FaceCake augments your reality with clothing, makeup, and more

LAS VEGAS--Software usually isn't the flashiest category to show at CES, but FaceCake's 3D virtual dressing room might be an exception.

CNET previously covered FaceCake's Swivel product back in February 2011, when the company first introduced the idea of adding virtual dressing rooms to online retail sites. Now, the Swivel product is carried in select Bloomingdale's department stores. To be clear, augmented reality, the technology behind Swivel, is not exactly new, but FaceCake's implementation of it, both online and in brick-and-mortar stores, is certainly noteworthy.

Here at CES, we got a chance to try out … Read more

The best times of year to buy tech gear

I'm often asked if there's a particular time of year that's best to buy certain tech items, like tablets or TVs, or laptops.

My typical response is that it rarely makes sense to delay your purchase in hopes of scoring a better deal, because you can end up waiting forever. The TV you buy today will almost certainly cost less six months down the road -- but that's true of just about everything.

What's more, there are great bargains to be found pretty much every day of the year (as proven by my Cheapskate blog), … Read more

Polaroid opens Fotobar shops to print photos off mobile devices

It this era of immediacy, it can be hard to remember the days when people would shoot a roll of film on a camera and then wait to get it developed before they even saw the photos. In a sense, before digital photography, the only instant pictures that existed were Polaroids.

Now, Polaroid is looking to change up the game again. It's opening several retail shops called Fotobars where people can bring in digital photos they have stored on their mobile devices -- including those in apps like Facebook, Picasa and Instagram -- and get them printed.

"There … Read more

The best money-saving tips of 2012

2012 was hellish in a lot of ways, but it was a good year for saving money.

Indeed, as any regular reader of The Cheapskate or CNET's Marketplace knows, you could count on finding a good deal -- often a great deal -- pretty much every single day.

Of course, some of the best money-saving advice applies all year round, not just on a particular day. With that in mind, I've rounded up some of my favorite thrifty tips from 2012. (It probably goes without saying that most of them will work just as well in 2013.)

1. Always buy refurbished Apple gear.… Read more

Retail sites see 27 percent traffic jump on Christmas Day

Following suit with other major holiday shopping days, Christmas Day also saw a jump in online traffic this year.

According to marketing firm Experian, the top 500 U.S. retail sites had 27 percent more online traffic on this year's Christmas Day compared with last year. A total of 115.5 million people in the U.S. visited sites like Target, BestBuy, Sears, and Apple's online store.

Looking at the past seven-week period, online retail traffic went up 10 percent over 2011, and each major shopping holiday had traffic increases this year, according to Experian. Thanksgiving had a … Read more

Social commerce site Polyvore reaches 20M users

Before there was Pinterest, there was Polyvore.

The commerce site, which lets users curate and share virtual fashion and beauty collections, released some new numbers today, boasting a record year for revenue and user growth.

The site, which is about three years older than Pinterest, said today that it has 20 million users, roughly five million shy of Pinterest's last reported user base. But, while Pinterest was making headlines gaining users at lightning speed this year, Polyvore been bolstering its brand among the fashionistas and, the company said today, pulling in big retail dollars.

Polyvore users create visual collections, … Read more

Get a free 1-year membership to ShopRunner

Talk about good timing!

From now through Dec. 31, you can get a free 1-year membership to ShopRunner -- the service that affords, among other things, free 2-day shipping from dozens of big-name stores. (Use offer code runner when filling out the registration form.) That may come in awfully handy for you last-minute gift shoppers.

Before I go any further, and to help prevent another SiriusXM Internet Radio-style debacle, I must point out that this offer is ostensibly for American Express Platinum Card members only. Consequently, it could disappear at any time, and it's even possible that ShopRunner will … Read more

Christmas 2012 online shopping deadlines

If you're reading this, it probably means you haven't finished your Christmas shopping yet. There's still time, however. We've put together a list of some popular online retailers and their deadlines for getting those last-minute tech gifts delivered by Christmas.

These deadlines apply to the 48 contiguous U.S. states only and on items that are in stock. Some retailers with physical stores may have last-minute in-store pickup options as well. Check out the links to each store's deadlines for more details. Choose these shipping options by the listed cutoff date to receive … Read more

Browse Amazon's wares in an entirely new way with Yasiv

If you're like me, you spend a considerable portion of your holiday shopping poking around Amazon, hoping to zero in on the perfect gift for each person on your list. If you find jumping from one product to another via Amazon's "Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought" list isn't getting you anywhere, I suggest you give Yasiv a try.

Yasiv calls itself a "visual recommendation service." What it does is show you a web of related products in response to a search query. At the top of the page is a pull-down … Read more

Get $5 off your next $25 Amazon purchase

Having posted a smattering of Facebook-oriented deals in the past, let me preface this one by saying I'm aware many of you don't use Facebook. Or don't like Facebook. You're sick and tired of companies trying to market to you on Facebook. You don't think companies should require a Facebook account in exchange for a coupon or credit or giveaway. Facebook? Barf!

So, yeah, I get that. Just thought I'd save you a little comment-section grouse time.

If, on the other hand, you like easy savings and don't hold Facebook in the same … Read more