Work up your gift list, bookmark your favorite shopping sites and if you're really hardcore, get your tent ready. Black Friday 2015 will be here before you know it and bargains on everything from the new iPhone 6S and 6S Plus smartphones to the latest smart watches, TVs, tablets and Windows 10 laptops will be there for the taking.
A couple of Black Friday sites have beaten the rush and posted their buying guides and predictions.
BFAds.net alerted us that the first Black Friday ad to leak is from Half Price Books -- beating last year's first Black Friday ad by 12 days (Star Wars stuff and more are among the highlights). As we've seen in recent years, Black Friday keeps getting earlier and earlier. BFAds.net also notes that Staples has laid out its 2015 Black Friday (and holiday shopping season) game plan, which goes live in-store at 6AM the day after Thanksgiving, though online likely at midnight on Thanksgiving Eve.
The company's muckety-mucks seem to have heard loud and clear the hullabaloo created last year by opening stores so early on Thanksgiving Day. “We want our customers and associates to enjoy Thanksgiving their own way,” said Demos Parneros, president, North American stores and online, Staples, in a statement.
Staples is promising great deals in-store and online earlier in November as well on many tech products.
BestBlackFriday.com says Black Friday officially starts on Nov. 27, the day after Thanksgiving, but really begins Nov. 1, when Amazon kicks off its "Countdown to Black Friday."
For those of you not snagging new iPhone 6S or 6S plus smartphones out of the gate, here are some things to consider if you're thinking about buying one of these devices over the holiday shopping period.
BestBlackFriday recommends avoiding the Apple Store during the holiday season since Apple rarely discounts its products, though does tend to bundle a $25 to $100 iTunes gift card with purchases. Even so, you can still usually do better via one of the big box stories like Best Buy, Walmart or Target, or online suppliers such as MacMall and Newegg. Last year, Walmart and others offered cheaper iPhones and iPads before Black Friday.
If you think Black Friday deals are overrated, BestBlackFriday insists they are not. It found that the average price for a laptop, TV, tablet, camera or video game console available on Black Friday rose nearly $50 after Thanksgiving/Black Friday sales are done.
Android and Windows fans will have things to be thankful for this holiday shopping season, too. BestBlackFriday predicts that you'll be able to pick up devices like the Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet for $200, a $30 savings, or if you want to go old school with a Fire HD 6, you'll save up to $40 off the usual $100 price.
Expect oodles of Windows 10 desktop and laptop computers to be peddled at cut-rate prices. Last year Staples was selling an ASUS laptop for $100 and BestBlackFriday expects a retailer will go even lower than that this season with portable PCs. Even the average price will be reasonable, at about $300, it says, whereas if you want to go the MacBook route, you're probably looking at at least $770 for an 11-inch base model Air from third-party retailers like Fry's or Best Buy.