Heads Up: Tuesday & Wedn are Prime Days

Just a heads up, Tuesday and Wednesday are the return of Amazon’s ever-so-sprawling Prime Dayz. Lots of sales of different things and kinds and such. This is a DIY adventure, I am not doing Prime Day this year 🙂

FREE 2-Day Shipping on $50+ at Adorama [Exclusions Apply!]

Adorama is running a free 2-day shipping promotion on orders of $49.99+ (excluding shipping and taxes) for the 48 contiguous US states. PO Boxes are not eligible (because they are inside Post Offices and delivering to them can be a pain). Details of the promotion at the Adorama Shipping page.

For your convenience I’m cut-n-pasting the relevant paragraph for the promotion:

“Items marked with “FREE 2-Day Shipping” or “2-Day Shipping – FREE on Orders over $49.99″ are eligible. Cart totals of $49.99 excluding shipping and tax will be qualified with eligible items. Shipping within the contiguous 48 U.S. states. PO box addresses as well as shipping to Hawaii, Alaska or Puerto Rico are not included in this offer. Used items and items in the Home Electronics and Musical Instruments product categories are not eligible. To ensure the safety and compliance of our shipping procedures, we have a rule in place that certain products are not eligible for our 2-day shipping service. This includes products that are deemed hazardous, those that are drop-shipped, or those that cannot be shipped by plane”

Adorama: FREE 2-Day Shipping on $50+ orders (37050 products)

If you are planning to make a purchase at Adorama, they are running a FREE 2-Day Shipping on orders of $50+. EXCLUSIONS apply! As of the time of writing, 37050 products are eligible for this promotion. As usual, the shopping cart is the ultimate decider on what qualifies for what 🙂

Promotion ends Wednesday 12/20/23 at 11:59pm ET.

KEH XMas Delivery Order Cut-OFF Dates

If you are planning to make a purchase at the KEH website and you want this to arrive by Christmas Day, they have posted their order cut-offs. The 2nd Day cut-off is Tuesday by 3pm ET, while the Overnight is Wednesday by 3pm ET. Details at the Shipping Info page…

Orders of $75+ in the contiguous US states (Hawaii and Alaska excluded) get free ground shipping. The XMas Day cut-off point for ground shipping has already passed.

PSA: Temu spam/scam emails coming from trustworthy emails

This is a PSA! The last few hours I’ve received a couple of emails from trustworthy email sources that promote a Temu (Chinese e-commerce type thing) promotion. Becareful with those. Mayhaps they’ve found a backdoor to send those emails or hacked them or found some way to spoof. Regardless, do not open them…

Save The Day: Fall Prime Dayz October 10-11

Amazon apparently loved the Summer “Prime Dayz” so much they are now having Fall Prime Dayz as well! They have been announced for October 10 and 11 in 2023, which, just like the Summer Prime Dayz, they “fall” on a Tuesday and Wednesday!

Amazon has already set up a Prime Big Deals Days website with pre-offers and reminders and such.

Amazon is also promising great offers at “Buy with Prime” participating websites, where you get Prime shipping benefits even though it’s outside Amazon.com!

B&H Fans: Shop co-branded 50Y anniversary items

If you are a fan of B&H Photo and/or a collector of limited time and special edition products, as part of the 50 year B&H Photo celebrations, they have co-branded a number of products from various manufacturers, having a visible B&H 50 years anniversary logo on them!

As of the time of writing there are 19 options, including camera straps (BlackRapid), solar eclipse glasses, memory cards, batteries, tripods (Gitzo), Zoom recorder anniversary case, and of course our most favorite camera item of all, BAGS, in this case, …cases from Nanuk and Pelican.

REMINDER: the B&H BILD Expo celebrating their 50 years is on September 6-7 in 2023 in New York!

PS: fun fact, bild means “image” in Yiddish and it is also a German word, thus the well-known German newspaper with the same name!

Woot now uses Amazon Pay exclusively

This happened about a month ago, but since we are on the cutting edge of the latest news right now, I just now noticed it 🙂

The change affects only those customers who were logging in with a Woot account and were making payments on their purchases using credit cards they had stored in their Woot account. You can no longer pay with those cards. You can only pay using the Amazon Pay option, which is basically your Amazon account.

If you were already logging in with your Amazon account, you were already paying with Amazon Pay, nothing changes.

Adorama: FREE 2-Day S&H on $50+ [ends 8/13]

The Adorama daily deals continue to be in “Top Deals” mode but they have a different kind of a promotion until 8/13/23 at 11:59pm ET. Purchases over $49.99 qualify for FREE 2-day shipping for the 48 contiguous US states. Some exclusions apply.

You can learn all about their shipping options at the Shipping help pages.

PS: yes we are talking about actual shipping, not TV/books shipping 🙂

2021 iPad PRO Offers
UNRELATED to the above, but I don’t want to be creating too many short posts, Woot Plus is running until 8/15/23 or earlier if sold out a sale on new condition iPad PRO (2021 models) tablets with a 1-year Apple warranty and eligible for Apple Care.

There are different options (Wifi-only or Wifi + Cellular) and bundles (with Case), so be sure to check each individual listing. The 11-inch models start at $660, while the 12.9-inch models start at $860.

If you find 12.9″ too small, the all new Galaxy TAB S9 has a 14.6″ option. Because Samsung executives never say no to a new product variation or a new TouchWiz/OneUI feature 🙂

Adorama: FREE 2-day shipping on $50+ (xp 7/14/23 at 2pm ET)

Now that the Prime Dayz e-dust has e-settled, Adorama decide to bring back the focus on its FREE 2-DAY shipping promotion on orders of $49.99+ and extend it until 7/14/23 at 2pm eastern.

New Prime Day 2023 Feature: Buy Products By INVITATION

Prime Days for 2023 are Tue and Wedn July 11 and 12. In previous years, you would buy the offers as they went live on that very day. Now there’s another option: Invitations!

For all this to work, I should point out, you must a Prime member, either a paying one or with a 30-DAY Free Trial.

When you peruse the Amazon USA Gold Box at this very moment, you may see some offers that say “Invite-only” in their name. You can use your browser’s search function to quickly locate these.

As an example of an invite offer we’ll take a look at this Acer Swift X Creator laptop. Its current buy-me-now price is $930. BUT if you are a Prime member, you can request an invite, and IF selected (not sure exactly how, random? algorithmically? by Jeff himself? LOL), on PRIME DAY (not right now) you will have the option to purchase it at the Prime Day price of $630.

For completeness sake, let’s take a look at some of the specs of this $630 laptop: 100% sRGB, NVIDIA RTX 3050 Ti (4GB GDDR6 VRAM), Ryzen 7 5825U (Zen 3), 16GB LPDDR4X, 512GB SSD, backlit keyboard, 14-inch full HD IPS (16:9, 300 nits), 802.11ax Wi-Fi, bluetooth 5.2, weighs 3.06 lbs, fingerprint reader, Win 11, etc, etc, etc…

Requesting an invite is just that. You are not obligated to purchase it!

For products participating in this, on the right-hand side of their individual product page, where the classic Amazon “Buy Box” is, you see this new “Invitation” area:

In case the above product disappears, here’s a few more participating, so you can check and play with the new options.

+ FOREO Luna 3, I believe this product allows you to talk to the Lunar Base on the dark side of the Moon!

+ Darth Vader head (Echo stand) for $30
+ also available in StormTrooper and Mandalorian
+ sadly not available for Emo Jedi Ben Ro 🙂

Save The Dates: Prime Day 2023 is July 11 and 12

If you are a fan of the Amazon way of shopping and you are a Prime member or at least you don’t object to start a 30-day free trial, Amazon has revealed that Prime Dayz 2023 will take place on July 11 and 12 in 2023. As usual, this “falls” on a Tuesday and Wednesday 🙂

July 11 is an important day for other reasons too! It is National Mojito Day and National Blueberry Muffin Day 😉

Drop.com (April 10-23): Sales Tax Refunded

If you are a fan of Drop (the artist formerly known as Massdrop), for the time period of April 10-23 in 2023, they are offering the sales tax refunded on your purchases at the Massdrop website using coupon code USTAXDAY. If your state does not collect sales tax, you will obviously not receive a refund 🙂

For shoppers outside the USA, the same coupon code gets you FREE shipping on orders of $50+, and the order must have five items or less FEWER [King Stannis]. There’s no sales tax outside the USA. This coupon does NOT pay back customs or VAT or any other taxes collected outside the USA.

Monoprice launches a Rewards program

Rewards continue to be hot in the world of shopping, so the Monoprice website jumped on this bandwagon as well! They have launched their Preferred Rewards program that offers two type of benefits:

  1. volume pricing discount; the higher your reward tier, the more discounted units you can buy
  2. coupons twice a year; the higher the reward tier, the bigger the coupon discount

The reward tiers are determined by how much you spent at the Monoprice website the previous calendar year (1/1 through 12/31). Included in the qualifying amount are taxes and shipping fees.

It is a FREE rewards program – it should go without saying but a few times some merchants charge (hello AMEX), so I have to mention it 🙂

Best Buy Rewards program changing: TWO major changes!

If you are a member of the Best Buy Rewards program (aka “My Best Buy” program), they are changing the terms, and there are two major changes, one is good news, the other is kinda sideways.

The good news? Effective immediately, “My Best Buy” members get free shipping without a minimum purchase amount required.

The sideways news? Effective February 14 in 2023 (it’s their Valentine’s Day gift?), the Best Buy rewards program ENDS for all EXCEPT for those who have the “Best Buy Credit Card”. If you don’t have the BB Credit Card, you can apply for it, and they have a couple of special promotions for it to entice you to “cross over”.

If within 60 days (of February 14, 2023) you don’t get the “Best Buy Credit Card”, Best Buy will issue a rewards certificate for the points remaining in your account. Not sure if this will be for the total amount or following the standard points redemption rules.

Contact their toll-free customer service for questions and complications and such…

Adorama: FREE Overnight Shipping on select items

As we get closer to the gift-giving and gift-receiving deadlines, time becomes of the essence (absence of a TARDIS). Adorama too is having their FREE OVERNIGHT shipping promotion on over 4500 products. Eligible products mention this on their individual product pages while this promotion is running.

Speaking of Adorama, they have a Mystery sale featuring nearly 9000 items.

B&H: Free Next Day Shipping on select items until 12/21

It’s that time of the year, the gifting time crunch! And as with previous years, B&H Photo is offering FREE NEXT DAY shipping on select items for purchases made in the contiguous US states.

You can find out if an item is eligible for this promoition on its individual product page, where the free next day delivery option is shown…

Singles Day 2022 is Here!

We’ve made it again, it’s Singles Day (11/11) in the year 2022, and somehow, to the planet’s chagrin, we are still around 😉

Singles Day is the Asian Market Black Friday, essentially November is one rolling Black Friday sale!

As usual, check your favorite Asian-market shopping sites, such as Ali Express (the western-facing version) and Alibaba (the China-facing version) and Gear Best (not Beast), and DH Gate and Bang Good (it is safe for work!) and Geek Buying and Light in the Box (not a photography site), and Deal Extreme (they changed urls since) and a gazillion others!

If you have any favorites I left out, please feel free to mention them in the comments!

Prime Benefit: 1-Year of GrubHub+ FREE

Amazon’s Prime benefits continue to evolve with the times. Such as this benefit: as a Prime member you get a 1-Year GrubHub+ membership for FREE. This Grubhub+ membership gets you unlimited $0 deliveries on eligible offers.

The offer continues as long as the Prime membership is active. Meaning if you start a 30-day Prime trial and then cancel it, you don’t get to keep the 1-year GrubHub+ free membership.

NOTE that the GrubHub+ membership is auto-renewing, so if you don’t cancel it before the FREE 12 months are over, you will be charged an on-going monthly fee (currently $10/month), until or unless you manually cancel it.

I haven’t done this, so I can’t tell you what to expect…

Heads Up: PayPal FREE Return Shipping ENDS on November 27 in 2022

Another sign of the times and a tightening of the belts, on November 27 in 2022, PayPal will be ending their free return shipping program. If you have eligible returns, make sure you submit them before the change!

No new sign-ups are allowed for the retiring service, so the only ones who can use it before it goes away are the PayPal users who have already activated it…

More details at the PayPal Help pages

Pre-order 55″ Samsung Odyssey Ark, Get $200 Gift Card!

If you’ve fallen for Samsung’s new 55-inch Odyssey Ark display, B&H Photo is giving you 200 more reasons to place a pre-order! For a limited time, if you pre-order the Odyssey Ark for its starting price of $3500, you will also receive a $200 B&H Photo e-gift-card!

The promotion runs as long as you see it mentioned at the aforelinked product page. If you no longer see it mentioned, it means it expired for new buyers.

Woot Birthday Giveaway: $500 Gift Cards (open to all)

It just happens that Woot’s 18th year birthday coincides with Prime Days this year. To celebrate its birthday Woot is having a $500 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway with five winners. This is open to all – you don’t have to be a Prime member, and you don’t have to buy anything.

To be eligible, you must needs post in the aforelinked Woot thread, following their rules, terms and conditions. The more complicated the rules, the better the chance of winning because some people won’t read them 🙂

The entry deadline is 7/18/22 at 4pm central time.

UPDATE: unrelated to the Giveaway but related to Woot, they changed their Tuesday 7/12/22 headliner daily deal, it is now a Best of Tech sale with a heavy focus on TVs and Apple products.

Prime Days 2022 revealed: July 12-13

Amazon has officially revealed that Prime Days 2022 will be July 12 and 13 in 2022, which, according to my calendar are Tuesday and Wednesday. This event is open to Prime members only.

If you are not a Prime member, you can still participate by starting a strategic 30-day Prime free trial that includes July 12-13 time window. Amazon is well aware of this and encouraging it because they know that a sizable percentage of those who start 30-day free trials will stick around as paying Prime members for eternity 🙂

Alternately, if you are not eligible for the free trial, but you also don’t want to commit to the $140 per year plan [back in our time kids, Prime was $100 per year but we had to climb up the internet hill backwards at dialup speeds to get it!], you can start a $15/month month-to-month membership and keep it only for the time window that covers the July 12-13 Prime Dayz.

Remember, a Prime membership also includes access to Amazon’s videos and movies, so you can factor your TV/movies streaming/watching schedule into the decision when to start your 30-day free trial!

A Prime membership includes many other benefits as well. To give you a general sense, we have a Prime Benefits round-up post at the main blog, but note that it was last updated in late April 2018, that’s *GASP* four years ago 🙂 Time sure does fly!

PRO TIP: View all Woot Plus deals (sorted by date)

Once upon a time Woot was just a few daily deals. Now it has 184 pages worth of deals with a dozen deals per page. It can be quite chaotic to sort through the various longer-running Woot Plus offerings and keep up with the latest additions.

Which brings us to this page, all the Woot deals offered, sorted by the Newest First. You can also sort them by other options, eg best sellers, high/low price, etc…

Plan Ahead: B&H and Adorama Closing for Passover starting Friday

If you are planning any short-term orders from B&H Photo and also from Adorama, you have to do some planning ahead because the retailers will be closing for the Passover holiday starting on Friday 4/15 and they will return on Monday 4/25. That’s ten days, so if you’re gonna need anything soon, order it now!

May 3 (2022): Changes to Best Buy Rewards program, Goodbye Three Tiers

Ch-ch-ch-changes! Starting May 3 in 2022, Best Buy is streamlining their rewards program. Gone will be the three tiers. Everyone will be in a single tier, earning the same percentage, half a point for every $1 spent. Points will be redeemed in 250 point increments. 250 points is a $5 reward certificate, thus making it a 1% reward, since 1 point = 2 cents.

Not sure why they have it twisted like that instead of making it a straight 1:1. It’s the same thing, just the 0.5x and 2x can be confusing to those who do not pay close attention.

Best Buy credit cards earn higher percentages depending on card and promotion.

Some items and brands are not eligible to earn points (check the “E. Receiving points” segment) and some things cannot be paid with a reward certificate (check the “3. Non-Qualifying Redemptions”).

Ironically, the company with the highest profit margins in the universe (Apple/Beats purchases) do not earn points 🙂

Details at the Best Buy Terms and Conditions.

Note that the new terms are at the top of the page under the “Upcoming 5/3/22 update” section. If you scroll further down, you will find the previous terms that expire on 5/2/22. So if you are using your browser’s search feature to look for specific things, make sure you are in the correct section of the page…

Time Warp News: Senate votes to make DayLight Savings permanent [still needs to pass House & President to sign]

Twice a year we must needs change the time in various clocks and gadgets, assuming we remember which ones change automatically and which ones require manual intervention.

In mayhaps the first good news of 2022, the US Senate passed by unanimous consent (not a single one of the usual suspects demanded a roll-call vote) the proposed law that makes daylight savings time permanent.

This is not a law yet! It has to pass the House of Representatives, and then get signed by El Presidente (or Congress overrides a veto), before it becomes law.

Daylight savings is the new-current current time, the “Spring Forward” time. As the “daylight savings” name hints at, the “spring forward” pushes an extra hour of daylight into the evening, thus “saving” the daylight for more people to enjoy 🙂 Furthermore, the daylight is not “wasted” in the earlier hours of the morning where many may be sleeping or wanting to be sleeping but get woken up by the sunlight…

More details via the various websites linked through at Memeorandum, the newsy site of Techmeme… Or if you just want to read one article with sunrise and sunset light-comparison images (why not?) check out the VoX

And what makes this long-winded post on-topic: of photography interest, it gives us a more consistent schedule with regards to sunrises and sunsets and photographing things in general, and those of us who may be using older cameras, we’ll have correct capture times all year round 🙂

Plan your orders ahead: B&H Purim Closing

If you have any time-sensitive orders for the B&H Photo website, plan ahead because they will be closing for the Purim holiday. More specifically, online orders placed after 4:30pm eastern on Wednesday March 16 in 2022, will be shipped on Monday March 21 in 2022…

Shopping News: Amazon B&M Bookstores closing down

Not everything Bezos touches turns into gold. Amazon’s Bookstores have failed to gain enough traction/profit and Amazon is closing them down. More specifically this includes the “Amazon Books”, “4 Stars” and “Pop Up” stores.

The aforelinked page has FAQs on how to deal with returns. The exact closing date is not disclosed as of the time of writing.

The other Amazon physical stores (Whole Foods, Amazon Fresh, Amazon Go) continue operating as before.

BREAKING: Amazon Prime annual fees increasing to $139 per year [monthly $15/month]

Maintaining the globetrotting yacht and tearing down bridges is an expensive thing, so Amazon is raising Prime prices from $119 to $139 as follows:

+ existing Prime members: March 25 (so if your annual renewal is before March 25, you pay $119; after March 25, you pay $139)
+ the previous bump in Prime pricing was in 2018, it went from the psychologically friendly price of $99 to $119

+ new Prime members: February 18 or later. It’s Amazon’s Valentine’s gift to y’all 😉

+ monthly Prime fee goes from $13/month to $15/month

So if you are not a Prime member, and are considering to lock in the $119 price for a year, start a FREE 30-day trial now, OR strategically use the monthly Prime when you need it (eg when the LOTR show comes out in Fall 2022 or when you shop a lot)…