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Eco-nomical: The Best Deals Online

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Eco-nomical: The Best Deals Online

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Eco-nomical: The Best Deals Online

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Cyber Monday is in a couple of days, but it might already be outdated. The online counterpart to Black Friday used to be the best day for online holiday discounts, but in this economy you can find bargains really almost any day. That's just one of the tips that Dan de Grandpre has for us. He's the editor-in-chief of, a Web site that tracks online sales, and we've invited him to take part in our Eco-nomical Series, our guide to saving money in the environment this holiday season. He joins us from New York. Dan, thanks very much for being with us.

Mr. DAN DE GRANDPRE (Editor-In-Chief, Thanks for having me.

SIMON: So, how do you get rock-bottom prices on the Web?

Mr. DE GRANDPRE: You just keep an eye out. There are so many rock-bottom prices out there because retailers are struggling. They're struggling mightily, and they're just slashing prices. It seems every day that there's a new round of deals that are just good as anything you saw on Black Friday.

SIMON: What are some of the best ones you've seen so far?

Mr. DE GRANDPRE: We've seen a 42-inch LCD TV, a nice big TV for $500, which is an absurd price, frankly, for that large a TV.

SIMON: Now is this like some - forgive me, off-brand Brazilian maker or something?

Mr. DE GRANDPRE: It is exactly that. When you look at the Panasonic, the Sony and the Samsung TVs, you're seeing those prices around the $600 to $800 level. But those are a lot lower than they were even just a month ago.

SIMON: How do you - you got to be careful though, right? I mean, $500 is a great bargain but it's also a lot of money to lose if it doesn't work. How do you tell the difference between a deal and a scam?

Mr. DE GRANDPRE: Well, that's a good question. First thing is to buy from a store that you're familiar with. If you're buying from, you know, a name-brand store, you're probably getting a better product and you can return it if you have a problem. Another thing to do, of course, is to look for reviews, look for reviews online. If you can't find that product reviewed online anywhere, it means nobody owns it.

SIMON: And what's the best time to look for bargains?

Mr. DE GRANDPRE: This season, there's so many bargains that have been going on for the last six weeks, really, on the lead into the Black Friday's weekend, that have been, frankly, outstanding, unusually good - on apparel, on GPS's, on a wide range of products. The only things that really aren't at the cheapest point that they've been in ages are typically toys. Toys get cheaper about one to two weeks after this weekend. And also, the high-end TVs, the kind of TV that cost - $2,000 to $3,000 range. Those are typically cheaper a little later in the season.

SIMON: And can they ensure delivery by the holidays?

Mr. DE GRANDPRE: They usually can. Most stores can. Fortunately for us, this year, Christmas does not land on a weekend as it has - or a Monday, so you can actually order pretty last minute. Of course, you can always order at Best Buy or Circuit City or their Web sites and pick it up the next day, as well.

SIMON: Dan, thanks very much.

Mr. DE GRANDPRE: Thanks for having me.

SIMON: Dan de Grandpre is editor-in-chief of, speaking from New York. And if you want to chime in on our holiday shopping discussion or share any tips you have for making this season more eco-friendly, you can go to This is NPR News.

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