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Slickdeals 101: Frontpage Deals and Popular Deals
If you've spent any time on Slickdeals, you've undoubtedly seen our Frontpage deals. However, you might not know how a deal ends up there, who decides which deals are Frontpage worthy or even that there are actually tons more deals in the Popular Deals forum. To demystify how things work on Slickdeals, we put together a guide to explain the different deals on our site and what determines whether a deal makes it onto the Frontpage.
Where Do Our Deals Come From?
It all starts in our Hot Deals forum, where deals are posted by our community members. The best way to describe the Hot Deals forum is "organized chaos." Any registered Slickdeals member can post a deal they find online in this forum. We see deals from big brands like Target, Amazon and Macy's, as well as less mainstream places like Newegg and BuyDig. All deals start off in this forum, and the ones that get enough positive community feedback eventually get one of two status types: Frontpage or Popular.
How Does a Deal Make It to the Popular Deals page?
The Popular Deals page (and Popular Deals module) is strictly metric driven and based on an algorithm. It's a dynamically updated page and is not managed by anyone. The deals you see here are only there because the community liked them. These deals will also be considered for Frontpage placement by a team of Deal Editors once they receive enough votes, comments or views. This is why it's helpful for everyone in our community when you vote or comment on deals you like or dislike. The community as a whole determines if a deal has met the criteria for Frontpage placement through voting and commenting.
There are several components to the Frontpage. The first section is known as the Featured Deals & Coupons bar. These are Frontpage deals considered some of the best of the past week, along with editor's picks and giveaways. The second section is known as the Frontpage Slickdeals which contains the best deals in the past 24 hours curated by our expert Deal Editors. Voting widgets included on each deal allow you to vote on a deal and provide your feedback. We also include the number of comments on each deal to gauge the level of hotness (hotter deals usually have more community engagement.) Another indicator of a hot deal is the fire icon, which appears on select deals that have met our criteria. Pay close attention to these deals because they might expire soon.
As you scroll further down the page, you will see another section called Deals You May Have Missed. These are Frontpage deals that have been featured higher up the page in the past few weeks that we keep around in case you might be interested to see if any are still valid for purchase. All deals on the Frontpage have been curated by our Deal Editors, making sure they're still available and from a reputable merchant.
Who Are the Deal Editors?
Deal Editors come from a secret society of retail managers around the country who knows when prices are at their lowest and can predict deal trends in any shopping category. Just kidding. Our Deal Editors actually come from the community just like you, but they've proven to know a lot more about deals than the rest of us. They are responsible for surfacing and delivering the best content to the community. They are product experts and understand what's considered to be a great deal based on their category expertise. Our editors research the deals to ensure they can be replicated and are available for purchase. They're the gatekeepers for the top deals on the site, and you can shop with confidence knowing you're getting a great deal if it has been reviewed by one of the DEs.
How a Potential Frontpage Deal is Evaluated
Our Deal Editors look at a number of factors before they consider promoting a deal. First, a deal has to be popular and appeal to our audience. We rely on Deal Editor feedback to assist others with their purchase by providing their thoughts and comments on a certain store, brand and/or product.
The next step is validating the deal. We don't want to upset our users by promoting a deal that can't be purchased or expires within a short period of time.
Next, the editors conduct product and price research, evaluate customer/expert reviews, and then determine the availability and inventory levels.
Lastly, a deal has to be from a reputable store. We do not promote stores that we have never heard of in order to protect our community. Once a deal has been Frontpaged, it is checked frequently by our Quality Assurance team to ensure it is up to date.
Here at Slickdeals, we pride ourselves on picking the best deals for our Frontpage listings. We created the Slickdeals Commitment to guarantee that our deals are genuinely “slick.” When a deal is frontpaged, it is a stamp of approval both from our community and our staff, who have done their due diligence in picking out the very best. This commitment only applies to the Frontpage deal listings: Featured Deals, ad banners, giveaways, exclusive deals, etc. may have a different criteria. The Featured Deals section includes recent Frontpage deals that users may have missed and it's a way for us to bring back or extend the life of a slickdeal that was voted up by our community and vetted by a deal editor.
Here is a breakdown of our commitment and what it means:
Deals are Rated and Vetted by Users Like You
The great thing about Slickdeals is that most deals are rated and vetted by users like you. This allows you, our users, to have a voice in determining the hotness of a deal. Typically, after the deal has been approved (usually 3 thumbs up or more) by the community, our deal editors pick the cream of the crop for the Frontpage. It is the combination of user input and editorial fact checking that differentiates us from the other deal sites. Even after a deal has been promoted to the Frontpage, users are still able to vote and weigh their opinions. We still monitor the deals for community feedback, and if it changes, we’re apt to react.
In certain rare circumstances, editors also have the ability to promote a deal right away if they feel it is an excellent deal. These tend to be deals that are obviously good. For example, if a deal gets posted and an editor sees that it is worthy based on research, intuition and prior history, they can choose to promote it right away so that people don’t miss out. We also take into account prior deals that are similar or identical and previous ratings by the users.
We Will Research the Deal and the Price for You
In terms of savings, the deal must beat all the other stores’ prices for the item. We check Pricegrabber, Google Products, and various price comparison engines to see if this is the case. Sometimes, if an item is extremely popular (a lot of thumbs up), and rarely goes on sale, then it may still be posted, even if the percentage savings is not quite as high as for other items.
Only the Best, Hand-Picked Deals Will be Posted
After the deal is approved by our community and researched by our deal editors, we will pick out the best deals to promote. Some deals are so good that they may appear to be price mistakes from the retailer. However, we try to avoid posting gross price mistakes, as orders are often cancelled. We favor items that appeal to our user base or to a wide general audience. Most niche or controversial items are not considered for the Frontpage. In addition, deals that require a lot of hoops or are not guaranteed (also known as YMMV) are not eligible.
Only Reputable Merchants Will get Listed
Frontpage deals have to be from a reputable retailer. We have to protect our users from shoddy merchants that may advertise the lowest price, only to up-sell for the order to be valid. We tend to favor online stores (as opposed to brick and mortar stores), since online stores are more easily accessed by most people. We will sometimes post B&M deals from major stores that most people have in their area (such as Walmart, Bestbuy, Target, Sears, etc), but only if the deal is worth the travel time and gas.
We Will Never Sell Ads or Paid Placements as Deals
We do not take paid placement for the Frontpage deal listing. When we say paid placement, we’re talking about upfront payment. We have been approached by merchants asking us to push their deals to the Frontpage, and in each of those cases we have refused. This ensures that the only way to get a deal on the Frontpage is to satisfy the criteria listed above. We may receive a small commission for select (not all) deals once an item is purchased, but this does not influence our decision on whether a deal is selected for Frontpage. First and foremost, the deal(s) must have been approved (via thumbs up or favorable responses) by our community and our editors.
There you have it! We have used these guidelines internally throughout the years for picking out Slickdeals. So far it’s been a winning formula and there is no reason for us to change it.
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Any product or service prices/offers that appear in this article are accurate at time of publish, and are subject to change without notice. Please verify the actual selling price and offer details on the merchant’s site before making a purchase.