Bob’s Not Happy About Holiday Tool Deals Coverage

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It’s officially the start of the holiday deal season, which means a significant uptick in tool deals coverage.

Every year there’s one or two readers that write in about how much deal coverage there is.

This year, Bob’s the first to say something:

out of 20 posts currently on your front page, 16 are about sales at other retailers that you are promoting, 3 are actual editorials, and 1 blurs the line and might as well be promoting a product.

I understand you have to make a dollar, but holy ****. What happened to the content!

So, here’s the thing. It’s *that* time of year again.

Come Black Friday and Cyber Monday, everyone is in a shopping frenzy and there are so many more questions than I can easily answer.

“Is [tool] on sale?” “Will [tool] be on sale?” “Is this year’s deal on [tool] better than last year’s?” “Can we expect a better promo?”

Answering these questions takes time.

Then there are always the “[tool deal] is out of stock, how did I miss it?” emails.

So for deals like the Dewalt organizer special buy at Home Depot, it needs its own post as soon as it’s available.

“What drill bits are on sale?” Best Dewalt Drill Bit Deals for Black Friday 2023 answers the “what,” “where,” and hopefully “is it right for me?”

It literally takes all the time available to analyze everything – or at least as much as possible – in time before Thanksgiving, and it’s still not enough.

There’s a lot of work involved.

This isn’t about “making a dollar.” Frankly, I can do a lot less to earn a lot more.

Personally, I love this time of year – filtering out the money-saving deals from the “meh” is fun. I try to focus on the “ooh, I’d buy that!” deals, as well as the ones I know are high-interest.

I loved shopping for tool deals before ToolGuyd, and certainly still enjoy it now, 15 years later.

The only difference now is I’m doing it for others too, and not just myself.

There are always very few people saying “less tool deals” compared to the abundance of questions and requests I field this time of year asking for MORE.

When people ask “is this a good deal” or “will there be a deal on…”, those are specific requests. “Uch, too many tool deals” is a valid complaint, but you’re not exactly asking for something specific.

If you want a pizza but with no tomato sauce and no cheese, what do you want? Just crust? Hot sauce, fried chicken bites, and cheddar? Barbecue sauce, chicken, onions, and provolone? Speak up. “Too many deals” doesn’t tell me what you want.

If it’s up to me to guess, I’ll lean towards more popular content – tool deals are at the top of the list this time of year.

Keep in mind that I can see what’s interesting, impactful, and popular, and what’s not. Some people will voice their interests but most won’t. The silent majority will make their interests known via clicks and views.

Despite my best efforts, I can’t do it all. By the time Black Friday hits, there’s always list of “darn, I couldn’t get to it” analyses, roundups, and buying guides.

There won’t just be deal posts over the next 4 weeks, but the deals coverage will be front and rear-heavy. Once I get the most timely ones out of the way, there’s some breathing room, and then the last 1-1/2 weeks before Thanksgiving will be the busiest.

Here’s how many deals were tagged as holiday deals over the years:

2013: 21
2014: 43
2015: 70
2016: 77
2017: 82
2018: 78
2019: 115
2020: 109
2021: 79
2022: 4

There will be a couple more individual deal posts over the next week, and then I’ll shift to an indexing strategy that works better for future reference.

If you want my opinion on something that’s not going to be available for sale until say March 2024, there will be time for that – starting again in December, unless it’s relevant to readers’ near-future purchasing decisions.

This time of year I always set aside time for content other than deals, and it’s allocated based on relevance, timeliness, and reader interests and requests.

All of my testing right now is of timely tools, such as newly launched tools that will be widely available as special buys, high-impact comparisons, and similar.

A lot of readers are looking to buy tools over the next 4-5 weeks. Long-gone are the days when I can simply write out a bunch of links from an ad-scan the week before Thanksgiving.

If you don’t like reading about tool deals, skip those headlines or simply check back in December. Make a specific request – “I want to see more of… [fill in the blank],” and I can try to accommodate it.

And, to dispel the common complaint, NO, home centers’ “special buys” are not an attempt by tool brands and retailers to dump inventory. When 2,000 stores each have 50 of something in stock, plus an extra 4,000 in the warehouse for online fulfilment, that’s not an “inventory dump.”

Maybe there are exceptions to this, but it’s rare.

So Bob, I’m truly sorry that you’re unhappy about the holiday tool deal coverage. If you have an immediate interest or need, please let me know and I can try to work it in. If not, sit tight or check back the week after Thanksgiving. We go through the same cycle every year.

If anyone has a request, whether for a deal analysis, potential deal you’d like me to be on the lookout for, or for specific review, buying guide or related content, please let me know.

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