Black Friday 2013 best deals and tips to get what you really want

Black Friday deals

As we are getting closer to Thanksgiving here in the U.S., this also means that Black Friday is closing in too. And for those people looking for bargains and to get their holiday shopping at a good price, Black Friday can sometimes be the best day of the year to shop for a new Windows 8.1 tablet, new flat screen TV, or new game console like an Xbox One. As such to make things a bit easier, here I present you with the best deals you’ll find in 2013 from the most popular electronic retailers in United States, including Best Buy, WalMart, and Target. (Don’t forget to get to the bottom of this buying guide to read up all the tips to get the best Black Friday experience.)

Walmart

HDTVs and Home Theater

  • Vizio 70-inch 1080p 120Hz Smart HDTV for $998
  • Vizio 60-inch 1080p 120Hz HDTV for $688
  • Samsung 46-inch 1080p Smart LED HDTV for $497
  • Samsung 55-inch 1080p 120Hz Smart LED HDTV for $727

Gaming

  • PlayStation 3 250GB bundle with The Last of Us and Batman: Arkham Origins for $199
  • PlayStation 3 12GB console for $149 (regular price $199.99)
  • Various titles priced at $10, $15, $25, and $34

Tablets

  • First-generation iPad mini for $299 (includes bonus $100 gift card)
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 for $299

Cameras

  • Nikon D5100 bundle with 18-55mm and 55-200mm lenses for $499
  • Headphones
  • Beats by Dr. Dre solo headphones for $114.95 (regular price $199.99)

Computers

  • Cisco N600 Router $44.96 (regular price $79.96)

If you’re planning to show up at Walmart, this year things are a little difference as the company will be holding three separate events on Thursday, November 28th. The first event will kick off at 6PM, follow by the second sales event at 8PM, and finally on Friday at 8AM is the last event with best deals.

Best Buy

HDTVs and Home Theater

  • Vizio M-Series 50-inch 1080p 240Hz Smart TV for $599.99 (regular price $799.99)
  • LG 55-inch LED 1080p 240Hz 1080P TV for $599.99 (regular price $999.99)
  • Sony Smart Wi-Fi Blu-ray Player for $54.99 (regular price $89.99)
  • Google Chromecast for $29.99 (regular price $35)
  • Samsung 65-inch 1080p 240Hz Smart TV for $1997.99 (regular price $2,499.99)
  • Samsung 60-inch 1080p 240Hz Smart TV for $1597.99 (regular price $1,999.99)
  • Samsung 55-inch 1080p 240Hz Smart TV for $1297.99 (regular price $1699.99)
  • Samsung 65-inch 1080p LED 120Hz HDTV for $999.99 (regular price $1499.99)

Gaming

  • PlayStation 3 bundle with The Last of Us and Batman: Arkham Origins for $199.99
  • Xbox 360 250GB bundle with Tomb Raider, Batman: Arkham City, Halo 4, and Darksiders II for $189.99

Tablets

  • Microsoft Surface RT 32GB for $199.99 (regular price $349.99)
  • iPad Air Wi-Fi 16GB for $449.99 (regular price $499.99)
  • Kindle Fire HD 7-inch 2012 for $99.99 (regular price $199.99)

Laptops and accessories

  • HP Envy TouchSmart 17-inch laptop for $799.99 (regular price $999.99)
  • HP ENVY TouchSmart Sleekbook 15.6″ Touch-Screen Laptop $599.99 (regular price $799.99)
  • HP Split 2-in-1 13.3″ Touch-Screen Laptop $499.99 (regular price $729.99)
  • MacBook Pro 13-inch with Retina display for $1099.99 (regular price $1299.99)
  • Save $150 on all MacBook Airs
  • Dell Desktop Tower + 24″ HD LED Monitor $499.98 (regular price $799.98)
  • Toshiba 16GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive – White $5.99 (regular price $29.99)
  • PNY Attaché 32GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive $11.99 (regular price $49.99)
  • WD My Passport 2TB External USB 3.0/2.0 Portable Hard Drive $99.99 (regular price $139.99)

Cameras

  • GoPro HD Hero 3 action camcorder for $249.99 (regular price $329.99)
  • Nikon D7000 with 18-140mm lens for $799.99 (regular price $1599.99)
  • Nikon Coolpix S800c $129.99 (regular price $349.99)

Best Buy will also have more than one event, the first will start at 6PM on Thanksgiving day and the second doorbuster event is a midnight.

Target

HDTVs and Home Theater

  • Vizio 47-inch 1080p LED HDTV for $379.99 (regular price $519.99)
  • Samsung 40-inch 1080p Smart LED HDTV for $397.99 (regular price $499.99)
  • Vizio 37-inch HDTV for $249.99 (regular price $329.99)
  • Samsung 55-inch 120Hz 1080p LED HDTV for $697.99 (regular price $899.99)
  • Samsung 50-inch 1080p LED HDTV for $597.99 (regular price $749.99)

Gaming

  • Xbox 360 4GB Kinect Bundle with Kinect Sports and Kinect Adventures for $189.99 (regular price $299.99)
  • Nintendo 3DS XL for $149.99 (regular price $199.00)
  • Disney Infinity Starter Pack for $49.99 (normally $74.99)
  • A selection of titles on sale for $10, $15, $25, or $35 each

Tablets

  • iPad Air Wi-Fi 16GB for $479.99 plus $100 gift card (regular price $499.99)
  • First-generation iPad mini for $299 plus $75 gift card
  • 7-inch Nook HD 8GB for $79.99 (regular price $129)

Cameras

  • Nikon D3200 with 18-55mm and 55-200mm lenses for $499.99 ($799.99 value)
  • Nikon L320 26x zoom camera for $99 (regular price $229.99)
  • Canon A3500 digital camera for $79.99 (regular price $159.99)

Headphones

  • Beats by Dr Dre Solo HD headphones for $119 (regular price 179.99)

A difference from Best Buy and WalMart, Target will open on Thanksgiving at 8PM and the store will only be open until 11PM.

Microsoft Store

I was going to stop on Target, but at the last minute I stumbleupon Microsoft Store deals for Black Friday.

  • Dell Inspiron 15Z with Intel Core i5 processor, 6GB RAM, 32GB SSD and 500GB HDD for $399
  • Microsoft Surface (the first generation) 32GB model for $199 and $379 for the 64GB model
  • Xbox 360 4GB model $179
  • Xbox 360 250GB model $199
  • Call of Duty: Ghosts (Xbox 360) $39.99
  • Call of Duty: Ghosts (Xbox One) $49.99
  • Grand Theft Auto V for $33.99
  • Battlefield 4 for $38.99 (Xbox 360)
  • FIFA 14 for $24.99 (Xbox 360)
  • Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag for $33.99 (Xbox 360)
  • Madden 25 for $24.99 (Xbox 360)
  • Skylanders Swap Force for $38.99
  • Minecraft for $14.99

Prices are set to drop at 12AM on November 29th. 

How to choose a new PC

Black Friday deals can be a tricky business if you don’t shop carefully. Nowadays, retailers have the tendency to clear out old inventory, this means that you’re not getting a good deal, instead you’re paying the right price for an out-of-date product.

Here is a useful tip: If you’re buying a Windows 8 PC with an Intel processor, make note of the CPU model to know you’re getting the latest components. For example, Intel is currently on the 4th generation, so make sure that in the model number after “i7-” suffix starts with a “4”, which indicates that the processor is from the 4th-gen — here is an example Core i7-4960HQ.

Also shop for a Windows PC to suit your needs. A Core i3 and low-end Core i5 family processors can work great for basic gaming, internet, productivity applications, and sharing media; while a Core i7 and high-end Core i5 work best for pretty much anything you can think of.

Here is my rule of thumb: a good discount in Black Friday is worth it as long as you save a minimum of $200 or more on an expensive item. On cheap products, such as USB, keyboards, mice, and other peripherals the discount has to be in the 50% to 60% range.

Black Friday best tips

  • Avoid buying computer without price reduction and come with software, accessories, and in-store support to justify the price.
  • Warranty are pretty much worthless, if the device you’re buying doesn’t fail in the 14-day return policy period, it’s more than likely that the device will last the time it was designed for.
  • If you’re planning to purchase an Ultrabook, Laptop, or desktop, choose the one with the highest resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels or better)
  • If you’re buying a monitor don’t buy anything larger of 23-inch with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels because it will look pixelated.
  • When you get in line, ask the staff where to find the items you’re interested in, it will save you time.
  • Have ad magazine at all time to avoid grabbing the wrong item.
  • Ask for return policies on Black Friday deals.
  • Do not buy cables at the store, they are totally overpriced. You’ll find better deals online.

Black Friday resources

Here is a list of websites I would recommend you to visit to find out what is likely to be at your favorite store in Black Friday:

Update: Microsoft’s Major Nelson has published a really nice list of Xbox 360 games for Black Friday and Cyber Monday with discounts of up to 80%. Check all the offers here!