We are The Wirecutter, a group of writers who have been researching and reviewing gadgets for years. We're back to answer your questions about Black Friday, bad deals, and anything else. AUA.
Hello Reddit! We’re back!
We are the writers and editors of The Wirecutter and The Sweethome, sites dedicated to helping people find the right equipment (from televisions to potato mashers) for their lives. We put many hours of research and testing into every article we write.
One thing we hate is how much of online journalism has devolved into hype and pageview generating BS. Because we don’t distract ourselves with blog posts, our pieces are feature length, which costs us thousands of dollars and usually between 50-150 hours of research and effort to pull off, which we think is worth it for the quality of work we’re publishing.
One way we’ve put our collective minds to good use is by looking at how deals work on the Internet. We have had a Deals Page on our site for two years now, and we’ve learned that a lot of the Internet is just filled with crap. Sites love to say something’s on sale when it’s not, or put something on sale when it’s so horrible it’ll break in a week, or sometimes even play mind-games where they jack up the price for a couple weeks so they can drop it a bit and then call it a sale.
Well, we hate that stuff. In fact, we’ve looked at over 42,000 “deals” or “sale” items since the beginning of November, and only 0.6% of them have met our standards for posting on the site. (Check out this post if you want to know more about how we vet and decide on which deals to post.)
Thanks to the hundreds of hours of research we do for every article, combined with decades of experience writing and reviewing equipment, we have gotten pretty good at spotting the good versus the bad in deals.
Last year we did an AMA on Black Friday and got a pretty good response. But a lot of the feedback suggested we do it earlier so you guys can be more prepared going into the holiday. Well, here we are. A day early. Just for you.
We’re willing to answer whatever questions you want to ask of us, but what we really want to do is talk to you about deals. We want to put at your fingertips the combined knowledge of our staff. Post a deal you’re thinking about getting. We’ll tell you about the price (if it’s a scam or something good) and the product (whether it’s worth buying at any price). And if we can point you to something even better, we’ll do that to.
We’re going to have as many people from our team as we can get in here to answer all of your questions, so expect to see a lot of names.
Me, J.D. Levite, Deals Editor: I’ve been covering deals for so long I can tell whether a deal is guilty or not just by looking at it. - /u/JD_wirecutter
Brian Lam, Founder - /u/brianlam8
Jacqui Cheng, Editor-in-Chief - /u/jacqui_wirecutter
Michael Zhao, Wirecutter Associate Editor - /u/aqueousbeef
Nathan Edwards, PC editor - /u/wirecutter_nathan
Geoff Morrison, A/V editor - /u/TechWriterGeoff
Tim Barribeau, Camera Editor - /u/tbarribeau
Harry Sawyers, Home & Garden Editor - /u/harrysawyers
Ganda Suthivarakom, Kitchen Editor - /u/SweethomeGanda
Jim McDannald, Fitness Trackers, Running Watches, etc - /u/jmcd77
John Neff, Auto Stuff - /u/jneff_wirecutter
Nick Guy - /u/thenickguy
Dan Frakes - /u/danfrakes
In a weird twist of fate, I can actually answer this question. We actually have a full guide to personal lubricants coming up, but it's not published just yet. I just spoke to the reviewer doing that guide and he believes our pick will probably be Swiss Navy.
Edit: We also have a huge, major update coming to our vibrator guide as well, written by an educator from the Kinsey Institute. It's going to be fucking amazing.
You would hope so.
I know this is a bit outside of your scope, but I just wanted to put the thought out there. Large appliances are harder than hell to weed through. I bought a home with a 30 year old hot water heater that's starting to show some signs. My first thought was, "hmmm, should I go tankless". Yes. "Where do I start?"...No idea.
Most blogs are referencing $2000 tankless systems, but there's an entire market in the sub $750 range with many of the same water flow claims as their expensive counterparts.
It seems like, eventually, a group like you guys is going to have to enter into the space to help clarify what to look for in these new technologies.
One of our Sweethome editors is going to respond to you I'm sure, but let me just say you got some wheels turning with this one... they're all excited about finding ways to test this out and find the best one...
Hey is cyber Monday a good time to get a new laptop? My cousin's MacBook broke and needs a new one.
As good a time as any but not really better than any other time. Chances are if there's a deal on Cyber Monday it's available to you now.
Did you see a deal in particular? I can help you find the best price around and see if it's going to drop any time soon.
How much are you looking to spend? Are you only interested in MacBooks or do you want to consider Windows? What size/configuration do you need/want?
Are any of you going to be lining up in person for Black Friday?
Waste of time. There's nothing to line up for.
That's what I figured! But I have so many Facebook friends that are so excited about spending hours and hours in the cold.
For a lot of people I think the lining up for hours thing is just fun for the social element.
But we hope doing AMAs like this and maintaining the deal page like we do will help show people there's not a whole lot of value to doing it. We don't want to waste people's time and we want to keep others from doing that, too.
Geoff Morrison addressed this earlier. Basically, there hasn't been a lot of demand for headphone amps so we haven't dug into it.
What is the best personal blender?.. magic chef, nutribullet, etc...
Well, we've got a great article on blenders. It's pretty thorough.
If you want a great blender that's also a deal... one we really like is essentially 50% off right now... the Oster Versa...
thewirecutter.com isn't the only review website I visit, but it's one of the few I always check before a purchase. Great Job. Now, my question... what category would ya'll like to add to the wirecutter that isn't there already?
Also, my college roommate was named Nick Guy.
my college roommate was named Nick Guy.
Sounds like an alias. I don't believe it's a real name.
what category would ya'll like to add to the wirecutter that isn't there already?
This isn't an official WC opinion or anything, but I wish there was a more objective way to look at video games and consoles.
I noticed the sound bar you recommended, the Paradigm soundscape is now on sale for under $1300. Your original article was written in April. Would you still recommend that sound bar today with some of the newer soundbar introductions?
Yes, it's still the best I've heard. There are a couple new ones I want to get in and test, from Focal and Arcam, but if I was buying one today and wanted the best sound, the Paradigm is still the best.
In addition to this, that $1275 price it's at is a match for the lowest it has ever been. Except for dropping to that price for a short amount of time earlier this year, it's almost always selling for $1500.
eBay is risky but it's a website built on that risk. You know when you're buying from "livesinmomsbasement" that you can't verify where your product is coming from.
But a lot of the eBay economy is built on a garage sale structure, gray market cameras, and stuff like that. They can't exactly attack it.
When it comes to hunting down and posting deals, I usually take a caution-first approach to eBay. I prefer retailers like Newegg or Best Buy who often use their eBay store fronts to post discounts they can't get away with on their main sites. And I only post deals if I can verify where they're coming from.
Where is comments mod Toby? That guy is a saint. My question is did the yoga3pro get tested to see this typing lag in chrome or was that pulled from other reviews? PC World put out a very positive review (ref speed) this week and now I'm confused again. Ever thought of a 'this is what I use' section for the different writers? Writers are so often underpaid, so I appreciate their frugality. Recently katzmaier posted his home setup in his curved tv takehome and i really apreciated it. Also... Laptop USB/video out docks?
I'm not sure if he's showing up for this. But that guy is omnipresent so you never know.
Have you guys ever considered just selling the best of everything yourselves?
I'm not built for factory work.
What are your thoughts on refurbished (by Apple) macs? I've been looking at getting a refurbished MacBook Pro 2.4 ghz model 8gb memory 256 gb since you recommended the MacBook Pro on your site.
If you're getting the refurb from Apple's official refurb store, go for it. Stuff is quality. And has a good warranty. It's not going to let you down.
I know you have updated your receiver guide a while back but last year's recommendation, the Yamaha RX-V375 is available at a low price ($169) refurbished. Is that still a good buy?
From where refurbished? It's the refurb part that scares me. You need to make sure it's being refurbed by someone authorized to do it - like Yamaha themselves and not..... say... Johnny, the guy that works in the back of the shop... And you want to get a warranty. Generally the smaller the warranty the less confidence they have in the product as a refurb. Minimum 90 days is usually what we go by.
I notice you have a recommendation for the the best vibrator, do you have a recommendation for the best personal lubricant? My SO and I haven't really been satisfied with the ones we've tried so far.
Also, any tips on lube dispensers?
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