December 2006 Archives

December 28, 2006

122806blogitripFor those of you who listen to your iPod on the road without the luxury of a built-in iPod adapter, you know the drill: casette tape adapter, iPod charger, and wires all over the place. The solution? an iPod FM transmitter. The most popular is the Griffin iTrip. Starting at about $26.95, it's an affordable way to simplify your iPod configuration in the car without buying a new stereo. The transmitter plugs into your cigarette lighter and converts your iPod's audio output into an FM signal. Your car radio will pick up the signal, allowing you to use the car stereo controls to adjust the volume. Apple explains other benefits of the FM transmitter here.

Ebates staffer Dylan received an iTrip for Christmas. We have yet to discover if it lives up to Griffin's claim that it "delivers a background noise level below that of a cassette tape adapter, allowing the music to punch through cleanly." Dylan listened to an audio book on his iTrip and said it had great clarity, but we don't know if the same is true for music.

If you visit Apple, you'll see that over 300 people have reviewed the iTrip, and it's averaged only two stars. Many people are saying that the sound quality is poor in urban areas, and that the iTrip quickly drains the iPod's battery. For about ten bucks more, you can get an iTrip that includes a charger, but the issue of poor audio quality remains.

Have you ever used an FM transmitter for your iPod? What did you think?
 



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December 27, 2006

Remember that moment a few days ago when you unwrapped something just a little...well,  strange?

Maybe it was a tad impersonal (or worse: too personal). Perhaps it was unbefitting your age, size or even gender. We've all experienced the awkwardness of opening a bad gift. The brunt of the trauma has passed, but now the question remains: what are you going to do with that unwearable, inedible atrocity?

1. Return it to the store.  This is of course the preferred method for extricating yourself of a bad gift. Of course, not everyone is lucky enough to have a gift receipt included in the box (there seems to be a correlative relationship between bad gift-givers and high gift-giving confidence, don't you think?). If you do have a gift receipt, why not return the offensive article and treat yourself to a post-holiday clearance goodie? December 26th may be the major markdown day, but some stores continue their sales and clearances well into the new year.

2. Donate it to charity.  The holidays may be nearly over, but it's never too late to give. As the old adage goes:  "One man's trash..."...you know the rest. While that new sweater might not be your color, or your new bath gels might smell a little funky, there's someone out there who needs it.

3. Two words: White. Elephant. Call me old-fashioned, but there is something appealingly kitsch about a White Elephant gift exchange. Save your unwanted goods for next year's tacky-gift-giving extravaganza and get a few laughs out of it. (Just make sure your bad gift-giver isn't coming to the party!)

4. Empathize with others who've suffered a similar plight. So maybe that's a little dramatic. It's my way of telling you to go vote in Ebates' Worst Holiday Gift Contest! One voter will win a $100 gift card to Circuit City. Plus, those stories are sure to make you feel better about your bad gift. One woman's husband gave her an urn. For her ashes. Ouch.

5. Re-Gift it. This is where you've gotta be careful. Evaluate the gift, assess its positive attributes, and decide if it's eligible for regifting. If you knowingly give a dud, you'll have to make up for it next year!



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December 26, 2006

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas (if applicable to you, of course)!  I was happy to find some Ebates shoppers at my parents' holiday party. Tom, if you're reading this, you might be interested in today's Double Cash Back merchant!

Ebates is giving 4% Cash Back at Kohls, today only. Even better? Kohls is having an After Christmas Sale and Clearance! If you shop before 4PM (EST), the markdowns are even greater.

What better cure for a Tryptophan hangover than a healthy bout of shopping? I know some of you hardcore shoppers are at the malls right now, picking your way through piles of woulda-been gifts that never quite made it under the tree, but consider this: shopping online means you can cozy up on the couch with some coffee and holiday leftovers while still raking in the deals.

Speaking of coffee, Kohls has...oh, six varieties of coffeepots on clearance. To be honest, I've never shopped at Kohls before, but I'm impressed with their prices on toys and household items. Their clearance includes...

*50% off LeapFrog Toys
*70% off select luggage
*60-70% off select boots
*70% off winter sweaters

Kohlsdrtbanner


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December 21, 2006

Drmariosmall Now that plenty of people have gotten their game-eager little hands on a Nintendo Wii, the inevitable backlash has ensued.

Many gamers have complained of soreness in their shoulders, necks, arms and wrists after playing Wii games. For those of you who aren't familiar with Wii, it's a new game system that requires players to make physical motions that mimic those in real-life sports: boxing, baseball, tennis, sword-fighting (because, you know, people sword fight in real life).

In response, Nintendo issued a public statement: "If people are finding themselves sore, they may need to exercise more."

Yikes. Isn't this a new low in the lazy hall of fame? Come on people, if Nintendo is telling you to exercise more, there's gotta be something wrong. I'll be honest; I was sore for a good three days after my first night of Wii Sports, but did I write Nintendo a letter berating them for endangering my health? No! Why? I was ashamed of my soreness. Ashamed, I tell you!

What do you think? Should gamers exercise more? Did Nintendo cruelly unleash years of faux-tennis elbow on the masses?

Tell me your thoughts. I'll be over here with my Big Gulp and Zelda.



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December 20, 2006

122006blogkellyfight_8Now, I may be jumping the gun here with the exercise bit (mark my words- after New Year's, you'll be eating this stuff up like creamy, delicious sugar-free pudding).

If you're the type who likes to stay fit but can't stand dry exercise blather, then check out Fitness Fixation! It's one of my favorite blogs (this coming from someone who was sore for three days after Wii Boxing).

Fitness Fixation is written by Kelly Mills: a mom, fitness instructor, Ebates member (wink wink) and all-around fierce lady. Kelly will be featuring several products available through Ebates on an upcoming blog.  To get a feel for Fitness Fixation, here's an excerpt from her About section. Enjoy!

Okay, here’s the dirt on me: I’m a big-time exercise fiend, I teach fitness classes, and I  run five times a week. I’ve done races and triathalons. I also write about health for a living.

However, for the majority of my life, I believed I was not an athletic person. I thought this was just how it was: I’m not left-handed, I’m not perky, I’m not athletic. I never played any sports and I thought sweating was something to be avoided. In school I was picked for teams somewhere between the kid on crutches and the kid with the inch-thick glasses who grew up to run a computer company and now owns three small islands. If you threw a ball to me I’d run away from it. I probably caught more balls with the back of my head than I ever did with my hands. I got straight C-minuses in high school P.E., which is basically the best grade you can get if you spend most of the period hiding under the bleachers... I dabbled a little in exercise at various points in my life, mostly at chain gyms, and mostly without enthusiasm...

So now I’m kind of a jock and I think you can be one too, if you are so inclined. Or just get in better shape or whatever. But no matter what you do, you shouldn’t have to feel crappy about yourself. Unless you are into that sort of thing.

 

Update: Kelly's fitness wish list is up! Check out which gifts she suggests for your beloved fitness fanatics.



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December 19, 2006

122006blogtechdifficultiesIn case you've noticed, we're having a few minor problems with our images. The (very attentive) crew at Typepad is helping us recover them.

What would be more fun than looking at big blank spots on this blog?

Why, joining Ebates so you can finish your Christmas shopping! So move along, now! Nothin' to see here! Well, except for those cool movie trailers from the other day.

(Is it obvious that I'm trying to distract you?)

Update: The images are back to normal! Thank you Typepad!



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December 19, 2006

Today's Double Cash Back merchant just may be the answer to your last minute gift giving quandaries. Ebates is giving 20% Cash Back at ProFlowers.com! Who wouldn't love a lush bouquet of petite roses delivered to their doorstep in time for Christmas?

You'll notice that ProFlowers guarantees Christmas delivery, but I must give you a word of warning: when you are ready to buy your flowers, a drop down menu will appear from which you can select a delivery date. Christmas is no longer available, and ProFlowers will direct you to their partner site, FloristExpress.com. You will not earn Cash Back if you choose this option. It's not that we don't love FloristExpress.com. They're probably very floral and very express, but unfortunately they are not on Ebates.

You can have flowers delivered by Saturday the 23rd and earn your 20% Cash Back- just think of it as Christmas Eve Eve delivery.

121906blogsugarplumlilies_2   121906blogxmaslights_1   121906blogtulips



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December 18, 2006

121806blogsweaterThere are only two days left to enter Ebates' Worst Holiday Gift Contest! Tell us in 250 words or less about the worst gift you've ever received, and you will have a chance to win one of three $500 gift cards to Red Envelope, Circuit City or SmartBargains! The deadline to enter is 12PM (PST) on December 20th.

You know you have an awful gift lurking somewhere in the dark recesses of your home (much like the decrepit aunt in a Victorian novel)- or, if you have major cojones, it's sitting underneath an acquaintance's Christmas tree at this very moment. I still tremble at the memory of that bow-appliqued Beefy-T courtesy of the "weird girl" at my sixth grade Christmas party. Good intentions, yada yada. No one wants to wear puffy paint.

Don't you think a $500 shopping spree would be a great way to erase the haunting memory of terrible gifts past?

121806bloggiftsCircuit City has a list of promotions so long that I can't bring myself to post them all here. Most important is their Christmas Eve free shipping; order by December 19th and you can expect your goods to arrive by Sunday. Red Envelope doesn't have any current coupons, but you can get 6% Cash Back at Ebates. My favorite? SmartBargains. I really like the variety of brands on apparel and home decor.

Good luck!



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December 15, 2006

121506blogdrschollsI recently bought a pair of Sam Edelman flats and loved them as soon as I took them out of the  box- the glossy patent leather, the perfectly bare cut. I slipped them on, and they fit like a glove. I gingerly tiptoed ten steps, and the truth dawned on me.

I wouldn't be able to walk more than two blocks in these things without needing a pit crew that does pedicures. They were that uncomfortable. This wasn't the heel-pinching, blister-inducing kind of discomfort- it was more of a "wow, I hope the governator will fund a mass carpeting of downtown San Francisco, because these things feel like wood".

Even the cutest dress shoes are no good if you're limping through your friend's holiday party because you have sore or unsupported feet. The solution? Dr. Scholl's for Her Comfort Insoles. I bought a pair, put them inside my unforgiving flats, and guess what? I could walk! Comfortably! For several blocks! What I like about these insoles is 121506blogcarlynthat they a)dont' crowd my toes b)are discreet and clear c)are nice and cushiony.

Dr. Scholl's also makes Ball of Foot Cushions (when you just need a little extra support) and Open Toe Insoles (for open-toe shoes). One of our marketing gals has the open-toe insoles and says they are very discreet and add a lot of support.



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December 12, 2006

MjpumpI'm pretty sure a collective gasp of delight was audible all the way down Bryant Street when the Double Cash Back merchant was announced this morning. What's not to love about Nordstrom? They've got everything from shi shi designers to the Brass Plum clearance racks.

An interesting fact about women who visit Ebates for the first time: They might be a little hesitant at first, wondering how a website could possibly give them Cash Back just for shopping online, but as soon as they see those nine bold, black letters emblazoned on the Top Stores list, their apprehension washes away. "If Nordstrom is here, then it must be okay!" is what we hear over, and over and over again.

Use code HOLIDAY06 to get free shipping on orders of $100 or more. To see other offers available at Nordstrom, click here.

Nordstromdrt

P.S. A very special event is happening on Thursday at Ebates! Check your email to see what it is! If you're not signed up for our newsletter, visit your Account Profile to change your preferences.



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December 11, 2006

121106blogbunnysuit_1 The subject of holiday movies can reveal a lot about a person- and their family! While some cozy up with Jimmy Stewart's tear-jerking, seasonal homage to the everyman, others might choose...well, something a little non-traditional. Say, John McClane hurling Hans Gruber off the Nakatomi Plaza Hotel while "Silent Night" warbles softly in the background.

121106gremlinHey, my family watches Ingmar Bergman's four hour paranormal epic Fanny and Alexander every Christmas Eve. So what?

I did a little research (and by research, I mean I Googled "favorite holiday movies" and YM'd my coworkers) and have hopefully covered most of the popular holiday movies. I wanted to include Better Off Dead, but decided that just maybe, Gremlins was more deserving of a spot on this list.

So what are your favorite holiday movies?

           
Online Poll Using WebSurveyorOnline Poll Using WebSurveyor


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December 8, 2006

120806blogmjcoatIn a world of Neiman's, Bloomies and Nordstroms, Shopbop is a bit of an underdog. Stacked with hundreds of pages of new merch from the hippest, high-end labels (Marc by Marc Jacobs, Paul and Joe, L.A.M.B) Shopbop truly gives the bigger stores a run for their money.

Shopbop joined Ebates this week, at 6% Cash Back! For the brand conscious fashion hounds, you'll know this is a very competitive rate (Nordstrom, Bloomingdale's, and Neiman Marcus are at 3%, 2% and 3%, respectively!

Usually these stores carry slightly different selections from a particular designer (you might find a certain color bag, for example, from one store but not the other). If you're lucky enough to find the same item at several stores, then by all means, go for the one with the most Cash Back!

120806blogkooba_1Anthropologie fans will be pleased to know that Shopbop has collections from Ella Moss, Joe's Jeans, Velvet, and more!

The best part? You can get free shipping through December 19th and still get your package by Christmas.

P.S. Coupon Code SAYJUICY gets you 20% off on Juicy Couture's non-sale items!

Want to earn 6% Cash Back at Shopbop? Click Here to join Ebates!



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December 6, 2006

The body of CNET  Senior Editor James Kim was discovered this afternoon in Oregon.

James was a blogger for Crave, the popular tech blog on CNET, which is right down the street from Ebates. We have the deepest sympathy for James' family.

120606blogjameskim_1


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December 5, 2006

Today is Double Cash Back Tuesday at Best Buy! While 2% doesn't sound like a huge rebate, if you're shopping around for certain gadgets from a reputable dealer (emphasis on the reputable dealer part- I'm not talking about auction sites)  it's hard to come across a significant discount.

Best Buy has a holiday shopping guide in case you're a little clueless as to what gadgets your family and friends might like. Some of their coolest current promotions include:

278x125_bestbuy_125

Want to earn Double Cash Back at Best Buy? Click Here to join Ebates!



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December 1, 2006

EDIT: Unfortunately Sephora has run out of these amazing gift bags. If you hear of a new code, please post it in the comments!!

When I think of fashion, clothes and accessories are the first thing that come to mind, but beauty products are just as crucial to a devotee of la mode. Fashionable men and women everywhere love Sephora, and for good reason: They carry so many delicious brands of cosmetics, it's hard to leave the store without a bag brimming with lip venoms, cashmere-infused eye color, and grapefruit-tea fragrances.

This coupon code gets you a polka dot gift bag bursting with some of Sephora's most coveted samples. Spend $50 and enter code CIRQUE into the coupon field at checkout.This is a great alternative to the sought-after friends and famiily code that expired on the 27th. 120106blogsephorasamples

Behold the goodies. Wouldn't these make good stocking stuffers?

     
  •   2x.03 oz Dior J'adore/Pure Poison Eau de Parfum Duo
  •  
  • Givenchy Mariage Eau de Parfum - .03 oz
  •  
  • Philosophy Amazing Grace Perfumed Shampoo, Bath, and Shower Gel - 2 oz
  •  
  • Clarins Advanced Extra Firming Neck Cream - .17 oz
  •  
  • Stila IT Gloss in Sweet (shimmering rose) - mini
  •  
  • Benefit Some Kinda Gorgeous - .06 oz
  •  
  • Urban Decay Primer Potion - mini
  •  
  • Smashbox Brush Cleaner - .18 oz
  •  
  • Fresh Anise Day Serum - .07 oz
     

Want to earn Cash Back at Sephora? Click Here to join Ebates!



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