A few of our most common acronyms are listed below. For a more complete list, see our long list.
B&M – Brick and mortar store (A physical retail store as opposed to an online merchant)
B1G1 or BOGO – Buy one get one free
BF - Black Friday (Friday after Thanksgiving. Sales on BF show if stores will profit on the year (run in the black))
Bump - Replying to a thread to move it to the top of a forum to make it more prominent
BVG - Best Value Guarantee (see below)
DD - Deal discussion
FAR - Free after rebate
FS - free shipping
MIR – Mail in rebate
OOS - Out of stock
OP - Original poster (author of thread) or original post (first post in thread)
PM – Price match OR private message
SKU - Stock Keeping Unit (Unique product ID number assigned by the retailer)
SPAM - Unwanted commercial e-mail advertisements, usually unsolicited Your legislators can stop SPAM!
S/H – Shipping and handling
TOS - Terms of service
YMMV - Your Mileage May Vary
Classic view is the legacy page format on our site that many users have become accustomed to over the years. Modern view builds on the Classic view and adds several features that help our members find the best deals - filter topics by item category, manufacturer, or merchant, quickly see how many new posts are in a topic, and the ability to mark a topic as a "favorite" are just a couple!
A thread is marked "Hot" depending on how many views it gets in a certain period of time, "Dead" or "Expired" when enough FW members flag the deal as dead, and "Locked" when a forum moderator decides that the thread doesn't conform to forum guidelines.
Self-promotion, referral links, links to referral sites, and auctions are not allowed. If you would like to advertise on FatWallet, please submit the form on the Advertising Inquiry Page.
Deals from 3rd party sellers must be marked as so in the first three lines of the OP. Amazon example: Ships from and sold by _____ or Sold by ______ and Fulfilled by Amazon
To remove the opportunity for abuse, we will not allow links to competing websites. However, we do not restrict users from stating where they found information in their message.
Treat other forum members with respect. Please don’t flame others. We are all here for the same purpose - to find hot deals and to share the deals we find.
Please refrain from using vulgar and/or explicit language.
If you are not a child (mentally), ignore this one. Don't post for the sake of increasing your post count such as posts like "In bfore the lock". People can tell how intelligent/mature you are by your words irrespective of how many posts you have made. (misspelling intentional)
If you find that a post violates forum guidelines, please use the moderator alert button to bring it to the attention of forum moderators. No need to make a useless post to a thread that will be locked or moved anyway.
We do not allow political based deals in Hot Deals. This was decided based on the feedback of the community here!
Search the FatWallet forums to see if it has been posted already! Read the search tips for techniques on performing more advanced searches.
To get an idea of how "hot" your deal is, compare your price or check eBay. You don't have to beat the comparison price by very much because usually products from those companies are not retail and have very limited warranties.
Don't put POLL in the title unless you are taking a POLL. Don't take a poll in the Hot Deals forum.
Have a deal to post, but you're not sure what to do? First thing is first: click the button. Yep, I'm talking about the one on the top right of the Hot Deals Forum view that says "New Topic." This will bring up the form you need.
Our community likes information presented in a certain way for a reason. They want to see all the relevant information at a glance so that they know whether they want to find out more (which could mean reading the thread or clicking the link to the deal). So, when creating a title, you might want to follow this basic format:
[manufacturer] [item description] [price] [store] [deal attributes]
Examples: Acme widget player 3000 $27 at Stuff-Mart FS YMMV
If you have a coupon, it might look something like this:
$30 off $50 at Merchant expires 12/31/2007
The exact format isn't nearly as important as making as much information available at a glance as possible.
If ever you have questions about posting a deal, feel free to click "alert mods" from any post and ask the mod on duty for help.
Never call, chat, or email a store to see if a price is correct, if a deal will work, or if a rebate will go through. Thousands of phone calls, and other forms of contact will throw up red flags at the retailer and kill the deal. Post your question on FatWallet and let an experienced member answer. There is risk involved in many deals.
Likewise, no begging for referrals or employee purchase codes
Discuss the deal...not the poster or the politics. Due to the wishes of the community, we no longer allow threads that contain political deals. This is NOT the place to debate politics, and we certainly don't allow name-calling or personal attacks. Remember, discuss the DEAL.
Voting is multi-purpose and subjective. People may vote on a post because they do, or do not like the content, the wording, the idea, or many other reasons. Therefore, we try not to interfere.
However, it is not acceptable to:
stalk or harass other users with negative voting
vote a good deal "dead" or "red" in an attempt to hide it
If the moderation team determines a problem with a member's voting, then we will do our best to communicate it by Private Message. If it happens repeatedly, voting abilities will be removed. If you do not abuse your rating privileges, you will likely keep them. Use your power wisely.
If a deal is posted by a member, and another member posts the SAME deal, at the same (or extremely similar) price, from the same store, then it's a repost. The use of coupons, PMs, etc. doesn't make a "new" deal - those should be posted in the OP of the original thread.
If a deal is posted by a member, and another member posts a deal (or list) for the SAME item, but from DIFFERENT sources, it is not a repost of the deal. If the OP of the first thread EDITS their thread to include the information from the SECOND thread, then the FIRST thread is now a REPOST of the second thread, no matter what the time stamp on it is.
If people discuss buying the item at a different store than the OP lists, that sometimes qualifies for a new thread UNLESS the OP has *already* updated the thread with the info (in which case any new thread would be a repost.)
Some retailers will let you buy an item at the (lower) price that a competitor is charging. Exact policies vary by store, and many stores or sales reps don't follow the policies to the letter. Since the implementation of PM policies are inconsistent, all deals involving a price-match are your mileage may vary (YMMV). Finally, please be advised that abuse of Price Match and similar policies can lead to their demise.
Most coupons can be found at The Official Master Thread of "Official Store Coupons & Clearance"
One-time-use coupon codes including Dell SB coupon codes are found in the Online Coupon Trading forum.
The best way to get coupon codes is to open a business account(s) at a retailer who e-mails or mails out coupons and hope that one is sent to you. You will probably want to use/create an e-mail account specifically for SPAM for this purpose.
Be nice because it promotes better discussion. When people feel attacked they get defensive. The topic gets derailed onto personal issues, and productive discussion ends. Nobody wins here.
If you were sending a friend or family member to the forums, how would you want them to be treated?
Stick to the topic. Criticize the argument but not the individual. If you have a strong case, there's no need to attack the other person's character to make your point.*
And let me be clear, personal attacks aren't just direct name-calling. These are all attacks to the intelligence and character of the poster and not acceptable:
"Even you can understand this."
"Let me put this in simple terms you can understand."
"Only an idiot would think that."
"I think I lost IQ points just reading that."
"I will not dignify that nonsense with a response."
Be respectful and bring value to the conversation. Explain your criticism. Differences of opinion are great! ...if both sides take the time to explain themselves.
"I hate to burst your bubble, but that hard drive has gotten some pretty terrible reviews: Link"
"Good price, but mine broke after a week"
"Found it cheaper here: Link"
"Rebate kills this deal. Company XYZ is notorious for not honoring their rebates."
"I'll have to disagree. In my experience..."
"Really? I was just reading this article that says the exact opposite..."
Want to avoid the drama and running afoul the moderation team? I'll let you in on this simple, time-tested strategy:
Be more polite than you think is necessary.
*Excellent video discussing "What You Said vs. Who You Are". Hint: You want to be having the first conversation. It has examples specific to discussing race, but the basic principle applies to any conversation.
Users like you can add images, links and other relevant information about this topic.
posted: Apr. 4, 2005 @ 2:26p
Click to copy code and go to .
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Jul. 6, 2012 @ 3:03p
posted: Oct. 28, 2011 @ 1:42p
(Thanks to Templeboy for creating this insightful posting guide.)
Want to earn 200+ greens on the daily basis? Want to be on top of the Leader Board no matter how venerable or formidable your fellow posters are? Want to get numerous FWers back into involvement after they sidelined for years? Want to bring savings and joy to countless fellow members? If you answer is yes to any one of the above, read this from templeboy who is a long term member but only started regular posting in mid-April 2011, and did all of the above.
FW user yellowbook used the following guidelines and snatched the no. 1 ranking on the Leader Board in his very first week posting, along with 46 badges and 500 greens in 6 days.
You want to post right before most users start to check deals. Thus the best time to post is really between 8-10am and noonish ET, when office PCs start to wake up, self-employed start to go online, stay-home care-givers finish dropping kids at schools, lunch break, etc.
I cannot imagine too many people will check for bargains during summer weekends, in the afternoon rush hours, evening dinner times, and so on. Therefore I seldom bother to post during the evenings or weekends (slow but free home internet access is another reason), and just enjoy other facets of life. The exception is for folks on the West Coast
Find your niche if you can, e.g. Butcherboy on guns and farside on freebie magazines. That, however, is difficult for most people (including me). I list the following “safe bet” categories with examples and explanations.
Deals make people think/brainstorming/argue: McDonald’s food and Office PC deals. (BTW in June I finally move from Pentium 4 to a Quad).
Cloth/printable coupon: you can hardly go wrong with clothing deals, clueless dressing dudes (a typical FWer?) will not left in the red while generous ladies will green you. Printable in store coupons rule in the categories because we still prefer try out cloth on our body before buy.
Culture (“cult”) related: Star Wars or just about anything Doctor Who and so on.
Cheapies. $1 stuff from Meritlines, etc. Almost always ends up with greens if not OOS too fast.
“Ignored” stuff like this one. No glory in posting diaper deals and so on but they are sure green grabbers. Again don’t overdo the category – we don’t want to see 15 instant noodles deals in 9 days!
Freebies (including goodwill items in Free Stuff or Finance, even if you don’t earn badges and such): free $15 (a 1k+ green deal if mods had listed it in HD instead of a place few visit), this is valuable and useful, Amazon $2 MP3 credit, this one is controversial, or just post it (I never heard of the place before) This category is the ace card and you can hardly go wrong with it. Personally this needs $20 thresh-hold value in my book, not current $10 which is way too low IMHO.
If the deal itself is crappy, nothing matters. With that out of the way, there is a single essential you need to know. Title must be self-sufficient! Title must be self-sufficient! Title must be self-sufficient!
An ideal post will have a title containing all the information with a single word Linky in the post and a picture in the Quick Summary. Why? See TheBigCheese’s comment in here. Also imagine how mobile users, growing in numbers every day, love this kind of posts! Many of my posts maxed out usable title space. For example, for PC related, make sure you list the most important tech specs. This way if the deal is not interesting to the reader, he will simply skip it instead of clicking in, then realizing it’s a crappy deal, and red.
Must-have info in the title includes product name, important product specs, price that always includes shipping but not tax and CashBack (a descriptive price if possible; use a price range if necessary for multiple items or for pesky Amazon autopricing), expiration date if applicable, and famous selling stores such as Amazon, WalMart, and so on for source. No need to list no name store or online sites, making you look like a suspicious spammer.
Use “name dropping” in the title compare the price you have with Amazon price or FW historical price to show your superb find. If it’s the lowest price ever according to price tracker such as Camel, spell it out. That’s it – my true secret of good posting techniques – title, title, and title. We are all busy folks - a self-sufficient title, a Linky, and a picture make a perfect post. If you have to add description in the post, keep it short – brevity is the byproduct of vigor.
You Only Have One Chance to Make a First Impression
Yes there is that edit button after you finish postings to allow you to change things. Think of the button as an update button not for revising. Why?
For a period of time, I was puzzled how it’s possible that with seconds of my new posts, there were two or even three instant greens. Then by chance I asked a MVP9596 to delete a repost of mine that is a minute too late than the OP. The power mod explained to me that due to RSS feed, FW normally locked the repost instead of deleting; otherwise RSS readers would click the feed and then get error message. Apparently there are quite a few dedicated FWers use RSS feed, trying to grab every truly hot deal before OOS! These diehard users are also quite knowledgeable too. Bad price? Red; wrong info/typo? Red; you got the picture… Then if they give you an instant green, other readers are more likely green you due to herding mentality and snowball grows from there…
Besides making a concise, complete, and accurate post in one shot, add your own photo in the Quick Summary without relying on mods! Mod creatures are hard-working and efficient beings, yet they are humans that sometimes have to cover awfully long shift or wear too many hats simultaneously. Frequently when there is a single mod on duty, the poor fellow has to categorize deals, tag coupon codes, edit links, moderate, check reposts, and only after all that they may have time to add a photo for you. Yet a deal without a photo is hard to catch eyes. Many times I saw deals went photoless for 10-20 minutes, missing the golden budding moment!
Add the photo in the Quick Summary section, not in the post. There are several advantages but the biggest one is that if your deal makes to the Best Deal or triggers the very cool auto summary after 21 user comments, you can delete your own photo and make those up and center, highlighting your accomplishment, which in turn gives you more greens and interests. Mods normally add photos automatically in the Quick Summary unless you have one there already, regardless whether you have one in the OP. You cannot delete their photos unfortunately. Without my “standout” photo in this]http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/hot-deals/1092263/>this[/L] one who would care about violin strings if UncleRico had his photo on top or the only one?
Pick a great photo and add fun photo titles. Sometimes it can trigger fun “conversation” with mods, as in this case with MVP 9596 and way too many others. I had my own in the Quick Summary and after several rounds it stays as in the current form.
Remember posting is about fun! Most photos are self-explanatory and worth more than a thousand words. Thus use a “.” as photo title and that’s better than a boring title that is notoriously ubiquitous on the forums. Better yet, FW please gives us the option to add photos without subtitles.
The only reasons for you not to add photos is either difficult to copy some of photos due to original site protection, or you want to find out who is the mod on duty like I always do.
You Need to Care for Your Posts, Not Just Post and Leave
Test out links as autolinks fail way too frequently. If it fails, give complete links in posts and notifying mods. Otherwise you WILL have instant red.
Update your OP according to user comments and give them credit! This particular deal got two instant reds due to double coupon clipping, sign-in requirement, coupon showing luck, and so on. Yet after incorporating pecanpie and others’ comment into the OP within an hour, a dead and sure red deal turned out to be a blockbuster (along with a couple of other double coupon deal and follow-up razor refill deals). It’s one of my earlier postings so I did not give pecanpie proper credit except greening his comments, later on I simply quote them in the OP like this one.
Mark expired promptly or you WILL have red (unless one has good reputations…)
Know the mods and they do make mistakes! For instance, not repost and they lock deals; not expired deal and they marked expired, esp. with Amazon seller! Find out who is the mod on watch - frequently it’s the same person posted photos for you. Keep notes on names usernames; know their communication styles and what to expect from them.
You need to be a polymath and fun person first to be a formidable deal hunter, period. I’m confident I can sit down and have hours’ enjoyable chatting/drinking/fishing with folks with many leader board trophies like Butcherboy, Mr. C, taf, and so on. Personally I have a Manx cat that has no tail, a sausage-like fish that can knock my socks off with its electric shock (along with 400+ fish SPECIES I have or had), a Norton Manx café racer, many other uncommon stuff; I’m also a Bottlehead (check Logician1313’s avatar before you jump to the wrong conclusion), a 3-hr Marathoner, and many more. Read as much as you can and take the advantage of farside’s freebie magazine posts.
Other deal sites. You can copy front page deals with confident. Other deals with lots of greens are safe bet too. Then you need to have a good eye and check my “What to post” section.
Direct Daily Emails from various sources, e.g. Newegg. Have a separate free Gmail account just for the purpose too.
You cannot please everyone and you will have enemies. In real life, I automatically stay away from peoples who are good with everybody. Simply ignore them, or better yet welcome them as they negative comments bump your deal on the forum page. Ha…
Red is not a bad thing, learn from it. For example, not careful about shipping, unique code/wrong info, overplay funny card, spammy sites, reposts that are the main reason for my reds - do a search using title search in HD forum (not the big Search button on top of every FW page to avoid repost, although FW search function really need improvement. Unfortunately I only learned that after I stopped postings from yellowbook who in turn learned from 116sloppyjoe116.
Know that mods will delete your comments and deals, in order to uphold FW rules. Don’t take it personally even if you don’t know the rules and no explanation received from them. For example I used to have many greens from Oh Cheri! deals. Then mods started to delete them automatically w/o explanations and I got the message loud and clear. Some mods have straight communication styles that are perceived as “aloof” and “off-putting” by most FWers, yet they are very reasonable! Even those mods show their true fun side through photos and such.
That’s it and you can figure out the rest. Be a good poster can broaden your horizon and make you a better person – certainly in the sense of saving your fellow members money by sharing a find.
In the end, the truly incredible FW posters are folks like Butcherboy and Mr. C (each with triple-digit virtual cups!) and many others who have been postings year after year! Me? I have too many other distractions or vacations.
AAFES - Army and Air Force Exchange Service (relates to special deals for military, their dependents and relatives)
AC - After Coupon
AFAIK - As Far as I Know
AMEX - American Express
APM - After Price Match
AR - After Rebate
AT - AnandTech.com
B&M – Brick and Mortar store (A physical retail store as opposed to an online merchant)
B1G1 or BOGO – Buy One get One free
BB – Best Buy
BB&B - Bed, Bath & Beyond
BBB - Better Business Bureau
BF - Black Friday: Friday after Thanksgiving. Sales on BF show if stores will profit on the year (run in the black)
BL - Black Listed (or Big Lots, Bottom Line...)
BT - Balance Transfer
BTW - By The Way
Bump - Replying to a thread to move it to the top of a forum to make it more prominent
BVG - Best Value Guarantee
CC – Circuit City
CC – Credit card
CPN - Coupon
CSR - Customer Service Representative
CTC - Cut The Check (check is in the mail)
CTO - Configure To Order
CUSA - CompUSA
CYM - Check Your Mail
DD - Deal Discussion
DD - Dumpster Diving - rummaging through clearance products
DMCA - Digital Millennium Copyright Act
DOTY - Deal Of The Year
DOTD - Deal Of The Day, usually referring to Buy.com pricing specials
DPA - Dell Preferred Account (NOTE: This IS compatible with Cash Back)
EE - gov't bond issued at 1/2 of face value (Patriot bond)
FAR - Free After Rebate
FADD - Free After Dumpster Diving
FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
FBB - Farm Bureau Bank
FSOT - For Sale Or Trade
FW - FatWallet
FWCB - FatWallet Cash Back
FWIW - For What It's Worth
GC – Gift Card or Gift Certificate
GDA – Good Deal At
HD - Hot Deal(s)
HSN – Home Shopping Network
HTH - Hope This Helps
IIRC - If I Recall Correctly
IMHO - In My Honest/Humble Opinion
IMO - In My Opinion
IR - Instant Rebate
ISO - In Search Of, or type of CD-Rom image file
LMAO - Laughing My A** Off
LMK - Let Me Know
LOL - Laugh Out Loud
LPG - Lowest Price Guarantee, PM (Price Match)
MC - MyCoupons.com
MFC - MultiFunction center
MFG - Manufacturer/Manufacturing
MFR - Manufacturer
MIR – Mail In Rebate
MM - Money Market, also Money Maker
MSN - MicroSoft Network
Noob, noobie - a new user/member (usually used in a demeaning way)
NZR - No Zero Reply (a reply to a thread for the sake of having at least 1 reply)
OD – Office Depot
OEM - Original Equipment Manufacturer
OM – Office Max
OOS - Out Of Stock
OP - Original Post or Original Poster (author of thread)
OT - Off Topic
OTD - Out The Door
OTU - One Time Use (usually coupons/coupon codes)
PLMK - Please Let Me Know
PM – Price Match (see below)
PM - Private Message
PMOTW - Private Message On The Way
RAOK – Random Act Of kindness
RMA - Return merchandise authorization
ROFL - Rolling on floor laughing
ROTFLMAO - Rolling on the floor laughing my a__ off
SASE - Self addressed stamped envelope
SB - Savings bond
SB - Small business
SCR - Single Check Rebate (Rite Aid)
SER - Staples Easy Rebate
SKU - Unique product ID number assigned by the retailer
SPAM - Unwanted commercial e-mail advertisements, usually unsolicited. Your legislators can stop SPAM!
S/H – Shipping and handling
TIA - Thanks in advance
TLA - Three letter acronym
TOS - Terms of service
TRU – Toys R Us
TTT - To the top (moves a thread higher on the forum so all can see)
TY - Thank you
TWLA - The world loves acronyms
UCE - Unsolicited commercial e-mail Your legislators can stop SPAM!
UPC - Universal product code (unique product ID assigned by MFR)
UPS - United Parcel Service
USPS - United States Postal Service
YAFTS - Yet another free T-shirt
YGM - You've got mail
YGPM - You've got a private message
YHPM- You have a private message (related to forums)
YMMV - Your mileage may vary
ZZF - ZipZoomFly.com
ikentfaith said: How can a deal be Hot? How much votes will be need? I see some deals have a Red Hot in the front of title, this means the deal is really best? The rule of thumb (regarding hot deals vs.free stuff) was a $10 value. These days it seems anything goes.
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