smart spending

The best things to buy on Black Friday

Tune into the tube: TVs are a steal
Tune into the tube: TVs are a steal © Pavel L Photo and Video/Shutterstock.com

On Black Friday, televisions tend to be really inexpensive, because they may not be top-of-the-line, de Grandpre says. "You are getting kind of a tradeoff," he says.

Prices for high-end televisions tend to drop in January, leading up to the Super Bowl, de Grandpre says. Historically, DealNews research shows there have also been excellent sales on high-end models during mid-December. But that did not happen last year -- the best deals did not appear until January, he says.

If you're looking for the centerpiece for your home theater, "I think you want to shop both times," he says.

Part of the reason television prices fall in January stems from the seasonality of some products, says Marks. Traditionally, that's when new products are introduced and older models are discontinued.

Even with the December/January high-end TV boom, DealNews is predicting record-low pricing for TVs on Black Friday. The company expects 42" 1080p LCD TVs to drop to $180, and 55" 3-D 1080p LCD HDTVs to go for $425 on Black Friday.

When it comes to larger HDTVs, plasmas may offer slightly better bang for the buck than LCDs. Expect 60" 1080p plasma HDTVs to cost as little as $529 from name-brand companies, versus $599 for an LCD version from a third-tier manufacturer, according to DealNews.

It's interesting to note that even with all these deals to be had, they aren't going to be under the Christmas tree. De Grandpre says people tend to buy TVs for themselves, not as gifts.

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