Black Friday: To Buy or Not to Buy?

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A few days ago in their “Black Friday Anti-Deals: What Not To Buy” post Gizmodo wrote:

…many of these “deals” really aren’t deals at all. Often, Black Friday sale products are priced differently between stores, or they are priced at or above deals you can find elsewhere any day of the week. You might see a particularly juicy deal in a flier on a big ticket item like an HDTV, only to discover that the store only had a few units to sell. The bottom line is that you need to do your homework…

And they were spot on!

One of the things that I’ve been wanting to buy for some time has been a home theater system. Being a huge fan of Sony; I got immediately excited to see the following Bravia system on a Black Friday sale at BestBuy.com, only to be disappointed half a second later when seeing the “sold out online” note:

BestBuy Product Sold Out

I looked through their other deals for home theater systems, but the ones that caught my eye were either sold out, or not available for the mandatory in-store pick up in nearby stores. So I just went to shopping.google.com, and searched for the Sony Bravia system that I thought I have missed. And here’s what I saw:

Google Products screenshot

The first link was dead, but the second one was working, and I’ve placed my order with TheNerds.net. Spent only $9.97 more (essentially, the cost of shipping), but don’t have to drive anywhere, and got a good deal.

TheNerds know exactly what they’re doing (marking their prices down the way they do):

TheNerds.net comparing competitors

* Those “Compare” buttons are actually linked to their competitors’ sites! Amazing, isn’t it?

I’ve also compared several other Black Friday “deals” from other online merchants, and registered very similar situations: you can get these prices through comparison shopping sites pretty much any time. Interesting.

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