Just got word of a new deals site, Shoutback. At first glance it looks an awful lot like Digg's Tech Deals section (thanks to new Webware guy Josh Lowensohn for pointing that out). But unlike Digg, Shoutback bribes you with cash money to get you to use it.
When you buy from certain stores, you earn points, between two and eight per dollar spent, depending on the store. These points are worth about a penny each, and can be redeemed for items from the Shoutback rewards store. (Hey, I'm close to picking up a 50-inch plasma TV! I only need 296,019 more points.) You can earn extra points per transaction by become an elite member--which you do by buying more stuff.
I'm generally opposed to any business that tries to manipulate consumers into spending money by "rewarding" them with increased savings for buying still more. But this site isn't bad. A lot of merchants are clearly willing to give up a bit of their profit margin, and this site just aggregates them into one place.
Oddly, while there are a lot of stores on Shoutback that reward buyers with points, a lot of the best deals on the site are user-submitted and don't earn the buyer any rewards points at all.
I did discover one snag: Expired deals linger on the site. Who cares that you could have saved 15 percent at Banana Republic until last Wednesday?
The site is definitely worth scanning if you're still shopping for holiday gifts.