CNET talked to some experts in the field of bargain-hunting who offered a few tips for consumers. For example, Daniel de Grandpre of Dealnews suggests patronizing regional outlets such as MicroCenter and Fry’s Electronics rather than Best Buy or Circuit City.
While there is definitely money to be saved by savvy shoppers who like to get up at 5am and hit the mall, it may also be possible to get the same deals by staying home and shopping online. Even brick and mortar stores are offering “web only specials”. Kmart’s “Early Black Friday” deals started on November 2, and CNET says that “some retailers are doing Black Friday month specials.” Online-only outlets like Amazon.com have been pushing their Black Friday specials for several days now. So you might not even have to wait until Friday to get the stuff that you want.
One thing I’ve noticed is a certain desperate feeling among retailers. For example, I got this email from CompUSA a couple of days ago. Then I got it again. And again. They want to make damn sure I know what they’ve got on sale. Toys R Us has been sending at least one sale-trumpeting email per day for the past two weeks. And Amazon let users vote on which products they wanted discounted.
If polls are to be believed, retailer’s feelings of potential doom may be justified: CNET cites a Consumer Electronics Association polls that says “consumers…plan to spend $200 less on the holidays” this year.
One bit of good news, I guess. If you do plan on shopping, whether on Black Friday or some other time, you’ll probably get more for your money than you would if the economy were more robust. That’s something I suppose.