I'll bet you a donut that with all your careful planning this weekend and all the Black Friday and Cyber Monday ads you scoured, you've overlooked one key way to double down on discounts.
Suppose, for example, you're thinking about grabbing an Amazon Echo, already a killer deal right now at $79.99. What if I told you you could get it for $73.59?
That's because a cashback service called BeFrugal is offering an unprecedented eight-percent rebate on some Amazon products -- the Echo included. It's the same over at TopCashback, and Ebates is doing six percent.
So the news here is twofold: Cashback services exist (in my experience, lots of people still don't know that) and many have bumped up their rebate percentages this weekend.
A quick cashback primer
Let's stick with the aforementioned Echo deal. First, sign up for a cashback service I've had good luck with the three listed above, but there are others. They're all free: No strings attached and (for the most part) no credit card required. See below for the rare exception.
Next, disable any ad blocker you might be using. You can do this temporarily, just while you're shopping, or specifically for the cashback site and the store you're patronizing. This is important, because an ad-blocker can interfere with the tracking system used by the cashback service.
Now go to the Amazon cashback page on the service you've chosen. Click Shop Now or Get Cashback or whatever the button might be. That'll take you straight through to Amazon proper, where you can shop normally. From there on, everything happens behind the scenes: You won't see any discount or cashback notification on the checkout page. But after your purchase, you should receive a an email notification of pending cashback.
And then you get your payout. It can take as long as 90 days, but trust me. Keep using the cashback service while you shop elsewhere on other days. All these little rebates add up.
To learn more about all this, read "" and " "
The best cashback deals today
Like I said, many cashback services are doubling or even tripling some of their usual rates. You already know about Amazon; you can get a whopping 21.5 percent back on Dell purchases (BeFrugal), 12 percent from Lenovo (Ebates), 6.6 percent from Monoprice (TopCashback) and more.
And those are just the tech stores. Ebates is offering six percent on Etsy purchases and 10 percent on Under Armour. Hit up BeFrugal for 8 percent cashback from Petsmart and 10.5 percent from Gap. TopCashback is giving 12 percent rebates on Macy's purchases and 7.7 percent from the Lego Store.
I'm not sure whether these percentages will carry through to Cyber Monday, or if some might actually get better. I do know that if you're shopping online without using a cashback service -- especially today -- you're literally throwing money away.
By the way, if you're planning (or prefer) to hit the stores, Ebates also offers in-store rebates when you link a credit card to the service. You also have to activate any given offer before you shop, but from there it's all automatic: Just pay for your stuff and get your cash back. Right now, for example, you can get eight percent back from Petco and Lord & Taylor and five percent from Macy's. Woot!
Black Friday deals: See every Black Friday 2017 deal we've found so far.
Holiday Gift Guide: CNET's full gift guide, including dozens of products priced under $25, $50 and $100.
Holiday Gift Guide 2017
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Dec 21•Christmas competition: Five games for families over the holidays
Dec 19•All the holiday shipping deadlines you need to know