Find Possible Deals on FMTC's Blog

Find Potential Deals on FMTC’s Blog

I've previously written about FMTC's amazing affiliate directory and their essential browser extension. But did you know they also offer a low-tech way to help bloggers and shoppers alike?

I love using their New FMTC Merchants blog posts both for work here on HIF and for personal shopping! Every week, I look forward to scanning their list of merchant changes, like this one from last month.

Why do I like these posts? Because I've noticed that discounts, sales, and coupons can often increase when a merchant joins a new network!

How Affiliate Networks Work

There are roughly a dozen options for merchants when it comes to running their affiliate program. They range from having none at all to using in-house, internal systems to outsourcing it to 3rd party networks. This last option is by far the most popular. The four largest networks are Commission Junction, Impact, Rakuten, and ShareASale, but there are plenty others. Merchants then hire a network to manage their affiliate program for them.

When my friends ask me to explain affiliate networks, I always liken them to banks. Each bank has their own pros and cons, but essentially they all work the same – they protect and store your money. I could keep all my money under a mattress and hand-deliver cash to my utility companies each month. But it makes more sense to outsource handling my money to a company that specializes in it.

I don't know about you, but switching banks is always a task I tend avoiding. Transferring all your money from one bank to the other is usually a simple task, but it's all the smaller details that are annoying. You have to order new checks, setup new online accounts, reconfigure all your direct deposits, then make sure your monthly withdraws are set.

Now go one step further. When's the best time to order new checks – before you change banks or after? It's after! Otherwise, you're stuck with checks for an old bank account.

The same loose logic sometimes applies to merchants! Like switching banks, there's a bit of legwork required when a merchant joins or switches networks. Thus, when's the best time to launch a new multi-month ad campaign with discounts and deals? It's certainly not in the months leading up to a network switch, because the last thing a merchant wants is traffic being driven to a soon-to-be-obsolete affiliate system.

However, once a network switch has been made, it's the perfect time to sync a marketing push for a new ad campaign. Which, in turn, is a great time to release limited discounts, sales, and promotions. In effect, merchant's changing networks can trigger an avalanche of deals!

Watch for Affiliate Network News!

Which brings us back to FMTC's affiliate news blog and their weekly new merchant posts.

FMTC New Merchants Weekly Listing

Let's pretend I'm a huge fan of Keith James and their products. Hats aren't something I'm buying all the time. But given that Keith James joined Rakuten last month, now would be the perfect time to rejoin their rewards club, sign my freebie email up to their newsletter, and follow their social media accounts. Chances are I'm more likely to find a unique discount for them now versus anytime last summer or fall.

It's not a foolproof method, but it's definitely a little trick I've shared with my friends and family. It tends to work best for smaller merchants. Your Walmarts and Targets of the world don't always do this, but your smaller boutique and niche brands frequently do.

So if you have a favorite online vendor, store, brand or merchant then I highly recommend keeping an eye of FMTC's blog! You just might stumble across a sale you wouldn't have otherwise found.

FMTC’s Affiliate Browser Extension

As I've mentioned before, I'm a huge fan of FMTC's affiliate database directory. I've used it daily for years while working on HIF and it doesn't look like that'll end any time soon because they have a new Chrome browser extension.

This allows FMTC subscribers to swiftly access affiliate links and merchant information without needing to load the database each time, all from within your browser while still on a merchant's website. If you run a website or any sort of business that works with affiliates, I can't recommend it enough.

This upgrade might seem small at first glance, but it completely cuts down on the number of clicks and time it takes to check on a merchant. Even if it only saves you a minute or two each day, that time saved quickly ads up. And I find myself using it way more than just once a day!

Setting up the extension couldn't be easier either.

  1. Install the browser extension from the Chrome store.
  2. Log into your FMTC account.
  3. Click “Browser Extension” from the sidebar.
  4. Generate your unique API key, then enter it into the extension.

Once you're set up, you can start using the extension on thousands of different merchant websites to check their program status, restrictions, deeplink ability, and even whether or not they offer curbside pickup for online purchases!

Accessing all of this merchant info without the extension would have taken, at minimum, three additional clicks and page loads. Loading the database, searching the database, then loading the merchant page. But with the extension, it's all at my fingertips right from the browser!

Deal bloggers will also love the “Deals” section within each merchant's listing. It contains both a link to FMTC's full deal page for each merchant while also highlighting a few “top deals” that FMTC thinks you might be interested in.

FMTC Browser Extension Affiliate Deals

Tip: For those with extreme privacy concerns, you can set the extension to only load external scripts when you activate it with a click. To do so, go Menu -> More Tools -> Extensions -> Details -> then select “On click” like so.

As of 2022, the extension also lets you create direct, unbranded affiliate deep link! This was a huge feature on my initial wish list and now that it's implemented, I rarely find myself swapping over to the FMTC database in my browser during my daily workflow. This seamless update removed a frequent bottleneck I experienced and elevated this to a fantastic new level.

fmtc browser extension deeplinks

Are there any other bloggers out there who use FMTC's merchant directory? Have you tried the extension yet? If so, please let share in the comments how it helps your daily routine!


FMTC Affiliate Directory for Bloggers

I'm often asked if I have any any tips for somebody looking to start their own website site. One of the first service that always comes to mind is FMTC's Publisher Toolkit!

I've used it on a daily basis to run HIF for years. I signed up for their free plan in order to easily access their affiliate database directory and over time it grew to become a tool I seriously rely upon to streamline my workflow. I can't even imagine trying to run a site without it.

Let's say you run a niche site and you've decided to keep spammy affiliate offers away from your blog (good for you!) You've also joined a few affiliate programs to promote, but they're inevitably spread across multiple networks. As it stands, you have to regularly log into every network in order to lookup programs, pull links, create deeplinks, or find new deals to promote.

If you don't run a website, what I'm describing is akin to grocery shopping at 10 different stores each week. Imagine being forced to shop at Store A for milk, then Store B for bread, then you drive to Store C for vegetables only to remember at the last second they're sold over at Store Z, etc. Sounds like a pain in the butt, doesn't it?! And it is!

Affiliate Directory Database

Enter FMTC's amazing Affiliate Directory. This feature alone is a huge highlight in my book, as they allow both free and subscribers to search their affiliate directory of over 14,000 programs. The database grows by the dozens every week and acts as a one-stop shop for juggling large amounts of affiliate programs from handfuls of networks.

Read more

FMTC Daily Deal Email

My Favorite Publisher Toolkit Feature? The Daily Deal Emails!

If you're an affiliate marketer or website owner using FMTC's Publisher Toolkit, it's important to make sure you haven't overlooked any of their great perks. One of my favorite features is hands down their daily deal emails for your selected favorite merchants.

Once subscribed, start by selecting your favorite merchants in the Program Directory. This is easily done by “starring” the merchant in the search results.

FMTC Starred Favorite Merchants

I personally go with a mix of merchants whose specific deals I want to watch for along with new merchants I'm considering promoting.

Then go to your account page and make sure that you've selected to receive new daily deal emails.

FMTC Daily Emails Option

Read more

Torchiere Floor Lamp BoostArea 24W Giveaway

HIF Giveaway: BoostArea Floor Lamp πŸ’‘

I'm happy to announce a brand new HIF giveaway. The kind folks at KOCH SYSTEME CS are giving away this free BoostArea 24W Floor Lamp!

Please enter with an email you'll check! The initial winner of our Pressure Cooker and Air Fryer Combo giveaway never responded to my congratulations emails, so I've had to move onto others.

As part of this giveaway, BoostArea sent me one of these floor lamps to try and I have to say I absolutely love it! I personally use it as a reading / mood light in the evening when I'm relaxing in my bedroom. The single power knob is located on the middle of the stem, so you don't have to bend down or reach up to use it. It also a dimmer, so it's really easy to find the exact brightness you're looking for.

The LED lights are kind of cool too! Since they're built into the lamp, the whole thing is ready to use right out of the box. I was a little worried about the bulbs bein non-replaceable, but they guarantee a 5,000 hour lifespan. Assembly couldn't have been easier either – it was literally just screwing a few parts together and you're all set.

BoostArea Lamp Raffle

Giveaway ends on Thursday, March 18, 2021 at noon EST. Winner will be contacted via email by Friday, March 19, 2021.

Pressure Cooker and Air Fryer Combo

HIF Giveaway: Free Air Fryer Pressure Cooker Combo πŸ₯˜

I'm happy to announce a brand new HIF giveaway of a really cool kitchen appliance!

The kind folks at KOCH SYSTEME CS are giving away this free Carl Schmidt Sohn Pressure Cooker and Air Fryer Combo! The customer uploaded images in the review section have my mouth watering, as this awesome cooker can handle chicken, beef, rice, soup, stews, and even cookies!

This giveaway includes the following prize:

  • 6.5qt Pressure Cooker
  • Air Fryer
  • 21-in-1 Programmable Pressure Pot with Detachable Pressure & Crisp Lid
  • LED Digital Touchscreen
  • 3qt Air Fry Basket
  • Recipe Book

While I don't have this exact make and model, I can say that I absolutely love owning a pressure cooker. I use mine two or three times a week and frankly don't know how I got along without one!

Giveaway ends on Tuesday, March 2, 2021 at noon EST. Winner will be contacted via email by Thursday, March 4, 2021.

Free Smartphone Gimbal Stabilizer

HIF Giveaway: iSteady Smartphone Gimbal Stabilizer 🀳

The recent HIF giveaway was so popular – congrats to Hiffer Renee for winning! – that I'm back with another.

The folks at TikTech have offered to give away this great Hohem iSteady Smartphone Gimbal Stabilizer worth $70! 🀳

With this gimbal, you're able to record amazing videos while walking or moving without any excess choppiness or “shaky cams.” Even better, the gimbal one-hand controls allow you to zoom, rotate, and change camera modes all without touching the phone. It also has a cool face-tracking feature for solo videographers and can easily flip between vertical and horizontal mode with the push of a button.

Winner will be contacted by email on Tuesday, December 1, 2020.

HIF Giveaway: Complete Nonstick Cookware Set GiveawayComplete Nonstick Cookware Set Giveaway

HIF Giveaway: Free Complete Nonstick Cookware Set 🍳

BOOOO! Wait, don't run off, I was just trying to be festive and announce a new HIF giveaway!

The kind folks at KOCH SYSTEME CS have offered to give away this free complete nonstick cookware set!

This giveaway includes the following prizes:

  • 8″ frypan
  • 10″ frypan with lid
  • 5qt stock pot with lid
  • 3qt sautΓ© pan with lid
  • 3qt sauce pan with lid
  • 1.5qt saucepan with lid
  • 5 black nylon cooking utensils

I don't know about you, but I started cooking a heck of a lot more when the pandemic hit. I could have really used these pots and pans a few months ago when I was struggling to cook an egg without scorching it!

This cookware is incredibly solid with a double layer of nonstick coating for amazing food release and unbelievably easy cleanup. I love the speckled red look as well, which has a much nicer appearance than my all-black cookware.

Another nice feature are the Bakelite handles, which stay cool while cooking. They're both ergonomical and have pre-punched holes to make hanging & storage easier.

Winner will be contacted by email on Friday, November 13, 2020.

Free Shell Fuel Rewards Penske Giveaway

Shell Fuel Rewards Giveaway

Shell Fuel Rewards is a free rewards program where members save $0.05 on every fill up at Shell stations. On top of being a great way to lower your gas bill, Shell Fuel Rewards also supplied me with a Team Penske gift pack to give away, which includes signed merchandise from NASCAR No. 22 driver Joey Logano!

Use the widget below or click here to enter for your chance to win the following items:

  • Joey Logano signed Pennzoil No. 22 hat
  • Large team Penske shirt
  • Joey Logano signed No. 22 action racing collectables car

The giveaway ends at 11:59PM PST on Nov. 16 and one lucky winner will be contacted via email on Nov. 18. Good luck!

Valpak Coupons

Money Saving Coupons via Valpak Envelopes

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Valpak. All thoughts, words, and opinions and have not been written or edited by the sponsor.

Living in New York makes saving money incredibly difficult. It's like I'm in college again – which bars have the best happy hour specials? What time does my local bodega put their produce on sale? Is it Mike's Deli or Michael's Deli with the Monday meatball special? But I can always count on setting my watch to a giant Valpak envelope arriving in my mailbox each month. How can I not love spotting a bundle of coupons surrounded by freebies?

When I first started HIF in 2006, Valpak was one of the first companies I wrote about. They mainly only sent out coupons for household services and local restaurants. That helped mold most of us into thinking we could only find grocery savings via printables on the Internet, but that's not 100% true any longer. Valpak envelopes now come stocked with all sorts of grocery coupons, which helps this New Yorker stay fed without breaking the bank.

Sidenote, actually breaking a bank is harder than it sounds. You need all sorts of wrecking balls and jackhammers, it's honestly a lot more work than I'd ever be willing to do. That's why I try and save money with coupons so I don't have to break the bank. What were we talking about again?

Among this month's Valpak envelope, some of the high-value coupons included:

  • $10/1 Dr. Scholl's Custom Fit Orthotic Inserts at Walmart
  • Free $20 gift card with purchase of $45 Sam's Club membership
  • $1/1 Vermont Creamery Fresh Goat Cheese Log at Mambo Sprouts
  • $1/1 Perfect Bar at Mambo Sprouts

While I might not need all of those items, they're great savings! The Vermont Creamery Fresh Goat Cheese Log has me most intrigued. I'm the kind of guy whose favorite cheese can best be described as “…uh, the yellow one?” So I'm not too accustomed to cheese of the goat nor log forms and I've only been to Vermont for about an hour, I think. I was sleeping in the backseat. Great road trip! Now let's try some of that cheese.

The Dr. Scholl's insert deal is definitely a nice offer to boot (… 😄) since any New Yorker will tell you wherever you're going isn't too far to walk. Anywhere, doesn't matter, it's the cold, hard truth that walking might be faster than a subway, cab, or bus. Turns out moving 8 million people all at once gets things a little clogged up. Who would have guessed? Thus I've used inserts for almost a decade and my feet, legs, and back have thanked me ever since.

If you think back to HIF's earliest days, there aren't many of the same money saving methods still in existence. However one of the longtime stalwarts has been Valpak. As the price of living inches ever up and more and more coupon sites drop to the wayside, it's nice knowing a #ValpakNY of great coupons could still arrive any day in my mailbox.

Also if anybody at Valpak HQ is reading this, might I be so bold as to propose selling Katsaks. As early 1990's Mike Rowe showed us on QVC, Katsaks are loads of fun for our feline companions. And who wouldn't buy a Valpak Katsak? The name is a billion dollar brand, easy. Thank you for your time and you're welcome for the genius idea.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Valpak. All thoughts, words, and opinions and have not been written or edited by the sponsor.

Sponsored: Free Nike 2-Day Shipping

This post is sponsored by

Summer is amazing for so many reasons. Warm weather. Vacations. Afternoon beers with friends. Warm weather. Baseball! Did I mention warm weather?

Part of the reason I love this time of year is all the time it allows me to spend outside. I'm no health nut, but I do enjoy a weekly game of pickup softball or kickball. What can I say, I'm still a kid at heart. I'm also a kid who hates chaffing and running around in old 100% cotton t-shirts that feel like they weigh 100 pounds.

Enter Nike and their sweet shipping deal. It's pretty rare to see free 2-day shipping outside of Amazon or ShopRunner, but that's exactly what Nike is offering! All you have to do is sign up for the Nike email newsletter and you'll receive free 2-Day shipping on any sized order.

Free shipping. New clothes to enjoy summer with. And of course those afternoon beers with friends πŸ™‚

$100 Checks in the Mail Giveaway

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post and giveaway on behalf of and Checks in the Mail. However all opinions written below are 100% my own. I ate a bug once in the 1st grade. I also had a huge crush on Christine Taylor when she was in Hey, Dude. How much more do I have to share here?

Actually, let me share one more thing. I used to hate checks. Like, really, I hated them. It wasn't for the typical reasons though. Sure, I thought they were antiquated and I couldn't understand why anybody in their right mind would use, let alone prefer them.

It probably didn't help that my typical interactions with them always involved giving away money too. Making a car payment, insurance, probably a few repairs in there as well. Bills, which apparently come every month. Students loans! HAHA! I paid how much for what exactly again?! I still don't know.

No, the reason I grew to hate checks was because they were forced on me. Some bills could only be paid by check, because that makes sense. Others weren't as macabre, but they charged a few dollars to pay by card.

As a broke 20 year old, I didn't just pinch pennies, I named them and there was no way I could justify giving away Frank, Yolanda, George, Stephanie, Little P, Maryanne, Sir Elton of Dover, Little P Jr., and Winkin' Lincoln as punishment for rejecting what I considered dinosaur technology. “Fine,” I meekly mumbled to myself as I paid $30 I didn't have for a box of checks I didn't want, “I'll buy these, but I'm drawing the line at faxing in my payment!”

Flash forward a decade.

I don't know how it happened, but I developed a habit of saving. I squirreled money away, got a steady job (or whatever the heck this is!), and even *gulp* drank cheap liquor. When my lease ended in August, I kicked around the idea of getting my first apartment alone. I'd always had some sort of roommate situation, be it friends, family, or strangers. (There've been some characters. Remind me to tell you about Phil one day.) It was never a huge deal, but hey, I like walking around naked after a shower or drinking milk from the carton as much as the next guy. Unfortunately I learned the hard way both are activities others frown upon.

The lease I signed last month only had one signature when I submitted it for approval. My new apartment isn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination. Drop a ball in my living room and I know the exact spot it'll end up. The guy next door loves blaring the television at volumes most high orbit spy satellites pick up. Oh and windows are apparently optional!

But it's all mine πŸ™‚ It's my first “home” that I get to make completely my own, something that excites me, and that is something I never saw coming in a million years.

Landlords are probably one of the biggest holdouts in the “Vive la Checks!” camp. However when I pulled my checkbook out last month while signing the lease, I wasn't filled with hate or annoyance or even apathy. There was happiness and pride and excitement and holy crap it felt stupendous!!!

I'd never had that experience while holding a check. I'm thrilled to say those emotions carried over to the first of this month as well. I guess you can say I don't hate checks anymore.


Discount Code

I've never personally used Checks in the Mail and I'm not in the market for more at the moment, but I've bookmarked them and will use them next year when I run out. They've got good reviews online and an A+ rating with the BBB to boot. If you happen to need checks now, you can't go wrong with their current offer. New customers get 60% off plus free shipping via code GET60. Sounds pretty rad to me.


Awesome Giveaway Details

Most of us get monthly Valpaks stuffed with coupons, which is already great enough. However Checks in the Mail got in touch with them recently and offered to place $100 checks in Valpaks across the country. So make sure to open your Valpak ASAP the next time it arrives

As if that wasn't enough, Checks in the Mail has teamed up with a few bloggers to give away $100 to 10 of our lucky readers. You can enter via the widget below and the fine print can be found beneath it.

I hope all 10 winners are Hiffers. Okay, I'll settle for 9. So go enter, good luck, and just for fun leave a comment saying what you'd spend your winnings on! Just a warning: if you say Macallan, we might become best friends.