The Insider's Guide to Black Friday Bargains

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Ready for the big Black Friday buying blast?

This year's holiday shopping season is expected to be a buyer's market, as struggling retailers offer very competitive prices to attract customers. Shoppers can use the economic downturn to their advantage, especially if they do their homework ahead of time.

What's expected to be hot in tech on November 28--2008's Black Friday?

Stephen Baker
Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis for The NPD Group, which provides comprehensive consumer and retail information, expects consumer electronics retailers to offer good Black Friday bargains on digital cameras and MP3 players in an attempt to get customers to walk in or to click online. Those products have universal gift appeal and will be promoted the hardest, he says.

Smaller electronics aren't the only hot items this year, though. Once the low prices on smaller items have lured in customers, retailers have the opportunity to emphasize discounts on higher-priced items. The deals in these categories--laptops, digital picture frames, GPS navigation devices, and some lower-tier HDTVs--will be highly competitive.

The First Thanksgiving
Why is the day called Black Friday? The moniker appears to stem from the Philadelphia police department's nickname for the madhouse of cars and shoppers that flood downtowns on the day after Thanksgiving.

On this day each year, bargains can be abundant, and many of the deals exist only for the day. To take advantage, shoppers must be armed with information and ready to pounce--either online or in person. Advance planning and due diligence will pay off if you intend to come out on top in this gigantic consumer-palooza.

Here are our tips and tricks.

Strike While Your Turkey Dinner Digests

Thanksgiving dinner
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Many deals are available to grab online even while the Thanksgiving turkey is still on the table. Online retailers see Thanksgiving night as an excellent time to offer Black Friday deals, in an effort to cater to early shoppers who jump onto the Internet after the big feast. Look for bargains to be activated in the early evening on the East Coast.

You don't have to go outside if you don't want to. Yung Trang, vice president of, a tech-deal site known for its Dell coupons and Newegg promo codes, says, "Everybody thinks they have to wait in line on Friday morning." But he believes that 95 percent of the deals--and most of the really good ones--will actually be online. "There's no reason to be in front of a store in the freezing cold."

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