Had enough of the Black Friday deals yet? Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you know today is one of retailers’ biggest days of the year.
With ads coming at you from every angle, it’s a natural reaction to tune all of it out. But if you plan to shop on Black Friday, you’ll need a game plan to find which deals are the best, and which ones are not.
Retailers are facing more competition this year because the stretch between Black Friday and Christmas is shorter than in recent years. They are pulling out all the stops to come out as the winner this weekend. When a customer buys an item thinking it’s a door-buster deal when it’s not, that’s one more point on that retailer’s scoreboard.
“Consumers automatically assume that everything in the store on Black Friday is a great deal. That’s not even close to the truth,” said Matthew Ong, a senior retail analyst at NerdWallet.com. “While stores certainly have some great deals on hand, many items advertised on Black Friday are selling for prices that consumers could have obtained them for as far back as last year.”
Know the seasons
Throughout the year, I write about what times of year to get the best prices for particular products.
For example, AARP says cameras and luggage are marked down the most in February. China and winter clothes are best priced in March. In June, it’s power tools for dad.
I’m not saying you should ignore a good deal on those items when you see one, but beware of flashy red sale tags if they aren’t delivering more than 20 percent off. Unless you’re buying something that’s at the top of a family member’s wish list, you may want to wait until next year.
There’s no denying that electronics will see the most dramatic markdowns this weekend. These are the most highly publicized deals, so you’ll need to survey all the advertised prices before settling on the right gadget.
As more people move toward tablets for everyday computing, prices on PC laptops are lower than ever on Black Friday.
Retailers are more inclined to offer head-turning deals on gadgets that aren’t the hot new item. But laptops are still relevant and practical, especially if you have a student in the family. Best Buy and Staples are advertising at least $100 off most of their laptop models.
Televisions have all sorts of models these days, so it’s hard to advise exactly which store has the best prices in general. Best Buy and Target’s circulars look pretty impressive, though. The 32-inch Insignia LED TV at Best Buy is a pretty decent deal for $169.
Reach Abigail Darlington at 937-5906 and follow her on Twitter @A_Big_Gail.