Is there such a thing as too many deals?
Yes, yes there certainly is. When there are so many sales, offers, coupons, discounts and bundles on so many different things, it becomes impossible to parse the good (discounted electronics from reputed manufacturers, basics at bargain basement prices) from the bad (random off-brand shit, useless stuff for impulse buys), and the eyes glaze over when there are hundreds of things on sale from dozens of different websites.
So, we're going to help you find the good sales on stuff we think you should buy. Amazon kicks off their Black Friday deals questionably early this year, with discounts on some electronics and smart home stuff rolling out from today onward. Some of that stuff is going to be good. Some of it is going to be lame.
We'll help you find the best.
On Black Friday, Amazon's going to be real kind to their own in-house brands and the toys that play nice with them. This smart thermostat is an early indicator that the deals are going to be good, as ecobee is taking a cool $50 off of this fully Alexa-integrated smart home device. It comes with a room sensor, which detects hot and cold spots in your home and adjusts the temperature accordingly. If you're not yet sure about pulling the trigger on a smart home, read about Pete's foray into smart home-ownership.
If you're TV audio is still coming from your TV speakers, you're fucking up big time. Even the cheapest of sound bars can unmuddy dialogue and give you a little more oomph of bass, and two excellent entry level options are available for just that purpose today. You can cop the bluetooth-enabled VIZIO SB2820n-E0 Sound bar, which is the one that I use on my TV (you can also stream tunes with it), for $32 off.
Now we're talking! The PS4 controller I've had since I bought the system back in 2014 is surprisingly worn out, with some of the rubber on the right side joystick wearing away and the whole thing just being generally pretty grimy now. On-brand gaming shit rarely goes on sale, so now is an excellent opportunity to cop a new Ps4 Dualshock controller for $21 off, because there's a good chance you won't see another discount this year.
If you're still thinking about turning your home into a smart home, Amazon's celebrating "smart home month" with a bunch of deals on smart home bundles through the 23rd.
Though the novelty of tablet computers have long warn off on adults, they remain one of, if not the best child-distraction tools available on the market. Through the end of the day you can save $50 on a two pack of Amazon's specially calibrated 7? Fire tablet for children. Among other things (check the details) it comes with both a free year of Amazon's FreeTime Unlimited service (that's 15,000 educational and non-educational games and TV shows), plus a no-questions-asked two year warranty for when your one tot somehow submerges it in a jar of jam and the other throws it out the window of a moving car because they lose at Angry Birds.
(Cool Stuff is a new feature at Willamette Week where we feature product reviews, roundups, sales and other commerce and shopping-oriented content. All Cool Stuff reviews are editorially independent, meaning we provide honest reviews and aren't paid by the brands we write about. If you do choose to purchase something after following one of our links, Willamette Week may receive a commission, which helps fund our journalism.)