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Lowe’s, Best Buy Start Black Friday Early

It’s 8:47 pm PST, nearly midnight on the east coast and 2,000 people have just left a comment on a Lowe’s Facebook post that went up five minutes ago. Why? Because in just a few minutes, Lowe’s is going to launch their Black Friday Sneak Peek Party where they say they’ll be giving out coupon codes for up to 90% off items at Lowes.com.

The deals will be off specific items and limited in quantity which means bargain hunters have to virtually stand in line and fight the crowd if they want to get one. A coupon handed out at 1 am will probably sell out within the hour, which of course, is meant to entice people to stay on all day and night. In between giveaways, Lowe’s is going to announce the Black Friday sale items that will be available on the real BF – the day after Thanksgiving. Talk about creating a buzz!

Amazon Hooks Up with Facebook For Gift Card Giving

Just in time for the holidays! The ability to spend even more time on Facebook! Amazon would like you to know that you can now send Amazon gift cards directly to your Facebook friends instead of having to use that pesky old email. Neat, huh?

To make sure everyone gets the picture, they’re even running a special Give 5, Get 5 promotion. Give five $1 mp3 gift certificates to five Facebook friends and the first 100,000 users will get a $5 Amazon gift certificate in return.

It’s a pretty smart way to get the masses to do your marketing for you. Five dollars is an amount most people won’t think twice about throwing away and since you’re required to send it to five people (you can’t send $5 to one person), Amazon has assured themselves a wide reach.

Mobile Coupons Stalled at the Gate

The latest eMarketer graphic shows that 85% of mobile phone users have never used a mobile coupon. That’s not where we thought we’d be by now. With the wide spread of Smartphones and the rise in mobile marketing, cell phone coupons should be a given but something has stalled the concept at the gate.

Even Cellfire, who’s main purpose was to promote the use of mobile coupons now leans heavily on their club card coupon technology with no sign of a cell phone on their front page.

So what happened?

One problem is the technology. As smart as we, and our phones, are, downloading mobile coupons isn’t as seamless as it should be. My one attempt at using a mobile coupon was for a discount at my local car care center. The coupon showed up on my phone a week after the work was done.

Walmart Does Groupon Without Groupon

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but I’m not sure Groupon felt the love when they saw Walmart’s new marketing plan on Facebook.

They call it the “CrowdSaver,” and guess how it works. When a deal reaches a certain customer threshold, the deal is unlocked and everyone gets to buy in for a discounted price. The only difference between Walmart’s CrowdSaver and Groupon (and it’s a big one) is the upfront money.

When you choose a deal on Groupon, you’re committed to buy provided that the deal hits the threshold. (I’ve always wondered what percentage of deals never hit the mark. . .. ) Walmart isn’t looking for your credit card info or a purchase promise. All you have to do to join the deal on their Facebook page is “like” the deal.

Smart, Rich, Responsible People Love Coupons

When you think of coupon clippers, you probably picture a stay-at-home-mom snipping in front of the TV in order stretch the family budget. But according to a Deals.com poll, that’s not completely true.

MyType conducted the poll on behalf of Deals.com and they returned some surprising results, like the fact that “People with household incomes in excess of $100,000 per year are roughly two times more likely to be coupon lovers.”

So this is how the rich get richer!

Being an avid couponer myself, I was happy to see that the poll categorized me as being an imaginative, extravert who is socially responsible. I can buy that (but only if you give me $1.00 off.)

Here are a few more “coupon lover” facts:

Ebay Gets It’s Group-On

Ebay is the latest in a series of websites to partner with deal site Groupon and it  looks like a win-win for the two websites – but what about the site users?

The first deal to hit the site was The Body Shop offering $40 worth of product for $20 and just in time for the holiday shopping season. Groupon has its own eBay page which is tied to your IP address so you’ll only see offers that are national or local to your area. 1676 people picked up the deal today and as a bonus, they also received $1.00 in eBay Bucks.

eBay Bucks is a new loyalty program that gives you a small kick-back on every eBay purchase and purchases of related deals. At the end of the quarter, eBay gives the user back the bucks in the form of a gift certificate that they can spend on eBay.

Afterlife Well Spent: Zombies Take Over Sears.com

You may think of Sears as a stuffy, old fashioned brand, but they’re working hard to change your opinion with a brand new social shopping site and zombies!

Sears has outdone themselves with a Halloween site makeover that doesn’t miss a trick and is loaded with treats. They’ve taken the basic website and replaced the ads with zombie versions such as dead hands showing off rings and a fridge complete with brains on ice. Clicking through the links will take you to a real page where you can buy real items and how can you not buy with an enticement like this?

The center of the page features a Zombie Gift Guide where you’re asked to choose the zombie type (slow, cranky, dirty) and brain preference (runny, chilled, boiled). These lead to more zombie graphics with gift suggestions that are legit.