A secret corporation doesn’t want you knowing that prices actually go up on average from Black Friday until the end of December. However, immediately following the West’s orgy of gift giving, prices become flaccid. How do we, as consumers, take advantage of this situation? Having personally gone broke after throwing away money on underappreciated gifts, it occurred to me that finding good deals was more important than ever.
Fortunately, the social news site, Reddit provides a solution for bargain-hunters through its subsystems, known as “subreddits”. For the unaware, a subreddit is designated by the word following the “/r/” in the URL. For example, in the URL www.reddit.com/r/buildapcsales, the “buildapcsales” portion indicates the subreddit.
Essentially, where Reddit’s focus is general news and entertainment, a subreddit’s emphasis is more narrow. For example, the subreddit above focuses on finding good deals on computer parts. Many more of these kinds of Reddit subsections exists. This article covers eight of the most popular ones.
Eight Deal-Hunting Subreddits
If you ever need computer parts for a custom PC, the subreddit BuildaPC offers some of the best guidance on the Internet. Aside from functioning as a repository for numerous how-to guides and resource links, BuildaPC users created a spin-off – r/BuildaPCSales. BuildaPCSales rates as one of the finest deal-finding websites on the Internet for computer parts. Also, it’s updated several times a day with some excellent finds.
Another positive factor worth noting is that Reddit’s voting system allows for better deals to stand out from mediocre ones, so be sure to keep an eye on it.
This particular section, unfortunately, is US & Canada only. However, there are other methods available for getting deals, as well as a version for our brothers in the United Kingdom.
These three sections showcase some of the best gaming deals on the Internet, covering all available, modern systems, including the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC. My preference is for GameBundles, since it provides a lot of press for the amazing Humble Bundle offers, as well as similar packages, like the Royal Indie Bundle. No better game deals can be found anywhere.
This subreddit should come across as the least accessible of all the subsections presented here as it necessitates that you have something available for trade. Whether that’s a skill or an object is left up to the poster. Just a word of warning, some strange things can be found here. Don’t say you weren’t warned.
Show me a man who doesn’t love free things and I’ll show you a deeply unhappy person.
r/freebies receives regular updates on, for the most part, free software. There’s also a great number of product samples and, sadly, a lack of things that are free after a rebate.
This section offers some of the best advice for developing a cheaper lifestyle. Their advice and links focus more on tips rather than sale alerts. For example, this post suggested a novel, free alternative to disposing of sensitive documents, which would normally be shredded.
This particular subreddit is constantly updated with heavily discounted or completely free deals on mobile apps. There’s a slight bias toward iOS and the Amazon Appstore, although all mobile devices with app stores have active deals. If you like fiddling with your mobile device, this section may help slake your thirst for apps.
Steam has become the world’s premiere online distributor of PC games and tends to receive considerable attention on Reddit. While r/Steam and r/SteamDeals have a lot of overlap, r/SteamGameSwap is more interesting, which connects users who seek to exchange games with each other.
If you game through Steam, consider subscribing to one of these subreddits.
r/AmazonDeals, true to its name, covers a variety of deals from Amazon—these offerings are quite varied and numerous, from clothing to digital products, such as music and games.
If you have Amazon Prime, this subreddit should warrant your close attention.
Subscribing To a Subreddit
There are two main methods for subscribing to a subreddit. First, you can subscribe through Reddit, itself. The second method is through RSS. If you elect to subscribe through Reddit, you must create an account. After that, navigate to the subreddit you want to subscribe to and click on the subscribe button.
To subscribe through RSS, simply type “.RSS” at the end of any Reddit feed. Doing so will turn the URL into an RSS feed, which can plug into your favorite feed reader, such as Google Reader.
For those interested in Yahoo Pipes, I put together a custom, aggregated RSS feed for the most popular deal-spotting subreddits. The Pipe has glitches (here’s the source), although it works somewhat – if anyone has any expertise with Pipes, please let me know in the comments how we might get it working properly.
Reddit’s subreddit system represents one of the web’s best methods of finding interest-specific information. In particular, it excels at locating good prices on all manner of products. Additionally, it includes qualitatively superior discussion, analysis and RSS integration.
The biggest advantage is the community. A key part of the Reddit’s success is the voting system, which allows for content to be rated up or down. Highly rated comments allow users to distinguish between good and bad deals.
In fact, it was through a highly rated comment on Reddit that I learned of a great deal on the “Dark Souls: Prepare-to-Die” edition, as well as porting problems with the PC version, and a custom mod that helps deal with the problems introduced in the PC version – all in the same thread! Finding these gems simply involves scanning through a post and finding highly rated comments. Fortunately, the best comments often rise to the top of the discussion.
Image Credit: Computer via MorgueFile.com