Thursday, July 14, 2011

Site Review: Brad's Deals

Greetings savvy shoppers! Today I’m reviewing Brad’s Deals, who tout themselves to be ‘your one-stop source for the latest coupons & deals from thousands of leading retailers’.

The Scoop
Upon first arrival, Brad’s Deals is slightly overwhelming. There are brightly colored content areas and a handful of animated advertisement areas, accompanied by a huge banner ad for a $1,000 giveaway sponsored by Home Depot.  While I’d love to spend that kind of money at Home Depot, I find this kind of thing distracting and I tend to forget why I came to a site like Brad’s in the first place.

If you like to browse, Brad’s is definitely the site for you.  The main focal point of the site’s homepage is a large orange box dubbed “Today’s Hot Deals”, which allows you to scroll through a photo gallery of the score du jour… deals on shoes, electronics, clothing, etc.  For the more focused coupon clipper, there is a search function in a bright purple box on the site’s homepage.  The “Category” link in the top menu bar also provides for a more organized way to search for savings. 

As you continue to scroll down, you’ll find Brad’s Handpicked Deals on the left-hand side, which can be sorted by Newest or Most Popular.  You’re also able to view these picks in Standard or Fast mode.  The capability to view listings in Fast mode really appealed to me, because I was, again, overwhelmed by too much information, faced with a long list of photos with descriptions. However, after I clicked on the Fast mode, I was able to scan the items by picture and item title only. 

Double Trouble
After thoroughly exploring the site, I found there to be a lot of duplication. On the lower right-hand side of the homepage, there is a long list of top online coupon codes and printable coupons, however, there are links in the top menu bar for “Online Coupons” and “Printable Coupons”, which displays the same lists found on the homepage.  The items displayed under Brad’s Handpicked Deals are also listed under “Newest Deals” on the top menu bar. Also, the items listed in the bright orange “Today’s Hot Deals” section are shown in a gallery bar under the top menu bar, which is constantly displayed, no matter what page you are on.  They are additionally listed under “”Top Deals” in the top menu bar.

Technical Difficulties
On the homepage, there’s an emblem that reads “Tried and Tested…” but you cannot read the rest of it because it displays behind the other content areas.  There is also a “Stores” link, which allows users to select from individual stores, however, when you hover your mouse on the link, the menu displays behind the site content, so you really can only click on the stores listed at the top of the menu. 

Instead of hovering, if you click on “Stores”, it’s as if you’re in a virtual mall – now this is my way to shop! You pick the store, and Brad give’s you coupons to shop, and highlights deals that are being offered.  One of the first stores that caught my eye was Macy’s. I was just there on Sunday, and I wish I had visited Brad’s Deals before I went; there are quite a few coupons that I could’ve used!

Value Added
Brad really sets his site apart by the innovative comment feature function.  This allows users to post their feedback about a particular deal or coupon code.  This kind of information is very helpful for other deal-seekers, so they know what coupons work and which deals are a waste of time.  For example, after visiting Old Navy deals, a user commented that a coupon code was no longer valid, and a Brad’s Deals staffer replied to them directly on ways to remedy the solution.

Wrap Up
Brad’s Deals is a great source to save yourself some money on items from your favorite stores; just allow yourself a few extra minutes to sort through all of the listings, and read the user comments to ensure your coupons are valid. 

Overall Grade: B-minus

xoxo,
   Kim

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