Black Friday Resources and Strategy

by Kevin on November 22, 2010

Black Friday is only a few days away.

Today I’m going to share some thoughts and ideas so you can:

  • identify the best Black Friday deals
  • fully investigate the validity of those deals
  • minimize the amount of time spent on Black Friday going out and getting deals

Black Friday Resources and Strategy

Finding Black Friday Deals (Targeting Deals):

There are a multitude of websites out there willing to show leaked Black Friday ads. I have two favorites that I use because the interfaces are relatively simple and, most appealing of all, they have little if any banner advertisements to distract from finding the best deals.

I specifically use:


They have the deals broken down by individual stores so it makes it really easy to find the best deals very quickly.

BFads also showcases some of the best deals for the ad when they first post that store’s ad.

Doing Price Comparisons (Investigating and Validating Deals):

Once you’ve identified the deals you want to target you need to make sure you’re actually getting a good deal. There’s nothing like losing sleep and standing out in the November cold only to discover you could’ve gotten a better deal elsewhere.

To validate the prices of items I use three main websites.

  • – goes out and finds as many matches for the product as possible and lists the prices (with shipping costs if possible) in a handy table. This gives you a nice quick snapshot of where the item is available across multiple retailers.
  • – One of the longest standing and most innovative online retailers out there. Not only will Amazon sell you an item they’ll let an independent retailer sell you an item through their website. Usually gets snagged in Pricegrabber results, but if it doesn’t I always check Amazon’s price.
  • – The safety valve. If you’re looking for an obscure (or seemingly obscure if you can’t find it in the above two) item then always check Google. Google’s Shopping utility should find it, but even if it doesn’t you can still catch

Be Aware: For ideal results with all three websites use the product number, such as “Samsung LN46B750” rather than “Samsung 46 inch LCD TV”.

Tricks Stores Use

The reason I mention using the product number is because stores are sneaky. They’ll advertise a Samsung 46″ LCD television and on the surface it will seem like an amazing deal. But the devil is in the details and having that product number will tell the whole story.

When you search by product number you’re going to pull up the exact specifications of the item. Sometimes the difference is minor — when we were looking at televisions last year Best Buy sold an identical model to another store, but the Best Buy version was gray around the edges and the other store was red. The gray edge was only available at Best Buy.

But other times you might discover that the product you are buying is much different than the product you thought you were buying. One television might be 120Hz, the other might be 240Hz. Big difference in how good of a deal you feel you get.

Stores will also advertise a great deal, but only guarantee to have 20 of that item in stock. Granted not everyone lined up in front of the store is going after your item, but there only have to be 20 people in front of you to ruin your deal hunting day.

Minimize Time and Effort on Black Friday

Once you’ve validated the items you are targeting are in fact deals it is time to minimize the time spent hunting those deals down.

If you’re doing physical, in-store shopping you’ll want to research when the stores open and when lines are allowed to form. You need to know if the item you are seeking is a limited availability item or if the stores plans to have more than enough in stock.

Let’s say you’ve got three items at three different stores. Figure out when each stores open and prioritize. If you really, really want one of the deals then you probably need to start at that store.

If you’ve got a lot of shopping to do you might consider working with a friend or two to see if they’re looking for items at the same stores. One person could buy items from Store A, the second person from Store B, and so on.

If you really want to go overboard you could even map out the best and most efficient ways to get in and out of mall parking lots and where in the store the item will be located so you don’t walk around lost and wasting valuable time.

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