Thanks to everyone for all of the suggestions, and please keep them coming!
Hi! Welcome to SlickDeals. This guide should help you to understand what each of the separate forums are, who "lives" in each one, and how you should act when you visit them. Hopefully, after reading this thread, you'll be able to decide which of the many facets of SlickDeals appeals to you the most, and where you'd like to spend most of your time. That said, let's get started.
Hot Deals - A place to find all manner of electronics, tools, pet supplies, miniature wooden pirate ships, and (sometimes) turtles. Leave your morals and principles at the door: when you can get a $6000 HDTV for sixty-seven cents just by printing out a coupon and picking the right cashier, you'll forget about all that stuff anyway. Be prepared to sink yourself into horrible, soul-crushing debt as you helplessly order fifteen external hard drives just because they were 99% off and shipped for free. Don't worry--there are deals on 0%-for-12-months-no-balance-transfer-fee credit cards all the time, too. Say goodbye to the days of meandering lazily through shopping malls, actually believing "CLEARANCE SALE" signs, and buying something just because you actually need it today. From here on out you are going to be on a mission every time you set foot inside a B&M (LEARN THAT ACRONYM) store. If you don't have a coupon or a printout from another store that has the same item cheaper, you ain't buyin' it today, brother. On the plus side, you'll never pay $25 for a 10' USB cable again; the only problem is that you'll be receiving packages from Hong Kong roughly every other week, and probably wind up on some kind of terrorist watch list. You'll know you've gone overboard when you call your future sister-in-law and tell her to subtract one place setting from her registry, because you found it at a different store for half the price, and does anybody else in the family want to save some money? A cautionary note: if you get really good at this, everyone you know is going to ask you to help them find a deal. At first you'll happily oblige, basking in the adulation and enjoying free lunches offered in appreciation of your helpful thriftiness. THIS WILL CHANGE. Soon enough you'll tire of constantly being bothered to find a coupon for the local dog groomer or a BOGOF promo on Granpa's Fixodent. And don't think that keeping the deals to yourself is going to work: your friends & family will notice when you suddenly start sporting Movado watches and Polo shirts, even if they never visit your house to see the dual-24" flat-panel monitors. When you stop getting lost thanks to your brand-new GPS people are going to ask questions. Point them to FatWallet and try not to snicker.
A word before you post your second deal (your first will be VistaPrint's "FREE business cards just pay shipping" and you will be soundly ridiculed for posting it; get that over with ASAP and you'll fit in just fine): you can't please everybody and it's not even worth trying to satisfy half of them. The sad truth is that you could post a deal offering a totally free octuple-core, quadruple-processor, 17" laptop with 64GB of RAM, a 10TB hard drive, and a 768MB video card with HDMI outputs, that comes with a fifteen-year no-questions-asked extended warranty, a calfskin carrying case, and a genuine trained helper monkey to type reports and do your accounting, and fifteen a-holes would click Thumbs Down without telling you why. Further, eleven more people would tell you that shipping kills the deal, six would post to say that this laptop sucks for gaming, seventeen more would start arguing with those six about whether the northbridge is robust enough to overclock the front-side bus, and one guy would chime in to tell you that he registered JUST to post how awful the customer support from this company was, and how he's never buying anything from them again since THIS VERY MODEL of laptop actually murdered his entire family while they slept. It's par for the course, and the only way to kill the threadcrappers is to ignore them. Do yourself a favor and be your own first Thumbs Up--even on the VistaPrint deal, at least for a while you'll have one.
Freebies - This is where you will go when you can no longer get approved for more credit cards, your spouse has changed the number on your joint checking account, and PayPal stops taking your phone calls. We understand--once you've gotten used to having four boxes waiting on your doorstep when you get home from work, it's hard to go back to the usual junk mail and Chinese restaurant menus. If you are willing to impersonate a school teacher just to get a free tote bag, this forum is for you. Get used to answering 90-question surveys for a chance to wait six to eight weeks for your new clicky Sharpie IF you're lucky and your mailman doesn't steal it. When you clicked on the Forum title you were automatically signed up for 20 mailing lists and your mailman got a funny tingling at the base of his spine. On the day of your funeral, a 32mb flash drive (with IBM's latest white paper), a sample of cat food, and three pencils with YOUR LOGO HERE printed on them will arrive in your mailbox.
Sub-Forum: Surveys - Hi! Will you take ninety minutes to tell us a little bit about your grocery shopping habits? We promise to send you a crisp new dollar bill sometime before the next president is elected! Also, once we have your email address, we will send you messages six or eight times a day asking you to join yet another Interesting and Very Helpful consumer survey! All of the people who post saying that they make good money taking surveys are actually zombies we made by luring people to a "centralized survey site" to take an "in-person survey" for which we promised them hundreds of dollars. When they got here, we surgically removed their brains and replaced them with tapioca pudding! If you keep taking surveys long enough, you too could be one of our drones!
Sub-Forum: Free Magazines - If you really hate your mailman and think you might like to recycle a copy of Tractor Pull Magazine every month, hang out here. Make sure you know how to answer the questionnaires appropriately for whichever kind of professional you're attempting to impersonate. All's fair in love, war, and free subscriptions to Maxim!
Coupons - Do you have a standalone freezer in your garage? Can your husband build an extension onto your house using frozen steaks you got for free from Giant? Then this is where you belong! Here you'll see posts like "does anyone have any more of the .50/2 cans of Campbell's Soup? If I can get 6 more of those I can pay off my car note!" and "Albertson's put in a special checkout line just for me! It's the 75 or more coupons line and there's a sign that says DRIVER CARRIES NO CASH!" Be warned: you will become one of those people that everyone hates, because you're wasting their uber-valuable time while the cashier reads the fine print on your coupons and tries to remember if she rang up one box of Hot Pockets or two. On the plus side, you are going to eat Shake n' Bake for free for the rest of your life! Oh, and before you get your hopes up: I promise you that a lurker has already used that coupon code someone nicely posted for "anyone" to take. It's not worth trying and when you come back begging for another, everyone is going to point and laugh. You go buy a $25 off $75 Staples coupon from e-junkie for $2 like everybody else!
Contests & Sweepstakes - Guess what! The first 900,000 people to click on the fuzzy bunny over at www.cuteoverload.com are going to win TOTALLY FREE SPAM MESSAGES in their EMAIL INBOX for the REST OF THEIR NATURAL LIVES!!!!! OMG I'm so excited! Nobody we know has ever won anything from one of these contests but here is every. single. contest. ever. invented. and they're ALL on the INTERNET RIGHT FREAKING NOW!!! If you like annoying Flash games, giving away your email address to Evil Corporate America, and winning $1.00 off hand lotion coupons when you successfully guess which cup the sly-looking fox hid that nut under, then Contests & Sweepstakes is right up your alley! Have you always been good at those banner ad games where you have to shoot the rubber duckies? Think you can guide your fat jelly blob over all the hidden bombs to win a 10% off coupon code for overpriced keyboards and mice? Then what are you doing reading this? THERE'S A CONTEST SOMEWHERE ENDING ANY MINUTE NOW!!!
Drugstore/Grocery B&M Deals + Discussions - You ever see some house-frau roll out of CVS with eighteen bags of junk and the cashier paid her to take it all away? That is what you can aspire to become if you hang around this forum long enough. Stockpiling seven hundred and fifty tubes of Crest isn't crazy, it's thrifty! Who cares if you'll never use that much deodorant for the rest of your life--you made money on that deal, baby! Of COURSE you can eat twenty-seven boxes of Kraft macaroni and cheese before they expire--and here are some recipes to help! One note of caution: your friends & family WILL stage an intervention when you rent your second storage locker to hold your auxiliary stockpile. Luckily, there's a pamphlet up in Freebies on how to escape a straight jacket!
Deal Talk - This is where deals go to die, with the exception of those weirdos who spend all of their time scouring Target for clearance deals and trying to convince you to sign up for a Kohl's charge card. They're a special breed and can teach you a lot, but just like Hot Deals, if you hang around those threads too long, you're going to wind up buying a lot of stuff you don't need. "I know we don't have a humidifier, honey, but the filters were 90% off! NINETY PERCENT!" This forum is also good for tracking down expired coupon codes and for finding out who called and screwed up the deal for everybody else.
Rebates - Make copies of what you send. Stop whining about how long it's been since you mailed in that form. You probably did it wrong. Yes, everyone is trying to screw you out of that $5 check you've been waiting for. Your landlord will probably understand that it's really all Lexmark's fault. Seriously, the check's in the mail, really, I promise. Oops, it's a Visa Debit Card. And you can only use it at TCBY. On Wednesdays. In February.
Help Me Find A Deal - Yeah, right! Find your own deals, sucker! If I stumble across TWO bags filled with cash, I might give you--OMG I can't even finish that sentence. I don't think anybody actually posts in here except for very sad emo kids and schizophrenic people.
Product Reviews - Hurr, hurr, this vacuum really sucks, get it, sucks? El-oh-el!1one!1 If you need to know what kind of beer to take to your father-in-law, or just need a little time away from the actual deals, swing on through. Otherwise, you will get all the opinions you could ever want up in Hot Deals as soon as somebody posts a thread about the item in question.
Tech Support - ZOMG I can't post on the intarwebz! What do I do? If you are prepared to answer a 200-question quiz about your computer, and have already run 37 virus and spyware scans, go ahead and post your question and we'll tell you to reboot. When you come back, we'll try to help, but we can almost guarantee it's your fault somehow. We're nice about it, though, not like those farkers in the Lounge. If you're quick at posting www.hijackthis.com or "boot to safe mode and run a spyware scan" then you are welcome to assist here. Make sure you have an opinion about the best free disk-partitioning program and be prepared to defend it to the death. You can also find support for your car, microwave oven, llama, unmanned surveillance aircraft, and chia pets here.
The Lounge - At some point, probably around 3 a.m. on a weeknight, you'll have maxed out all of your credit cards, ordered every freebie you can find, signed up for all the contests and magazines that are available, and finished taking notes about how to coax cashiers into doing the price match without getting a manager's approval. You'll be refreshing Hot Deals every three minutes, hoping that you can finally get in on one of Selma's late-night blu-ray bundles, and your mouse will wander over to the Forum Jump box. "Hmm," you'll think, "what are these lower fora all about anyhow?" The first, and most inviting, is The Lounge.
It sounds like a nice place. A place where you could go to relax and unwind from the furious pace of Woot-Offs and Dell Small Business 50-use coupons. A place where people will welcome a newcomer with open arms, offer him a mug of hot chocolate, and help him ease down into the Jacuzzi with some soothing nonsensical chatter and maybe a few remarks about the weather.
If that's what you're expecting from the Lounge then turn your happy little butt around and go right back to Deal Talk. In many ways the Lounge can be the embodiment of John Gabriel's Greater Internet Dickwad Theory. If you're female, for example, and can prove it (and you will be asked to prove it), prepare to be propositioned semi-regularly by the oversexed perverts who live here. If you can't prove you're a woman, we'll automatically assume that you do now own, or have at some point in the past owned, a penis (and not the detachable kind either).
You should post a new thread here if you:
Are bleeding from your eyeballs or have just accidentally the whole bottle and aren't sure if you should go to the hospital;
Fed your dog a motorcycle helmet and need to know if polyurethane is poisonous to terriers;
Need help Photoshopping a picture to include you and your cat but exclude your ex-boyfriend and his mother;
Just got scammed by a Nigerian on eBay and need advice on how to kill yourself;
Have any questions about tipping (when, why, who & how much) or Selma (is she human? what's her motivation? how can anyone so Goth find so many deals on pink Zunes and lavender Wii-motes when I can't even find a coupon for free shipping from NewEgg!);
Are currently involved in, could become involved in, or are considering creating any amount of drama (defined as anything that you think "isn't a big deal" but that nine out of ten other people would consider grounds for either committing you to an asylum or sending you to prison);
Cannot understand the constant references to celery and want someone to explain it to you;
Are unable to use the "Search this Forum" function and need help understanding what it's for.
The mods in the Lounge probably work harder than any other forum mods (with the possible exception of the annual Black Friday sub-forum and the constant call to merge all of the "wut's a Black Friday" threads together) but in compensation they also get to have the most fun. If you haven't had your warning cherry popped up in Hot Deals flaming an eBay troll yet, stick around the Lounge a while and you'll be sure to accrue a few.
Gamer's Lounge - Arguments about which console is the l33t357 and whether Zelda would make out with Princess Peach. Stop by here to brag about your latest killing streak in Halo or to find some other suckzors to pwn at Left 4 Dead. There are also FAQs and game strategy guides for many popular titles, and release dates/rumors for upcoming games. Face it, if you're here and you're over the age of 14, you probably still live with Mom and don't have a girlfriend. That's okay. We don't judge. Check out the latest issue of CTRL-ALT-DEL or Penny Arcade, order a Panormous pizza, and get out the Kleenex. Samus is taking off her armor just for you, baby. Yeah.
The Podium - This is where Lounge threads about religion, politics, child porn, and other "sensitive" subjects go to be ridiculed and abused. If you can't back up your claims don't bother spouting off in here'the very first thing you learn about the Podium is LINKS OR GTFO. If it's in the news, it's probably in the Podium, and by the time you've heard Brian Williams or Katie Couric talking about it, twenty-two different people have already posted reasons why everyone else is wrong. Picture a room full of Glenn Becks beating the living tar out of Michael Moore and you're getting close to an accurate portrait of the Podium. Recent rumor has it that some of these people don't actually kick puppies and spit on babies, though... more to come as events unfold...
Announcements - Around Christmastime the threads where Mr. SD is giving away laptops and t-shirts will be here. Anything else you need to know will probably be stickied at the top of your forum of choice. I'm not even sure why we have this forum. Probably so bryantq has someplace to test his new toys.
Site Issues and Suggestions - Before you go posting "ZOMG where did SD go for sixteen seconds, I couldn't log in I was so scared please hold me" in the Lounge, check here. If bryantq's broken the forums again, chances are eleven people have already made threads to yell at him about it and you'll find them all in this forum. You can also post ideas for making SD better *snicker* if you want to *cough cough* and are feeling particularly good about yourself today *chortle*. Sometimes someone actually comes by to read those threads, too, just to make sure you haven't posted any links to referral sites or Tijuana donkey shows.
Well, there it is. Bring on the suggestions & thanks to everybody who's commented so far!
Last edited by veritablequandary; 02-18-2011 at 11:16 AM..
Reason: removing � wtf
Best. Guide. Evar. I especially like the "Help Me Find A Deal"
Arj-designated dominatrix? DNC - DrunkDD� wiles - DD can be rough and gentle simultaneously vec-That's a good thing because I have a pearl necklace just for you. Stealth-Have a Coke and a smile Yardboy-From what I understand of DD, you could not handle it all. JoeDavola-Mistress Dirty Devil TigerStar-I'd love to get my hands around a Double D. Texazz-No no...you'll always be our DizzyJizzy.
Tech Support - ZOMG I can't post on the intarwebz! What do I do? If you are prepared to answer a 200-question quiz about your computer, and have already run 37 virus and spyware scans, go ahead and post your question and we'll tell you to reboot. When you come back, we'll try to help, but we can almost guarantee it's your fault somehow. We're nice about it, though, not like those farkers in the Lounge. If you're quick at posting www.hijackthis.com or "boot to safe mode and run a virus scan" then you are welcome to assist here. Make sure you have an opinion about the best free anti-virus program and be prepared to defend it to the death. You can also find support for your car, microwave oven, llama, unmanned surveillance aircraft, and chia pets here.
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