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3.5" 9 LED Mini Flashlight (#65020)

07/14/10 | by theprofessor [mail] | Categories: Hand Tools, Hot Buys, Outdoor Living, Cycling, Lighting, MoHo/RV

Link: http://HarborFreightReviews.com

LED mini  flashlight
Item: 3.5" 9-LED Mini Flashlight
Item number: 65020
Retail price: $7.99
Frequent price: $3.99
Target price: free with coupon!
Item Link

This compact aluminum flashlight boasts 9 super-bright LEDs. Other online reviewers (who have been able to find the item) give it uniformly high ratings. Presuming that it's from the same factories that produce similar compact LED flashlights selling for a few bucks (a number of which we have tested), it would be a great deal for a couple of bucks and even better for free, although the stated retail price is way off target. (Surely nobody pays $7.99 for this type of flashlight anymore.) We have many of these three-battery, LED flashlights located throughout our home and in our automobiles. I even carry one in a small pocket in my vest (yes, they really are compact). They can often be found locally for as little as a dollar, but the quality varies somewhat with a few models having poor switches that can become defective after only a few uses. The LED and aluminum-housing components seem uniform, while the more expensive part, the switch, varies from product-to-product; also, some flashlights do have more LEDs which can produce much more illumination. A 9-LED light is outright bright for most compact flashlights.

The question at hand is not whether this would be a good deal but whether it is really readily available--free is almost always good, especially if you're already in the store. (Please don't consume any gasoline driving to the store to pick-up this item; that would partially defeat the secondary objective of helping to save-the-planet through lower battery consumption by using LED lights.) The question is: Is this a loss leader or just always out-of-stock in our Buffalo area stores? We've tired over the course of several months to 'cash-in' our coupon for a free flashlight and each time we've visited the store they have been out-of-stock. Annoyingly, they usually have an LED flashlight with the exact same specifications on the shelf, but the part number is different so they don't have to honor the coupon for a free flashlight. What's your experience?

Well, the secret was finally revealed by a helpful clerk (sales associate?) after months of futile searching--they're kept in an unmarked brown paper bag behind the counter. You have to ask for them at the checkout! There's not even a place on the shelf where they 'should be' (i.e., allocated rack space). Several items with the exact same description (i.e., 9-LED mini lights) are easily found on the shelves, but they have different part numbers and thus don't qualify for use with the special coupon. How low can you get, Harbor Freight of Tonawanda, New York? That is really >:XX deceptive.

Bottom line: A great gift from Harbor Freight (with coupon) if you can find it, and probably not a bad purchase for a couple of bucks!

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This review and discussion forum was created for those of us who love Harbor Freight(tm). It's well known to those who frequent the store that the prices are always cycling up and down, and most of us usually accept it as a personal challenge to get the lowest price possible. It's also well appreciated that some products at Harbor Freight are good, even very good, but that many others are also substandard, yes, even junk. This review and discussion forum is dedicated to the savvy Harbor Freight shopper and is intended to provide some guidance to the best and the worse buys. Similar products from other retailers will also be reviewed from time-to-time. Please be advised that everyone's experience is unique, and what works well (or doesn't work at all) for the reviewers here may or may not suit your personal needs. With this caveat and with notification that Harbor Freight Reviews assumes no liability for the accuracy of information provided here for educational purposes, enjoy the forum and good 'sa(i)ling' at Harbor Freight!

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