smart spending

The best things to buy on Black Friday

On your mark, get set, shop!
On your mark, get set, shop!

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

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" HDTVs starting at $269 and 55" LCD HDTVs for $429, 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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Before you pack your thermos of coffee and stand in line in the freezing cold, here are some tips to make the best of your Black Friday.

Black Friday is a great time to check off popular items from your child's wish list since those are likely to sell out. If that must-have item is gone in the rush, don't fret; toy prices tend to drop in the week of Cyber-Monday. But don't procrastinate either. Prices will rise up right before Christmas, when retailers can cash in on last minute shoppers.

During Black Friday specials, it's not hard to find some cheap TVs, but be sure to check out what brand best fits your needs. Since prices on high-end TVs don't drop until mid-December, Black Friday is the best day to buy more modest TVs. Whether it's to go under the tree or is just a present for yourself. Black Friday is also a great time to buy movies, video games and quirky kitchen appliances.

According to DealNews, the best markdowns usually come from Walmart, Best Buy, J.C. Penney and Kohl's. Be sure to check online to compare prices and products.

 

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