Announcement: Moving to New Servers

We have some exciting news, Deal Ninja is switching to new VPS servers. We are moving from GoDaddy to WiredTree (Of course we found great discount coupons to help us save). Unfortunately, our experience with GoDaddy shared hosting has had its fluctuations in load times.  With our growth and need for resources, we felt that making the move was to our benefit. We hope that this will speed up the load times of our site and serve more consistent results for our users as we work hard to make deal ninjas one of the best daily deals websites.

One month in

It’s been a month since Deal Ninja has launched. We have hit the ground running and have been adding some great deals and coupons. We’ve hit some great milestones including over 5,700 Facebook fans, hiring a SEO team, and working with over 500 retailers. Of course, in building any business, it’s important to make sure that you are always moving forward. Our goal is to be one of the best deals websites finding you the sales you love. As we have grown, we have learned a lot about building a sustainable business that helps our fans out. Stay tuned for more articles as we transition our shopping blog to our main website.

10 under $10: Tablet Cases

10 under $10

Our new Friday Feature will be 10  great items which only cost you $10 or less. Stay tuned for a new product category every week. This week we have Tablet cases.

Since everyone loves tablets, we often carry ours everywhere. The only bad things about carrying them everywhere is that eventually, we’ll drop our tablets. So we thought that you would want to protect these investments with a stylish case that wont set you back. Tablets are expensive enough, so save a little money on these quality cases for $10 and under.

iPad 2

AmCase iPad 2 Leather Case and Flip Stand for Apple iPad 2 (Black) 

Features:

  • Specifically designed for Apple iPad 2. Compatible with all iPad 2 models (iPad 2 WiFi / 3G 16GB, 32GB, 64GB).
  • Supports Sleep Mode. Close it, your iPad automatically goes to sleep. Open it, your iPad instantly wakes up – no need to press any buttons.
  • Simple and classic design-easy to use, protect your iPad front and back.
  • Allow you to access all the iPad 2 features without taking off the case.
  • Securely hold iPad in place with unique inner flap and reinforcement Strip

Cost right now: $10 (Read More…)

Acase Apple iPad 2 Smart Cover Companion Compatible Snap On Slim-Fit 

Features:

  • Compatibility: Apple iPad 2 2nd Generation (16GB, 32GB, 64GB), Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + 3G. NOT Compatible with 1st Generation iPad.
  • Design to works with the Original Apple iPad 2 Smart Cover ( Leather or Polyurethane version )
  • Material: Polycarbonate material with rubber coating provides a secure anti-slip grip and protection to your coveted iPad 2
  • Super Slim-Fit: Ultra-sleek fitted design that protects your iPad 2 without adding bulk
  • All jacks, ports and buttons are accessible without removing case

Cost right now: $8 (Read More…)

Kindle

OCTOVO Tirim Splashproof Outdoor Case / Cover for Kindle

Features:

  • Stylish splash-proof case that keeps out sand, dust and dirt
  • Access to On/Off Button & Charging Port without removing from the case
  • Clear read-through panel proving excellent protection from the elements without compromising the reading experience
  • Smooth Fit & Finish with Instant access to all navigation controls/keyboard
  • Made from soft touch microfiber

Cost right now: $10  (Read More…)


Barnes and Noble Nook

Bluecostco Nook Color Case Folio Cover (Black)

Features:

  • Solid design offers you an easy & safe way to carry your Nook around.
  • Leatherette exterior is classic and durable.
  • Secure framed interior protects Nook.
  • Show off your Nook in style.
  • Compatible with Nook Color.

Price right now: $10 (Read More…)

iPearl mCover Leather Cover Case for Nook (Green)

Features:

  • Made of high-quality PU synthetic leather material, which protects your Nook Touch eBook reader all around.
  • Custom designed to fit the 6-inch Nook Touch perfectly. Not compatible with older 6-inch Nook or bigger 7-inch Nook Color
  • The left side can be folded back easily just like a paperback book.
  • Open access to the touch screen, USB charging port and mini-SD card slot
  • Built-in inner pocket to hold miscellaneous stuff like money or credit cards

Price right now: $10 (Read More…)

Samsung Galaxy Tab

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Gel Skin Case (Black)

Features:

  • Features a stunning, high-gloss finish
  • Highest quality in fit, styling and protection
  • Protect your device without sacrificing functionality
  • Includes a premium quality Qubits-branded microfiber cleaning cloth

Price right now: $9 (Read More…)

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Leather Folio Case (Black)

Features:

  • Stylish Leather Case
  • Protects from dust and scratches
  • Form fitting design
  • Access to key functions

Price right now: $10 (Read More…)

Motorola Xoom

Motorola Protective Gel Case for Motorola Xoom (Black)

Features:

  • Don’t Compromise Function Dock your device with the protective case on and stay entertained for hours.
  • Fits Like a Glove Designed to fit just right, and easy to take along wherever you go. It doesn?t get any better than that.

Price right now: $6 (Read More…)

Sheath Leather Case Cover with Stand for Motorola Xoom

Features:

  • Compatible with Motorola Xoom 3g and wi-fi– all models
  • Premium quality and eco-friendly PU leather with durable construction and bold stitches to prevent any mishap and ability to withstand day-to-day complications like weather, bumps, drops etc.
  • Micro-fiber inner lining to prevent dust and smudges from tablet screen
  • Extremely detailed cut-outs that guarantees access to all buttons and functionality that xoom has to offer
  • Easily flip into stand, which can be used simply as keypad or set on your desired viewing angle for multimedia

Price right now: $10 (Read More…)

BlackBerry Playbook

Blackberry Playbook Protective Case (Black)

Features:

  • Keep your Blackberry Playbook safe & protected in style with this 2 Layers of High-Impact Polycarbonate Shell and Flexi Skin cover.
  • Custom cut to fit your Blackberry Playbook perfectly.
  • Constructed from smooth, treated material that resists dirt & stains
  • Unique design allows easy access to all buttons, controls & ports without having to remove the skin.
  • Slip your Blackberry Playbook tablet in to add a splash of color and deliver instant all around protection from scratches.

Price right now: $10 (Read More…)

30 Totally Awesome Kitchen Gadgets (That You Probably Don’t Need)

You can Invent Anything

If you know an inventor, then you’ll know they love to make anything. Even if that thing is nearly useless. Every now and then an inventor will find success in their inventions. You may be familiar with gadgets such as the Magic Bullet, Slapchop, and the George Foreman Grill. However, today we’re going to poke a little fun in the land of kitchen gadgets that are both cool and fun.  If you were to hang around the Deal Ninja kitchen, then none of these gizmos would seem out-of-place. Follow us on our journey through the world of kitchen gadgets.

Solving Problems you Never Knew Existed:

We bet these gadgets solved those cooking problems you never knew existed.

The Pop-Up Hot Dog Cooker

Dinner for two

We just never eat enough hot dogs to justify buying this. However, we can imagine this would be perfect for starting your kid’s roadside business. You can use this gadget  in your RV, in a motel room, or at the office for a quick lunch. I guess we’ll have to get one soon.

Dough-Nu-Matic Automatic Doughnut Machine

Krispy-Kreme for the kitchen

There is something sweet about being able to make hot and fresh doughnuts anytime of day. Now all we are left to wonder is if they come out glazed.

Chef’n Garlic Zoom

No more smelly fingers

All you have to do is roll the ball around it peels the garlic without getting your fingers smelly. Simple enough that even your vampire teenager is safe to cook in the kitchen.

The Towel-Matic

Every bathroom has one… now your kitchen does too

Maybe the most sanitary way to get a paper towel. Germaphobes can rejoice.

Taca Cup

If only they made king size Oreos

The only flaw we see with this design is that it just doesn’t hold quiet enough milk.

Quintuple Bladed Herb Scissors

When all else fails, add more blades

This is what we imagine Gillette would make if they ever went into the scissor business.

Pizza Scissors

Two great gadgets in one

Our only wish: it really needs some tongs. Then we could add toppings on our pizza without ever having to touch anything.

Twister Fork

Noodles beware

Next time you go on a date to Olive Garden, whip out one of these bad boys and you’ll  surely impress your date. (At least we would be impressed)

Apple Peeler


Only a man would think of this

If my woodshop teacher were to invent something, this would be it.

Pour a Better Beer

Because pouring a can of beer is just too much work

Personally, we would forego the glass and pour directly into our mouths.

For the Geeky Kitchen

We will admit, we are nerds. I mean, we would have to be somewhat geeky to enjoy writing a blog about kitchen gadgets. So, naturally, we have a soft spot for all things geeky. If nerd is your shtick, then these will sure to please.

Star Wars Toaster

Luke, I am your toaster…

You can’t have a geek gadget list and not have something from Star Wars, especially if you like your toast a little on the dark side.

OCD Cutting Board

Now if we could just cut in a straight line

Step 1: Put birthday cake on cutting board

Step 2: Cut evenly along lines

Step 3: Now everyone get the same size slice

Perfect for making sure nobody gets the bigger half.

Fun Facts Measuring Cup

Fun facts to tell your date while you cook

A little science in the kitchen never hurt anyone. Fun facts to use at your next trivia night.

Click Kitchen Gloves

Pop-ups not included

It’s what Mickey Mouse would wear if he were created in the 90s. We like to wear our gloves when we’re driving around town in the convertible.

Sharky Tea Infuser

Dun-dun… dun-dun….dun-dun

We couldn’t imagine a better way to serve tea to your in-laws.

Time Bomb Kitchen timer

Tick, tick, tick

We would advise against sending this as a gift via the post office… ever.

Table Setting Placemat

For the future architect

The key ingredient to a fancy dinner: presentation.

Spicy Invaders: Salt and Pepper Shakers

80s kind of cool

First they invaded space and now my table. Somehow, we don’t mind.

CTRL +O Bottle Opener

This probably wont be your last bottle opened

Did you catch what we did there?

Ninjabread Men Cookie Cutters

We just had to pick this

Santa won’t know what hit him when you put out ninjabread men.

Other Random Fun

Other kitchen gadgets  that are way way more fun than useful. If your idea of cooking is playing with your food, then these nifty items are perfect. Food always taste better when you having  fun anyway.

Cherry Seed Remover

Oddly cute

You could just buy seedless, but this is way more fun.

Edible Jello Cups

There is so much party potential here… 

Have you ever tried to hold Jell-O? Well, now you can and it’s not in a shot.

Hillary Nutcracker

She doesn’t mess around

It seems that she can do it all.

Flip-Flop Corn Holder

No more burned fingers

Not just cute, but you don’t have to worry about getting your fingers burned or greasy. +2 Points for awesomeness

Zoku Frozen Pop Maker

Why waste valuable freezer space

Actually useful, but I do have a freezer that does the exact same thing.

Pop Quiz Math Clock

Instantly look smarter

Ok, so it’s not technically a kitchen gadget, but it does have pi on it.

Chopstick Fan

Solved one problem, but probably created another

No more waiting for your soup to cool. However, the fan probably makes the chopsticks a little bit heavier.

Roll and Pour

Singing Bruno Mars, “Today, I don’t feel like doing anything”

They really have thought of everything.

Gin and Titonic Ice Cup Tray

Too soon?

Add a little sophistication and class in your next drink.

…And Finally Something Useful:

Bowl Cutting Board

Hmmm…we could use one of these

This is the most well thought out thing we could find. Now if we could only get George Forman to attach a grill to it.

How to Buy: Running Shoes

How to buy running shoes

Maybe you’re one of those lucky few who have kept their New Year’s resolution and continued to exercise. Or maybe, you’re looking for a better quality of running shoes. We’re here to help you pick out the right kind of shoes for your feet.

Why good shoes are important:

We all have those pairs of shoes that we wear to do everything: going to the movie, work, eating at a restaurant, and jumping in the mud. Unfortunately, we’re so use to wearing them that we even use them to exercise.  You may think these shoes are perfectly fine for taking a light jog around the track or neighborhood, at least until you try it. All it takes is one painful experience running; before you realize you need to spend a little extra cash on a pair of running shoes that may not leave your closet. Just wearing a shoe around the store might feel comfortable, but when you take them out and start using them,  you’ll more likely get a different reaction.  Having a good pair of shoes that fit to your feet are beneficial in preventing shin splints, blisters, and other discomforts.

Are you a Road Runner or Trail Runner?

Before you pick out the exact shoe that is the right fit, you’ll need to decide what kind of running do you want to do? There are certain shoes which better match your running style. If you’re planning on running on pavement and asphalt, then road running shoes are a better match. However, if you like to run off the beaten path, then a trail shoe is a better fit for your needs.

The Road Runner

Beep! Beep!

Road running shoes are designed for flat surfaces and the occasional run through nature trails and wood-chipped paths. They are light and flexible. They are also meant to cushion and support feet during long repetitive strides on hard, flat surfaces.

The Trail Runner

One tough mudder

The trail running shoe is an enhanced version of the running shoe, made specifically for off-road routes. They are enhanced with aggressive outsoles for solid traction and strengthened to offer stability, support, and underfoot protection. If you encounter a lot of rocks, roots, muds, or other obstacles during your run, then choose trail shoes.

You and Your Feet

So you know where you want to run; now you want to know how to get the right shoes. First, you need to know a little about your own feet.

Foot Size:

You probably know your shoe size, but if you are unsure, it’s best to have them measured at a shoes store. In fact, measure both feet in case one is larger than the other. Our goal is comfort after all, so getting the right size for each foot is important. The device they use to measure your foot is called a Brannock device. It measures the length, width, and toe to ball of foot.

Arch Shape:

The arch of your foot is basically the middle of your foot between your heel and your toes. The simplest way to find the arch of your foot is by a water test. Next time you are in the shower, pool, or tub, take a look at the footprint you make on the floor. The shape of your footprint will tell you what kind of arch you have. The arch of your foot affects the way your foot moves as you run.

How you run:

Your foot shape is closely related to its movement as you walk or run. Understanding how your feet hit the ground will prevent injuries and help find the right shoe which stabilizes you correctly. Typically, your foot hit the ground with the heel first. It rolls slightly inward and the arch flattens to support your foot. As you exit the stride, your foot  rolls slightly to the outside and stiffens to create a springboard which propels you forward. As a runner, you may experience slight variations of this stride.

Pronation is the foot’s natural roll following when the heel hits the ground. Neutral pronation helps absorb the impact, which relieves pressure on the knees and joints. Many runners have natural pronation.

Overpronation is when you put more weight on the outside of your feet. This is a common risk for most runners and could lead to knee and joint problems. Overpronators need stability and motion control shoes.

Supination (under-pronation) is the opposite of overpronation. It’s when the runner put more weight in the inside of their feet. Although few runners supinate, those that do will need shoes with cushioning and flexibility.

So how do you know which one you have?

Ask a podiatrist or physical therapist. Either one could tell you.

An easier and cheaper way is to just check your closet. Find a pair of shoes and look at the bottom. Check where your shoes have worn out and that will tell you. If you have neutral or natural pronation, then wear will be near the ball of your feet and a little on your heel. If you have overpronation, wear will be on the inside edge of your shoes. Supination will have wear on the outer edge of your shoes.

Types of Running Shoes

Cushioning:

Cushioning shoes provide better shock absorption and a little medial (arch side) support. They’re best for runners who are mild pronators or supinators. Cushioning shoes are also good for neutral runners during off-pavement runs.

Stability:

Stability shoes help reduce basic pronation. They’re good for neutral runners or those who have mild to moderate overpronation. They often include a “post” in the midsole. Due to their extra support features, nearly all trail-running shoes fall into this category.

Motion Control:

Motion control shoes offer features such as stiffer heels to counter overpronation. They’re best for runners who exhibit moderate to severe overpronation.

Barefoot/Minimalist:

Barefoot/Minimalist shoes are supposed to be more in tune with your natural way of running. You may have heard or Vibram shoes. They basically look like gloves for your feet. They are designed to fit the contour and shape of your foot more naturally. A lot of people love them, but try them to make sure they are the right fit for you.

Useful Links:

RoadRunnerSport.com (Shoedog) – Useful tool to help you pick out the right shoe for your feet

Runner’s World Magazine – Useful tips,tools, and training exercises for beginner runners to professionals.

Cell Phones: Stretching your Pockets (Literally)

Quick Summary:

Cellphones may be getting cheaper and more feature rich, but the sizes are getting bigger and bigger. We are at a crossroad in the cellphone world: Do people want their phones to be more like computers, and if so, shouldn’t they be made larger? I feel that cellphones should be the way they are and should not be getting any bigger. (This is an opinion article. Let us know your opinion on the poll at the bottom).

Remember these days?

Did you notice something odd about this picture? Yes, he’s checking the time on his watch and not his cellphone. Wait, that’s a cellphone? It may appear that cellphones this size are just relics of the past. If you were to follow logic, then you would know that as technology improves, the size of any given technology shrinks. Think about microchips, computers, and even your video games systems are slimming.

I was cool before cool was cool. Or something like that.

When cells phone first appeared in pop culture of the 80s/90s they were cool. The “it” thing to have (nothing has really changed). If you grew up in the 80s/90s then you will probably remember the Zack Morris Cell phone.

Yeah… this guy. Cellphones represented what was cool and hip in the world. Everyone knew when you were talking on one because it was bigger than your head.

If you want to go back further in time, they were even bigger. The first ones had their own carrying case and an antenna a mile long. I remember riding in the back seat of my dad’s car with the antenna going through the moon roof (OK I exaggerated a little). Seriously though, they were even bigger and less portable.

Blah Blah Blah. Who cares about the cell phones of yesterday?

Well, I do. I don’t want to go back to those times where having a cell phone was equal parts burden and equal parts cool. I will admit, having a mini computer in my pocket would have been near impossible 10 years ago. In fact, I can’t live without the ability to access the internet, find directions, or playing video games while waiting for my doctor’s appointment. In fact, yesterday, I may have auto-tuned a worse song than Rebecca Black and I did it all on my phone. But that is beside the point. I’m on the feature bandwagon as much as the next techie, but there has to be a limit.See. We need limits.

Seriously, what is the fuss all about?

Let me go over my brief history with “modern” cell phones. My first phone was a Kyocera. It was great because of 2 things: it kept time and the blue screen reminded me of my alarm clock. It was small like a candy bar and had this fun quirk where the screen didn’t work unless you pressed the 3 on the dial pad. After a couple of years tolerating that nonsense, I bought the Motorola Razr. It was cool, slim, had a camera, and the screen was in more than one color. It was the Zack Morris of cell phones. I thought to myself, “self, I can’t imagine how small cell phones will get. One day I’ll have a cell phone in my watch.”

Complete with a mini-antenna

Well, that never happened. I was like everyone else; I wanted features and features I got. I bought an iPhone and took pictures, typed emails, wrote research papers, and listened to my music anywhere and everywhere. It was bliss. I didn’t mind that the phone was bigger than my previous phone. The upgraded features were a perfectly good trade-off for the difference in size.

Enter the next wave of cell phones: Droid Razr, Samsung Galaxy SII, and LG Optimus 4X HD

                

What do they all have in common? They are huge! I already have enough in my pockets including my keys, wallet, loose change, chapstick, and other small items. I hardly have room for a bigger phone. If you haven’t seen the new wave of phones, then you’re in for a treat. Hold your hand out flat with your palm facing you.  Next grab a small envelope in your hand. The cell phones are like that.

Notice a difference? Neither do I.

They may be thin, but the size of the screen is getting bigger. I understand this for a couple of reasons. First, the screen is easier to see when it’s bigger for viewing the internet and videos. This will cause less eye strain. The second, as cells phones are increasingly getting more complicated and more features are put on there, they need a larger screen to display all the new information. Quickly cell phones are blurring the line between laptops, tablets, and regular phones.

Is bigger really better?

I’m not trying to cynical or anything, but I think cells phones are pushing their limits on size. It’s not necessarily a huge issue right now. In fact, I’m OK with the current size of cell phones, but I’m afraid that they are just going to get too big. I just want to be reasonably assured that when I look for phones in the near future,  that I’m not confusing the tablet and the cell phone sections.  Besides, I’ve found that I’m not very far from a laptop or computer at any given moment. I just don’t need to carry one in my pocket too.

Not my back pocket…

Tell us: What do you think?

How to Buy: A Diamond

Welcome to the World of Diamonds:

A Brief History:

Diamonds: women love them and men fear them. Surely they must be so expensive because of their beauty and rarity. Well, maybe half of that is true. In the past, diamonds use to be quite rare. They were first thought to be recognized and mined in India and used in religious icons. The rise in popularity began around the 19th century because of increasing supply, improved cutting and polishing techniques, growth in the world economy, and successful advertising campaigns. It is true that extracting diamonds is quite labor intensive and that very few are actually worth cutting into the diamonds you see. (Only about 1 in 1 million diamonds are quality one carat stones, only 1 in 5 million are 2-carat; and 1 in 15 million are 3-carat).

So they are not that rare, then why are they so expensive?

Let me introduce you to De Beers. If you haven’t heard of them, then try to imagine the biggest cartel that you can think of and multiply that times 100. They are that big and powerful in the diamond industry.  De Beers was founded by Cecil Rhodes, who also founded the state of Rhodesia which later became Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Rhodes Scholarship is also named after him, and funded by his estate.

He started by selling water pumps during the diamond rush in South Africa in 1867. Over the next 20 years, he expanded into mines and eventually created a monopoly by owning all the diamond mines in the country. De Beers controls the price of diamonds from the mines to the hands of your jewelers. In the early days, De Beers were believe to hold 90% of the market. However, today it’s more likely 60% to 75%. (Source)

Is there anything I can do to save some money?

Actually, there is to a small degree. We’ll go into detail on how to pick the right diamond so you aren’t getting ripped off. Retailers know  that diamonds are expensive, and they will try to up-sell poor quality diamonds to unsuspecting victims. Don’t be one of them. By having a basic understanding and shopping around, you can find a great quality diamond within your price range.

Choosing the right diamond:

For most people, purchasing a diamond is a new and scary experience. However, with a little basic knowledge, you can save a little money and feel more confident in your purchase. There are 5 main characteristics that you should be looking for in a quality diamond: Shape, Cut, Clarity, Color, and Carat Weight.

Shape:

Round:

By far the most popular shape of diamond. For hundreds of years, diamond cutters have been examining the light properties to maximize the fire and brilliance. Fire is the flashes of colored light reflected back from within a diamond, similar to a prism. Brilliance is the amount of light reflected up through the surface of a diamond.

Princess:

Is the most popular non-round diamond. It’s unique cut and brilliance make it a popular choice for engagement rings. Princess cut diamonds should be more square-shaped. Make sure you look at the length-to-width ratio. The closer you get to 1.0 the better.

Bluenile.com

Cushion:

This unique cut has been popular for more than a century. Cushion cuts are also known as “Pillow Cuts.” They have rounded corners and more facets (cuts) to create more brilliance. Cushions cuts look great in either squares or rectangles.

Bluenile.com

Marquise:

Marquise diamonds are known for maximizing carat  weight, giving you a much larger looking stone. Even the shape of the stone can make fingers appear longer and slender.

Bluenile.com

Heart:

The heart shape is a relatively new shape. The heart is the ultimate symbol of love. This shape diamond is becoming more and more popular.

Bluenile.com

Pear:

The pear shape is often called a “teardrop” because of its pointed and rounded ends. Pear shapes can also make fingers look longer and slender.

Bluenile.com

Oval:

An oval diamond has beautiful brilliance that’s similar to a round diamond. Oval diamonds are also very popular because they can make fingers look longer and slender.

 Bluenile.com

Emerald:

Emeralds have to be some of the cleanest diamonds you can purchase. Because you can see through the diamond, they often have the highest clarity. You’ll notice any imperfections quickly in an emerald cut. To get  the best quality, look for a Length to Width ratio between 1.30 and 1.40.

 Bluenile.com

Radiant:

Trimmed corners are the signature of this diamond, and they help make the radiant-cut a popular for jewelry. Similar to Princess cut, you should look for a square shape around a ratio of 1 to 1.05.

Bluenile.com

Picking out a shape is all a matter of preference. Certain shapes have more sparkle and other shapes maximize the diamond size. Pick something you like and you can never go wrong.

Cut:

Cut is one of the most important characteristics of getting a quality diamond. The better the cut, the more beautiful the diamond will look. If you get a diamond with a poor cut, then a lot of the light that should be reflected out the top will be lost through the bottom. Think about the light as “Sparkle.” If the diamond is cut too shallow, the sparkle will be lost out the bottom. If the diamond is cut too deep, the sparkle will be lost out the sides. An Ideal cut will reflect the light around and put it back out the top where your eyes can enjoy it.

  • Ideal cut: Represents roughly the top 3% of diamond quality based on cut. Reflects nearly all light that enters the diamond.
  • Very good cut: Represents roughly the top 15% of diamond quality based on cut. Reflects nearly as much light as the ideal cut, but for a lower price.
  • Good cut: Represents roughly the top 25% of diamond quality based on cut. Reflects most light that enters. Much less expensive than a very good cut.
  • Fair cut: Represents roughly the top 35% of diamond quality based on cut. Still a quality diamond, but a fair cut will not be as brilliant as a good cut. (Source)

Clarity:

Clarity is how clear the diamond is. Clarity is typically graded in 5 categories:

  1. Flawless (F)/Internally Flawless (IF)
  2. Very Very Slightly Included (VVS1, VVS2)
  3. Very Slightly Included (VS1, VS2)
  4. Slightly Included (S1, S2, sometimes you’ll see S3)
  5. Included (I1, I2, I3, etc)

The chart to the right explains what you can see at each clarity grade.

Once a diamond is set, a lot of the imperfections will be unseen. Just make sure that the diamond looks clean to your eye.

Color:

Color actually refers to the lack of color in a diamond. The clearer or the less color the better. (Note: there are diamonds which are blue, pink, yellow, and other colors. We’ll assume you aren’t buying one of these diamonds) The color scale starts from D all the way to Z. D is considered colorless and as you get closer to Z, the more yellow will appear in the diamond. Look at the chart below to see the differences in color:

Carat Weight:

Carats (ct.) are a measurement of the diamonds weight, not necessarily the size of the diamond. Remember, certain diamond shapes can make the size look bigger when the carat weight is lower. Marquise, pear, and certain emerald cuts look bigger compared to their carat weights.

What Carat Weight is Right for Me?

To choose the best carat weight of diamond, consider the size of her finger, the size of your setting, and most importantly, your budget. In the selection process, most women today aspire to owning an engagement diamond of at least 1 carat. Statistically, the average size sold for engagement is between 1/2 and 3/4 ct. Carat weight affects the value of a diamond by about 10-20% for each step in size difference. Also, “magic sizes” refer to major carat weight categories, for example exactly 1.00 carat, or larger, and can prompt “price premiums”.

The Hidden Characteristics: Price and Certificates

As mentioned above, certain size carats yield a premium in diamond prices. The “magical numbers” are .5 ct, .75 ct, 1.0 ct, 1.5 ct, and 2.0 ct. If you’re buying something bigger than this then you’re already aware of the premiums. If you’re looking to save money, buy a diamond that is under these price premiums. For instance, you can save a bundle if you buy a .98 ct instead of a 1.0 ct.

Certificates also play a big factor in pricing. A diamond certificate, also called a diamond grading report, is a report created by a team of gemologists. The diamond is evaluated, measured, and analyzed using trained eyes, a jeweler’s loupe, a microscope, and other industry tools. A completed certificate includes an analysis of the diamond’s dimensions, clarity, color, polish, symmetry, and other characteristics. Many round diamonds will also include a cut grade on the report. Some of the most well-known are GIA, AGS, EGL, IGI,  and HRD. Typically GIA and AGS are considered the best (and you’ll pay a premium for these).

If you choose not to get a diamond with a certificate, be forewarned, you could be getting ripped off. Jewelers will try to encourage you to buy one that they rated themselves and tout that they are as good if not better than the big diamond graders. They might even have GIA certificates, but they aren’t there to help you find a diamond. They are there to sell you diamonds. Their incentive is to maximize their profits which could mean selling a less than quality diamond. Let’s put it this way, if a jeweler knows that he can charge more for a 1 ct. diamond with a certification than a 1 ct. without, then why wouldn’t they get it certified? It makes no sense to us, so it should make no sense to you.

We recommend buying a diamond with a certificate because it will provide details and dimensions on the diamond and provide piece of mind that you’re getting what you paid for.

Online versus Retail Store:

You can save a lot of money buying online. The best deals in diamonds are available online. There is one problem, you can’t see the diamond before you buy it. You have to trust that the retailer is being honest with you about the clarity, cut, and color. Call us old-fashioned, but we like to “see” the diamond in person. You’ll get a better feel for the quality by being able to see it. You can look for any imperfections that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to see online.

Useful Links

Holloway Cut Advisor Tool – This is a great tool if you’re buying a round cut diamond to determine how good of a quality you’re getting. Their forums are also extremely good resource of information.

Bluenile.com – Bluenile is one of the largest online diamond vendors. They have plenty of good material to help you do more research.

The Diamond Buying Guide – Also a lot of information in helping you buy a diamond. They have some handy “checklists” that you can take with you on your diamond buying hunt.

Whew. This was a lot of information. Hopefully it has been of some use to you. If there is something you would like to see us write about let us know.

Are all HDMI cables created equal?

Quick Summary:

There is NO difference between a $100 HDMI cable and a $3 HDMI cable. The salesperson may try to confuse you, but just remember that your only paying more for the same exact thing.

Why you’re being tricked:

If you haven’t been shopping for a new HDTV, then you may not have a need for HDMI cables. However, if you have gone recently, you’ll notice that they seem to cost an arm and a leg. Many popular retail brands will often tout about their superior quality and extra features. If you look at the packaging, you will notice that they will downright lie about the “advantages” of their cables over the bargain brands. Take a look at the example below:

Now tell me, did you understand any of that? Probably not. This is how they like to confuse you by telling you about all these great technologies they put into their cables. They’ll even tell you that these same technologies are “worth” $100 retail. In fact, the profits made from overpricing these cables are astounding. These cables shouldn’t cost you more than $5-$10 at the most, yet “Popular” brands will make nearly 80%+ profits on each cable they sell. Ok, so now you know that your being tricked. Here’s why there is no difference between a $100 HDMI cable and a $3 HDMI cable.

The Science of Truth:

HDMI cables use what is called TMDS (Transition Minimized Differential Signaling). TMDS is a technology for transmitting high-speed serial data. HDMI cables send the information in two different ways. The HDMI cable sends out a signal, similar to a computer in series of 1s and 0s. At the source (Blu-Ray Player) The signal may be arranged 10101010. Once the information is fed through your cable, the series may look more like 11110000. It does this so that the number of transitions is minimized.

The second part of the DS is from the cable itself. Each and every HDMI cable uses small copper wires. Two versions of data are sent over the cables. One of the versions uses an “out of phase” which is the real signal. Your TV receives the signal and puts the out of phase back into phase and compares the two signals. If there is any noise that is picked up, it is ignored. This is probably all you need to know for now.

If you’re snoozing by now, I understand. Just know this: the signal is digital. It either works or it doesn’t.

Other Tricks of the trade:

Because the cable is digital, it doesn’t have the same problem as traditional cable box cables. Cables as you know them can get static and create snow in the picture. HDMI cables simply don’t have this problem. Either the signal works or it doesn’t. There is no snow. There is no need for gold-plating, high density shielding, large gauge wires, etc. Also, don’t be fooled by claims of being “rated up to 240 Hz.” If someone tells you this to make a sale, they are lying to you. The conversion to 120 or 240 Hz is done inside the TV. There is no such thing as a 120 Hz or 240 Hz signal. Blu-ray’s 1080p/60 is the highest-bandwidth, non-computer source you can have, and even that is only 60 Hz.

So save your money and buy the off brand. You and your wallet will be happier.

The Beginning of a Good Thing

Welcome Deal Ninja Fans,

At Deal Ninja, our goal is simple: to save you money on the things you love.  We want to feature articles that are relevant and informative to your shopping experience. We all know there are deals out there, but it’s hard to keep track of all them. That’s where we step in, we’ll provide the best deals all in one place from over 1,000 retailers!

Although, we are just starting, we have our customers in mind on every decision we make. We are in the same position as all of you. The news says the economy is getting better, well, we just don’t see it that way. We all know someone who still doesn’t have a job and those of us that do are trying to pinch every penny. With that in mind, we want to feature articles on all kinds of subjects which will help you make better shopping decisions. This blog is dedicated to empowering you with knowledge so you don’t waste money and never pay retail prices again.

Want to know what we plan on writing about? Here is a sampling of articles we have lined up:

  • How to pick the Right size TV for your room
  • When to get the cheapest prices for your vacation
  • How to buy jewelry
  • Tablets Vs. Laptops: Which is better for your needs

Is there something you want to know about? Let us know and we’ll do the research and write about it. If we’re helping you, then we’re probably helping a lot more people. Stay tuned for our articles. This is just the beginning of a good thing!

The Deal Ninja Team

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