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.
This has been a rough week for Amazon-based deals. First the rapid sellout of the cable organizer, then the same thing with yesterday's Battop folding keyboard.
Regarding the latter, let me explain what happened. When Battop ran out, Amazon continued to list the keyboard from other sellers. But the promo code was valid only for Battop proper, which is why some of you received a "code not recognized" error or the like.
Because there are so many Cheapskate readers who love great deals, it's not uncommon for vendors to sell out -- even when they have seemingly large quantities on hand. Alas, that can happen quickly and without warning or notification, which can be frustrating. I get it. I apologize. The good news is there's always another great deal around the corner, often on the same product.
Or a similar one: If you're still in the market for a folding travel keyboard, here's another option: the iClever Folding Bluetooth Keyboard for $23.99 with promo code TMTFT97H. It has a larger footprint when folded, but also a larger set of keys and ergonomic design. (No stand for your phone or tablet, though.)
Spotify and Chill (think about it)
Sometimes I have to work overtime to find a deal that doesn't involve Amazon. Not that there's anything wrong with Amazon; it just feels like so many deals originate there (and sell out there, ahem).
Anyway, this one comes from Best Buy, and it's pretty sweet: For a limited time, and while supplies last, you can get the HMDX Chill portable Bluetooth speaker for $9.99 shipped (plus tax). That's for the sexy red model; it's available in black for the same price. Price elsewhere: $25-$30. You may be able to find it in your local Best Buy for in-store pickup.
This is your basic Bluetooth speaker, albeit one that's not brick-shaped for a change. It's shaped more like a, what, a little beer keg? (Mmmm. Beer.) I like the look of it.
The Chill not only cranks out tunes from your phone or tablet, it also doubles as a speakerphone -- always a nice perk. There's a line-in jack as well, though I had to do a little detective work to make sure. The specs say "Auxiliary input: true," but it's not mentioned anywhere else. At least one reviewer did mention the jack, though, noting that a 3.5mm patch cord is not included.
It recharges via USB and offers up to 4 hours of play time, according to the manufacturer. That's not great, but did I mention this is 10 bucks?
As always, I have no idea how long these will last. Hopefully long enough.
Bonus deal: Much to my amazement, the $18 Pebble I wrote about last week is still available. As a reminder: For a limited time, and while supplies last, Daily Steals has the refurbished original Pebble smartwatch for just $18 shipped when you apply promo code CLASSICPBLDS at checkout. It's available in your choice of five colors.
As you probably know, Pebble was acquired by Fitbit last year, and the product line is pretty much dead. So there's no future for this, at least from a software standpoint. But there is a present, and that present is a solid (if dorky) smartwatch that's really good at certain things. And $18 out the door? Come on. You do get a 60-day warranty, which I believe comes from Daily Steals.
Bonus deal No. 2: If you've never taken advantage of Google's Play Music subscription trial, you qualify as a "new user." And for a limited time, new users can get a four-month Google Play Music Unlimited subscription for free. You just have to be signed into your Google account and, as mentioned, a new user. Otherwise you won't see the offer on your deals banner when you hit the Google Play Store. That subscription includes access to YouTube Red (that's ad-free YouTube) and normally runs $9.99 -- which is the price you'll pay if you choose to continue come July 23.
Bonus deal No. 3: Cheap games come to those who wait. For a limited time, CDKeys has Just Cause 3 (for PC) for $10.09. This late-2015 release currently sells for $59.99 on Steam, which is where you'll redeem the download key. It's a glorious open-world action game, full o' blood and guts and insane stunts. (Bad language, too -- consider yourselves warned, parents.) Definitely a steal at this price.