Sonos Era 100 Review How to Download iOS 16.4 Save 55% on iPhone Cases How to Sign Up for Google's Bard Apple's AR/VR Headset VR for Therapy Clean These 9 Household Items Now Cultivate Your Happiness
Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?
No, thank you
Why You Can Trust CNET
Our expert deal-hunting staff showcases the best price drops and discounts from reputable sellers daily. If you make a purchase using our links, CNET may earn a commission.

The Cheapskate Mystery Box 2019: Help charity and get a big box of loot

Donate $75 to help three great causes and you'll receive a tech bundle valued at $250 or more.

What's inside the Cheapskate Mystery Box? There's only one way to find out.

Let's do some good. Starting today, you have the chance to purchase the Cheapskate Mystery Box 2019 Edition, a bundle of tech goodies from a variety of great companies. When you buy one, 100% of net proceeds* will be donated to three great charities: ConnectSafelyThe Hunger Project and TAPS. Update: The sign-up window is now closed. Thanks so much for your interest! You should be receiving a notification soon if you were (or were not) selected to purchase a box.

Update No. 2 (Aug. 19): If you haven't yet redeemed your free-t-shirt code at Mediocritee, you need to do so ASAP. Once you have the code (which should have arrived in a separate Daily Steals email), use this link. (Note that you must supply a credit card number, even though the balance is $0.) Meanwhile, this morning we sent out second-round notifications for all the boxes that went unclaimed. If you received one and then encountered a "sold out" message, my apologies -- we're working to remedy this immediately.

Update No. 3 (Aug. 20): First, the good news: We accomplished our goal and raised over $60,000 for charity. The bad news is today started with a questionable decision followed by various glitches and screw-ups. I've already sent a personal email to everyone who signed up; I hope it explains what went down. Beyond that, I'll simply apologize once again for the mistakes and promise to do better next time. 

Cool, right? When we did this last year, we put together 250 boxes -- and they sold out in minutes. The result was that you helped donate a whopping $12,500 to The Hunger Project, which was incredible. But lots of people were bummed they didn't get to buy a box, so this year we're doing things a bit differently.

For starters, we have one thousand boxes to sell. Price: Just $75 shipped. This wouldn't be possible without the incredible support of the following companies and their amazingly generous donations:


Ace Teah Anker Aukey BlitzWolf CBS All Access
Comfyer Elechomes Eufy iClever Jarv
Kobra Products Meh Mint Mobile Newegg Nixplay
Nebula Origem Phone Loops Roav Soundcore
Sunvalleytek Tile Tribit Vantrue Visible Mobile

And we definitely couldn't do this without Daily Steals, the company that's once again handling all the packaging, shipping and order fulfillment. They're the MVPs of this fundraiser, donating considerable time and resources to the effort.

Our other amazing partner: Mediocre (best known as the company behind, but also the owners of the hilariously named Mediocritee), which generously donated 1,000 custom Cheapskate T-shirts. Finally, thanks to my CNET colleague Jon Chaikin, who helped wrangle donations and has been a Mystery Box cheerleader since day one.

What's inside?

Here's one of the great Cheapskate Mystery Box shirt designs.


Within each box you'll find... don't be silly, it's a mystery box. Half the fun is not knowing what you're going to get!

Here's what I can tell you: Different boxes will have different stuff inside. That's because we rarely received 1,000 of the same item; rather, companies donated a few dozen of this or a few hundred of that. Your box might show up with just a few items, or it might show up with a dozen. But the value will be well beyond your $75, that much is guaranteed.

And I'll say this: It's an incredible mix. Your box could include a freakin' HD projector. It might include a phone. A digital photo frame. A dash-cam. A gift card. Wireless earphones. A blender (no, really). To be clear, it won't have all those items, but those are examples of the kinds of donations we've received.

Everyone who purchases a box will also receive a custom Cheapskate T-shirt -- and everyone else will have the opportunity to buy one (see below).

How to buy a box 

As noted, we're doing things differently this year. So that everyone has an equal chance to get a Mystery Box, we've set up a randomized entry system. Just head to the Mystery Box sign-up page (which is hosted by Daily Steals) and enter your name and email address. You've got until midnight ET, on Wednesday, Aug. 14, to do that.

On Thursday, Aug. 15, we'll randomly select 1,000 people and send them an email with a link to purchase a box. That link will work only if your name is on the approved list (so no sneaky sharing the link with friends) and will limit you to just one box. 

If you haven't completed your purchase within 48 hours, we'll assume you've changed your mind and move on to the next person.

Note: Emails collected on the sign-up page will be used only for this promotion. They will not be shared or sold. This promotion is available only to residents of the U.S., including Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.  

Everyone can get a Cheapskate T-shirt!

...and here's the other design. You can choose which one you want!


Last year, we included a custom Cheapskate T-shirt in each box. That proved to be problematic in terms of making sure we had enough of the right sizes.

This year, we've partnered with Mediocritee, which will handle shirt fulfillment independently of box fulfillment. That means you'll receive a separate link with instructions on obtaining your shirt, and it will arrive separately as well.

What's more, if you're not selected to purchase a box or you just don't want one, you still have the opportunity to buy a shirt all by itself -- and support our charities in the process. 

Speaking of that, if you just want to make a donation, here are the links for doing so:

And that's it! Be sure to check follow me on Facebook and Twitter (#CheapskateMysteryBox) for late-breaking updates. And if you have questions, leave a comment -- I'll do my best to answer them quickly. Thank you!

*After shipping costs, $60 per box sold will be donated evenly among the three charities.

Now playing: Watch this: Get ready for the Cheapskate Mystery Box, 2019 edition

CNET's Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter!

Upgrading to smart plugs, lights and speakers?

Install the CNET Shopping extension and we'll help you turn your house into a smart home without breaking the bank.