With about seven hours left to go on Cyber Monday, we can't blame you if you're a bit overwhelmed by all the deals being offered. It seems as if every last website that sells something is offering a sale today, from newspapers to travel sites to comic book publishers, and of course, every e-commerce site, from online-only operations to the websites of traditional retailers.
(And consumers are responding favorably so far: According to IBM, as of noon today online sales were up 24.1% over the same time period on Cyber Monday 2011.)
Since we're also having trouble keeping all the sales straight, we decided to talk to the people who live and breathe deals. We went around to the biggest deal-hunting sites and asked them to tell us the absolute best deal they could find today. While some of them were hard-pressed to narrow it down to just one, we were able to get a pretty good idea of the absolute cream of the Cyber Monday deal crop.
So if you want to make the best use of the rest of Cyber Monday, relax: We've done some of the legwork for you. Here are the experts' picks.
The folks at Offers.com give high marks to a TV deal from an unlikely source: Dell is offering a 55-inch Samsung LED TV for $997.99, marked down from $2,000. They also single out Amazon for its $30-off deal on the Kindle Fire (use the coupon code FIREDEAL), and note that Express is a big winner in the apparel space, offering 40% off everything on its site, plus free shipping.
Dan de Grandpre, co-founder and CEO of Dealnews, points out a deal that he says is better than Amazon's Kindle Fire offer. OfficeMax is currently offering $40 off all online purchases of $200 or more when you use the coupon code CYBER40. That includes preorders of the Nook Tablet HD, which Barnes and Noble pits against the Kindle Fire HD. Dealnews notes that to get the discount on the baseline 8 GB model, which starts at $199, you'll need to find a small item costing $1 or more to pad out the order.
Free shipping offers also abound today, so we reached out Luke Knowles, founder and CEO of FreeShipping.org. He points to Coldwater Creek, which not only offers free shipping with no minimums today, but also takes 50% off all orders. He also gives a nod to Crate and Barrel, which offers free shipping and 15% off most items; while that's a lower percentage-off than many other sites offer today, he points out that it's very rare to see a broad discount like this from Crate and Barrel.
Brent Shelton, a spokesperson for deal site FatWallet.com, says the site's most popular deal today comes courtesy of Virgin Mobile, which offers the HTC One V smartphone for $49.99, marked down from $149.99. If you get the deal via FatWallet you can also earn cash back on the purchase.
The editors at SlickDeals likewise picked the HTC One deal and the Express sale as two of the best deals being offered today.
Brad Wilson of BradsDeals.com also liked the HTC One deal and the Kindle Fire deal. But he gives top marks to the Bowflex Xtreme SE home gym; priced at $1,299 at the Bowflex site, it comes down a whopping $800 to $499 with the code CYBERMONDAY today, and it ships for free.
Matt Brownell is the consumer and retail reporter for DailyFinance. You can reach him at Matt.Brownell@teamaol.com, and follow him on Twitter at @Brownellorama.
Hot Toys For the Holidays From Walmart and Toys R Us
Last-Minute Cyber Monday Deals: Experts Pick the Day's Best Offers
1. The Leapfrog LeapPad 2 learning tablet has been upgraded with more memory, front-and-back cameras and over 325 educational games and apps. Price: $99.
2. It's back. FURBY, that is. These fuzzy friends with the LED eyes make their comeback in 10 bold colors. Price: $54.
3. The Hot Wheels Terrain Twister R/C Vehicle can conquer snow, water, dirt, grass and other tough terrains. Price: $84.88.
4. For $49.97, the Fisher-Price Imaginext Eagle Talon Castle Play Set conjures a Medieval world of adventure. $49.97.
5. Does your daughter's Barbie need a vacation? The iconic doll and and her three sisters can take a glamorous trip on the Barbie Sisters Cruise Ship, priced at $72.97.
6. Kids can sing along with the Lalaloopsy Silly Hair doll Star Harmony B. Sharp. Change her hairstyle to watch her perform a new ditty. Retail price: $59.96.
1. The 1D Collector Dolls feature all five members of the singing group One Direction. Dolls Niall, Harry, Liam, Zayn and Louis are $19.99 each.
2. Jake's Musical Pirate Ship Bucky from Fisher-Price is based on the Disney Jr. TV show Jake and the Never Land Pirates. Price: $44.99.
3. With the Gelarti Designer Studio, kids can create and customize their own gel stickers. The new sets from Moose Toys from $9.99 to $24.99.
4. Toys R Us's exclusive Tabeo tablet, made especially for kids (complete with parental controls), retails for $149.99.
5. The Y-Volution YFliker F1 Scooter is three-wheeled, lightweight and retails for $99.99.
6. The Wii U from Nintendo is the next generation of the hot item, introducing two-screen console gaming. Already sold out due to pre-orders, it will be available again on Nov. 18. Price unavailable.