You may have noticed some big changes around here recently. I'm proud to announce the launch of the all-new Brad's Deals site. Our goal has always been to help consumers win by curating the best deals, exclusive offers, and coupons the web has to offer, and our redesigned site makes winning and saving money smoother than ever. We conducted tons of user polls and focus groups in order to build the best possible Brad's Deals experience. Let’s take a look over what’s new with our shiny new deal machine.
The root beer float was invented in 1874 by a Philadelphia soda vendor named Robert McCay Green. As the story goes, Green ran out of ice on a steamy summer day and was forced to improvise. He bought ice cream from a neighboring vendor, mixed it with his root beer, and a new beverage was born.
It might not stack up to wintertime holiday shopping, but back-to-school shopping represents one of summer's biggest consumer events. The National Retail Federation's annual back-to-school survey found that this year, Americans will spend a grand total of $74.9 billion on back-to-school items, ranging from the traditional - pens, pencils, and folders - to the less-than-traditional - tablets, smartphones, and computer software.
If you have future travel booked on Malaysia Airlines in 2014, you can get a full refund on your ticket - even if it's a non-refundable fare.
The average American consumes 60 hot dogs a year, according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council. Yes, that's a real organization.
What hot dogs may lack in nutritional value is made up for with cultural significance. In the power rankings of Americana, hot dogs rank somewhere between baseball and apple pie. The founding fathers may not have intended it, but encased meats have carved out a small yet important niche in American history (never mind that they originated in Germany).
At Brad's Deals, we love freebies and doughnuts (though, we don't all agree on the spelling of the sweet treat--I like doughnuts better, but I think I'm in the minority). So, naturally, we're super pumped about the upcoming National Donut Day on Friday, June 6, when some stores are giving away free donuts!
In honor of the sugar-filled holiday, we decided to compose a finger-licking ode (pretend this article is being sung to you) to donuts. Here are some of our favorites.
Classics are classics for a reason. Best bets come from Dinkel's and Stan's Donuts (specifically the vanilla orange flavor) in Chicago and Los Angeles and Carmella's Creme in Champaign. Carmella's Creme proves that donuts don't have to be really expensive to be good. Most cost under a dollar and are made in an old Taco Bell. Though, sometimes your mind can help you deal with shelling out several bucks for a donut, like one of our designers. "My mind refuses to consider the possibility that I spent that much money [$2 or $3] on a donut that isn't the best ever," she wrote about Stan's Donuts. Regardless of price, all of these donuts are great!
These glazed donuts from Krispy Kreme have been described as "airy sugary heaven" that you "can't go wrong" with. Another thing you can't go wrong with is freebies! See the bottom of this post to see how you can get one of these glazed donuts for free!
Tomorrow is Free Comic Book Day! The event was created in response to an article that proposed the idea by Joe Field, the owner of Flying Colors Comics in Concord, Ca. Since Free Comic Book Day started in 2002, millions of comics have been given away and several celebrities, like LeVar Burton and Stan Lee, have given their support.
Comic stores around the world will participate by offering free comics, special sales and other extra events. For instance, Jellaby author Kean Soo will sign copies of his comic at Challengers in Chicago. In Beaverton, Ore., Things From Another World is offering 20% off almost everything in the store (in addition to a free comic) and will host Joshua Williamson, Vicente Navarrete, and Ben Bates. Check with your local store to see what events they are hosting.
The number and type of comic that's distributed varies, so check with your local store. However, your free comic will be from this list.
Free comic book titles include:
Your carry-on luggage now will cost you an extra $25 to $100 dollars at Frontier Airlines.
Starting yesterday (4/28/14), Frontier changed to an ultra-low fare model and is boasting that the change means that airfares are now an average of 12% lower than they were before the switch. The catch is that they will now charge up to $50 per direction if you want to take a carry-on bag with you on the flight. It's also worth noting that a checked bag is $20 - or $5 less than the cheapest carry-on option. And thus Frontier joins Spirit and Allegiant as the third U.S. domestic airline to begin charging travelers for carry-on luggage.
"With an unbundled product, customers can save even more by choosing to pay for only the products that they want, allowing them to customize their flight experience for each and every flight," said David Siegel, CEO of Frontier Airlines, in a press release posted to FlyFrontier.com. "With today’s further reduction in Frontier’s amazing low fares our customers will find even greater value and our guaranteed lowest fare when they book at FlyFrontier.com."
So Frontier is doing its best to convince the flying public that this change is to their benefit, but let's be honest: When was the last time you flew without a carry-on?
Frontier understands what every modern air traveler knows: Overhead bin space is at a premium now that flyers use it to avoid checked baggage fees. No profit-motivated business, and especially not an airline, is going to lower prices just for the good of the consumer. If it's not adding to their bottom line, they're not going to do it. And when you crunch the numbers here, the truth becomes clear. Frontier may have lowered fares, but they actually raised their prices.
|Pay the carry-on fee during booking||$25 each way|
|Pay during online check-in||$30 each way|
|Pay when you add it to an existing reservation||$35 each way|
|Pay while checking in at the airport
(both self-service and at the counter)
|$35 each way|
|Pay at the gate during boarding||$50 each way|
You can check out Frontier's full Carry-On Baggage Policy and all of its fine print for more details.
And now for the math that shows why this is going to cost travelers more.
The free ride is over for Floridian fans of Amazon.com. As of May 1, 2014, Amazon will begin charging sales tax on all orders in the state thanks to the opening of two new fulfillment centers in the state, and the average sales tax will be around 6%.
Amazon never charged sales tax in Florida previously because the Seattle-based online retailer had no physical presence in the state. In 1992, the Supreme Court ruled that states cannot require out-of-state retailers to collect sales tax and this is, consequently, why many online retailers only charge sales tax in one or two states where they've got brick and mortar or warehouse locations. Although the IRS has long required taxpayers to report any unpaid sales tax on items purchased online, this legal requirement has never been effectively enforced, and most consumers aren't even aware of the requirement. "Even if consumers do know, they often fail to comply because they assume no one else does," Bob Meighan CPA, a vice president with tax-software firm TurboTax, told NBC News in 2008. Although the NBC News story is now six years old, neither the law nor its lack of enforcement has changed.
Frank Mora of Ybor City told the Tampa Bay Times that the new Amazon sales tax will lead him to look elsewhere for the lowest prices. "It will definitely discourage me from using Amazon. The bottom line for me is what's going to be the least expensive.''
Bloomberg reported this week on a recent study by researchers at Ohio State University which showed that households reduce their spending at Amazon by 10% after sales tax is introduced in their states. "There is no ambiguity,” Brian Baugh, co-author of the study, told Bloomberg. “It has been their competitive advantage." Nonetheless, the new Amazon sales tax in Florida is expected to bring in an additional $70-80 million in annual revenue for the state.
Here is the list of the 21 states where Amazon currently collects sales tax: