Thursday, November 22, 2012

Black Friday Deals

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at UCC. We know that some of you are going to be heading out this weekend to stock up on the Thanksgiving weekend savings. We just wanted to give you a quick reminder of how to make sure that you're getting the most for your money when it comes to electronics.

The first thing to realize is that just because something is advertised as a Door Buster doesn't necessarily mean that it's a great deal. I have been researching the advertisements and have spotted several “deals” that are actually full priced. This is usually done by advertising an older model of a popular product knowing that people will become confused and buy it without realizing that they have last year's model. The products that I'm seeing this the most in is tablets. Companies often release new tablets every year with very similar model names in order to capitalize on brand recognition. I've seen last year's iPad, Kindle Fire, and Samsung Tab all marketed at their full retail price and labeled Black Friday Specials. Electronics always get less expensive as time goes on. A store is able to give an inflated retail price by going off of the manufacturer's original suggested price even though that price hasn't been used any time recently.

Another thing that many people don't realize is that while products may be marked down from last month's prices, those prices are often times marked up from where they are at other times of the year. For example, many electronics stores are advertising high definition televisions in their Black Friday ads. If you need that new TV for the holidays these can be great deals. However, research has shown that if you wait for the Super Bowl sales that happen in January you can save even more. The new models of TVs come out in the spring and the stores are looking to capitalize on the popularity of the Super Bowl to clear out last year's models. The same is true for digital cameras. The new cameras come out in spring, so shopping in January and February can lead to better deals than Black Friday has to offer.

The last thing that I want to mention is to watch for cheap imitations. Some stores will try to pass inferior electronics off because they can claim to have ridiculously low prices for items that common sense says should be way more expensive. The general rule of thumb is that if you don't recognize the name of the company that makes a product stay away. Tablets seem to be the hot item for this trick, though I have seen it with laptops and TVs. A store will advertise an “Android tablet” for $80. They don't make the specifics immediately obvious, and further research shows that that tablet is a cheap Chinese knockoff that's only worth $80 to start with.

The trick to getting great deals on electronics on Black Friday is to do your homework in advance. If you see a deal that looks too good to pass up make sure you get a specific model number. Then go online and check what that model is selling for at other stores, don't trust the regular price that's shown in the advertisements. Price tracking sites such as can be great as they will show you the current price of a product at multiple stores. They can also show you a history of what a particular item's price has been over the last year. This can give you an indication of how good of a deal you're actually getting.

There are definitely good deals to be had on Black Friday. Unfortunately, there are an equal amount of sales that are made by preying on people getting caught up in the hype. By following these tips and doing your research you can make sure that you're getting the most bang for your buck during this year's festivities.

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