Welcome to the main event, Black Friday, and your guide for the best deals in tech, the Tech Buyer’s Guru Hot Deals Blog!
Now that all the deals are out, we can share with you a few observations. Vendors takes several approaches to rolling out deals for Black Friday. We follow ten of the biggest tech vendors on this blog, and here are our insights into what they’re actually doing:
(1) Amazon – Amazon is a very hard one to follow, as it uses active price-matching and other techniques to adjust its prices on the fly. We’ve seen prices on popular items change up to five times in one day, so Amazon in particular keeps us very busy. It also offers Lightning Deals, which last 1-2 hours, but we don’t link directly to them, as they just don’t make sense for us to post, given their short duration.
(2) Newegg – Newegg is the best place to score tech door-busters, but it also holds back on quantity to an extreme degree, so that it can often sell out of the best deals in minutes. If you see something you really like, especially a newer, popular product, don’t expect it to last the rest of today.
(3) TigerDirect – TigerDirect sells a lot of lower-priced items, but in our opinion, it hasn’t come out that strong for Black Friday. We’ve posted a few items that are particularly-well priced, but overall, we just don’t think this vendor treats Black Friday differently than any other sales event.
(4) Lenovo – Best of the year pricing on many laptops, which are already very competitively-priced. The catch is that most of these prices only match the best pricing we’ve previously seen on the most popular models, but at least you can rest assured that you’re getting bottom-line pricing.
(5) HP – HP is offering the very best prices of the year on a whole range of laptops. We particularly like HP’s larger 15.6″ models, where it’s very price-competitive. It doesn’t do as much in the Ultrabook market or even the 14″ market.
(6) Microsoft – Microsoft did something we didn’t think was all that great: it set up a handful of doorbuster products, then proceeded to allow its website to fail at midnight of Thanksgiving, when these prices went live. Once the website was back up, sort of, the products sold out in minutes, but this was in the middle of the night. Oh well…you can still get a few items at discount prices there, but most are long gone.
(7) Logitech – Logitech doesn’t move a whole lot of product from its website, but it’s the biggest peripheral manufacturer on the market and offers the very best products in a whole range of categories, including mice, keyboards, speakers, headsets, and tablet accessories. The truth is that its website sale prices are just jaw-dropping, so check it out if you’re in the market for its products.
(8) BuyDig – If you’re in the market for a digital camera, this is where you should start. BuyDig, for whatever reason, chooses to have “secret pricing,” meaning that the price at checkout is often lower than the price advertised, but BuyDig doesn’t even provide a notice that you’ll see a lower price in your cart or at checkout. Seems counter-intuitive to us, but hey, you might just be amazed at some of the deals you’ll get!
(9) Electronic Arts – Excellent pricing on the very hottest new releases, reaching prices we have not yet seen on these games, although older games are generally selling at typical sales prices.
(10) OfficeMax – Simply fantastic pricing on office supplies and office technology. We’re particularly impressed with the deals on printers and printer supplies.
We also have a few insights on popular product categories that we cover:
(1) Laptops – generally speaking, these are the very best prices you’ll see all year. Almost every price we’ve seen is the lowest price for each particular model over the past 11 months.
(2) Tablets – we honestly haven’t posted a lot of links to tablet deals, and that’s because most of them are selling at their regular prices. That’s not too surprising – this is a product category everyone’s interested in, and they are already priced in a range where many people will “impulse-buy” them anyway.
(3) Video Cards – the true deals are few and far between. In fact, we’ve seen almost no actual “best of year” pricing on AMD cards, other than an HD 7950 that sold out in minutes at $150AR and an HD 7850 that’s still around at $100AR. None of AMD’s new R9 products are discounted at all. Nvidia has actually been a bit more aggressive, especially on the GTX 760 and 770, and those deals have mostly sold out, but in our opinion, that’s because they’re getting heavily linked. The best Nvidia deal by far is actually the Asus GTX 670 at $200AR, which is still available in quantity at Newegg.
(4) SSDs – flat out best deals you’ll see all year, from every manufacturer! This is the one category that we can honestly recommend you absolutely jump on if you’re even remotely interested in picking up an SSD this year. Pricing on SSDs has, in our opinion, been inflated all year versus last year, and we’re finally seeing prices today that are equivalent to SSD pricing during Black Friday 2012.
That’s about it for today. We wish you good luck in scoring the best deals, and remember, all the lowest pricing is out – there will be no better deals coming out for Cyber Monday, so don’t hesitate to jump on a low price today!