How to Create Price Alerts For Holiday Shopping Deals

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday behind us, one of the biggest spending holidays is still on the horizon: Christmas! While savvy shoppers may have gotten their Christmas shopping out of the way during the year’s two biggest days for deals, there are more savings to come as retailers work to clear out their inventory before the new year.

With plenty of year-ending online sales left to be scavenged, it’s worth it to know some of the best ways of having the internet do the hardest parts of shopping for you. Comparison shopping is tough and time-consuming, but we know two web services that can save you a lot of time.

If there’s a particular store or item that you’ve got your eye on before Christmas, there are two great ways that you can monitor them and know when great online deals come up or a specific price is met. 

In this article, let’s go over these two ways how you can get ahead of other shoppers by using Slickdeals and Keepa for automated price alerts.

Slickdeals

If you’re big on shopping, you’ve probably heard of Slickdeals. Slickdeals is fresh off of celebrating its 20th anniversary, offering 20 consecutive days of hand-picked deals to fans of its website. While Slickdeals’ frontpage is a well-recognized revolving door of up-to-date deals, you may not know about arguably its best feature – deal alerts.

Slickdeals’ custom deal alerts have personally saved me hundreds of dollars, if not thousands, and they can do the same for you. All you have to do is sign up for a Slickdeals account and navigate to the Deal Alerts page.

Once you’ve chosen a keyword for a product you’re interested in, add it by typing it and hitting the Enter key. You can then click More Options to fine-tune your price alert.

These options are what make Slickdeals deal alerts so powerful. You can change the target forum, notification method, frequency, and deal rating threshold.

By downloading the Slickdeals app on iOS or Android, you open yourself up to deals on the go with Slickdeals’ mobile push notifications. Selecting instant frequency, rather than daily, means that the moment a matching deal is posted, as long as it meets your rating threshold, you’ll know about it.

The rating threshold slider may be the most important option on this page. Defaulting to +2, this refers to the number of net upvotes required before your alert is triggered. The non-numerical values refer to special and featured ratings. 

For this value, you’ll want to use Any for products you’re extremely eager to purchase, but maybe something higher, such as Popular, for a product you’re only interested in if the deal is particularly good, as picked by the community.

When satisfied, click on the Add Alert button.

You can add as many deals as you want, and these can be defined by keyword, or store or brand name (if supported by Slickdeals). For stores and brands, you can even combine multiple into a single alert.

If you end up finding these deal alerts useful on the web, we definitely recommend installing the app on your phone for instant push notifications (as shown above).

Keepa

If you’ve heard of CamelCamelCamel, Keepa is similar, but we believe that Keepa’s browser extensions and charts are much more intuitive and powerful.

Keepa is an Amazon and eBay price tracking service that features price history charts, price drop and availability alerts, and more. Although Keepa only supports Amazon and eBay, these two storefronts are a massive chunk of the e-commerce space.

Keepa is available as a browser extension on Chrome, Firefox, Opera (through the Chrome extension), and Internet Explorer. There are no mobile apps for Keepa, but you can keep up with price alerts on your smartphone if you have an email client, Facebook, Telegram, or RSS reader.

After creating an account and installing the browser extension, Keepa will automatically show price history charts on every Amazon product page.

Across the top of this chart, you’ll see multiple tabs, one being Track product—clicking this tab will change views and present you with options to do just that.

Keepa supports tracking products sold new and used by Amazon and third-party sellers. While you can’t track items from eBay, any items tracked on Amazon will also offer charting for matched eBay results.

It’s worth noting that there are three tracking modes: Basic, Advanced, and Pro. Basic (shown above) and Advanced are available for free. Advanced options will allow you to set price alerts based on Lightning Deals, add memos and tags, consider shipping costs in prices, and more.

To set up your notification preferences, you need to go to the Settings area of the Keepa website.

Set any or all of these to receive price alert notifications as you desire. Again, while Keepa does not have a native iOS or Android app, these options (such as Telegram) can be leveraged so that Keepa notifications are easily seen on your smartphone.

Lastly, you can see and manage all of your currently tracked items on Keepa’s Tracking Overview page.

Here, you can see everything you’re currently tracking at a glance. You can also bulk manage all of your products’ individual settings. It only takes a click and a few keystrokes to change any product’s desired price.

Slickdeals and Keepa are godsends if you’re a penny pincher or savvy shopper. These two tools for price alerts give you every advantage, at your desk or smartphone, to beat other shoppers to the punch on some great deals that you may otherwise miss. Once you start getting Slickdeals and Keepa price drop notifications, you’ll wonder what you hadn’t done this sooner!

3 Ways To Find Out If You’re Shadowbanned On Reddit

If you’ve not yet experienced the menacing evils of an online shadowban, consider yourself fortunate. The shadowban was created as a way to combat how easy it is to evade traditional ban systems, which revolve around things like user accounts or IP addresses.

When you’re shadowbanned from an online community, you often don’t know it – and that’s the point. A shadowbanned user can use a website or service as if nothing has changed, but all of their submitted content goes into the void. If you try to make a post or comment, it appears as if it has been submitted, but no one else sees it.

Many social media sites use shadowbans to counter abuse, but none may be more recognized than Reddit. Reddit’s user-managed communities allow it to be the Wild West, and although subreddit administrators can’t execute a full shadowban in the way that Reddit’s official staff can, moderation bots can still be leveraged to achieve nearly the same effect.

When shadowbanned on Reddit, all of your posts appear as normal when viewed on your own account, but show as “[removed]” (after automated deletion) when viewed by everyone else. /u/AutoModerator automatically deletes them.

In this article, let’s look into three different ways in which you can tell if you’ve been shadowbanned from a subreddit.

Reddit Shadowban Test Tool

Reddit Shadowban Test Tool is a third-party web application that utilizes Reddit’s API to test for shadowbans.

We find that Reddit Shadowban Test Tool is the most accurate and trustworthy service because, unlike alternatives such as Reddit Showban Tester, it’s open source and hosted on GitHub.

All you have to do is type in a Reddit username and the site checks to see if the user is shadowbanned. If the response says that the user “looks normal,” that indicates that there is no shadowban in place. Anything else should reflect some type of shadowban.

/r/ShadowBan

/r/ShadowBan is a subreddit where users can make a text post and receive a near-instant reply from the subreddit’s bot, /u/MarkdownShadowBot, with details on if they are or aren’t shadowbanned.

You may find this solution more telling and easy to understand than alternatives, because /u/MarkdownShadowBot will even let you know which of your comments have been spam-filtered or manually deleted, which may otherwise have you convinced that you’re shadowbanned.

Replies from /u/MarkdownShadowBot won’t come instantly, but the bot should get back to you within a few minutes.

Incognito Mode

Sometimes, to get the job done, you’ve just got to do it yourself. Luckily, Chrome’s Incognito Mode is a quick and easy solution for checking your Reddit posts to see if they’re being automatically deleted without you knowing.

All you have to do is make a post, copy the URL, then open a new incognito tab and paste the URL to view it. If you see your post, you aren’t shadowbanned from the subreddit. If you see “[removed]”, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re shadowbanned—but you could be.

Assuming your post contained links, it may have been deleted based on a spam filter. If it didn’t, you can safely assume you’re shadowbanned. 

The most foolproof way to check that you’re shadowbanned and not being filtered is by creating an original post, without adding any links to it, that carefully follows the rules of the subreddit. If it’s immediately deleted, you’re shadowbanned.

These three methods should help you draw a conclusion on if you’re shadowbanned in any particular subreddit. Reddit shadowbans are tricky and sometimes go through iterations, so our best advice is to cross-verify your ban (or lack thereof) using each of ways outlined in this article.

2 Chrome Address Bar Shortcuts to Create Google Calendar Events

If you can stomach the privacy concerns and borderline monopolization of the internet, Google is actually quite great in the way that it offers so much!

When your favorite browser is also your email provider, developer of your phone, owner of your favorite video website, and more, cross-platform integrations are aplenty. Still today, Google is creating ways to interconnect your browser, phone, and everything else with its massive suite of web services and apps.

Just recently, this continues to hold true as Google Chrome now supports a few new Google Calendar shortcuts in its latest stable release on desktop.

Let’s talk about Google Chrome’s two new shortcuts that allow you to create Google Calendar events in Chrome via the address bar.

How To Create Google Calendar Events In Chrome’s Address Bar

Creating Google Calendar events and meetings is already no difficult task, but it’s about to get even easier through the address bar, or as Google calls it, the Omnibox.

As of desktop version 77.0.3865.120, Chrome users can now use the cal.new or meeting.new shortcuts to skip directly to create a new calendar event or meeting (respectively). All you have to do is type either keyphrase into Chrome’s address bar and hit Enter.

If you used bookmarks for similar purposes, these new shortcuts can save you some bookmarks bar real estate. If you used some sort of extension, it can be completely  disabled to make Chrome run smoother. Both keyphrases are very short, so the extra time taken in typing them is rather negligible.

What’s even nicer is that you can target the creation of these events on your linked Google accounts. If you go to Google’s homepage, click on your account portrait, and hover your cursor over the name of any of your linked accounts, you should see an account number in the status bar URL, like this:

The value of the authuser parameter in this URL is important. By hovering over a user account, taking this number, and adding 1 to it, you can create shortcuts for new Google Calendar events and meetings under accounts other than the one you’re currently logged in to.

For example, for the account shown in the screenshot above, I can use the cal.new/2 and meeting.new/2 shortcuts to automatically log into that account and create a calendar event or meeting under it. This is a massive timesaver, especially if you’re able to memorize each of your account’s assigned numbers.

Google Calendar is our pick for the best online calendar service, so the inclusion of these new Google Calendar shortcuts in Google Chrome is much appreciated.

5 Sites To Find Limited & Special Edition Video Games For Sale

Today’s world of video games is much different than it was a decade ago – perhaps most notably, the prevalence of digital purchases. While the pros and cons of having a digital game library can be argued, one thing is for certain. There aren’t as many physical video games anymore.

The most usual draw to building a physical game library, rather than a digital one, is the pure sense of ownership. You can touch, resell, and borrow out your games, which is not the case in today’s age of strict digital rights management.

One interesting consequence of the dwindling physical game market is that publishers who do choose to produce them are having to pitch them in very unique ways. Special editions of video games are now more popular than ever, with some including a treasure trove of goodies that can amount to hundreds of dollars.

Due to the popularity of these special edition video games, third-party publishers and distributors are now more popular than ever. One of the newest and hottest trends is limited physical releases, where for example a game originally released digitally on the Nintendo Switch receives 2,000 physical copies for sale through a distributor.

In this article, let’s discuss how you can start taking advantage of some of the coolest and most special edition limited video game releases.

Limited Run Games

If you’re someone interested in physical video games, you’ve probably heard of Limited Run Games. Limited Run Games has become increasingly popular since 2015, and it’s viewed as the cream of the crop when it comes to putting out beautiful limited-edition games.

Limited Run Games has been responsible for physical releases for awesome digital titles such as Bastion, Dragon’s Lair Trilogy, River City Girls, ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove, Turok, and more. The publisher actively releases physical copies for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PC, and even PlayStation Vita.

If you’re looking for games that launched without an official physical edition, Limited Run Games is your go-to. They’re also known for having some of the best customer support in the gaming industry!

iam8bit

Are your tastes more nostalgic than most? If so, iam8bit may be the perfect physical release distributor for you! While iam8bit houses a wealth of collector’s edition titles, it’s the cartridges that really grab people’s attention.

iam8bit’s Legacy Cartridge Collection includes the following titles:

  • Aladdin
  • Earthworm Jim 1 & 2 (25th Anniversary Edition)
  • The Lion King
  • Mega Man X (30th Anniversary Classic Cartridge)
  • Mega Man 2 (30th Anniversary Classic Cartridge)
  • Street Fighter II (30th Anniversary Edition)

These cartridges, which span across the Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Genesis, and Super Nintendo Entertainment System, are major attention-grabbers due to their vibrant colors. This flair is a big selling point.

Aside from these retro cartridges, iam8bit is responsible for the physical production of games like Gang Beasts, Gone Home and Hyper Light Drifter. Expect to see something you’ve never had before when you check out iam8bit’s physical library.

Fangamer

Fangamer is probably best known for its video game apparel, including t-shirts, hats, posters, and accessories, but they do have a modest, yet very cool, selection of physical titles.

Fangamer often reprints Hollow Knight Collector’s Edition, and also holds regular stock of the Standard Edition. Other games in its inventory include Amnesia Fortnight, Golf Story, Slime Rancher, Thimbleweed Park, and more.

While Fangamer isn’t a standalone publisher, it regularly has collector’s editions of games produced by Limited Run Games. Limited Run Games also seems to sell their merchandise, so there may be a partnership in place.

If there’s ever a physical title that you want direct from a publisher (especially Limited Run Games) but is currently out of stock, give Fangamer a look.

Strictly Limited Games

Strictly Limited Games is coming off of arguably its headline release, Bubble Bobble 4 Friends on the Nintendo Switch. Some of its other releases include Door Kickers, Necrosphere, Raging Justice, Ultracore, and Vasara.

While other third-party publishers dwarf Strictly Limited Games in catalog popularity, it’s a known and trustworthy distributor and a great place to start your limited physical collection.

If you’re interested in staying updated on all upcoming releases, you can subscribe to the Strictly Limited Games newsletter without signing up for an account.

Signature Edition Games

The Signature Edition Games library of physical releases is impressive. Many gamers may not have heard of Signature Edition Games, but perhaps they’ve heard of a game releasing a “signature edition” – that’s this company’s doing.

Signature Edition Games has released physical copies of Children of Morta, Dead Cells, For the King, Moonlighter, and many other popular titles across Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, and Xbox One.

Signature Edition Games first releases its physical games through pre-orders. If these limited editions make it past pre-orders with stock remaining, they’ll then be moved to the Signature Editions section of the website.

Although all Signature Edition Games titles are released with limited stock, the majority of releases make it past pre-orders. This makes buying online from Signature Edition Games a great option if you’re late to the market and just now building a collection.

If you’re an aspiring collector who’s interested in getting into special edition video games, physical indie releases are a great and modest place to start, and these five sites have got you covered. Go out there and grab those games while they’re available!

How To Get Twitter Notifications On Web & Mobile

Twitter has grown to become so much more than a social news website, now boasting over 500 million tweets every day. People use it to get their daily fix of news, weather, politics, and all sorts of general banter.

Although a considerable portion of Twitter consists of users just chit-chatting and tweeting out things that come to mind, there are many reasons why you may be keenly interested in a particular user’s tweets. For me, it was when the official Twitter account for a game that I follow began regularly tweeting out free Steam keys. That’s something I want to pay attention to!

Whether it’s to stay informed of news, snag freebies before others, or pay a little “extra attention” to your significant other, there are plenty of reasons why Twitter notifications can be useful.

In this article, let’s go over how you can enable notifications for individual Twitter accounts on both web and mobile.

How To Get Twitter Notifications On The Web

Twitter’s integrated web notifications have been a bit of an anomaly ever since they launched. In multiple versions of Chrome and Firefox, users are told that their browser does not support the feature. That’s a major problem.

However, there’s a trusty service that helps fix issues like this one: IFTTT. We’ve gone over how to use IFTTT in the past, so read up if you’re unfamiliar with the service.

To create notifications for tweets, let’s start by creating a new IFTTT applet using the Tweet from search trigger. You can skip all of the menu navigation and get right to that page by clicking here.

To get Twitter notifications, let’s start by creating a new IFTTT applet with Twitter. While doing so, there are two trigger actions that are suited best for what we’re trying to accomplish – New tweet by a specific user and New tweet from search.

Looking for tweets from a specific user is self-explanatory—the trigger will fire every time a single user sends out a tweet. For simple purposes, this is very useful. However, looking for tweets from search is much more robust.

First and foremost, finding tweets from search is limited to 15 results per check. How often IFTTT polls for updates is a mysterious variable. Although it says in your applet’s settings how often it should check, it can be from anywhere to within a few seconds to 15 minutes.

Keep this in mind when creating your search query. Using OR and AND operators, you can group several searches into one. However, you may not want to do such a thing if you’d like to stay safely under the 15 results per check limitation.

That said, we’ve covered how to advanced search on Twitter in another article, and you can use these tips to build the perfect search query on this page.

As aforementioned, you can use a search query to combine a basic search for multiple users, like so: 

from:onlinetechtips OR from:c89

You can also more narrowly filter tweets down to the presence of certain keywords, like this: 

from:toejamandearl “xbox code”

Once you’ve decided on which search query you’ll use, save your trigger. Now is when you’ll need to determine how to receive your Twitter notification.

Here are some example “That” services that can notify you when your trigger is fired:

  • Android SMS: connects to your Android phone and lets you send an SMS to any number (can be used in tandem with a Google Voice number and Google Voice notification extension).
  • Facebook Messenger: sends a Facebook message.
  • Gmail: send yourself an email.
  • Notifications: sends a notification to your IFTTT-connected devices.
  • Phone call: calls your number (US only) to leave a voicemail.
  • Slack: posts to a channel.

Additionally, IFTTT supports services such as Pushbullet and Pushover, which act as ways to aggregate all of your Twitter notifications between devices. This can assist you in receiving notifications on your desktop, Chromebook, and other non-mobile gadgets.

While IFTTT isn’t the perfect solution, due to a slight delay in checking, its flexibility helps make up for it. You can receive notifications for tweets in so many interesting ways.

How To Get Twitter Notifications On Mobile

Since IFTTT does offer a mobile app, which includes trigger actions such as sending an SMS or push notification, it’s also a reasonable solution for smartphone users. If you want to receive mobile notifications from search-based tweets, it’s your only option.

However, unlike web notifications, Twitter’s mobile notifications feature is fully functional. If you’d like to enable tweet notifications for a specific user, all you have to do is navigate to their profile and make a few clicks.

  • If you’re using a smartphone, you can navigate to a user’s profile and click the bell icon to the left of the Follow/Following button.
  • If you’re using a browser, find that same Follow/Following button on a user’s profile.
  • Click on the kabob menu (three vertical dots) icon.
  • Select Turn on mobile notifications.

If you decide you’d rather turn mobile notifications back off, you can follow the same instructions for either platform.

Now that you know how to receive Twitter notifications on your desktop, laptop, smartphone, and any other device, there’s no excuse for missing that one tweet you’ve been waiting on for weeks.