Tips for Buying Black Friday Electronics

electronics

This is it. For so many people, this is what Black Friday is all about: Black Friday electronics deals. You can find the absolute lowest prices on the newest, hottest electronics. Here are a few tips for having the best possible shopping experience when you’re interested in items like digital cameras, GPS devices, MP3 players, TVs and more.

  • Don’t go for the extended warranty. When stores slash prices, they have to make up that money somewhere. That’s why you’ll get a song and dance about this extended warranty plan, and that in-home installation plan. The standard warranty will do just fine, and if you can’t hook up your own new electronics, chances are you have a friend who will happily trade his or her services for some pizza, beer, and an NFL game on your new big-screen.
  • Buy the add-ons in advance. If you know you’re not going to walk away from Black Friday without, say, a television, then buy the cables well before Black Friday hits. Expensive add-ons are just one more way stores make their money back from you, so while the TV may be a good deal, chances are your HDMI cables will have an insane (in a bad way) price. The same goes for a wireless mouse to go with a laptop, headphones for MP3 players, and SD cards for digital cameras.
  • Be wary of the bundle. At first glance, home theatre deals like a TV and blu-ray player all bundled into one price may seem like an awesome deal, but take a second glance. Blu-ray and DVD player prices have fallen rapidly over the last few years, so that bundled deal may be significantly more expensive than if you’d bought each item on their own.
  • blackfriday-sprintDon’t get attached to the big brand names. If you absolutely must have a Samsung LED or a Toshiba 3D TV, then by all means, hunt down the best deal on exactly what you want. But if you’re not so picky, those off-brand or store-brand names will have by far the craziest deals. And most of those off-brands are actually made by one of the big names, like Dynex and Insignia, which are both made by LG, so your quality won’t be suffering for the sake of your home theatre deals.
  • Read the reviews. The ones from real people, we mean. When buying gadgets like MP3 players, digital cameras, and GPS devices, it’s best to know what real people who spent their own hard-earned money on these items think of them. While you can certainly trust some media and blog reviews, you never know who’s getting kickbacks or freebies from the companies. The best place to go for real reviews are websites like Amazon where people aren’t afraid to tell you what they think. Black Friday electronics deals are only worthwhile if you get a good item.
  • Don’t sign up for the store credit card. They may promise you all sorts of extra discounts if you do, and it may be hard to resist while you’re in the money-saving frenzy of Black Friday, but just say no. Whatever discount they offer won’t be worth the ding it puts on your credit. If you find the employee you’re dealing with is a little too pushy, be it with the extra offers like store credit cards or add-ons like warranty deals, start playing the ignoring game. It’s Black Friday, it’s not like you’ll be the one rude customer they remember.
  • Get a gift receipt. Even if every single thing you’re buying is for yourself. Around Black Friday some stores get tricky with the return policy. The best way to cover your butt is with a gift receipt so stores will be forced to return the full value to you, even if they insist they can only give store credit.
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