Black Friday has something of a reputation -- and for good reason. If you're willing to brave the hordes, the discounts are substantial. I've been covering this shopping frenzy for the last eight years, and this year may be one of the best ever for doorbuster deals on TVs, Blu-ray DVD players, and oddly, laser printers. Here are my top picks for the best Black Friday deals available.
Best In-Store Doorbuster Deals
1. Sharp 42" LCD at Best Buy, $199, down from $499
2. Westinghouse 46" LCD at Target $298, down from $549
3. HP 17.3" Laptop 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD at Office Depot, $350, down from $499
4. Toshiba Blu-ray DVD player with Internet streaming at Best Buy, $39, down from $79
5. Laser printer at Staples $49, down from $119
6. Canon DSLR camera with two lenses at hhgregg $599, down from $845
7. XBox 360 plus Kinect plus one game and a $50 Walmart gift card at Walmart $250, down from $350
8. Dyson Animal DC25 vacuum cleaner at Costco $369, down from $469
9. Beats by Dre Solo headphones and $50 Target gift card at Target, $179
10. Kenmore front-loading washers and dryers at Sears $469, down from $752
Just because a TV is the least expensive doesn't mean that's the one I'm recommending you should buy. Many of the insanely cheap Black Friday TV deals are on in-house or budget brands like Dynex or Westinghouse. So it's worth considering deals on name-brand TVs too. Like a 55 inch LCD from LG, available at Best Buy, Amazon and Walmart for $898.
iPad and Apple Products
Apple has its once yearly sale on Black Friday, both online and off. Discounts are usually 5 to 10 percent off computers, iPods, and accessories. They have discounted iPads in the past but until the morning of Black Friday, the actual discounts are a well-guarded secret.
Some other stores also discount Apple products:
iPod Touch 8GB with $50 Best Buy gift card at Best Buy, $194
iPod Touch 8GB with $50 Toys 'R' Us gift card at Toys 'R' Us, $199
iPod Touch 8GB with $25 iTunes gift card at Fred Meyer, $174
iPod Touch 8 GB (white) with $30 gift card at Radio Shack, $199
iPod Touch 8 GB with $40 Target gift card at Target, $199
iPod Classic 160GB with $25 Target gift card at Target, $245
iPod Nano with $30 Toys 'R' Us gift card at Toys 'R' Us, $129
iPad at Best Buy $454, down from $499
Shop Online and Skip the Crowds
If you want to avoid the hassle and stress of elbowing your way through big box retailers, staying home can net you great deals too -- if you know how to look. Be aware that online deals often differ from what you'd find in store, but that doesn't mean you can't snag deep discounts right from your keyboard.
Online Black Friday deals are already well under way, so you might be able to pick up that TV you've been lusting after or that perfect gift for mom without even needing to wait for Black Friday or Cyber Monday. And since some online deals rotate daily (or even more frequently) throughout the week, checking back often at any retailer you've got your eye on can pay off big. Bestbuy.com will have some doorbusters on their website starting at 12 a.m. on Black Friday.
Amazon has some pretty good deals planned for their Black Friday lighting deals. Check them out below. Supplies are limited:
42-inch 1080p LG LED HDTV for $499 -- Amazon's Deal of the Day!
Xbox 360 4GB console with Kinect: $199.99 (save $100)
Madden NFL 12 (PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360): $28 (save $31)
Bonded Leather Match Storage Ottoman (Espresso): $109.99 (save $189)
"Mad Men" Seasons 1 to 4 (DVD): $7.99 each
Macys.com will have many items on their website that are smoking hot deals.
And don't forget the apple.com sale I mentioned -- one sale a year and while the discounts aren't huge, they're the only discounts you're likely to see on some of these products.
Finally, Where to Comparison Shop for Black Friday Deals?
Best search tool for holiday shopping: BFADS.net
Best analysis of Black Friday deals: Dealnews.com