Created: 11/21/2012 6:46 AM KSTP.com By: Michael Brannen
Two days away from Black Friday, and here’s a short primer from Carrie Rocha of PocketYourDollars.com to get customers ready for the hectic shopping day.
What’s new this year?
The Black Friday creep has begun. Stores are opening earlier than ever, plus, online sales starting earlier than ever. Kohls.com launched its online Black Friday sales at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday.
Walmart also has a first-of-its-kind availability guarantee. People in line between 10:00 and 11:00 pm on Thanksgiving are promised 3 doorbusters deals will be available. If the store runs out, then it will order one for customers, and have it shipped to the store before Christmas.
What not to buy?
Typically, the best prices on toys happen a little closer to Christmas. Rocha says think of Black Friday sales like the loss leaders that happen weekly at the grocery store. Customers go into the store for the deep discounts, then on impulse, or to finish shopping, people buy toys too. It makes the stores happy.
Name brand HD TVs.
Lesser-known brands are on sale at rock bottom prices, but name brands will be on deeper discount in January/February
This product is priced at $329 and there may be some slight discounts, but there will be bigger deals on the iPad 2, which is a cheaper tablet alternative.
The holidays and Valentine’s Day are the worst times of year to buy them. Demand is up, therefore, prices stay up too. Instead, buy them in the summer when there are much better discounts.
What if you don’t want to battle crowds?
No problem. Stay home. Last year, at least 70% of the advertised Black Friday sales were matched or beat online. Rocha expects that number to be even higher this year.
Most retailers with bricks & mortar stores are launching their online sales on Thursday.
Avoid the doorbuster rush at one store by price matching sale items at another. Most stores have suspended their standard price matching over this weekend, but the following three haven’t:
Walmart’s ad match guarantee is still in effect, even on Black Friday. They will honor a local competitor’s advertised price if they carry the exact same item. There are restrictions.
Office Depot will match any local competitor’s ad, plus online prices at select retailers like Best Buy, Target and Sam’s Club even for Black Friday deals.
Staples has a similar policy to Office Depot, but they will price match with Amazon.
Are there any unbeatable deals or is it all hype?
The iPad2 deal at Walmart is $399, and it includes a $75 Walmart gift card.
Laptops. There are lots and lots of great prices from the low-end Acers to the high-end Macs.
Kitchen gadgets like Kitchenaid mixers and Keurig machines will be on sale at great prices online and in-store. Kohl’s has electric griddles for $9 after a rebate. They retail for $40.
Who is opening when?
Walmart – 8 pm on Thursday
Kmart – 8 pm Thursday
Sears – 8 pm Thursday
Target – 9 pm Thursday
Best Buy – midnight Friday
Kohls – midnight Friday
JC Penney – 6 a.m. Friday
Menards – 6 a.m. Friday