How To Protect Yourself From Buying A Drained Gift Card — Consumerist

This is timely for the holiday season. Fraudulent gift cards are a huge problem, Bonus tip: be careful where you buy.  A lot of people buy gift cards they find on auction sites or through the internet and run into this problem.

Gift cards are a popular present for all occasions, and are extra popular during the holiday season. However, one really terrible gift is a gift card that has been drained of its value. Here’s how to prevent that from happening so your gift recipient can buy the perfect present that they actually wanted. Here are…

via How To Protect Yourself From Buying A Drained Gift Card — Consumerist

Amazon’s Black Friday Device Deals have already started


If you have been waiting for a deal on a  Amazon device, the savings are already here. Amazon’s Black Friday Deals have already started! So far this morning, I have found the following:

All-New Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote ($29.99) Amazon’s streaming stick with Alexa voice assistance built in. There are also deals on the Fire TV and bundles with an antenna or for gaming.

Echo Dot (2nd Generation) ($39.99) Save $10 off the regular price. These can turn an existing stereo into a voice-activated system and are small enough to put almost anywhere. I even found a new case for the Dot that lets you customize the look!

Amazon Echo (139.99) – Save $40 off the original Alexa device. This powerful hands-free voice-activated speaker is meant to be used in one location, although there are bases available to make it portable.

Amazon Tap ($89.99) Save $40 on this Alexa enabled portable Bluetooth speaker. Unlike the Echo and the Dot, the Tap is not voice-activated, but uses a button to a trigger the Alexa voice system.

Fire Tablet ($33.33) Save $16.66 on Amazon’s lowest price tablet.from the Fire line. This 7″ device is also Alexa-enabled. You can also find various bundles at special prices, including the Fire Essentials bundle ($51.31) and the Fire Kids Edition ($74.99).

All-New Fire HD 8 Tablet ($59.99) Save $30 on the 2nd generation of Amazon’s 8″ tablet. Alexa-enabled, comes in 16 and 35 GB configurations and 4 colors.

If you are looking for an e-reader deal, you can get a basic Kindle for $50 ($30 off), a Kindle Paperwhite for $100 ($20 off) and a Kindle Voyage.for $170 ($30 off).

Amazon also has a great selection of Certified Refurbished devices available. These come with a full one-year warranty. You can find deals on Paperwhites ($80), a Kindle Voyage ($120) and the Amazon Echo ($120) here.

Are any of these on your holiday wish list?

Last Minute Holiday Gifts for the Ebook Lover 2015

christmas-presents_smallLast year, I wrote a popular post called Last minute Holiday gifts for the e-book lover that was full of gift suggestions. I just updated that post and I think all of those are still great ideas. Trust me on this – I bought most of the list for myself last year and finally just ordered some touch screen gloves 

I have done quite a few posts on covers (here, here and here). Covers start for as little as $5, depending on the device model.  I have to confess that I am a cover fashionista when it comes to electronics. Every device HAS to have a cover and they are ALL different. Personally, I think they make great gifts, either for someone else or yourself. All you need to know is the Kindle model (see my post here).

Here are a few other items that I personally use that I think make great gifts:

I live in a house built in 1921 and even with the remodeling and re-wiring that’s been done over the years, it seems that there are never enough outlets to keep all my gadgets plugged in, especially in my office. I use USB wall chargers like this one from RAVPower for charging items that don’t need to be connected to the computer.

One of my desktops crashed and is going into the repair shop after the holidays. In the meantime, I have been using a Fire HD 6 with a bluetooth mouse and keyboard as a replacement.  I got a Microsoft Sculpt Comfort Bluetooth Mouse because my research said that some brands of bluetooth mice had compatibility issues with the tablet.  This one works like a dream. Copy and paste on the Fire was always hard for me without the mouse buttons and this solved that problem. Because I wanted a keyboard that was both compatible with IOS and Android and inexpensive, I bought an Anker® Bluetooth Ultra-Slim Keyboard. (only $16) and splurged on a carrying sleeve for it. I also use it to take notes on my phone, which I absolutely love! These are a great gift for someone who finds typing on a small tablet surface difficult.

Voice recognition has come a long way over the last couple of years. Another great accessory for tablets like the Fire HD 6 is a set of earbuds or headphones with a microphone to use with the voice recognition feature. Mine also doubles as a spare for my Dragon NaturallySpeaking software.

One of my favorite new tech accessories is a combination stylus and ballpoint pen. I’ve received a couple of these as gifts and carry them everywhere! They are great to have, especially at the doctor’ s office when I have both my phone and my checkbook out at the same time. It is the perfect bridge between my digital and analog worlds.

While I talked last time about what a great idea I think gift cards  from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and iTunes are. Pick the store the person you are buying for shops at and let them have all the fun. My husband and I have several friends who are avid Amazon shoppers who love getting Amazon Prime from us as an annual gift for the holidays.

And finally, ebook lovers love ebooks. How about a gift subscription to a subscription service like Kindle Unlimited or Scribd? Both are available in 3, 6 and 12 month memberships. Time to read all of those books is not included. 🙂

Happy holiday shopping!

Amazon Black Friday Sale updates for $35 Fire, more

blackfridayHere are some availability updates on some of Amazon’s Black Friday deals:

-The $35 7″ Fire is now showing as out of stock until December 15.  If you want one of these, order soon so you can still get it delivered in time for the holidays! On sale until November 29.

– My favorite, the Fire HD 6 is still available for $69.99 through December 1. (You can read my review here.)

– The Fire HD 8 and the Fire HD 10  are both still in stock.

– The Fire Kids Edition is also showing as out of stock until December 16. On sale until December 1.

– The Amazon Fire TV Stick (standard remote) is sold out and will be back in stock December 10. It is on sale until November 29.The Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote is also sold out and will be back in stock on November 29. It is on sale until November 29.

– The Amazon Fire TV  and Amazon Fire TV Gaming Edition are both still available. They are on sale until December 1.

– The Amazon Echo is still available, but may require extra processing time. It is on sale until December 1.

– All of the e-ink Kindles (including the Paperwhite and the basic Kindle for $49.99) are still available and on sale until December 1.

Note: Shipping updates were accurate as of 3 pm CST on November 2, 2015 and are certain to change as more orders accrue.