Techwriter10 42 Practically a Posting Shark

Today is Black Friday and people are going a bit insane standing on sidewalks overnight waiting for the the big deal on their desired electronics. Everyone from WalMart to Target to Best Buy to the Apple Store is getting involved. And so are online retailers like Amazon.

And to be sure there are some good deals to be had out there, but there are also some questionable ones and it pays to make sure you shop carefully today. Just because it's labeled a Black Friday deal doesn't mean it necessarily an outstanding deal.

Make Sure It's a Deal

Charles Arthur, the Guardian's Technology Editor posted on Twitter yesterday about an advertised deal for an HDTV in England:

"Our new 46 inch D65 TV has been reduced from £699 to £684.13 - saving you £14.87!" Wow, I'll take two."

This post illustrates that not every deal is a good one. Conversely, Dell has a heck of a deal on a Sharp 42" LC42SB45U LCD HDTV (Thanks to Jason Perlow for this one).

There Will Be Other Deals This Season

Unlike other years, with the economy tanking this year and retail sales expected to be severely depressed, chances are Black Friday is not going to be the only day you see deals, so don't necessarily feel pressured into making a purchase today. Retailers are going to be under serious pressure this year and looking for ways to lure buyers into the stores. Chances are there are going to many other deals, the closer we get to Christmas and retailers find that merchandise just isn't moving.

And most experts have predicted that insecure consumers frightened by large stock market losses, and unsure about their jobs are going to skimp this year. I did an informal survey on Twitter the other day and asked if people were going to skip gifts this season for siblings or friends. Many people said adult family members have agreed not to give presents this year (mine included) or they are going to do just one gift. This is not scientific to be sure, but it does show that people are thinking about reducing their spending and store owners will have to find ways to lure you into the store and open up your wallets.

Make Sure You Want It

Read the deal details Some deals are on refurbished or previous generation items. For instance, Amazon had a deal this morning for a first generation 16 GB iPod Touch for $200, a decent deal (the new one is $278 on special at Apple today only, regularly $299), but if the latest technology is better, it may be worthwhile to get the more expensive one. Don't make hasty purchasing decisions without thinking it through and doing your research.

In the end, it's only a bargain, if it's what you want at a great price. There are electronics deals to be had, but shop intelligently and find the best deal out there. This year especially, it's a buyer's market and the retailers are literally at your mercy.

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