Hmm...what to do today?

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Melissa and Doug Lightning Deal Price Comparisons

Here's a chart listing tomorrow's Melissa and Doug Lightning Deals on Amazon for the morning hours. Because the price of a Lightning Deals item isn't revealed until the moment the sale starts, and because you have to act quickly (really quickly) to claim the deals before they run out, it's hard to know if the price you're seeing is actually a good bargain. I decided to put together some research I've done in the past few weeks and this morning to create a cheat sheet.

The chart lists the M&D Lightning Deals, hour by hour, with a price comparison for TJ Maxx (where they have a lot of M&D, but it's hard to consistently find the same items), Diddams (which is having a sale of 25% off all Melissa and Doug items through the end of November, and offers some, but not all of the Lightning Deal items), and Kohls.com, where a reader reported seeing good M&D deals.

The TJ Maxx prices reflect items I saw/noted when I visited the week before last -- I was just checking a random assortment of products, so they may sell more of the listed items than I have prices for. (Note that TJ Maxx and Marshall's prices are generally the same.)

The Diddams prices show both the original and sale (25% off) prices as of today at the Almaden store (but they should be the same at all Diddams locations).

The Kohl's price shows both their current price and the "Black Friday Preview Price", which will apparently be in effect this coming Monday through Friday.

Here's my conclusion after doing these comparisons: If a Lightning Deal is for more than 25% off the normal Amazon List price, it is probably a good deal. 

Diddams is currently having a 25% off sale on all Melissa and Doug items, and for every item I checked, Diddams' original price equals Amazon's original price. Assuming that carries forward on other items, Amazon will beat Diddams this month on M&D if the Amazon price is more than 25% off.

Kohls.com is not a great place to buy M&D. They purport to have everything on "sale" right now, but their sale price is either identical or very close to the Diddams/Amazon *original* price. Kohl's is offering a "Black Friday Preview Price" on most items from Monday-Friday of this week, but in every single case where I could compare, Diddams' 25% off price was better. So, again, if Amazon can beat 25% off (and therefore beat Diddams), it should beat Kohl's as well. (The one exception I found was the Scratch Art set, where Kohl's beats Amazon's original price, so use the price comp below to see if the Lightning Deal is a good one.)

Bottom line: if an Amazon Lightning Deals offer is more than 25% off the item's original Amazon list price, it will most likely be cheaper than you could find at Diddams, and almost certainly cheaper than you could find at Kohl's. If it's less than 25% off the original price on Amazon, it may be worth heading to Diddams to see if they have it there.

Note that TJ Maxx may have better deals on certain M&D products, so if you're willing to shop around for deals and don't have a specific product in mind, it's probably worth checking them out. Otherwise, the basic analysis above holds.

If you DO plan to shop the Lightning Deals, or for anything else on Amazon, please consider using my links. Thanks!

Hope this is helpful!

Product
Deal Time
TJ Maxx (Almaden)
Diddams – Original/
25% off
Kohls.com – Current / Black Friday Preview Price
If you see below ___,
it’s a good deal.
Scratch Art Set
6:00 a.m.*



$13.49 / $10.49
$10.49
Geometric Stacker
6:00 a.m.*


$17.09 / $15.29
$15.29
Magnetic Car Loader
7:00 a.m.*

$19.99/$15

$15
Wooden Shape Sorting Clock
7:00 a.m.*
$9.99

$15.29 / $11.89
$10
Deluxe Magnetic Calendar
7:00 a.m.*

$19.99/$15
$19.79 / $17.59
$15
Pound and Roll Tower
7:00 a.m.

$19.99/ $15
$19.99 / $17.49
$15
Deluxe Pounding Bench
8:00 a.m.*


$16.99 / $14.99
$14.99
Take Along Tool Kit (24 pc)
8:00 a.m.*


$15.29 / $11.89
$11.89
Triple Layer Party Cake
8:00 a.m.*


$22.49 / $19.99
$19.99
Pirate Chest
8:00 a.m.*


$31.49 / $27.99
$27.99
100 Piece Wood Blocks Set
9:00 a.m.*




Classic Bead Maze
9:00 a.m.*




Magnetic Farm Hide and Seek
9:00 a.m.*


$19.99 / $17.99
$17.99
Ice Cream Scoop Set
9:00 a.m.*

$29.99/
$22.50
$29.74 / $26.24
$22.50
Sunny Patch Flex Octopus Beach Tote Bag
9:00 a.m.*


$16.99 / $15.29
$15.29
Easel Accessory Set
10:00 a.m.*
$24.99 (damaged packaging)

$35.99 / $29.99
$24.99
Deluxe Vehicles in a Box Jigsaw Puzzles
10:00 a.m.*

$11.99/$9
$11.99 / $10.39
$9
Beginner Pattern Blocks
10:00 a.m.*

$19.99/$15
$19.99 / $17.49
$15
Low Loader
10:00 a.m.*


$18.69 / $16.49
$16.49
50 piece Wooden ABC/123 Blocks Set
11:00 a.m.*


$16.14 / $14.44
$14.44
Giant Fire Truck Floor Puzzle
11:00 a.m.*


$14.24 / $12.74
$12.74
Deluxe Mix N Match Peg Puzzle 3 Pack Bundle
11:00 a.m.*

$7.99 ea (no 3 pack)/$6 ea (or $18 for 3)
$19.99 / $17.49
$17.49
Doll Family
11:00 a.m.*


$21.24 / $18.74
$18.74
Shape Sorter Cube
12:00 p.m.*


$13.49 / $10.49
$10.49
Jenna 12” Doll
12:00 p.m.*


$22.49 / $19.99
$19.99
Sunny Patch Bella Butterfly Tea Set
12:00 p.m.*
$14.99

$21.99 / $19.79
$14.99
Deluxe Wooden Multi-Activity Table
12:00 p.m. (no early sale listed)


$135.99 / $119.99
$120

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