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Wireless & Bluetooth Speakers

Get an Amazon Echo Dot for $29.99

From the Cheapskate: In your face, Black Friday! That's a post-cashback price, but you'll get your rebate faster than usual. Plus: the best deal ever on a soundbar alternative.

CNET's Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. And find more great buys on the CNET Deals page.


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Dot's the way I like it: $20 off!

Amazon

Far as I'm concerned, there's no better gift to give -- or get -- this year than the Amazon Echo Dot. It's an amazing little smart-home appliance, perfect for everything from piping out tunes to riding shotgun on your nightstand. And at $49.99, it's pretty affordable.

But at $29.99? I'd call it a steal.

Before I take you there, let me explain the two key conditions. First, you have to use a cashback service called TopCashback -- and be a new member of that service. Second, you have to pay the regular price up front, then wait a few weeks to cash out your $20 rebate.

Update (12/12/2016): Now that Bed Bath and Beyond is selling the Echo Dot for $39.99, the TopCashback deal is not applicable.

Update (12/19/2016): Although your account will show an eight-week payout estimate, I've been assured by TopCashback your $20 will, in fact, be payable within 21 days as promised. Exact words: "Please feel free to reassure your readers that they can disregard that timespan and the $20 will become payable within 21 days."

Still with me? Good, because those are hardly dealbreakers in my book. I've run deals like this before with TopCashback, and save for the rare hiccup, they've worked out extremely well for buyers. (Also, you can and should keep piling up rebates on other things you buy. This shouldn't be a one-shot thing; cashback services like this one are seriously awesome.)

So, here's the procedure. Please read it through before getting started...

  1. Temporarily disable your browser's ad-blocker, if it has one, as it can potentially futz with TopCashback's tracking system. You can re-enable it when you're done.
  2. Sign up for a TopCashback account, or sign up someone in your household if you already have one. Full disclosure: That's my referral link. Consider it akin to tipping your waiter, but absolutely no harm, no foul if you'd rather go through the regular signup page.
  3. Head to the special-offer page and read all the terms, conditions and useful info.
  4. Click the big red Get Cashback Now button near the top of that page, which will take you to the Bed Bath & Beyond product page for the Dot. As long as it's still showing the regular $49.99 price, buy it like you normally would -- but don't use one of those ubiquitous 20-percent-off coupons. Don't choose in-store pickup, and don't buy anything else. Remember that your checkout price will be $49.99 (plus tax), and that you won't see any indication of TopCashback's presence at checkout.

Behind the scenes, the service will track your purchase -- though you won't see any notice of it in your account for up to seven days. (Don't panic; that's just how it works.) Once it's posted, you'll be able to "cash out" that $20 rebate (via any number of methods) within 21 days.

Now playing: Watch this: The new Amazon Echo Dot is the smartest no-brainer ever
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All this might sound like a lot of hoop-jumping, but it's really not. And, hey, what's a few hoops anyway when it means getting a Dot for $30? Even Black Friday and Cyber Monday couldn't beat that!

Soundscoopz points TV audio at your ear-holes.

Soundscoopz

Bonus deal: Face it: Your TV's weak, down-facing speakers aren't getting the job done. The most common fix is a sound bar, but those get a little pricey, and then there's the extra wiring, remote, etc. Thankfully, there's a great deal to be head on a low-tech fix: You can get a pair of Soundscoopz for $14.95 -- plus $6.95 for shipping -- when you apply coupon code rb at checkout. Previously these were $34.95.

So help me, I still think this is an ingenious product. Ever notice how cupping your hand next to your phone or tablet speaker makes it sound better? These curved "scoopz" do the same thing for your TV, bouncing the sound directly toward you so it's louder and clearer. I've tried them, they work, they're genius. Great gift, in my humble opinion.

Mentioned Above
Amazon Echo Dot (1st Generation)
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