom

The tablet is here to stay and this afternoon Apple schooled its competition with the release of the iPad 2. Or did it? We compare the new iPad with the the Motorola Xoom to find out which tablet will reign supreme.

Confessions of a Deal Junkie

In today's world of smartphones, RSS alerts and WiFi everywhere, what does it take to be a truly obsessive deal seeker? We found one guy who has taken the art of finding a deal to a whole new level. Find out his tricks.

Amazon's Sweet 16 Quiz

With just months to go before Amazon.com celebrates its Sweet Sixteen, we wanted to know how much the online retailer's customers know about the company. So we've created this quiz to test your "Amazowledge."

How to Make Your Own 3D Movies for Less Than $200

Think you could be the next James Cameron and make billions with your own 3D movie? Now you can get started in your own garage with 3D gadgets, some of which cost less than $200. Find out how you can make your own 3D films and get on your way to stardom!

5 Ways Stores Try to Play You Right Into Their Hands

Shopping is serious business for most people, but retailers have come to learn that the more people have fun while they're browsing, the longer they'll stick around and the more they'll spend. Here are five ways that stores turn on the happy factor, so you'll play right into their hands.

Is the Motorola Xoom Tablet an iPad Killer at $800?

Motorola’s Xoom is set to outflank the Galaxy Tab and take on the iPad.

Apple Races Google One Pass to Get Money for Subscriptions

Google and Apple are vying for your digital subscription dollars in a fight that just intensified with the announcement of new collection systems. But the real question is, Are you willing to pay at all?

10 Ways to Be an Energy Star with Your Laptop

If you’re a heavy laptop user, then you're eating through power every second. We've got 10 smart ways you can save while you're typing away (or playing games), which will make you feel a whole lot better when you get your electric bill at the end of the month.

2011 Is the Year of Mobile Shopping

Get your fingertips ready! The future of shopping is coming to your phone, and whether you are a fan of shopping on a 4" screen or not, new apps are going to entice you to buy everything from bananas to cars on your phone. Watch how it's going to work.

What's the Best Value Among the 2010 Engadget Awards Nominees?

Over at Engadget, they've assembled a list of nominees for their 2010 Engadget Awards for the best of tech in 2010, and the most anticipated of 2011. We all love cool gadgets, but price is our bottom line. That's why we're asking you to vote on this in our poll: Which do you think is the best value among the nominees?

Borders & bankruptcy: Did its coupons pave the way?

Borders is allegedly filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy next week. Did Borders' coupons predict its own demise? Our dealnews archives answer the question.

Poll: Can Windows Phone 7 Entice You to Buy a New Nokia Smartphone?

Nokia had a number of dance partners to choose from to make a new line of smartphones, and it picked Microsoft. But it's not clear yet if that will be enough to help Nokia come from behind to beat Google or Apple. It's all up to you, since you'll be the ones buying the phones. Will the new features listed here entice you to buy? Take our poll.

How Do You Stack Up on Gadget Ownership? Vote Now!

A new national survey is out that breaks down gadget ownership by age group. Come take our poll and find out how you stack up, or claim your status as one of the "gadget-less" (although if you're reading this, you have some kind of electronic device…).

Activision Shelves Guitar Hero After Slow Sales

Like all great bands, Activision today announced the break up of its Guitar Hero franchise. Find out what that means for fans of the game and deal hunters alike.

The Sneaky Mind Tricks of Buying Chocolate

You know you want to buy chocolate, but do you know why? It's not just about supermarkets placing candy next to the cash register. There are secret feelings of guilt, hidden memories of pleasure and other factors at work. You might even be biologically predestined to need chocolate. Find out all the reasons why you buy chocolate in our psychological investigation.

4 Unusual Twists on Traditional Gifts for Valentine's Day 2011

This year, before you put in your usual order for flowers, or pick up a box of chocolates, think about putting a 2011 twist on your gift. Here are some unusual suggestions from our Green Dad columnist, Lou Carlozo.

Our New Illustrated List of Things That Will Cost Less in 2011

We crunched data for weeks to come up with the predictions on our list of 12 things that will cost less in 2011. The story got out there far and wide, and now we've teamed up with Mint.com to bring you an illustrated version with a cool infographic. Check it out!

Buyology's 20 Most Desired Brands List Shows Big Gender Gap

When a leading marketing research company applied some new science to the age-old question of "what brands do you like?" it came up with some unusual answers. Find out what six years of study and $8 million found out about why men shop differently than women.

Valentine's Day Beyond Roses: Try Experience Gift Ideas

Forget the roses. What will really say I love you, and will create a memory that will last forever, is a Valentine's Day experience. There are great options all over the country, and we've rounded up the best of them for you to choose from.
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