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Features Archives for 2013

We're Not Buying It: The Most Confusing Commercials of 2013

This year, ad executives used ballerinas to sell booze, '90s nostalgia to sell a browser, and a suicidal cat to sell a car. Confused? So are we.

Automatic Gratuities May Be Headed Towards Extinction in 2014

A new IRS ruling has caused much frustration amongst restaurant owners and servers, and could possibly end a practice that's bugged many restaurant patrons for years. At the center of this controversy is the automatic gratuity, that compulsory charge that many eateries tack on to your bill when you dine with a large group of people.

How to Build a Quality Home Entertainment Center on the Cheap

If there’s one area of modern life that’s almost as confounding as choosing a diet, it’s hunting for the right audio components to build a killer stereo system or home entertainment center. But if you stick to these six tips, you can put together a quality home entertainment center on the cheap.

VIDEO: Best 'Bubbles for Your Buck' Champagne Taste Test

With New Year's Eve right around the corner, you're probably in the market for a nice bottle of champagne to celebrate at the stroke of midnight. Nothing says "Happy New Year" like the popping of champagne corks, right? But is there a sparkling wine that's good and a good price? Find out in our video taste test!

The Best and Worst Things to Buy in January

The new year is upon us, and after all that shopping you likely did during the holidays, you may be looking forward to giving your credit card a rest. But January is an excellent month to buy certain things like winter apparel or early Valentine's Day gifts.

Amazon and Walmart Will Offer Store Credit for Late Christmas Deliveries

Despite adamant claims that gifts would arrive in time for Christmas, it appears that many people were left empty-handed for the holidays. And while UPS and others scramble to complete all those backlogged deliveries, some retailers are attempting to make amends with customers.

So, You've Dropped the Ball This Christmas: VERY Last-Last-Minute Ideas

Is your favorite Christmas tradition forgetting to buy gifts for people? Do you find yourself without a single present for anyone you care about? Fear not! We've compiled a list of 10 last-LAST-minute gifts you can give to save your skin. Barely.

How to Get 1 Month of Amazon Prime for Free

Did you know that if you're an Amazon Prime subscriber and your package isn't delivered by the "guaranteed delivery date," you can get a 1-month extension to your membership? Sounds too good to be true, but we learned firsthand that it's totally true.

How Online Retailers Collect & Use Consumer Data

Do you know just what your favorite online stores know about you? In the wake of the Target compromise we wanted to get a better idea of how retailers gather and use consumer data, so we turned to an expert to find out.

The Best Last-Minute Digital Gifts

It's Christmas morning and you realize you still need a gift or two for that one person you've forgotten about. Well, fortunately we put together this list of over a dozen last-minute digital gifts that can be under the tree as fast as you can print 'em.

Online Stores That Still Guarantee Christmas Delivery — Some for Free!

It's two days before Christmas Eve, and you're short a few gifts. While you may think a frantic trip to a local big box store is your only savior, think again. These 15 online stores will still deliver packages in time for the holidays. Even better, many of these retailers are offering discounted express shipping with complimentary upgrades or rates that start as low as $3.

Is Target's In-Store Discount Enough of an Apology for the Credit Card Hack?

Target made waves earlier this week when it announced that as many as 40 million credit and debit card numbers had been compromised via in-store purchases. In response, CEO Gregg Steinhafel announced that the retailer would offer 10% off all in-store purchases this weekend, as an apology for the ordeal. Is that enough?

Blow into the Windy City with These Chicago Travel & Entertainment Deals

Chicago is a favorite vacation destination for many because it has the glamour and attractions of a large metropolis and that friendly, down-to-earth Midwest vibe. There’s something for everyone in Chicago — theater shows, cool music venues, and countless dining options, whether you’d like to try dishes from famous chefs or you want a classic Chicago hot dog and deep-dish pizza (no matter what Jon Stewart says). So pack your bags! We're going to Chi-town.

Rumor Roundup: Phones with Retina Scanners? COD Underselling?

Are you tired of reading rumors about the latest technology? Sick of hearing insane hearsay about Google, Twitter, Windows, and more? Well, neither are we! Hooray! That's why we put all the latest biz-buzz from the internet into one place, the Rumor Roundup!

Target's In-Store Security Breach Has Compromised 40 Million Credit Cards

Target confirmed today that it experienced a security breach between November 27 and December 15, and as many as 40 million credit and debit card accounts might have been compromised. In a twist though, the hack occurred in-store.

Sears' New Ad: No One Shops Here, So We Have Plenty of Parking!

Where Kmart tried to shock shoppers into its stores with this year's holiday ad campaign, its sister company Sears seems to have something else on its mind: the retail chain's increasingly ghost town-like atmosphere.

VIDEO: Is Google Building an Evil Robot Army or an Army of Pleasure Bots?

Search giant Google recently purchased Boston Dynamics, a military-grade robotics company. Besides getting some cool robots to play with, we wondered why Google would be interested in this company. In this brief — yet lively — video, our experts discuss the possible uses for Google killbots robots~!.

After Christmas Sales 2013: Expect Especially Good Deals This Year

For consumers, After Christmas sales mean deep discounts on the stuff you want to buy. We combed through some of 2012's best post-Christmas promotions to uncover which of this year's After Christmas sales will be worth your time, and what kind of discounts can you expect.

Don't Have Gifts Ready for Christmas? Here's the Perfect IOU

Look, we get it. It's difficult to hear us prattle on about how much cheaper everything will be after the holidays, knowing full well that many of you absolutely must exchange gifts on or before December 25. Being the problem solvers that we are, we came up with the perfect solution: An IOU that lets you forgo the normal gift-giving timeline!

What to Expect from Super Saturday Sales: Leave the Clothes, Seize the Games

The last weekend before Christmas is a heady, anxious time for shoppers. The so-called Super Saturday sales offer one last chance to score a deal on that perfect present. If you'll be forced to shop this weekend, then fear not, frantic gifters! We've combed through the DealNews archives in order to fill you in on what to expect from these pre-Christmas sales.

From Leg Lamps to Moose Mugs: 10 Things We Want from Great Holiday Movies

Ever watch a holiday movie in which someone is given an awesome gift and you find yourself coveting it? It happens to us rather frequently, so we decided to put together this ultimate wish list based solely on items that are only available to people in holiday movies. (Mostly!)

The Dos & Don'ts of Holiday Tipping

The issue of holiday tipping has left many folks wondering how big (or small) a tip to leave (or not leave) as part of the yearly ritual of playing Santa. To get a handle on holiday tipping etiquette, we talked to a few experts and found out that by following a few simple guidelines, you can spread extra holiday cheer to the folks with whom you interact every day without going broke.

The Most Dangerous Toys of 2013: What to Get for the Kids You Hate

Why chance ruining the holiday by getting your kids toys that'll harm them? That's not very cheery and in the spirt of things! To make sure you don't spend Christmas in the E.R. check out W.A.T.C.H.'s list of the season's 10 Worst Toys.

Rumor Roundup: iPads for Pros? More Batman vs. Superman Villains?

Are you tired of reading rumors about the latest technology? Sick of hearing insane hearsay about iPads, Batmans, Windowses, and more? Well, neither are we! Hooray! That's why we put all the latest biz-buzz from the internet into one place, the Rumor Roundup!

What Would Santa Give? The 12 Most In-Demand Presents of the Year

'Tis the season for holiday gift guides! However, none of these sites have the data to prove that anybody really wants the stuff on these lists. Not so for DealNews; we crunched the numbers to find the most-searched for and most-clicked on items on our site. As a result, we know exactly what you and your loved ones want from Santa this year. Read on to discover this season's 12 hottest gifts.

POLL: Would You Buy An Upside Down Christmas Tree?

Upside down Christmas trees were first introduced as a marketing gimmick, but apparently the trend has caught on since the inverted tree saves space and keeps delicate decorations out of the way of children and pets. So how does one display an upside down Christmas tree? And would you buy one?

The Top Toys for the Collector on Your Holiday Shopping List

Sometimes we wonder whether Santa's elves keep quirky magic dust hidden in the North Pole workshop that can turn certain toys into collectibles. To find out more about when and why toys turn valuable, we talked to the owner of a Chicago collector's store and asked him which collectible toy lines are of the most valued.

7 Ways the Holiday Shopping Season Will Be Different This Year

Outside of Black Friday, the holiday season is a crucial time for shopping, for both the consumer and retailers. And as is the case with all things, the changing times have affected how we will approach our holiday gift list this year. From higher shipping minimums to expanding price matching policies, here are seven ways holiday shopping will be different in 2013.

Rumor Roundup: YouTube Music Subscriptions? A Male Dr Who Companion?

Are you tired of reading rumors about the latest technology? Sick of hearing insane hearsay about Windows, YouTube, Doctor Who, and more? Well, neither are we! Hooray! That's why we put all the latest biz-buzz from the internet into one place, the Rumor Roundup!

The Many Faces of Jeff Bezos: We Overanalyze What Amazon's CEO Is Thinking

If the face is the window to the soul, then here's what Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos's face-window was revealing about his inner thoughts during his much talked about 60 Minutes interview.

Seiki's Cheap 65" 4K HDTV Isn't That Cheap ... Yet

Seiki is poised to break some records this December when it releases its latest 4K HDTV, the ultra-cheap 65" SE65UY04. And while big-box retailers may use this "cheap" 4K HDTV to lure shoppers, we think early adopters should wait at least a few weeks before making any purchase.

Gifts That Give Back: Buy 1, Give 1 and Other Matching Gift Programs

Gift-giving is in full swing. And for most of us it means following the time-honored tradition of wrapping and unwrapping tokens of appreciation. But this year, such gift-giving is taking on additional meaning. Retailers like Warby Parker, Toms, and Threads are offering customers the opportunity to not only shop for themselves or their loved ones this year, but also for the less fortunate — at no extra cost. These buy one, give one programs will not only satisfy your desire to do good this holiday season, but they're also great alternatives to giving a family a goat.

It's the DealNews Guide to OTHER Holiday Gift Guides!

Most major news outlets publish a holiday gift guide, but going over every single one yourself is so tedious, right? Enter our guide to the holiday gift guides!

VIDEO: Would You Want Amazon to Deliver Your Packages via Drones?

Recently, CBS aired a 60 Minutes interview with Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in which he revealed that his company plans to create autonomous flying drones that will deliver packages within 30 minutes of when an order was placed. In this video, our deal experts discuss the feasibility and desirability of such a scheme.

Black Friday 2013 in Review: Walmart's Best-Selling Deal Was a 29-Cent Towel?!

Everybody take a deep breath: Black Friday has come to an end. While there are still some Cyber Week sales to consider, we can at least close the book on Black Friday 2013. And as we do so, we've got some amusing tidbits (Did you know that one of the hottest deals of the week was a towel?) as well as some major gripes to share.

Free Engraving on Apple Devices Could Cost You 30% in Resale Value

Before you personalize and laser-cut a message in to the back of that new iPad you bought as a Christmas present, stop and think about what each character may be doing to the device's resale value.

Best Cyber Monday Tools: $175 off a Storage Chest, Mechanics Tool Set for $85

Ready to do a few DIY projects? Check out these Editors' Choice Cyber Monday tool deals. Grab a 192-piece mechanics tool set for only $85, save $66 on a miter saw, or pick up a selection of hand tools for $2 each.

Best Cyber Monday Peripherals: 3 Monitors Under $400, Printers from $40

Many of you asked for advice about secondary monitors for your desktop setups. Just for you, we've put together a roundup of the best Cyber Monday peripheral deals including 20" - 29" LED screens, printers, and more.

Best Black Friday Smartphones: Pay 1 Cent for a Phone, Get a $100 Gift Card

Whether you're an iPhone devotee or an Android addict, we've gathered the best Editors' Choice Black Friday cell phone deals for your perusal — including a slew of "for profit" promotions that include a $100 gift card for free.

Best Black Friday Tools: Drills & Saws from Sears & Home Depot

Check out these Editors' Choice Black Friday drills, saws & screwdriver deals that would make Tim Allen giggle. But be quick! These in-demand deals have a habit of disappearing.

Knock Out Your Entire Holiday Shopping List This Black Friday

Rather than sleeping through the busiest shopping week of the season — not to mention all the potential savings — and likewise, not to waste any more time thinking what to buy your nearest and dearest, we've put together the ultimate Black Friday gift guide! From secret Santas to significant others, here are some of the best Black Friday deals that will make great gifts and keep you on budget.

The Perfect Remedy for Black Friday Overload: Pets in Thanksgiving Costumes!

As humans, we glean an inordinate amount of amusement from dressing our animal companions in costumes ranging from the cute to the bizarre. We'll take any occasion — the arrival of spring, the holiday season, and of course Halloween. Thanksgiving is no exception. These are our 11 of our favorite pets that have gone all-out to celebrate Thanksgiving.

The Best and Worst Things to Buy in December

December is a month when you almost can't avoid shopping. But in order to keep your holiday spirits up, you'll want to shop wisely and read our December buying guide. We've pored over the extensive DealNews archives of sales, coupons, and daily deals from years past to guide you in your quest for December's most savvy purchases.

2013 Thanksgiving & Black Friday by the Numbers

Black Friday is so close we can practically taste it! But before we charge out the door on Thanksgiving, we want to pause for a minute and think about what this all adds up to. We've crunched some big numbers in the lead up to this major shopping event, and think this is a great space to talk about Black Friday by the numbers.

Stores Will Use Deals to Control Crowds This Black Friday

We've all heard the Black Friday horror stories about out of control crowds. But is it really dangerous to head to the store on Black Friday? What steps are retailers taking to protect customers and employees during the shopping holiday? Read on to see how merchants will try to maximize safety — and profits — during the Black Friday season.

A Ballsy & Bellsy Christmas Tune: Kmart's "Show Your Joe" Commercial

Another Kmart commercial, another uproar! The company's new boxer commercial for the holidays is ringing some people's bells. Judge for yourself if it's edgy, button-pushing, inappropriate, or just insipid.

Amazon Black Friday Sale Preview: Bringing Competitor Doorbusters Online

Amazon has finally sent around a preview of its Black Friday Sale. Starting on Sunday, November 24 (that's a whole day earlier than last year), Amazon will post a new deal every 10 minutes for eight days straight. That's a lot of deals. But are any worth your time?

The Extreme Prepper's Guide to Completely and Utterly Avoiding Black Friday

Some people have convinced themselves that it'll never happen; that it's all hype. But Black Friday is coming ... and it's coming soon! Have you made plans for how you're going to survive a direct strike from Black Friday? If you're an anti-consumerist, Buy-Nothing-Day believer with any hope of surviving Black Friday, you'd best enact some of these Black Friday preparations, STAT.

How to Win Black Friday: Shopping Strategies (and a Helpful Comic Strip!)

Here at DealNews, we like to say that every day is Black Friday. But that doesn't mean that Black Friday itself isn't an important deal day — there's a reason people camp out in the cold and trample each other for these sales! You don't have to suffer like them, though. By employing a few Black Friday shopping strategies, you can snag all the best Black Friday deals without the hassle of crowds and frostbite.

People Are Already Camping Out in Front of a Best Buy in Ohio

Believe it or not, there are shoppers that have already started lining up for Black Friday. Yes, it gives us hilarious images of tents outside of a Best Buy, but what makes a person go to such drastic measures?
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