Great cheap accessories for all the stuff you bought on Black Friday

Quick note: If you live in SE Michigan, come check me out tonight at the Livonia Public Library at 7 p.m. Learn my favorite money-saving secrets and enjoy a good chance at winning some raffle prizes!

I’ll admit it — I’m glad Black Friday and Cyber Monday are in the rear view. Because although there were some colossal deals this year, it’s exhausting to sort, track and share them all!

That said, you cannot imagine the Herculean efforts of countless CNET writers and editors, who’ve been doing all that sorting, tracking and sharing for weeks. To say this was a team effort is an understatement. I was a tiny cog in the much greater Black Friday machine, and my fellow deal finders deserve a ton of credit. (And a beer — next round’s on me!)

Before we dive into today’s deals, which are all about improving the products you might have scored during the past few days, let me pause to talk about charity. Today is Giving Tuesday, and even if your wallet is empty, you can support worthy causes without spending a dime. Please consider helping those less fortunate. It’s much quicker and easier than you think.

On to business. Did you score an awesome new toy during the sale madness of the past couple weeks? Let’s talk about some accessories you might want to add — and some surprisingly cheap ones at that.

speck-stay-clear-iphone-xr
Don’t overpay for a phone case; anything over $10-15 is probably too much.

Sarah Tew/CNET

It doesn’t matter if you spent $200 or $1,200 — the first order of business is a case. Because, let’s face it, gravity happens. Here’s what you shouldn’t do: Buy an expensive case from Apple, AT&T, Verizon or some other retailer. You may have bought your phone there, but cases are best sourced elsewhere.

My advice: Hit up Amazon and Ebay. Just search for cases for your phone model and you’ll find a dizzying array of choices. Hard cases, soft cases, clear ones, colored ones and so on. Even better, you’ll find lots of them priced around $10-15 — much better than the $30-50 you’re likely to pay in store.

Read more: iPhone XR cases: 4 cheap alternatives to Apple’s $40 one

Of course, putting your phone in a case doesn’t guarantee 100-percent protection against pavement encounters. The best protection is not dropping your phone in the first place, which is why I continue to champion Phone Straps (formerly Ninja Loops).

See it at Phone Loops

A mere $5 buys you a stylish strap that attaches to just about any phone case. Once you get accustomed to sliding your fingers underneath it, you’ll find it much easier to grip your phone — and you’ll be much less likely to drop it.

This remains one of my all-time favorite products. It makes a great gift, too, which is why you should buy at least three (which bags you free shipping).

You bought a Nintendo Switch

Switch deals were everywhere this year — and often quite fleeting. Now that you have the console, though, you might want to consider a couple accessories — starting with a mobile charger.

The Switch relies on a USB-C input, though you don’t necessarily need a power bank that has a USB-C output. Those tend to cost a bit more, though they have the advantage of recharging your console more quickly than a standard 5V USB-A port.

[“source=forbes]

Looking for some indie Irish jewellery or accessories? Here’s all the best Black Friday offers

BLACK FRIDAY SALES are in full swing. We’ve rounded up some of the best fashion and beauty deals over here, but of course you’re gonna need some accessories to go with that.

With that in mind, here are a bunch of Irish-owned jewellery and accessory businesses giving offers on Friday and over the weekend.

Chupi – Chupi have a Black Friday offer which they aren’t revealing until tomorrow, but if you have your eye on a piece you might want to wait around.

Custom Vintage – They’re offering 15% off all jewellery today, and 20% off everything online tomorrow.

Glitz n Pieces – You can get 20% everything from Friday until midnight Monday with the code BLACKFRIDAY. Feeling v patriotic looking at this lil Ireland necklace.

PastedImage-76721 Source: Glitz n Pieces

Juvi Designs – Get a free star bracelet worth €79 with a purchase over €79.

PastedImage-85570 Source: Juvi Designs

Lilywho – Lilywho do really lovely pieces and are offering 20% off everything excluding sale items on Friday using the code BF20 until Monday.

Loulerie – Loulerie is that fancy jewellery shop on Chatham Street and they’re offering 20% off everything from midnight tonight until midnight Monday.

Love of Luxe – You may have seen these personalised wallets or purses all over your fave’s Insta, now it’s your chance to get one with 40% selected products.

[“source=marketingweek]

Amazon Pre-Black Friday 2018: 4 Deals On Alexa-Equipped Accessories

Amazon’s Alexa just celebrated its fourth birthday the other day.  Alexa has evolved from being essentially a hands-free gimmick to become one of the most advanced virtual assistants on the market. Just look at the figures. In 2016, Alexa could only respond to around 4,000 commands. By 2017, that number had increased to 35,000. Alexa is picking up new skills and vocabulary faster than a Human four-year-old, at this rate!

The number of tasks Alexa can accomplish is only going to continue to grow and expand at an increasing rate as smart technology becomes more evolved. The number of products powered by Amazon Alexa is growing right along with it. To help increase your arsenal of smart products, we’ve compiled a list of the best deals on Amazon Alexa-equipped products.

TP-Link HS100

TP-Link HS100, 1 Pack, WhiteAmazon

Amazon Alexa-equipped products aren’t just party favors anymore. In fact, you will quickly realize they’re saving you money. The TP-Link HS100 is one of the best selling Alexa products on the market. It’s a simple converter for your power outlet, which transforms anything into a smart device The TP-Link is like The Clapper on steroids, as it does a lot more than just turn appliances on or off. You can set schedules and timers and even control multiple devices at the same time, with the TP-Link’s scene setting.

The TP-Link works anywhere your Alexa voice control does. This surprisingly useful smart device starts to pay for itself in saved footsteps and wasted trips. Spend that time doing something you care about instead of simply walking back and forth!

Here’s your chance to experience smart functionality at an insanely low price. The TP-Link HS100 is 58 percent off, just $16.99 from the $39.99 list price.

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ecobee4 Smart Thermostat with Built-In Alexa

ecobee4 Smart Thermostat with Built-In Alexa, Room Sensor IncludedAmazon

Utilities can be expensive, especially when it’s cold outside. It’s not necessarily a sign of ‘adulting’ to get excited about saving money on utility bills without having to wear three pairs of socks around the house. The ecobee4 Smart Thermostat saves you up to 23 percent on your heating or cooling bills. The unit will pay for itself in two years or less. Those two years will be much more comfortable than you’d be otherwise, as well.

The ecobee4 comes with a room sensor to place in the most important rooms in the house. The smart thermostat will then regulate the other temperatures around that room instead of the other way around. You won’t have to pay to heat the draftiest room in the house anymore! Not only is the ecobee4 good for your wallet, but it’s also good for the environment as well. Saving energy is one of the simplest ways we can make a difference. It’s best when you can save money at the same time! The ecobee4 is only $209, at the moment. That’s a 16 percent savings from its usual $249 list price.

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Philips Hue Stand Alone Bridge

Philips Hue Stand Alone BridgeAmazon

Do you remember those lamp timers you used to set when you went on vacation? That would make it seem like someone was home even when you weren’t? Sure, this low-key Home Alone outtake might not seem as flashy or exciting as some other smart home devices out there. The Philips Hue Stand Alone Bridge does a lot more than turn the lights on and off, however.

Philips is the largest retailer of smart light bulbs and lighting fixtures. The Philips Hue Stand Alone Bridge is the brain and central nervous system of your Philips Hue system. You can connect up to 50 smart devices and control them all via the Philips Hue app.

Imagine being able to dim all of the lights in your house without getting off of the sofa. Or even turning off the kitchen lights after you’ve left the house. You won’t even have to press a button, as the Smart Bridge is fully ready to engage with Alexa, right out of the box.

Now you or your gift receiver will be able to experience the futuristic thrills and efficiency of smart lighting for less than $50. The Philips Hue Stand Alone Bridge is on sale for $47.89, at the moment – a 20 percent savings from the list price of $59.99.

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EZVIZ Mini O 720p HD Wi-Fi Home Video Monitoring Security Camera

EZVIZ Mini O 720p HD Wi-Fi Home Video Monitoring Security Camera, Works with AlexaAmazon

Along with basic virtual assistant tasks like voice search, home security was one of the first areas to take advantage of smart technology. It also helps you make the most of your security, which means you barely have to use it, but still, know that it’s there. After all, who has time to sit and monitor CCTV monitors like an overnight security guard? Instead, the EZVIA Mini lets you look when you need to. Just say the word, as the EZVIZ Mini O is equipped with Alexa and ready to take orders!

You can see things you wouldn’t normally be able to, as well. The EZVIZ features night vision and a full 111-degree rotation, to see as much of the scene as possible. You can even look while you’re away, as the EZVIZ can be monitored wherever you are, via the included app. You’ll be the only one who can, however. The EZVIZ Mini O’s video feed is entirely secure, featuring end-to-end video encryption and multilayer security.

You have plenty of storage options to choose from if you don’t feel like monitoring remotely. The EZVIZ Mini O comes equipped with a cloud storage option, with one month free to try out the plan. It also has a slot for a microSD card capable of storing up to 128GB. All of this for only $39.99! A $10 savings!

If you’ve been holding off, this could be the year you finally get connected with smart home technology. It’s finally reached the tipping point where it’s gone past a fad and has become a part of the fabric of daily life. Here’s your chance to check out some of the best Alexa-enabled tech currently on the market while it’s still affordable!

[“source=forbes]