10 'Black Friday' Deals to Watch For
Traditionalists might balk, but the holiday shopping season is already underway. Skeptical? Head to your local department store and you'll be inundated with Christmas trees and holiday ornaments. Bargain hunters, though, know that the real deals are over a month away.
Traditionally, Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving for the uninitiated) is when retailers truly slash prices. Early birds can shave hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars off their holiday bills. We checked with a few elves, who gave us a sneak peek at what you can expect deal-wise this year.
With the proliferation of netbooks this year, it's never been easier to find affordable portable computing, but Dan de Grandpre, CEO of DealNews.com, says it will get even cheaper on Black Friday. Look for well-equipped netbooks to sell for $199 – and basic 15-inch laptops to go for as little as $249.
2. Blu-ray Players and Blu-ray Discs
Blu-ray is shaping up to be the biggest door buster of this year's Black Friday. De Grandpre expects at least one retailer will offer a Blu-ray player for just $49. Look for bargains on Blu-ray films, as well, with last year's hit titles (such as 'Iron Man') to fall as low as $5.
3. HDTVs (Big)
The holidays are typically the best time to buy a new TV – and Black Friday is the time to do it. If you're looking for a normal-sized set, you're in luck. Piper Jaffrey analyst Mitch Kaiser says he expects to see 32-inch LCD sets for as low as $299. GottaDeal.com is estimating 37-inch plasma and LCD sets will fall to $399 or less.
4. HDTVs (Really big):
Need something bigger? How about a 46- to 47-inch LCD set for $599 – a 25-percent savings? Or a 52-inch LCD for $999? Dealnews says you can expect both. Plasma deals will be a little harder to come by, but a 50-inch set should run roughly $899.
5. HD Camcorders
You've wanted to shoot your child's school play in HD for a while, but haven't been able to spring for the pricey camcorder. This might be the year. Low-end, flash-based 720p models could drop as low as $60 (though you won't be able to zoom with those). Expect a high-quality 1080p HD camcorder for $349.
While navigation systems have dramatically expanded their reach this year – even making it onto the iPhone – there's still a market for car-based systems. Dealnews predicts you'll be able to find a no-name, entry-level system for $49, and a Garmin or TomTom unit for as low as $69.
7. Digital Picture Frames:
Showcasing your digital pictures consistently gets cheaper. This year, skip the 7-inch screens and focus on the 8- or 9-inch ones, which should be available on Black Friday for as little as $30.
8. Computer Monitors:
Computer monitors might not be the sexiest of gifts, but they're usually welcomed with open arms – and they'll be cheap this year. Name-brand, 22-inch LCD models may go for as low as $99, while 24-inch models will drop below $150.
Don't know anyone who needs a monitor? External hard drives are always popular, since they're an easy way to back up data. Dealnews expects a 1-terabyte (TB) drive to fall as low as $49 this year. Gottadeal is looking for 8-gigabyte (GB) flash drives to hit $15.
If you're willing to jump through a few hoops, there are plenty of tech goodies that should be available for free this year. Expect everything -- from 802.11n wireless routers, to PC cases, to anti-virus software -- to be available free after rebate. Secure Digital (SD) cards and USB flash drives should be, as well. Just be sure to carefully follow the rebate instructions – and read close to see if you'll be getting a check or a debit card for the amount.