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The unofficial DDD 20% off FAQ, Fall 2006 edition

Old 10-09-06, 07:46 AM
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The unofficial DDD 20% off FAQ, Fall 2006 edition

Updated - November 5, 2006

It's getting to be that time again! If DDD holds to form, the next big 20% sale will be taking place in mid-November. In order to assist our newer members (and to avoid multiple threads starting up), I present to you the Fall 2006 edition of the unofficial Deep Discount DVD 20% off sale FAQ. If you have any questions that aren't covered in the FAQ, please post them in this thread, where they will be answered and added to the FAQ. If you'd like to help clarify anything in the FAQ, please do so.

If you want to complain about why you don't like DDD, go to the stores forum. Keep the bashing and "I had a bad experience" stuff out of this thread, please. I will be monitoring the thread closely, and I won't hesitate to report any threadcrappers / troublemakers / trolls to Pilot.

Please remember that this information is based on previous sales, and DDD can change conditions at their discretion including and up to not even having the sale.

Q What is the big deal, anyway?
A For a few years now DDD has held a major sale twice a year, usually in June and November. You get 20% off the purchase of almost every currently available DVD. With DDD's already low prices, this can turn out to be great savings.

Q "Almost every currently available"???
A Yes. Sometimes a company might request that their movies not be included in the sale. I have no idea why they'd do this, but that's what happened in the fall of 2005 when ADV Films (a major distributor of anime, as well as the Farscape DVD series) requested to not be involved in the sale, and in the June 2006 sale Media Blasters (another anime distributor) made a similar request and had their products were completely removed from the Deep Discount site for the duration of the sale, and ADV left their anime titles but pulled their Farscape Starburst editions a couple days in. Some lucky buyers managed to order pulled releases right when the sale started, and others were able to call DDD and convince an unknowing customer service rep to take a discounted order for the items. It's quite possible that ADV or Media Blasters will back out of future sales as well, so grab those films up as soon as the sale starts.

Q What about pre-orders?
A Pre-orders do not quallify for the 20% off. If the item you want is released during the sale, however, you can order it once it's officially released and get the discount.

Q Does this work with other sales that DDD is having?
A Usually other sales end before the 20% off sale starts. In the June 2006 sale, however, some sales still continued and you could take 20% off the sale price.

Q What about storage units, UMD's (PSP movies), video games, movie posters, toys or any other non DVD item on the DDD site?
A Media storage like racks & cases are included, as are UMD movies and posters. Toys and video games are not included. On a personal note, even at 20% off the posters are still overpriced. They aren't full-size movie posters, they're about a third to a quarter of the size. In many cases a quick trip to eBay or another online poster site can get you the full-size official poster for a comparable price.

Q Any other limitations?
A Yes, you can't order more than 5 of any one title in one order. DDD reserves the right to further limit quantities at their discretion.

Q So when does it start?
A No one knows. The best we can tell you is that the first sale is usually around mid-June, and the second one is usually around mid to late-November. Many times in the past, the sale has started on a Thursday afternoon. Please note that there is never a guarantee that the sale will be held, it's always speculation until officially announced.

Q How long does the sale run?
A Usually anywhere from 8 to 10 days.

Q So how will I know when the next sale starts?
A There will be a thread on the main page of the Bargains Forum. It usually goes up anywhere from a few hours to 24 hours before the sale kicks off. The announcement of the June 2006 sale was first made in the FAQ thread. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not start threads asking when the sale will begin. It's considered bad form, and you will be verbally abused by many people until the thread is locked. This is a major event, so trust me when I say that you will not miss the announcement if you are a regular visitor to the forums. If DDD has your e-mail address on file, you will receive several e-mails from them during the course of the sale.

Q How do I get my 20% off?
A At the checkout screen there is a place for you to enter a checkout code. Enter your code and the 20% discount will be applied to all eligible items. The box to enter the code is on your first checkout page where you select shipping. It is directly under the 4 shipping options. Some people have said that the box does not show up for them. In that case, it is recommended that you clear your cache and try again. If that fails, try a different browser (most of these complaints come from FireFox users).

Q What is the code?
A There are several different codes, a list of them will be posted in the thread announcing the sale. You can use each code one time during the sale. Usually the codes are the same from sale to sale, sometimes a few will change as different groups sponsor the event. Here's some of the codes that have been used:

DVDTALK
USATODAY
NYTIMES
SUPERSALE
DVDPRICESEARCH
SUMMERSALE
YAHOO
ESPN
LATIMES
XM
SOUTHSIDE
WGN

Q Is this one of those sales where the prices are raised the night before?
A Over the last few years, that has been a hotly debated topic here at DVDTalk. In March of 06 a thread was started to track prices throughout the next few months to see if any were raised when the sale begain. The final verdict seems to be that 99% of the prices remained the same or went down. The other 1% consisted of prices that went up - sometimes only a few cents, other times high enough that you weren't saving anything from the regular price after 20% off - and some titles were changed from available to having a new release date. Some of these were planned price drops, others looked to be items DDD was witholding from the sale. There is another price tracking thread for the November sale, which you can find at the following location:

http://forum.dvdtalk.com/showthread.php?t=479631

Q So these are the best prices I'll get all year?
A Of course not. You can always count on great Black Friday deals, pre-Christmas sales from Amazon.com, etc. The difference is that the DDD sale is on practically everything, whereas other sales are more specific (BBC shows, TV shows on DVD from a certain studio, etc). Make sure to check around and see if you're getting the best price.

Q I checked around, and I can buy something cheaper than DDD's listed price. Can I price match and then get the 20% taken off the new price?
A No. You can either price match or get 20% off according to DDD's guidelines. However some people have reported that they were able to convince the DDD rep they dealt with to take 20% off as well. This is definitely a YMMV (your mileage may vary) situation, and do not expect it to work. Also, remember that DDD will pricematch the entire price, which means they include shipping costs if you're pricematching an online site.

Q I've read that some people have had bad experiences with Deep Discount, how safe is it to order from them?
A With a company this large, doing hundreds of transactions a day (probably more, especially during big sales), there's bound to be mistakes made. 99.999999+% of the time, a quick phone call or e-mail to DDD gets the problem fixed. For every bad experience, you will find many, many accounts of positive experiences.

Q I haven't received an order confirmation, usually I have one within a few minutes!
A As it says at checkout, you get an order confirmation within 24 hours. Wait that long, maybe even 36 hours, before being concerned that your order didn't go through. Keep a list of what you ordered so that you can place the order again if necessary. If the possibility of this happening really concerns you, don't place an order at the last minute.

Q It's been 10 business days and I haven't received my order yet!
A 10 days after you placed your order or 10 days after you received a shipping notice? Remember, this is one of the busiest times for DDD. While the speed of UPS or the USPS isn't changed by it, the time it takes to process and fill your order does. So while we're all accustomed to getting an order confirmation immediately and having a shipping notice in 24-48 hours, it could take up to a week just for the warehouse to put your order together. So remember to base your expectations off of the date your order was shipped, not placed.

The closer you are to DDD's warehouse (I assume it's located at their listed address of Itasca, IL), the faster you will get your items. If you live somewhere like California or Florida, you'll probably be closer to the 10 business days if not a little longer. In cases like this, it's strongly recommended that you build up a big order and pay the extra few bucks to have it shipped priority mail. Sometimes, if you place a large enough order, DDD will automatically upgrade it to UPS 2 day shipping as it's cheaper to send that route instead of going through the USPS.

The thing to remember about media mail (which is what DDD uses for free shipping) is that it is the cheapest way to ship, and the lowest priority. My local post office explained it to me like this - all the higher priority mail (as in everything else) is loaded on the truck first. If there is still room, media mail items are added until the truck is full. Another explanation has been given that all Media Mail is saved until it can fill a truck. It's unkown if this is a regional difference or not.

Q It's been a week since I placed my order, and when I check the status everything is still "in process."
A See the above answer. This is a busy time for DDD, and although they normally have an order processed and ready to ship in a day or two, it takes longer and longer as the sale goes on and orders build up.

Q Hey, this sale is pretty good! Do they do this with their other site, DeepDiscountCD.com?
A Unfortunately they don't.

Q How about Deep Discount's Canada site?
A No.

Q Is there anything else I should know about?
A Yes.

1. If you get your items and the print-out happens to list something as shipped, but then someone at the warehouse has written next to it (or stamped) something like "not available, will ship soon," call DDD immediately. This happened to me with an order and if I hadn't called it never would have shipped as their computer had it listed as being sent to me, then someone later down the line found that it wasn't available at the moment.

2. When your order arrives, get the packing list and make sure that your entire order arrived. You should do this any time you have an order consisting of many items, but it especially applies during the sale.

Q What other resources should I take advantage of when checking on prices or things to buy?
A Your biggest resource is right here in the DVDTalk Bargains forum, where many of your fellow DVDTalkers share info. Speedy1961 posts the weekly deals to be found at Best Buy, Target, and Circuit City. There are threads dedicated to people listing what they have bought so far during the sale. There's posts detailing bargains in other stores.

There's also DavisDVD.com, where you can get a detailed list of most of the new releases each week. It's not uncommon for people to go back a few months or so in the listings to see if anything snuck out to the shelves that they were unaware of.
http://www.davisdvd.com/weekly/calendar.html

Also in DVD Talk's Review DB you can search and sort by date:
http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/list....Type=DVD+Video

And all sorts of variables:
http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/search.php

Last edited by MovieExchange; 11-05-06 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 10-11-06, 07:16 PM
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Nice work.

Didn't see it in the FAQ but maybe you can add something about exactly where the coupon entry box is located on the checkout page since every sale someone cant find. Sometimes they need to either clear their cookies, log out and log back in or switch browers in order for the box to show up. Just a suggestion, didnt see it covered above or maybe I missed it.
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Old 10-11-06, 07:20 PM
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also worth noting

The Official DDD Price-Watch / Audit Thread
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Old 10-12-06, 10:28 PM
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This FAQ is excellent. It answered some questions that I didn't even know I had. ;-)

Nice job.

Bob
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Old 10-12-06, 10:53 PM
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Despite this excellent sticky, how many of the dreaded 'when's the next...' posts do we expect to see?
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Old 10-13-06, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by MovieExchange
My local post office explained it to me like this - all the higher priority mail (as in everything else) is loaded on the truck first. If there is still room, media mail items are added until the truck is full.


http://www.davisdvd.com/weekly/calendar.html
Great work, thank you!

One note though, our local postmaster explained media mail handling to me a little different. He claims that the way media mail works is, all the media mail that is generated sits until there is enough of it to fill a truck, then it ships out (within reason of course). So, if there is only half a truck of media mail, it might sit there for a few days until enough accumulates to fill the truck.

Anyways, thought I might kick that into the 'pile'.

Have a good one,
George -bub
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Old 10-13-06, 11:16 AM
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Thanks for the comments / compliments, all!

FAQ has been updated to reflect the following:

1. Location of the discount code box

2. Clarified that this is for the Deep Discount US site only, not DDD Canada

3. Added Bub's description of Media Mail shipping


Originally Posted by Cameron
Already in the FAQ, just after the list of codes.



Originally Posted by HE Pennypacker
Despite this excellent sticky, how many of the dreaded 'when's the next...' posts do we expect to see?
This is the 3rd time I've done the FAQ, and it seems that the number of "when's the next..." posts have decreased significantly, although they never go away completely.

Last edited by MovieExchange; 10-13-06 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 10-13-06, 05:33 PM
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Good job MovieExchange. Maybe add about out of stock titles when you order? Sale price is honored, shipped separately...
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Old 10-14-06, 12:23 AM
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A little more media mail info:
Smaller orders are delivered by the regular mailperson when there is room in their sack (it may sit in your local post office for a day or more) while a large order will be delivered via truck. My recent order of 17 DVDs was dropped off by a truck before the regular mail was delivered. Also, it appears to me that DDD media mail is moving noticeably faster than usual right now but when the upcoming sale takes place the channels will probably be flooded with holiday media.
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Old 10-14-06, 12:48 PM
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Let's also make it clear that during these sales, DDD uses media mail exclusively and during the nonsale period they will use priority mail. This is for those folks who want their things in a hurry and order, receive the typical DDD response of 5-10 days, and then it takes longer to get to you.
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Old 10-14-06, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by theflyingdutch
Let's also make it clear that during these sales, DDD uses media mail exclusively and during the nonsale period they will use priority mail. This is for those folks who want their things in a hurry and order, receive the typical DDD response of 5-10 days, and then it takes longer to get to you.
yeah i would imagine that if you lived in hawaii alaska or another country it would take longer
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Old 10-15-06, 11:56 AM
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Good Work. I order dvds for several people I know. I had trouble adding multiple shipping addresses (either by spliting order or creating multiple orders) last year. I have a permanent/home address, I had to delete my address in case I want to ship it new address. Again, I had to delete new address and type home address so that I can order dvds for me. This happens to INTERNATIONAL address as well. I hope, they have fixed that problem. Have they?
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Old 10-15-06, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by theflyingdutch
Let's also make it clear that during these sales, DDD uses media mail exclusively and during the nonsale period they will use priority mail. This is for those folks who want their things in a hurry and order, receive the typical DDD response of 5-10 days, and then it takes longer to get to you.

During the last sale, people were claiming that their items were upgraded to UPS shipping. I think it had something to do with the size of the order, as once it got past a certain size it was cheaper for DDD to ship it 2 day UPS than to media mail it. Can anyone clarify?
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Old 10-15-06, 02:37 PM
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Yeah, if I recall correctly, orders over $200 during the first few days of the sale were automatically upgraded to UPS shipping.
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Old 10-15-06, 07:46 PM
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I also think an important new addition would be:

Q Will HD-DVD and Blu-Ray discs be included in this sale?
A Yes, (in the most recent sale) both new HD formats were included.
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Old 10-15-06, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by wewantflair
Yeah, if I recall correctly, orders over $200 during the first few days of the sale were automatically upgraded to UPS shipping.
wasnt it decided that it was inconclusive what ddds reasoning was behind the shipping upgrade?
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Old 10-16-06, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by hindolio
wasnt it decided that it was inconclusive what ddds reasoning was behind the shipping upgrade?
yes, it had to do with dollar amount, in some instances, as well as past problems potentially with the delivery area (items missing, not being delivered, claimed to be stolen, etc). they can track better and/or request a signature. (if i remember correctly)
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Old 10-16-06, 01:19 PM
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Last sale, a shipment of mine was upgraded to UPS. The shipment value was about $100 US.

When UPS arrived at my door, brokerage fees (As I am in Canada) were over $80!!!

I had to refuse the order, and they sent it back to DDD. DDD would not re-send me an order until the refused order came back to them.

It was quite an ordeal. Canadian customers, be aware of this problem!!
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Old 10-16-06, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Damed
Last sale, a shipment of mine was upgraded to UPS. The shipment value was about $100 US.

When UPS arrived at my door, brokerage fees (As I am in Canada) were over $80!!!

I had to refuse the order, and they sent it back to DDD. DDD would not re-send me an order until the refused order came back to them.

It was quite an ordeal. Canadian customers, be aware of this problem!!
That was a big problem for Canadians. Maybe a notice up top that Canadians who wish to purchase should telephone their orders in (may cost them $ for a phone call (but if DDD ships right, will save alot of time, hassle and nerves), you can talk to the CSR directly and specify them to use USPS -> Canada Post & make damn sure they note it in the computer..)
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Old 10-16-06, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Damed
It was quite an ordeal. Canadian customers, be aware of this problem!!
DDD was made well-aware of the UPS upgrade issue for Canadian customers during the last sale. Did they ever respond and/or fix the issue? Seems to be a pretty damn_easy fix: if location = Canada, no UPS.
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Old 10-17-06, 10:25 AM
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Quick question before I update the FAQ to reflect the Canadian shipping issue - DDD's Canadian site's sales are usually worthless to American buyers because the site says they won't ship to the U.S. Will the American site always ship to Canada, or is this a special thing just for the 20% off sale?
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Old 10-17-06, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by MovieExchange
Quick question before I update the FAQ to reflect the Canadian shipping issue - DDD's Canadian site's sales are usually worthless to American buyers because the site says they won't ship to the U.S. Will the American site always ship to Canada, or is this a special thing just for the 20% off sale?
I always order from the US site as DDD Canada's prices are way out of whack.
Our Canadian dollar is now worth about 90 cents US but DDD Canada (and Amazon.ca as well) haven't adjusted the exchange difference for ages so some items are as much as 50% difference in price.

Anyway, I order quite often and I am in Ontario, Canada and never had a shipping issue so the must ship to us anytime. And I never (knock on wood) had anything sent by UPS but I will make sure by splitting an order if I have to.

James
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Old 10-17-06, 05:17 PM
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DDD combines split orders when shipping
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Old 10-17-06, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by bboisvert
DDD was made well-aware of the UPS upgrade issue for Canadian customers during the last sale. Did they ever respond and/or fix the issue? Seems to be a pretty damn_easy fix: if location = Canada, no UPS.
@#$%... DDD just shipped my 1st (of 2) order by UPS.
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Old 10-19-06, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Damed
Last sale, a shipment of mine was upgraded to UPS. The shipment value was about $100 US.

When UPS arrived at my door, brokerage fees (As I am in Canada) were over $80!!!

I had to refuse the order, and they sent it back to DDD. DDD would not re-send me an order until the refused order came back to them.

It was quite an ordeal. Canadian customers, be aware of this problem!!
I have ordered numerous times from them, with the largest order being $171.16, during their Criterion Collection sale. All of my orders have been shipped by USPS and delivered by Canada Post.

This is from their website:

Canadian Exception: We ship orders to Canada via USPS for our standard charge of $5.95. Estimated delivery time is 7 to 10 business days. U.S. funds only.
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