CLOSE
amazon / istock
amazon / istock

You Don't Want to Miss Wednesday's Best Amazon Deals

amazon / istock
amazon / istock

As a recurring feature, our team combs the Web and shares some amazing Amazon deals we’ve turned up. Here’s what caught our eye today, January 4.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers, including Amazon, and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Good luck deal hunting!

GADGETS, TOYS, AND MEDIA

Etekcity Lasergrip 1080 Non-contact Digital Laser Infrared Thermometer, Yellow and Black for $17.88 (list price $49.00)

Toysmith Classic Pin Art (Black) for $11.34 (list price $16.99)

Awinner - World's Best Fine Point Precision Active Stylus Pen for iPad, Surface,iPhone, & Most Android Tablets,Windows 8 & 10 Tablet PC and Smartphones. Machined aluminum housing (Gold) for $17.99 (list price $69.99)

[Upgraded] Maxboost Wall Charger 4.8A 24W Dual USB Universal Portable Charger with mSmart Technology, Foldable Plug for iPhone 7 6 6s Plus, SE 5/5S, iPad Pro, Galaxy S7, S6 Edge+,S5,Nexus, HTC & more for $9.99 (list price $29.99)

AELEC S350 Bluetooth Headsets Wireless In-Ear Sports Earbuds Sweatproof Earphones Noise Cancelling Headsets with Mic for Running Jogging for $24.98 (list price $129.99)

Kobert Waterproof Cell Phone Case - Best Dry Bag Pouch For Apple iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus Samsung Galaxy s7, s7 Edge, s6, s6 Edge, Any Phone Up To 6 inches - Lanyard + Stylus for $9.89 (list price $35.99)

Kobert Waterproof Cell Phone Case - Best Dry Bag Pouch For Apple iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus Samsung Galaxy s7, s7 Edge, s6, s6 Edge, Any Phone Up To 6 inches - Lanyard + Stylus for $35.99 (list price $35.99)

Anker Quick Charge 3.0 51.5W 5-Port USB Wall Charger, PowerPort Speed 5 for Galaxy S7/S6/edge/edge+, Note 4/5, LG G4/G5, HTC One M8/M9/A9, Nexus 6, with PowerIQ for iPhone 7, iPad, and More for $28.99 (list price $84.99)

Pur Tablet Computer/Cell Phone Universal Mount Stand for $38.00 (list price $49.00)

TechMatte MagGrip CD Slot Magnetic Universal Car Mount Holder for Smartphones including iPhone 7, 6, 6S, Galaxy S7, S7 Edge - Blue for $10.99 (list price $19.99)

Tendak International Power Adapter Travel AC Adapter 2.1A 2 Ports USB Universal Charger Word Travel Adapter - US UK AU EU Plug Adaptor for $13.49 (list price $38.50)

Anker Astro E3 Ultra Compact 10000mAh Portable Charger (2nd Generation, Classic External Battery Power Bank) Slim with PowerIQ Technology (Black) for $24.99 (list price $59.99)

Aolaifo Waterproof Speakers, Outdoor Wireless Bluetooth Speaker with MIC, IP x 4 Water Repellent, Support TF Card, 2000mAh Battery for 10 Hour Playtime, Bass 10W Drivers Speakers for Outdoors/Indoor for $79.99 (list price $79.99)

Aolaifo Waterproof Speakers, Outdoor Wireless Bluetooth Speaker with MIC, IP x 4 Water Repellent, Support TF Card, 2000mAh Battery for 10 Hour Playtime, Bass 10W Drivers Speakers for Outdoors/Indoor for $39.99 (list price $79.99)

AudioMX HB-S3 Wireless Bluetooth 4.1 Over-Ear Headphones with Mic, Low Latency, HD Quality Stereo Sound for $51.19 (list price $99.99)

Apple Pencil Stand, TechMatte Apple Pencil Charging Dock/Stand (Aluminium) with Built-in Charging Cable (5FT) for $21.00 (list price $49.99)

ONSON iPhone Charger,Dual USB Portable Travel Wall Charger,Foldable Plug with 10FT Long Lightning Cable Charging Cord for Apple iPhone 7/7 Plus/6S Plus/6/6 Plus/5/5S/5C/SE,iPad Pro/Air/mini(White) for $14.99 (list price $27.99)

Fritesla 12500mah Power Bank Portable Charger for Smartphones (Black) for $17.59 (list price $99.99)

AUKEY 16000mAh Portable Charger with Quick Charge 2.0 & USB-C Cable for iPhone, LG G4, Samsung Galaxy S7/S6/Edge and More for $23.99 (list price $37.99)

Anker SoundCore nano, Super-Portable Bluetooth Speaker, Wireless Speaker with Big Sound and Hands-Free Calling, works with iPhone, iPad, Nexus, Laptops and More - Gray for $16.99 (list price $49.99)

ZEALOT S6 Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speakers Power Bank with Built-in 5200mAh Battery,IP65 Waterproof&Dustproof,Dual Drivers&Subwoofer,Aux Audio/TF Card Supported for $35.99 (list price $99.99)

FosPower (5 Pack) 3.5mm Male to Female Auxiliary Stereo Audio Headphone Jack AUX Adapter [4-Conductor TRRS | 24K Gold Plated Plug] for iPhone, Smartphones, Tablets, Speakers, Microphone & Card Readers for $8.99 (list price $11.99)

PNY Attache USB 2.0 Flash Drive, 64GB/ BLACK (P-FD64GATT03-GE) for $11.99 (list price $14.99)

1byone 5GHz Wireless HDMI Streaming Media Player, WiFi Display Dongle Share Videos, Images, Docs, Live Camera and Music from All Smart Devices to TV, Monitor or Projector for $26.99 (list price $48.99)

AVANTEK Household No Need Setting Locator Device Kit Suit Tracker with LED and Beep Non-Bluetooth for $18.99 (list price $39.99)

USAopoly Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Puzzle (550 Piece) for $10.99 (list price $18.06)

AmazonBasics Shockproof and Waterproof Bluetooth Wireless Mini Speaker for $19.99 (list price $29.99)

Enkeeo 8X30 Compact Monocular for Bird Wildlife Viewing, Camping, Sports Events, Concerts, Hunting, Surveillance for $24.99 (list price $49.99)

Edimax EW-7811Un 150Mbps 11n Wi-Fi USB Adapter, Nano Size Lets You Plug it and Forget it, Ideal for Raspberry Pi / Pi2, Supports Windows, Mac OS, Linux (Black/Gold) for $7.99 (list price $14.99)

Samsung EVO 64GB Micro SDXC Memory Card with Adapter up to 48/MB/s (MB-MP64DA/AM) for $19.98 (list price $59.99)

Timex TWG012800QM Analog Quartz Brass Brown & Blue Weekender Watch for $71.96 (list price $89.95)

Timex 'Waterbury' Quartz Stainless Steel and Leather Dress Watch, Color:Brown (Model: TW2P84100ZA) for $100.00 (list price $125.00)

Stuhrling Original Men's 976.02 Bridge Mechanical Hand Wind Brown Leather Strap Watch for $159.00 (list price $825.00)

KITCHEN

Excelvan CM6811 Mini Stainless Steel Coffeemaker Steam Espresso and Cappuccino Maker (4Cup) for $37.99 (list price $81.98)

Brita Replacement Water Filter for Pitchers, 3 Count for $14.88 (list price $19.89)

Besiva Knife Sharpener, 2 Stage Coarse & Extra-Fine Sharpening System for Knives, Red & Black for $11.99 (list price $29.99)

After Christmas Sale - Collapsible Microwave Popcorn Popper with handles (blue) for $13.99 (list price $35.99)

Color Knife Set - Top Stainless Steel Knife Set - Gift Set in Box by LeDishTM - Includes Chef, Bread, Slicer, Santoku, Utility, Paring Knife - PLUS Magnetic Strip and Professional Sharpener for $27.99 (list price $49.99)

Freehawk 4 Pieces Set Cheese Knives with Wood Handle Steel Stainless Cheese Slicer Cheese Cutter for $6.99 (list price $8.99)

LINKYO French Coffee Press - Stainless Steel Coffee Maker 34oz, 1L for $49.99 (list price $49.99)

Potato Masher by Bobbi Jean's | Comfy Grip Handle for Mashed Potatoes, Vegetables and Fruit for $9.97 (list price $21.91)

Norpro 5 1/2-Inch Stainless Steel Funnel with Detachable Strainer for $10.26 (list price $14.49)

Pratico Kitchen 18oz Leak-Proof Glass Bottles, Juicing Containers, Water / Beverage Bottles - 6-Pack for $21.99 (list price $42.98)

Presto 01264 6-Quart Aluminum Pressure Cooker for $22.39 (list price $27.65)

VonShef Round Slate Cheese Board Serving Set with Carrying Handle for $9.95 (list price $49.99)

Salton DH1454 Collapsible Dehydrator for $33.79 (list price $41.75)

Yoofor Pizza Wheel Cutter, No Wobble and Sturdy for $9.99 (list price $29.99)

Totally Bamboo 3 Piece Bamboo Cutting Board Set, For Meat & Veggie Prep, Serve Bread, Crackers & Cheese, Cocktail Bar Board for $12.99 (list price $24.66)

Westmark Stainless Steel Double Blade Mezzaluna Mincing Knife, 7-inch (Black) for $12.99 (list price $19.99)

Dash Go Rapid Egg Cooker, Black for $19.00 (list price $22.99)

1Easylife 18/8 Stainless Steel Metal Measuring Spoons, Ergonomic Set of 6 for Dry and Liquid Ingredients, Narrow Shape Easily Fits in Spice Jars for $11.99 (list price $21.99)

Jokel Silicone Dishwasher Safe Rubber Wine Glasses (Set of 4) for $22.98 (list price $39.99)

Tovolo Sphere Ice Molds - Set of 2 for $9.33 (list price $11.00)

MAIRICO Ultra Sharp Premium Heavy Duty Kitchen Shears and Multi Purpose Scissors for $14.99 (list price $35.99)

Utopia Kitchen Reversible Cast Iron Grill Griddle, 17 x 10 inch for $19.99 (list price $59.99)

Pyrex 10 Piece Simply Store Food Storage Set, Clear for $19.94 (list price $24.99)

Anchor Hocking 16-Ounce Café Mug Beverage Set, Set of 6 for $22.77 (list price $39.99)

Wusthof Classic 8-Inch Cook's Knife for $99.95 (list price $139.95)

Farberware Nonstick Bakeware 3-Piece Cookie Pan Set, Gray for $11.29 (list price $39.00)

Stainless Steel Whisk Set - Wire Whisk - Balloon Whisk Set - Egg Frother, Milk & Egg Beater - Kitchen Utensils for Blending, Whisking, Beating & Stirring - Set of 3 - by Utopia Kitchen for $6.99 (list price $19.99)

Yonanas Elite Frozen Healthy Dessert Maker - 100% Fruit Soft-Serve Maker (Black) for $83.98 (list price $129.99)

Nespresso Inissia Espresso Maker, Black for $85.40 (list price $149.00)

WonderVeg Vegetable Spiralizer - Tri Blade Spiral Slicer - Cleaning Brush, Mini Recipe Book and 6 Spare Parts Included - Zucchini Spaghetti Pasta Noodle Maker for $23.97 (list price $49.90)

TOP QUALITY Shaker and Blender 14 - Ounces (around 400 ml) Colors May Vary (1) for $6.95 (list price $18.09)

30 oz Tumbler | Double Wall Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel for $12.99 (list price $19.99)

BLACK+DECKER CJ625 30-Watt 34-Ounce Citrus Juicer, White for $15.89 (list price $17.99)

Zojirushi SM-KHE48AG Stainless Steel Mug, 16-Ounce, Smoky Blue for $23.49 (list price $45.00)

Hamilton Beach 62650 6-Speed Classic Hand Mixer, Silver for $15.99 (list price $19.99)

Brita 10 Cup Everyday BPA Free Water Pitcher with 1 Filter, White for $19.99 (list price $21.49)

HOME

AVANTEK Essential Oil Diffuser Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Humidifier Cool Mist Ionizer, 7-Color Lights for $16.99 (list price $49.99)

SONGMICS 10 Tiers Shoe Rack 50 Pairs Non-woven Fabric Shoe Tower Organizer Cabinet Black 39 3/8" x 11 1/8" x 68 7/8" ULSH11H for $36.99 (list price $39.99)

Fancii 10X Magnifying Lighted Makeup Mirror - Daylight LED Travel Vanity Mirror - Compact, Cordless, Locking Suction, 5.2" Wide, 360 Rotation, Portable Illuminated Bathroom Mirror (Square) for $27.99 (list price $39.99)

Honeywell HCE100R Heat Bud Ceramic Heater, Red for $14.99 (list price $24.99)

Sleep Master Ultima Comfort Memory Foam 10 Inch Mattress, Queen for $177.76 (list price $249.00)

Pure Enrichment PureSteam Fabric Steamer - White for $29.99 (list price $34.99)

Elf Stor Premium Red Rolling Duffle Bag Style Christmas Tree Storage Bag for $39.95 (list price $89.95)

Digital Glass Bathroom Scale Black - Ultra Slim Tempered Glass - by Utopia Home for $8.99 (list price $29.99)

O-Cedar Easy Wring Spin Mop and Bucket System for $33.88 (list price $39.99)

Set of 4 Cravegreens Pest Control Ultrasonic Repeller -Electronic Plug -In Repeller for Insects- Best Repellent for, Cockroach, Rodents, Flies, Roaches, Ants, Spiders, Fleas, Mice - White Color for $29.99 (list price $69.99)

Sunbeam Fleece Heated Throw, Garnet, TSF8US-R310-31A00 for $24.96 (list price $39.33)

Snugpak Jungle Blanket, Olive for $24.50 (list price $49.00)

Rowenta DW5197 Partner of Fashion Focus Steam 1725-Watt Micro Steam Iron with Stainless Steel Soleplate, 400-Hole, Purple for $64.99 (list price $99.99)

Bionaire Ultrasonic Filter-Free Tower Humidifier, BUL7933CT for $66.99 (list price $99.99)

HC Collection Bed Sheet & Pillowcase Set HOTEL LUXURY 1800 Series Egyptian Quality Bedding Collection! Deep Pocket, Wrinkle & Fade Resistant,Luxurious,Comfortable,Extremely Durable(Queen, Multiple Colors Available) for $24.99 (list price $69.99)

Hospitology Heavenly Microfiber Goose Down Alternative Overstuffed Hypoallergenic Mattress Pad / Topper, 78-Inch by 80-Inch, King for $52.00 (list price $111.00)

HEALTH AND BEAUTY

Dove Men+Care 2 in 1 Shampoo and Conditioner, Anti Dandruff 12 Ounce for $3.97 (list price $5.39)

Men's Rogaine Foam, Three Month Supply for $37.49 (list price $39.49)

NIVEA Men Active3 3-in-1 Body Wash 16.9 Fluid Ounce (Pack of 3) for $13.14 (list price $17.97)

American Crew Fiber (Pack of 4) - 3oz each for $31.90 (list price $50.29)

Just For Men AutoStop Men's Hair Color, Real Black for $7.97 (list price $8.99)

Dove Men+Care Body and Face Wash, Deep Clean 18 oz, Pack of 3 for $13.74 (list price $21.94)

SmartyPants Kids Complete Fiber Multivitamin Omega 3 EPA and DHA Fish Oil Vitamin D3 Methyl B12 Dietary Supplements, 120 Counts for $9.29 (list price $29.95)

SmartyPants Probiotic & Prebiotic Immunity Gummies for Adults: 7 billion CFUs & Wellmune Prebiotic, VEGAN, NON-GMO, GLUTEN-FREE, PATENT-PENDING; BLUEBERRY; 30 Day Supply for $9.49 (list price $24.99)

SKINFUN IPX6 Waterproof Portable Rechargeable Facial Cleansing Brush Travel Kit Face Exfoliator System Charged by Complimentary USB Cable Multi-function Skin Scrubber for $14.99 (list price $39.99)

PLEMO Sleep Mask, Ultra-Soft Gel Beads Eye Shade Cool & Warm Therapy SPA for Puffy Eyes Black Eyes  for $6.12 (list price $19.99)

DUcare Wooden Handle Makeup Brush Set with Roll Cases for Girls, Mint Green (11 Pieces) for $15.29 (list price $49.99)

IBEET Blackhead Remover Kit,Comedone Extractor Tool, Anti-microbial Double-side 4 Pieces, Treatment for Blemish, Whitehead Popping, Zit Removing for Risk Free Nose for $5.99 

Mother Dirt Biome Friendly Face and Body Cleanser, Preservative Free, 3.4 fl oz for $12.70 (list price $14.95)

NPW Cat Crazy Nail Art Stickers, Multicolor for $5.42 (list price $5.92)

Matte Styling Cream - Medium-Firm Hold 3OZ - Challenger Blue - Best Hair Product for Short-Medium Length Hair - Professional Hair Head Wax Paste Style Water Soluble with Clean and Subtle Scent for $19.47 (list price $23.47)

FHI Brands Platform Tourmaline Ceramic Professional Hair Styling Iron, 1-Inch for $99.99 (list price $125.99)

Simoniz ST1075004 Think Pink Hand Soap, 1 gal Bottles per Case (Pack of 4) for $30.20 (list price $37.95)

Glass Roller Bottles with Metal Roller Balls Aguder Set of 8 Amber Roll on bottles 10ml(1/3oz) for Aromatherapy, Perfume, Essential Oil and other liquids for $10.16 (list price $11.97)

Aromanice Goat Milk Shower Cream,Shea Butter,Daily Nourishing Moisturizing Body Wash,620ML(20.9 Oz) for $30.60 (list price $30.60)

TRYM PRO Premium Hair Trimming Set - Grooming Kit with Adjustable Cordless Hair, Mustache, Beard and Body Trimmer Plus 7 Trim Attachments for $32.97 (list price $49.99)

ESARORA Makeup Brush Cleaning Mat Set of 2 (Light Purple) for $10.99 (list price $19.99)

Anti-Wrinkle Smoothing Serum with HYALURONIC ACID And Peptides - Get Rid Of Wrinkles with Skin Tightening Daily Moisturizer - Dermatologist Anti-Aging Skin Care for Eyes, Face, Forehead - 1 oz for $27.99 (list price $55.00)

Gillette Venus Spa Women's Razor with 1 Razor Handle and 2 Razor Blade Refills for $6.83 (list price $12.99)

Gillette Venus Swirl Women's Razor Handle with 2 Razor Blade Refills for $10.70 (list price $13.74)

Top Double Edge Safety Razor Wet Shave Kit by Shaveology for $29.97 (list price $99.00)

Lather & Wood Shaving Soap - Sandalwood - Simply the Best Luxury Shaving Cream - Tallow - Dense Lather with Fantastic Scent for the Worlds Best Wet Shaving Routine. 4.7 oz (Sandalwood) for $18.69 (list price $24.99)

Eqoba Heat Resistant Flat Iron Glove, Professional Anti-Burn Protection Black Glove Pink Cuff for $5.99 (list price $11.99)

OFFICE, SCHOOL, AND CRAFTS

Gaiam Balance Ball Chair, Blue for $54.99 (list price $79.98)

Shuttle Art Face Paint,Body Paint Kit with 24 colors for Kids Gift set for $13.99 (list price $59.99)

Super Doodle 36 Color Gel Pen Set for $10.95 (list price $22.95)

Acrylic paint 12 set by Crafts 4 All Perfect for canvas,wood,ceramic,fabric & crafts.Non toxic & Vibrant colors.Rich Pigments With Lasting Quality for $9.99 (list price $19.99)

Water Brush Pen for Watercolor Painting & Lettering - Assorted Durable Nylon Tips (Pack of 3 Brushes - Fine/Medium/Broad) for $11.99 (list price $22.50)

Yarn Storage Bag for Ultimate Organization. Portable, Lightweight and Easy to Carry Knitting/Crochet Yarn Holder with Pockets for Accessories and Slits on Top to Protect Wool and Prevent Tangling. for $23.99 (list price $34.00)

Clover "Shiro" Tape Measure for $4.79 (list price $6.99)

MCS Shadow Box Frame Holds 12x12 Scrap Book Page (40950) for $14.99 (list price $16.99)

Gingher 8-Inch Knife Edge Dressmaker's Shears for $23.91 (list price $39.99)

Scotch Multi-Purpose Scissor, 8-Inches (1428) for $2.64 (list price $2.99)

Scotch Heavy Duty Shipping Packaging Tape, 1.88 Inches x 800 Inches, 6 Rolls with Dispenser (142-6) for $10.20 (list price $14.55)

Pilot FriXion Clicker Retractable Erasable Gel Pens, Fine Point, Assorted Color Inks, 7-Pack (31472) for $9.99

TOPS Double Docket Writing Tablet with Extra Rigid Back, 8-1/2 x 11-3/4 Inches, Perforated, 3-Hole Punched, White, College Rule, 100 Sheets per Pad (63384) for $4.48 (list price $5.61)

Sharpie Pro Permanent Markers, Bullet Tip, Black, Box of 12 for $13.68 (list price $27.36)

Sharpie Accent Gel Highlighters, Colored, 4 Highlighters (1780477) for $6.96 (list price $8.49)

Amzdeal New Money Bill Counter Counting Bank Machine Counterfeit Detector UV & MG Cash Bank (Black) for $299.99 (list price $110.49)

Loew-Cornell 390 Multi Bin Brush Organizer, 50 Hole for $5.33 (list price $8.91)

Super Doodle - Glitter Gel Pens - 24 Glitter Colors - Premium Quality Gel Pen Set for Crafting, Doodling, Drawing, Scrapbooking, and Adult Coloring Books for $10.95 (list price $19.95)

ArtBin Super Satchel Double Deep with Removable Dividers: Clear Art Craft Storage Box,6990AB for $17.01 (list price $30.99)

Strathmore Sketch Spiral Paper Pad 9"X12"-100 Sheets for $7.40 (list price $10.29)

Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine for $249.99 (list price $299.99)

Prismacolor Premier Verithin Colored Pencils, 36-Count for $16.38 (list price $19.28)

Paper Mate Point Guard Flair Porous Point Stick Pen, Assorted Colors, Medium, 16-Count for $12.76 (list price $14.92)

Singer Denim Iron-On Repair Kit, Assorted for $3.29 (list price $4.99)

Xerox WorkCentre 3225/DNI Monochrome Multifunction Printer for $199.99 (list price $249.99)

Art Wall 2506-126 100-Piece Tissue Paper, 20 x 26-Inch, Assorted Colors for $6.53 (list price $9.99)

Sharpie Pen, Fine Point, Assorted Colors, 6-Count for $7.59 (list price $8.94)

Sharpie 1780478 Accent Gel Highlighter, Fluorescent Yellow, 12-Pack for $13.67 (list price $29.40)

IRIS Large Desktop File Box, 4 Pack, Black for $15.28 (list price $27.99)

Loew Cornell 841 20-Piece Foam Brush Set, 2-Inch for $4.19 (list price $5.99)

Sharpie Permanent Markers, Fine Point, Assorted Colors, 24-Count for $10.19 (list price $11.89)

OUTDOORS, GARDEN, AND SPORTS

Asamoom Reflective Stripe 60 MPH Windproof Umbrella, Double Canopy Auto Open Close Waterproof 300T Fabric Compact Travel Automatic Folding Umbrellas for $16.55 (list price $69.98)

Kealive Solar Lights, Outdoor Garden Lights with 5 LED Spotlights, Waterproof Adjustable Auto Dark Sensor Landscape Light for Garden, Lawn (2 pack) for $22.99 (list price $50.99)

Imarku BBQ Grill & Baking Mats, Durable , Heat Resistant, Non-Stick Grilling Accessories ,Works on Gas, Charcoal, Electric Grill and more- 15.75 x 13" - (Set of 10) for $9.99 (list price $29.99)

Field Logic Block Invasion Archery Target, 16-Inch for $40.49 (list price $69.99)

Spoga 1/4-Inch Anti-Slip Exercise Yoga Mat with Carrying Strap, Dark Pink for $11.04 (list price $12.99)

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells (Pair) for $236.00 (list price $289.99)

Pipeline Snow Arrow Lazersled for $10.39 (list price $16.37)

Holzhaus Outdoor Beach Picnic Blanket with Water-Resistant and Sandproof Backing, Lightweight for $11.19 (list price $30.00)

Vicsou Heat Resistant Gloves, Updated 932°F 3-layer Structure Heatproof and Non-Slip Silicone Grip BBQ Grilling Gloves Oven Mitts for $8.99 (list price $24.99)

Camp Solutions Lightweight Self-Inflating Air Sleeping Pad for $25.33 (list price $49.99)

Tacklife Digital Anemometer Woopower Wind Speed Meter Air Flow Velocity Thermometer LCD Backlight for $12.74 (list price $46.99)

Moobibear MD002 Outdoor Portable Ultra Bright Tactical Flashlight ,Zoomable LED Handheld Flashlight,Adjustable Water Resistant Torch with Rechargeable Battery For Hiking, Camping, Emergency for $24.64 (list price $65.59)

Camp Solutions XL Ultralight Flannel Lined Sleeping Bag for $25.49 (list price $54.99)

Ideal Sno Toys Sno-Art Kit for $14.74 (list price $22.99)

Barbecue Grill Brush | Best Grill Cleaner On Amazon! Lifetime Replacement! 4-In-1 Stainless Steel Bristles, Won't Scratch! 18" W/Carrying Case for $14.97 (list price $19.87)

J5 Tactical V1-Pro Flashlight - The Original 300 Lumen Ultra Bright, LED 3 Mode Flashlight - Black for $13.95 (list price $29.95)

Enkeeo 2 Pack Hiking Walking Trekking Poles Ultralight Collapsible Trail Walking Stick with Durable Aluminum, Anti Shock & Quick Lock Technology (Black and Orange, 1 Pair) for $23.99 (list price $35.99)

Flexible Flyer Snowball Maker, colors may vary for $8.06 (list price $8.95)

Repel 94101 6-Ounce Sportsmen Max Insect Repellent 40-Percent DEET Pump Spray, Case Pack of 1 for $3.86 (list price $6.99)

16pcs Camping Cookware Stove Carabiner Folding Spork Set Bisgear(TM) Outdoor Camping Hiking Backpacking Non-stick Cooking Non-stick Picnic Bowl Pot Pan , Folding Spork , Mini Stove with Piezo Ignition for $26.99 (list price $59.99)

Sminiker Portable Survival Aircraft Aluminum Defender Tactical Pen with Glassbreaker, Writing, Self Defense (Black) for $32.99 (list price $13.99)

Mini Bike Pump with Glueless Puncture Repair Kit! Fits Presta & Schrader (No Valve Changing Needed), 120 PSI Mini Portable Cycle Frame Pump for All On & Off Road Tires. for $19.97 (list price $38.99)

Camp Solutions Lightweight Self-Inflating Air Sleeping Pad for $29.69 (list price $49.99)

Coleman 2000020271 ComfortSmart Cot for $46.19 (list price $64.99)

Enkeeo Front Top Tube Bike Bag 5.5 inch Mobile Phone Screen Touch Bicycle Frame Bags Water Resistant with 2-Side Pockets, Sealed Zipper, Nylon Fabric for Outdoor Cycling (Black/Orange) for $11.99 (list price $28.99)

ELECTRONICS

Full Size Black Electric Guitar with Amp, Case and Accessories Pack Beginner Starter Package for $79.95 (list price $99.95)

AUKEY USB-C Hub with 4 USB 3.0 Ports, VGA Port ( 1080P Resolution), Aluminum Body for MacBook 2016, ChromeBook Pixel, Other Type-C Supported Devices for $14.99 (list price $28.99)

1byone 35 Miles Super Thin Digital Indoor HDTV Antenna Omni-directional TV Antenna with Included Stand and 10 Feet High Performance Coaxial Cable - White/Black for $14.99 (list price $36.99)

Bluetooth Speakers,TaoTronics 14W Stereo Wireless Portable Speaker Pulse X from Dual 7W Drivers, Strong Bass, High Definition Audio, Built-in Microphone for $25.49 (list price $55.99)

Acer Aspire TC, Intel Core i5-6400, 8GB DDR4, 2TB HDD, Windows 10 Home, (ATC-780-AMZi5) for $399.99 (list price $449.99)

Etekcity Wireless Bluetooth 4.0 Receiver Audio Adapter (NFC-Enabled) for Sound System for $18.69 (list price $35.99)

iPad Pro Stand, TechMatte Multi-Angle Aluminum Holder for iPad Pro 12.9 9.7 inch Tablets, E-readers and Smartphones - XL-Size Stand for $12.99 (list price $29.99)

Sabrent USB-DSC9 USB 3.0 TO SATA/IDE 2.5/3.5/5.25 Inch Hard Drive Converter for $22.99 (list price $34.99)

Acer R240HY bidx 23.8-Inch IPS HDMI DVI VGA (1920 x 1080) Widescreen Monitor for $129.99 (list price $179.99)

Samsung 850 EVO 250GB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-75E250B/AM) for $94.99

TP-Link N450 Wireless Wi-Fi Router, Up to 450Mbps (TL-WR940N) - V3 for $29.95 (list price $49.99)

Bluedio U (UFO) PPS 8 Drivers Over-ear Bluetooth Wireless Headphone with Mic (Black and Red) for $99.99 (list price $179.99)

Ogima BL20 Video Projector,2600 Lumens Home Cinema Theater 5.0 Inch LCD TFT Display 1080P HD 3D with 1-year warranty for $127.19 (list price $228.99)

1byone Digital Amplified Outdoor / Attic HDTV Antenna, 70 Miles Range with Power Supply Box for VHF and UHF Band for $34.99 (list price $76.99)

Tendak 4K HDMI Splitter 1X4 Powered Amplifier 4 Port Splitter Support 4K x 2K, 3D 1080P, CEC for PC HDTV Blu-ray Player PS4 for $14.99 (list price $32.50)

TOOLS

Broan 690 Bathroom Fan Upgrade Kit, 60 CFM for $32.99 (list price $40.83)

DEWALT DC970K-2 18-Volt Compact Drill/Driver Kit for $79.99 (list price $99.00)

DEWALT DW2166 45-Piece Screwdriving Set with Tough Case for $9.55 (list price $41.80)

Dremel 7300-PT 4.8V Pet Nail Grooming Tool for $40.60 (list price $45.98)

Coast Polysteel 600 Focusing LED Flashlight for $28.60 (list price $41.99)

Stanley 47-464 PowerWinder Chalk Box 3 Piece Set - Blue Chalk for $7.62 (list price $8.99)

Kidde KN-COPP-3 Nighthawk Plug-In Carbon Monoxide Alarm with Battery Backup for $27.99 

Gorilla Super Glue Gel, 15 g for $4.95 (list price $5.63)

SKIL 5180-01 14-Amp, 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw for $49.97 (list price $57.99)

Gerber Dime Multi-Tool, Red [30-000417] for $16.09 (list price $22.00)

Hausbell 7W Ultra Bright Mini LED Flashlight Tactical Flashlight (2 Pack) for $6.99 (list price $10.99)

Stanley 43-511 Magnetic Shock Resistant Torpedo Level for $6.84 (list price $9.53)

Stanley 51-112 7 Ounce Fiberglass Hammer for $5.89 (list price $11.12)

Command Picture Hanging Strips Value Pack, Large, White, 12-Strips (17206-12ES) for $5.96 (list price $12.30)

SE MZ101B Helping Hand with Magnifying Glass for $6.94 (list price $13.99)

Epica Folding Step Stool - Ideal for Kids and Adults-Non-Slip 9" x 11" Platform - Adds 9 Inches of Height - Holds Up to 350 lbs. - Black for $11.95 (list price $15.95)

AVANTEK DT41 Wireless Doorbell Kit with 36 Chimes, 1000ft Working Range for $7.49 (list price $29.99)

SE 8036TM-NEW 30-Inch Telescoping Magnetic Pick-Up Tool with 15-lb. Pull Capacity for $5.59 (list price $11.99)

Kidde FA110 Multi Purpose Fire Extinguisher 1A10BC, 1 Pack for $19.98 (list price $42.99)

CH Hanson 03040 Magnetic Stud Finder for $10.99 (list price $15.99)

Hydroluxe Full-Chrome 24 Function Ultra-Luxury 3-way 2 in 1 Shower-Head /Handheld-Shower Combo for $24.99 (list price $43.18)

nextArticle.image_alt|e
Justin Sullivan, Getty Images
arrow
job secrets
14 Secrets of Costco Employees
Justin Sullivan, Getty Images
Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

Costco has become something of a unicorn in the brick-and-mortar industry. While employees at other chains express concerns over low wages and questionable management choices, the 200,000-plus ground troops at Costco’s massive shopping centers rave about generous pay ($13 to $22.50 hourly, depending on seniority), comprehensive benefits, and pension plans. After one year of employment, the turnover rate is only 6 percent, compared to an average of 16 percent across the retail industry. Not having to incur costs of training replacements is just one reason the company keeps prices low.

It’s no secret that Costco employees are a relatively happy bunch. But we wanted a little more information, so we’ve asked several current Costco workers about everything from pet peeves to nail polish bans to revoking memberships. (All requested we use only their first names to preserve anonymity.) Here’s what they had to tell us about life in the pallets.

1. WORKING THERE IS BETTER THAN GOING TO THE GYM.

Turns out that navigating a warehouse full of goods stacked to the ceiling is kind of like getting an all-day gym pass. “I walk about five to eight miles a day on average, and that's all within the confines of the store,” says Rachael, a Costco employee in Colorado. “When you see pallets stacked with 50-pound bags of flour or sugar or dog food or cat litter, a lot of that stuff had to be stacked by hand by employees before the store opens. Ditto for those giant stacks of shoes and bottles of salsa or five-gallon jugs of cooking oil. It's a lot of hard work.”

2. THEY CAN DO THEIR SHOPPING AFTER HOURS.

Costco shopping carts are arranged together
Brendan Smialowski, Getty Images

While employees typically don’t get shopping discounts, they have something that’s arguably better: the opportunity to shop in a near-empty store. “You can shop after hours, and a lot of employees do that,” says Kathleen, a Costco employee in Washington state. “You just bring your cart to the front register.” The store will keep the member service counter open so workers can check out after other registers have closed.

3. THE GENEROUS RETURN POLICY CAN GET MESSY.

Costco infamously places very few restrictions on returns. Most anything purchased there can be brought back for a refund as part of the company’s overall emphasis on exceptional customer service. Naturally, some members are willing to abuse the privilege. “Members return couches that are over five years old, and interestingly enough, they still have the receipt,” Rachael says. “My guess is that they buy that couch with the intention of returning it someday, so they tape the receipt to the bottom of the couch so they don't lose it. Then, when they've worn it out and want something new, they bring it back and get a full refund.”

Rachael has also seen a member return a freezer that was allegedly no longer working. The store refunded both the cost of the appliance and the spoiled meat inside. “The meat smelled like death,” she says.

4. THEY CAN ALSO TELL WHEN YOU’RE A SERIAL RETURNER.

A shopper at Costco looks at the computer display
Tim Boyle, Getty Images

Costco purchase records typically date back 10 years or so, but employees working the return counter don’t always need to reference your account to know that you're making a habit of getting refunds. “When someone comes in to return something without a receipt and they go, ‘Oh, you can look it up on my account,’ that’s a tell,” says Thomas, an employee in California. “It tells me you return so much stuff that you know what we can find on the computer.”

5. THERE’S A CONVENIENCE STORE-WITHIN-A-STORE.

While employees are generally allowed to eat their lunch or dinner meals in the food court, not all of them are crazy about pizza and hot dogs as part of their daily diet. Many opt for the employee break room, which—in some warehouse locations—looks more like a highway rest stop. Rows of vending machines offer fresh meals, snacks, and sodas, along with a complete kitchen for preparing food brought from home. “[It’s a] relatively new addition that is being implemented at more warehouses,” says Steve, an employee in California. “It's basically like a gas station's convenience store, with both frozen and fresh meals and snacks. The only difference is the prices are more reasonable.”

6. THERE’S A GOOD REASON THERE ISN’T AN EXPRESS CHECKOUT LANE.

A Costco shopper goes through the checkout lane
Joe Raedle, Getty Images

Walk into a Costco and you’ll probably notice an employee with a click counter taking inventory of incoming members. According to Rachael, that head count gets relayed to the supervisor in charge of opening registers. “They know that for a certain amount of people entering the store, within a certain amount of time, there should be a certain amount of registers open to accommodate those shoppers who are ready to check out,” she says. If there aren’t enough cashiers on hand, the supervisor can pull from other departments: Most employees are “cross-trained” to help out when areas are understaffed.

7. THERE’S A METHOD TO THE RECEIPT CHECK.

Customers sometimes feel offended when they’re met at the exit by an employee scanning their receipt, but it’s all in an effort to mitigate loss prevention and keep prices low. “We’re looking for items on the bottom of the cart, big items like TVs, or alcohol,” Thomas says. Typically, the value of these items might make it worth the risk for a customer who's trying to shoplift—and they're worth the double-check.

8. THEY TAKE SAFE FOOD HANDLING TO A NEW LEVEL ...

A Costco employee works in food preparation
Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

At Costco, employees are expected to exercise extreme caution when preparing and serving hot dogs, pizza, chicken and other food to members. “If an employee forgets to remove their apron before exiting the department, they must remove that apron, toss it into the hamper, and put on a fresh apron because now it's contaminated,” Rachael says. “Or, let's say a member asks for a slice of cheese pizza. We place that piece onto a plate, with tongs, of course, then place the plate onto the counter. If the member says, ‘Oh darn, I've changed my mind, I'd rather have pepperoni pizza,’ then we have to toss the pizza that they didn't want into the trash. Once it hits the counter, it can't come back.” Some store protocols even prohibit employees from wearing nail polish in food prep areas—it could chip and get into the food.

9. ... BUT WORKING AT THE FOOD COURT CAN PREPARE THEM FOR ANYTHING.

Costco employees who find themselves behind the counter at the chain’s food court say it's one of the few less-than-pleasant experiences of working there. For some members, the dynamic of waiting on food and peering over a service counter can make them forget their manners. “Usually members are rude when they are waiting on their pizza during a busy time,” Steve says. “If an employee can excel in the food court, any other position in the warehouse is pretty easy by comparison.”

10. THEY GET FREE TURKEYS.

Costco’s generous wages and benefits keep employment applications stacked high. What people don’t realize, Kathleen says, is that the company’s attention to employee satisfaction can result in getting gifted a giant bird. “We get free turkeys for Thanksgiving,” she says. “I didn’t even know that before I started working there. It’s a nice perk.”

11. THEY CAN REVOKE YOUR MEMBERSHIP.

Shoppers go down an aisle at Costco
Gabriel Buoys, AFP/Getty Images

But it’s got to be a pretty extreme situation. According to Thomas, memberships can be terminated if a member is caught stealing or having a physical altercation inside the store. For less severe infractions, employees can make notes under a “comments” section of your membership. They’ll do that for frequent returns, if you’re verbally aggressive, or if you like to rummage through pre-packaged produce looking for the best apples. (Don’t do that.)

12. MANAGERS GET THEIR HANDS DIRTY.

During peak business times on weekends and around holidays, the influx of customer traffic can get so formidable that managers jump in with employees to make sure everything gets taken care of. “Most people would be surprised if they realized that the person who just put all of their groceries into their cart at the registers or who helped load that huge mattress into their car was actually the store's general manager,” Rachael says.

13. EVERY DAILY STORE OPENING IS CONTROLLED CHAOS …

Shoppers appear in front of a Costco store
Scott Olsen, Getty Images

Like most any retail store, Costco prides itself on presenting a clean, efficient, and organized layout that holds little trace of the labor that went into overnight stocking or display preparation. But if a customer ever happened to see the store in the last hour before opening each day, they’d witness a flurry of activity. “It's controlled chaos with loud music along with the blaring of the forklift sirens,” Steve says. “Employees are rushing to finish and clean up, drivers are rushing to put merchandising in the steel [shelving], and the floor scrubber slowly but surely makes its way around the warehouse. It truly is a remarkable choreography that happens seven days a week.”

14. … AND EVERY CLOSING IS A SLOW MARCH.

To avoid stragglers, Costco employees form a line and walk down aisles to encourage customers to move toward the front of the store so they can check out before closing. Once the doors are locked, overnight stocking begins in anticipation of another day at the world’s coziest warehouse. “Our store has over 250 employees altogether,” Rachael says. “If all of us do our little bit, then it's a well-oiled machine that runs without a hitch.”

arrow
travel
Up Your Sunbathing Game This Summer With a Round Beach Towel

Here's the simple truth: Round beach towels are amazing.

If you haven't heard of round beach towels (a.k.a. roundies), they are large, circular beach towels usually featuring cute designs, including round foods like watermelons and doughnuts. According to The Cut, this Instagram-worthy trend originated in 2013 when Australian brand The Beach People invented roundies and saw them immediately sell out. The craze spread to the U.S. a few years later, when roundies went viral on the internet.

ROUND TOWEL #today #beachday #whitesandbeach #roundbeachtowel

A post shared by MYRIAM KATJA (@myriamkatja) on

So, why are roundies superior to your average rectangular towel? From a practical point of view, the large size and circular shape mean you have lots of room to move around and flip over. With a rectangular towel, you're always struggling to stay on a narrow strip of terrycloth to avoid the sand surrounding you on every side, threatening to stick to your wet skin. If you want to turn over, you pretty much have to do it in place. Who decided that a tiny rectangle was the best size and shape for a towel anyway? Why have we put up with this nonsense for so long? Round towels are logically the better choice.

You may be asking yourself: Why not just have a large square towel? Why does it have to be a circle? And the answer is: Stop being a Debbie Downer. They're round because it's fun and whimsical and it means you can have a pizza-shaped towel. (In all seriousness, though, big square beach towels do exist, and they're great. They just haven't blown up on Instagram the way roundies have.)

Having a round towel makes it easy to spot your group at the beach: Your roundie will stand out among all those regular ones. It's also big enough to share. What's more, it can easily double as a picnic blanket, a tablecloth, or even a shawl for walking on the beach (just fold it in half first).

In conclusion, save yourself from the clutches of your tiny, rectangular towel and buy a roundie. Here are a few of our favorites:

WATERMELON; $68

watermelon round towel
ban.do

Find It: ban.do

DOUGHNUT; $20.99

doughnut round towel
Amazon

Find It: Amazon

MANDALA; $19.99

round mandala towel
Amazon

Find It: Amazon

PIZZA; $21.99

A round beach towel in the shape of a pizza
Amazon

Find It: Amazon

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios