Traditionalists might balk, but the holiday shopping season is already underway. Skeptical? Head to your local department store and you'll be inundated by Christmas trees and ornaments. Bargain hunters, though, know that the real deals are more than a month away.
Black Friday, traditionally, is when retailers truly slash prices. Early birds can save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars off of their holiday bills. Switched.com checked with a few elves, who gave a sneak peek at what you can expect deal-wise this year.
Blu-ray Players and Movies: 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.
Laptops: 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" laptops to go for as little as $249.
HDTVs (Pretty 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.
HDTVs (Really big): Need something bigger? How about a 46-47 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.
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.
GPS: 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, while a Garmin or Tom-Tom brand will be as low as $69.
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.
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.
Memory: 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 1TB drive to fall as low as $49 this year. Gottadeal is looking for 8GB flash drives to hit $15.