smart spending

The best things to buy on Black Friday

On your mark, get set, shop!
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On your mark, get set, shop! © K2 images/Shutterstock.com

On your mark, get set, shop!

Some consumers dream of Black Friday all year long, relishing the pre-dawn moment when they can hit the door-busters.

But what products are likely to be discounted, making the early morning quest worthwhile?

At DealNews.com, staffers call the seven-day period around Thanksgiving "National Deal Week," says Daniel de Grandpre, the site's editor-in-chief and CEO. After all, stores open at midnight or even Thanksgiving Day, and many discounts continue through the weekend.

Shoppers should beware of lowball pricing, says Tod Marks, senior projects editor at Consumer Reports. He suggests asking, "Is it the latest or the greatest, or is it some sort of leftover from past seasons?"

Electronics bargains may include 47-inch HDTVs starting at $299 and 55-inch LCD HDTVs for $360, according to predictions from DealNews. But de Grandpre says Black Friday sales circulars will be filled with off-brand merchandise. "Black Friday is about cheap stuff at cheap prices," he says.

Stores dictate price points to manufacturers with Black Friday sales in mind. Manufacturers hit those low targets with cheaper components -- a lower-quality screen or fewer HDMI ports.

While not the highest quality, these sets could be fine for a children's room, de Grandpre suggests. "If you don't need something that's very high-end, it's the perfect time to buy," he says.

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