Black Friday is only days away, and while early sales have been heating up this year, the day after Thanksgiving will still be a day for big bargains. If you haven't already, you should get warmed up for the big shopping day by checking out PC World's 10 Fascinating Facts (they're really tips) for Black Friday 2009, 8 tech tools to keep you on top of this year's deals, and some online shopping pointers from Black Friday pros.
The only thing left to do is keep an eye on the hottest destinations on the Web touting Black Friday deals. Here's a list of Web sites you'll want to keep an eye on, so sync them across your computers with Chrome bookmarks, save them to delicious or just store them in your favorite browser. Whatever you do, don't miss out on these sites to help you find great bargains.
Amazon: The online retailer's Black Friday deals page is up and running. Not only can you get some great bargains on electronics, video games and DVDs, but every day Amazon is also offering some great limited time sales. Lightning deals that you've already missed include 101 Dalmatians (Two-Disc Platinum Edition) for $9.99 (67 percent off) and an eight-function bicycle computer for $24.99 (29 percent off), and a Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 12.1MP Digital Camera for $621.99 (21 percent off).
Best Buy: You may waste hours lined up at the Geek Squad counter, but I can guarantee you these deals from Best Buy won't last. If Best Buy is on your hit list for Friday then check out Best Buy's Doorbusters. The in-store deals start at 5 a.m. local time, but the retailer is also handing out tickets for select items as early as 3 a.m. Best Buy will also be offering some, but not all, of its Black Friday deals through its Website starting on Thanksgiving Day, while supplies last of course.
Hot deals include a Palm Pre for $79.99 plus a two-year contract, Samsung 46-inch LCE HDTV for $999.99 and a Hewlett-Packard 15.6-inch laptop with an Intel Celeron processor for $197 (in store only).
Apple: No one has any idea what Apple has planned for Black Friday 2009, and historically the company has never had much in the way of super deals. But just in case this is the year for low prices, you'll want to keep Apple's Black Friday page bookmarked.
Two rumors have already surfaced about Apple's Black Friday plans, and both rumors came with supposed Apple advertisements boasting of the deals. One rumor says prices for Mac computers will be cut up to 25 percent, while a later one said the discount would only be 8 percent. Only a few days until we know for sure.
Dell: Dude, are you getting a Dell this year? You might, if you like what you see from Dell's Black Friday deals. You can get a Linux-based Dell Vostro 8.9-inch netbook with an 8GB solid-state drive for $184 or a Dell Vostro desktop with Windows 7 (32-bit), an 18.5-inch screen, 4GB of RAM, 250GB hard drive, and a 15-month subscription to Norton Internet Security 2009 for $429.
Twitter: There are tons of Twitter accounts sending out Black Friday deals in real time, but the easiest one to find and follow is @BlackFriday. Even if you don't use Twitter, you can still take advantage of this microblogger by bookmarking the account page. You won't get the real-time functionality without a Twitter account, so you'll have to refresh your browser every few minutes to see what's new.
BlackFriday.FM: This is an easy-to-use site that has great Black Friday information. Here you can sign up for email updates, check out the sales for your favorite stores, and keep up on the latest Black Friday news. The site even features two links at the top right to Black Friday favorites Wal-Mart and Best Buy.
tgiBlackFriday.com: The makers of the 2009 Black Friday iPhone App also have a companion Website. The column on the right of the site offers one-click filters to see what popular deals are available online, downloadable PDF scans of Black Friday ads, and a list of popular shopping categories like Computers and Office, Electronics and Toys and Games.
BlackFriday2009: Unlike many of its competitors, this site is easy to view and navigate. Black Friday 2009 has the latest news about Black Friday right up front, as well as links to popular stores and a rotating selection of some of the site's favorite deals.
Black Friday@GottaDeal: It's not the prettiest site to look at, but you'll definitely find some deals. The best part about this site is its two online trackers: one shows you the items you can order online right now, and the other shows dates, times and discounts for the online sales from major retailers. No Twitter or Facebook here, but you can sign up for the site's email alerts.
BFads: This popular Black Friday site not only features deals listings, but you can also join the BFads community to swap tips with other savvy shoppers. If you want it, there is yet another Twitter stream for this site, as well as a Facebook page to keep you informed about Black Friday.
So there you have it. Ten sites you'll want to keep your eye on as we approach Friday, Nov. 27. Got any other favorite online destinations for Black Friday?
Connect with Ian on Twitter (@ianpaul).