Black Friday Update!

In the past couple of weeks we’ve been pretty surprised, and that doesn’t happen often around here. We’ve been doing this for 10 years and it isn’t easy to catch us off guard. But even we are surprised at how quickly the holiday shopping season is beginning to show signs of an all-time great Black Friday.

It’s still October folks. And yet, we’re seeing deals that are more typical of early November. Target and Best Buy have been at the forefront of it all and this is a very good thing, because both of the giant retailers are eager participants in the Black Friday madness. And where they go, others (are you listening Amazon?) are sure to follow.

Target’s announcement of site-wide free shipping was a biggie in our book. Though they’ve always been aggressive in the Black Friday wars, their declaration that everything would ship for free until December 20th was a rather big deal for us. Where once folks might pass on a hot price at Target.com, all of us will be more likely to make a purchase knowing that we’ll no longer be required to spend $50 to get that hot deal delivered. In fact, this free shipping offer is creating some very good deals already.

Best Buy has already kicked things off with a “Pre-Holiday Sale” that is more than just an attempt to get your hard-earned dollars as soon as possible. Among the excellent prices we’ve seen are a hot price on an iMac and a pair of highly-rated Panasonic Smart HDTVs at lower than we’ve ever seen prices. We’ve posted both sets here so you can take advantage if you’re in the mood.

Stay tuned right here for more Black Friday updates, and even more hot deals.

Right on…

Black Friday at Amazon!

There is no place, not one single store or website, that does Black Friday quite like Amazon. The online retailer that practically invented online retail does commerce, and especially the period around Black Friday in a way which other sellers can only dream to emulate.

According to our friends at Statista.com, the king of online merchandising receives an average of 162 million unique hits per month, and generated global revenue of more than $74 billion in 2013. As you can imagine, those numbers are bolstered in a big way when this time of year rolls around. So how do they do it?

The first rule of thumb regarding Black Friday at Amazon is that there is no single day in which the festivities occur. What customers get is something more like two frenzied months of all time price lows on everything from iPads to boxer briefs.

Because Amazon does business exclusively online, there is no circular. You won’t get an advertisement in the local paper with glossy pictures of products and phrases in small print like “at least 10 per store.” Black Friday at Amazon is mostly unadvertised, and their “doorbusters” come in the form of Gold Box and Lightning Deals, with items changing faster than you can blink.

Being different also means that Amazon often “price matches” before you even ask them to. What we mean by this is that when one of it’s competitors drops a price on a popular item like a Playstation Console or popular toy, the king of online shopping often matches or betters that price before you even notice.

To give you an idea of what Black Friday at Amazon looks like, here are a few of their best deals from November of last year, with our comments that we hope will give you an idea of just how aggressive their discounts are…

TomTom ONE 130S 3.5-Inch Portable GPS $59.99 (It sold for at least $40 more anywhere else.)
Haier 32″ LCD HDTV $97 (we have not seen this or any other HDTV this size for this price since.)
Seiki 50″ LED HDTV for $229 (It still has not dropped below $400 anywhere in 2014).
Samsung 65-Inch 1080p 120Hz LED HDTV $999 (This price was the best on the web by almost $500).
Recently released Playstation 4 games are Buy one, get one free. (A savings of 33% on brand new games. Amazon offered this deal multiple times before Christmas.)
Disney Lightning Deals – This all day deal included Buy 2 Get 1 Free Disney Infinity characters, and some of the biggest discounts we have ever seen on all things Disney.

Black Friday at Amazon is not 10% off, or “a really good sale.” It’s a Black Friday game-changer. It’s still surprising every year, even though we’ve monitored the event for 10 years now. Almost every day for weeks, we expect to see at least one item at an all time price low. Yes, it’s that hot.

As we’ve written here before, we anticipate that the Black Friday madness to start early this year, and we expect things to warm up as early as the 1st of November. Stay tuned for the very best deals from Amazon as quickly as they appear there.

Black Friday at Amazon!

1st Black Friday Ad Released!

We think this is cause for celebration! The very first significant Black Friday Ad has been released! And the winner in the “Never be the last to release your Black Friday Ad Sweepstakes” is…

Harbor Freight!

It’s important to note that Harbor Freight is advertising a 3 Day Black Friday Sale from 11/23 to 11/25, but the official Sale from the Ad won’t start until their stores open at 8 AM EST on 11/28. The good news is that means deals for days…

Here are a few details of their first to strike Ad…

Since we’re all about the deals here, here are a few of the many nice deals we see in the Harbor Freight Black Friday Sale from the sale that starts on 11/23. Note that if you’re shopping online, they charge $6.99 to ship most orders. In store, they will not be open on Thanksgiving Day.

Harbor Freight Black Friday Sale!

18 Gauge 2-in-1 Nailer/Stapler $22.99
105 Piece Tool Kit with 4-Drawer Chest $49.99
60 in. 4 Drawer Hardwood Workbench $159.99
3 ton Steel Heavy Duty Floor Jack with Rapid Pump $89.99
Auto Darkening Welding Helmet with Blue Flame Design $54.99

Harbor Freight Black Friday 2014 Ad!

Portland 14″ Electric Chain Saw $48
US General 26″ 4-Drawer Tool Cart $100
Chicago Electric 90-Amp Flux Wire Welder $85
Central Pneumatic 18-Ga. 2-in-1 Nailer/Stapler $16
Pittsburgh 3-Ton Heavy Duty Steel Jack Stands $19
Cen-Tech 3-in-1 Portable Power Pack w/ Jump Starter $40
Storm Cat 900W 2HP 2-Cycle Gas Recreational Generator $89

See the entire Harbor Freight Black Friday Ad here!

We’re Number 1!

Great deals on Laptops!

In a year in which Dell, Lenovo, HP, Acer, Asus, Toshiba and even Samsung cut prices on even their newest models, it isn’t hard to imagine that we’ll see great deals on laptops when the shopping season begins in early November. Not long ago, you just wouldn’t see the kinds of prices we’ve seen in 2014 until much later in the year, especially on the newest models. But experience tells us that could be a banner year for customers looking for a new lappy.

Touchscreens, 2 in 1s, convertibles, the world of laptops has never featured so much variety and utility available to the consumer. And no matter what configuration you’re looking for, you’re sure to find one that fits your needs at a great price, coming your way soon. We’re expecting great deals on laptops in most iterations come Black Friday.

Some of these great deals on laptops, of course, will be on not so recent models, featuring perhaps ivy bridge and dual core processors, 720p screens etc..In this sector, we’re probably going to see some stunning deals more than once this season, as retailers look to unload inventory to make way for models which feature the newer Intel i7 Haswell Processors, HD screens and touch functionality for example. But since we’ve seen discounts on these newer specs already, we’re expecting to see more, and deeper discounts soon.

And yes, even Apple has shown us lower prices in the past 12 months. Macbook Pro, Macbook Air, iMac and even the iPad Mini have popped up in our inbox with discounts as much as $400 off this season, and these deals included markdowns on the very best configurations.

So whatever you’re looking for, a little advance preparation won’t hurt. Luckily, that just means you should bookmark our site and our sister project crazytowndeals. As the great laptop deals appear, you’ll see them there.

Great deals on laptops are coming your way. Be vigilant!

Great Deals on Laptops!

Black Friday 2014 Shopping Tips!

Whether online or in store, navigating a “shopping trip” during the Black Friday season can be a bit exhausting, not to mention expensive. Luckily, there are folks out there who do this for a living as we do, and we’re happy to share our knowledge with our friends. So here’s our list of top 5 Shopping Tips to get you through Black Friday while staying (mostly) refreshed, and with your pocketbook or wallet (mostly) intact.

1.) Have a plan – These are the first words out of my mouth when someone asks me for Black Friday shopping tips. Jot down what you’re looking for, know where you’re most likely to find it, and get there in time to get it. If you’re shopping online, bookmark our site or one like it, and check back periodically. If the item you’re looking for is a popular one, you may have to monitor

2.) Be flexible – If your child is intent on getting the new WowWee Mip Robot for Christmas, then this might be difficult. But if he or she didn’t mention a specific color, then you have a couple of options, as it comes in both Black and Silver. And if both are sold out, take a look at the Zoomer Zuppies Puppy, or the EDU toys Tumbling Robot Kit. In other words, be flexible.

3.) Don’t Fret – Here’s a little secret retailers don’t want you to know: Practically every hot deal we see on or around Black Friday comes around at least once more before December 15th or so. So if you don’t snag it the first time, stay tuned. You’ll probably see it again.

4.) Bring a friend – Seriously, if you’re heading to Walmart on Thanksgiving night, bringing a companion will lessen your burden. Just make sure it’s not someone you plan on shopping for when you go. Awkward!

5.) Caffeinate (and save) – All the coffee shops seem to have specials during the Black Friday period, Starbucks included. Hop on their website and look for coupons and specials. If you’re the energy bar type, then stock up before Thanksgiving. Of course if you’re shopping online, just keep the Keurig plugged in.

WowWee, it’s Black Friday!

The Best Places to Shop!

At our most recent staff meeting, we were eating glazed doughnuts and discussing what might most benefit our readers. Since we have short attention spans, our tech guy changed subject and brought up a funny “Top 10 List” he heard on David Letterman’s show. And so, we had our first useful idea in months. Understand that we are a bit lazy around here, so here is our tongue in cheek look at the best place to shop this Black Friday, in the form of a (hopefully) funny top five list…

1.) Wherever you are reading this, you have accessed the web and are reading this article. Ergo, why not save yourself a bit of time and perhaps frustration by shopping via your laptop or smartphone this season? We’ll help. Just sayin’. Our number one best place to shop (from) is right where you are right now.

2.) Amazon. Others have tried to match their prices, not to mention their success. But aside from someone standing on the corner handing out free PS4s, no one has more hot prices during the Black Friday season. From tools to toys and everything in between, the best place to shop is Amazon.

3.) Best Buy. A couple of years ago, the biggest of the “big box” stores embarked on an aggressive strategy to compete with the folks at number 2 on this list. In our view, they have succeeded in a big way. Many of the all time lows we’ve seen on HDTVs, Apple products, and more popular electronics have been on their website during the Black Friday season. Just a few short years ago, we would have laughed at the thought of Best Buy being the best place to shop for anything. Now, we wholeheartedly believe that they are.

4.) Kohl’s. These nice folks send you coupons in the mail! For online shoppers, they send you coupon codes, most of which can be combined with other coupons to get double, or sometimes even triple discounts! Add to that the free Kohl’s Cash they give away often, especially during the big Black Friday push and you have a recipe for happy shopping. The best place to shop for coffeemakers, apparel, cookware and all that sort of wonderful stuff is the department store that keeps on giving.

5.) Sears. Someone you love wants a new toolbox? Or maybe a nice drill? For the past few years, Sears has surpassed everyone in the tool department in providing the very best deals on Craftsman, DeWalt, and other great tool makers. Yes, they sell other stuff. But since plenty of folks will be looking for deals on them, we have to mention Sears as the best place to shop for tools this season.

Black Friday Prices!

Over the ten or so years we’ve been bringing folks the very best deals on just about everything sold on the web, we’ve noticed more than one pattern that seems to hold true year after year. The most common of these is a simple rule of thumb that gives us an idea of what kinds of prices to expect on certain items when the rush to bring you best Black Friday prices begins.

Basically, we’ve found that the majority of popular items will be available not just at a price lower than the “regular” price it’s available for throughout the year. The truth is that at some point between November 1st and late in December, you’ll probably see a price on something you want that’s lower than it’s EVER been.

Of course, our definition of a “hot deal” isn’t a few bucks off the absurd MSRP often used in the retail business. From what we’ve seen, time and again Black Friday prices online have reached all time lows with each new year. And since we’re guessing that most of you don’t spend many hours a day looking for the best prices on electronics, toys, tools and everything else under the sun, that’s where we come in.

We track prices. We not only know the usual price most items sell for, but we know if it’s all time price low. That means that if Black Friday prices aren’t among the lowest we’ve ever seen, we won’t bother posting it. If we post a deal here on our site during the big shopping extravaganza we like to call Black Friday, rest assured that it isn’t just a good price you’re getting, but among the very best we’ve seen in our years of doing this. And we’ll usually tell you so right in the post.

For many online shoppers, things can be a bit hairy this time of year. Afterall, everyone is screaming at you that you’re looking at a “hot price” that’s valid for a “limited time only,” and that you should take advantage of this “crazy low price” while it lasts. Rest assured that if we use those terms here, we’re telling you it’s definitely worth your hard earned money. In our world, Black Friday prices are the very best you can possibly get. And we’ll find them for you.

We think this is as good as any place we know of to give you some insight from a shopping reporter who really knows her stuff. It looks like it’s going to be a very busy Black Friday!

National Retail Federation Releases Holiday Season Prediction by Nicole Paitsel.

Black Friday 2014!

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s October. That’s right, it isn’t Black Friday 2014 just yet. But with retailers lining up with box cutters and price stickers, just itching to get the shelves stocked for the big shopping rush, we thought we’d make good use of our time and space by talking all things Black Friday 2014 with our friends.

The retail business has evolved in very significant ways. Though this has always been true, the past 5 years or so have been truly noteworthy in the way that retailers do business. Nowhere is this more true than in the world of online shopping. The web is now the busiest shopping center on Earth, and many thousands of retailers are vying for the dollars you spend there.

So what do we expect from Black Friday 2014? Lots, dear friends. Lots.

Assuming that this shopping season follows the trend set by previous price lows established throughout the year, we’re expecting many hot deals on HDTVs. We’ve seen prices creeping down all year long, including on the many new 4K (also called UHD) sets.

We expect video game consoles to also feature prominently this year, with deals on the Playstation 4 and Xbox One systems likely to come with lower price tags and perhaps even incentives like free games and/or Gift Cards. Having already featured each system for $40 off the regular price this past year, we wouldn’t be surprised to see deeper discounts at some point during the week.

The list of things we expect to find deals on probably even before Black Friday 2014 is a long one. All day, every day we’ll be looking for the best deals on everything from tools to toys. As you may have noticed, we’ve already started previewing various deal categories, and having some fun speculating on just what this year’s holiday shopping time may bring.

Stay tuned.

The new Kindles!

Sometimes we wonder when the folks at Amazon actually sleep. No sooner did the original Kindle take off like a rocket than the folks at America’s favorite online retailer unleashed a batch of better, faster, new Kindles on the market. And now they’ve done it again, just in time for the insane Black Friday rush.

And so here are the new Kindles, and what we like about each new e-reader:

The original Kindle has become an icon in the e-reader field. And since the original version was released, it’s only gotten better, showing that Amazon has great skill in tweaking their popular devices without ruining what was already great about them. The latest version of this e-reader features little “touch ups” like faster page turning and downloading thanks to a new processor, twice the storage of the previous model, and a screen that again kicks the competition in the bum bum with it’s ability to keep the glare from ruining your read. Regular price is $79 with special offers (occasional ads that really are not too obtrusive) and $99 for a version free of commercials.

The latest higher-end model of our favorite e-reader is the Kindle Voyage. We expect this brand new model to move quickly up the charts. Of all of the new Kindles released over the years, it has quickly become our favorite. Serious readers will love the display, with it’s gorgeous, truly book-like experience brought to you courtesy of a light sensor which adjusts to your environment and text dark enough to make it oh so easy to see. It’s fast, thin, beautiful, and a book lovers’ dream. It’s standard pricing runs from $199 for the Wi-Fi version with special offers, up to $289 for one with Wi-Fi and 3G and no ads.

The astonishing success of Amazon’s Kindle line has made it a popular choice for book lovers everywhere, and we expect the new Kindles to be equally sought after this holiday shopping season. Stay tuned right here for the very best deals on all of the new Kindles.

Hot Coupons and more at Kohl’s!

Double or triple your savings!

We’ve decided unanimously that the best overall deals on all kinds of stuff this Memorial Day Weekend are at Kohl’s! Here’s just a small taste of the hot deals you’ll find there, at least until they sell out!

Use coupon HONOR10 for $10 off your order of $25 or more, then also use coupon TEN4YOU to get another $10 off $25 or more!

Use coupon YESBABY10 for $10 off $30 on Furniture, gear, apparel for baby and moms to be, then also use coupon SAVE20 for 20% off your order!

You’ll get nothing but hot deals when you combine those coupons! For example…

Men’s Nike Dual Fusion II Basketball Shoes (Gray Volt Blue) $20
Men’s Nike Air Flight Falcon Basketball Shoes (Red Black White) $27.50
Women’s Nike Dual Fusion TR Cross-Trainers (Blue Stripe) $20
Apt. 9 Men’s Wingtip Dress Shoes $13.99!
2 Nike Men’s Training Dri-FIT T-Shirts $18.00!
Fila Women’s Ancerus 5 Running Shoes $13.99!
Keurig Vue V700 Brewing System $78.39!
SodaStream Source Home Soda Maker Starter Kit $40.99!
Columbia Men’s Westbank Hybrid Fleece Jacket $10.00!

Shipping is free on orders over $75, but even if you pay the $4 – $7 shipping, these are STILL the hottest prices you’ll find on all of these and a ton more items!