Black Friday primer for Boxing Day

The holiday season is a time for family and friends to bask in the glow of one another’s company, all in the spirit of fellowship and goodwill toward all mankind.

It’s also a time to save big bucks on new gadgets!

Black Friday looms — it’s just one week away. Unfortunately, the big discount shopping day has become incredibly complex. A search for “black friday” on Google brings up more than 58 million pages, and on Google News, more than 31,000 pages. Pundits and experts have published hundreds of tips and facts on how to navigate the complexities of store hours, return policies, leaked ads and buying strategies.

But if you just want to save a few bucks on Christmas shopping and don’t want a massive homework project, here’s my advice on how to make Black Friday super-easy.

There are four major sites that leak Black Friday ads and prices. All these sites duplicate one another’s content. Two of them have mobile versions, but one of them has the best mobile version:

So to save the most money with the least effort, use only that Web site — from your PC or your cell phone. Here’s how.

Wait until Thanksgiving, then go to the site. The reason you want to wait is that you’re “comparison shopping” for the best prices, but many of those prices haven’t been leaked yet.

If you know what you want exactly, simply use the site’s Search function to find the model at the top of the page (for example, to find a Microsoft Zune media player, just search for “Zune”). The search feature will deliver all the stores that will discount it, with all prices shown. You’ll see right away that the store with the best price can be surprising. For example, a 30GB Zune player, which normally costs about $200, will be discounted on Black Friday to $99 at CompUSA and RadioShack, but will cost only $79.99 at — drum roll, please — Toys R Us!

If you know what you want, but not precisely — say, you want a new TV, but don’t have a specific make and model in mind — search for the product category name. For example, search for “TV.”

If you’re planning to visit just a couple of nearby stores and know which ones, just click on the store names from the home page and see what they’ve got.

Here’s the most important part — and why the mobile site is better than the other one. After you’ve narrowed down the product and store, click on the store name from the home page. At the top, you’ll see “Sale Begins” followed by a time. That’s when the store will open. There will be a big line forming before the store opens. Many open at 5 a.m. on Friday, or even at one minute after midnight! One of the tricks stores pull is to limit inventory, so the best products with the best prices may be sold out by 6 a.m. Get there early.

While you’re at the store, make sure you can access from your phone. You may need to do some quick comparison shopping.

So there you have it: By using only the site, you’ll get 90 per cent of the benefits of doing weeks of research but with 10 per cent of the effort.

Happy shopping!

Pen system lets you write on paper, captures digital ‘ink’.

We all take notes, capture ideas and jot down reminders. But how? For many people, putting pen to paper is most natural. But once you scribble in a notepad, the text is unsearchable, not backed up and hard to share. Sure, you could buy a $2,000 tablet PC — problem solved! But not everyone wants to spend that kind of money. A new product called the DigiScribble captures what you write on regular paper with an ink pen and converts it into ASCII text.

It learns your handwriting as you use it. DigiScribble can work in both handwriting capture mode or mouse mode — your pen can be used as a PC pointing device.

Goof off in style with office gaming chair.

If you’re going to goof off at work, do it right. The $290 Pyramat wireless PC gaming chair looks at first like a stodgy, all-business office chair. In fact, it’s a rechargeable PC peripheral that connects to your system wirelessly.

Two speakers — one on either side of where your head goes — and one 4-inch subwoofer provide realistic sound and also some quasi-haptic rumble.

My Picks: How to force yourself to exercise at work.

A company called Gamercize this week launched a product called GZ PC-Sport & Power Steppe, which fits under a standard-sized desk. You step on it for exercise, and it can be configured to shut down your mouse and keyboard if you get lazy and stop stepping. Also, learn about ads coming to you soon — via your mobile device.

Would you recommend this article?


Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you think of this article!
We'd love to hear your opinion about this or any other story you read in our publication.

Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

Featured Download

Related Tech News

Featured Tech Jobs


CDN in your inbox

CDN delivers a critical analysis of the competitive landscape detailing both the challenges and opportunities facing solution providers. CDN's email newsletter details the most important news and commentary from the channel.