Monday, December 19, 2011

ZDNet's Ultimate Black Friday 2011 guide to deals and steals

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Summary: Drill down on the latest and greatest gadget deals with our guide to Black Friday 2011.

ZDNet 2011 Holiday Gift Guide

[Last updated on November 24: Microsoft Store, Sony Store; Panasonic]

Black Friday is almost here!

This year’s Black Friday may fall on November 25, but more and more retailers are starting their sales on Thanksgiving (Nov. 24), and even making some offers exclusive to the weekend. Not only that, but a sneaky few are also splitting their bargains between their brick-and-mortar and online stores.

To help you navigate this increasingly complex, multi-platform shopping extravaganza, we’re sifting every ad from retailers across America for the latest tech deals available to you this year. Where possible, we’ll also make note of the start times and dates so you won’t miss out on those brag-worthy bargains. We’ll be updating this post multiple times a day right up until Turkey Day to serve you all the hottest gadget steals and deals, so be sure to bookmark this page or subscribe to our feed.

But before you rush out to buy the first tech toy you see on sale, here are some quick tips to help you avoid buyer’s remorse:

Read up on ZDNet reviews before splurging on anything. (You never want to buy a gadget just because it’s been marked down.)Always search multiple sites/retailers for the best price (factoring in shipping costs and taxes) for a particular item. It certainly beats driving around to various stores only to find out it’s out-of-stock everywhere, or that you paid too for it when there is a better deal elsewhere.Keep an eye out for the increasingly popular pre-Black Friday sales (Amazon, Walmart, Newegg, Sam’s Club and Target all have them this year) in the event what you’re looking for sells out before the 25th hits.There is a glut of Android tablets and smartphones on the market this year so you may find some sweet deals for them, as long as you don’t mind the build of Android they are running. DealNews is also predicting some competitive prices for 60-inch HDTVs and 15.6-inch laptops this “Black Friday Season” (including Cyber Monday).Apple isn’t known for great deals on Black Friday (or during the holiday season in general) so those items can wait if you’re maxing out your budget.Research/ask about the return/exchange/price match policy before you buy. Many time-sensitive and door crasher items could be final sales so don’t assume you’ll be eligible for a full refund or price match should you find a better deal later.

Note: Items and prices will be published on a rolling basis as we receive the circulars, so be sure to come back regularly and check for new listings. If you think something should be added or a deal isn’t correct/available anymore, please let us know in the TalkBack section and we will update this guide.

Retailers posted so far: Bealls Florida, BJ’s, Costco, Blain’s Farm & Fleet, Fred’s, Gander Mountain, Gordmans, JC Penny, Kohl’s, Marine Corps Exchange, Rite Aid, Hastings, Military BX (AAFES), Cabela’s, Macy’s, Radio Shack, Staples, Walmart (updated in-store/online discounts), Sears Outlet, Office Max, Best Buy, Toys “R” Us, GameStop, Target, Kmart, Sam’s Club, Sears, Office Depot, Best Buy Doorbusters, (Red Hot Deals), Amazon (new items/prices), Fred Meyer, Target’s Surprise Doorbusters, Newegg; Meijer, hhgregg, Barnes & Noble, Adobe, Kobo, Verizon, AT&T, Microsoft Store, Sony Store, Panasonic

Retailers expected soon: Apple

Skip to: E-book readers & tablets; Video game consoles & games; Digital cameras & camcorders; MP3 players & portable media players; GPS navigation devices; Home theater, music & movies; Televisions & HDTVs; Laptop & desktop computers; Printers; Hard drives, flash media & storage; Monitors, peripherals & PC accessories; Cellphones & accessories, miscellaneous electronics & software; Circular ad scans; Related links & resources

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