The one-month countdown begins.
Stores are “leaking” sales prices, shopping websites are predicting discounts and Black Friday excitement (read: mania) is already setting in.
According to the National Retail Federation, holiday shoppers plan to spend an average of $704.18 on gifts and decorations, down a smidgen from last year’s $718.98.
But many of us will spend even less by keeping an eye on sales. Early shoppers might even find a few items are already at their rock-bottom price for the year.
Armed with consumer website DealNews.com’s Black Friday price predictions, I shopped for a sample list of gadgets to discover whether there are already steals to be had — or if you have to wait for prices to drop.
55-inch 1080p LCD high-definition TV ($549): The rock-bottom prediction for this TV would truly be a deal if it comes to fruition. The lowest price I could find on a similar model of the same size was an Element for $749.98 from Walmart.com. Last year, a 32-inch LG model bottomed out at $212 from Frys.com, so mid-$500s for a 55-inch this November isn’t unfathomable.
Kindle WiFi e-reader ($99): Just a week after DealNews made its predictions, this price became a reality. The price might not drop again during the holidays, so if you have your heart set on the standard model, go ahead and purchase it now to avoid the online rush. Plus, you’ll get free shipping. Discounts on the Kindle Fire? Let’s just hope for a miracle.
Nook color e-reader ($179): This baby is holding steady at $249, so a $70 discount seems like a fairy tale, but you never know what the retail season will bring. You’ll receive free shipping if you spend $25 on barnesandnoble.com.
Blu-ray player with Netflix support ($45): Prices for Netflix-enabled Blu-rays are bottoming out around $80 ($79.36 on Amazon.com). But last year, Walmart discounted one model so steeply the week before that the company sold out … twice. Models were door-busting at $50 on Black Friday last year, so $45 could materialize for older models this time around.
15- to 16-inch laptop with a dual-core processor ($189): Although you can find a smaller laptop for less, the 15-inch models are hovering around $300 this week.
Samsung Galaxy 7-inch tab ($239): The Wi-Fi-only version of this tablet sells for $349.99, so the possibility of a $100-plus discount is a great incentive to hang on for another month.
Apple: Those who know and love its products are also aware that discounts will be minimal, although always welcome. DealNews predicts 5 percent to 10 percent off the newest iPods and computers and no discounts on the new iPhone 4S. (But you probably could have guessed that.)
Black Friday websites
Are you waiting for prices to drop on any specific gadgets?
Going shopping on Black Friday? Follow Lauren on Twitter @atlbargains for info about lines, parking and deals. Use #BlackFridayATL to join the conversation.
– By Lauren Davidson, Atlanta Bargain Hunter