Black Friday, the biggest shopping bonanza of the year, is officially underway with several “Pre Sales” and even more to come this Thursday and Friday.  In fact, many of the largest retailers are showing that nothing’s sacred when it comes to the chance at some extra profit and many of the best deals are taking place exactly when we’d normally be sitting down for turkey and stuffing.  Never fear though, loyal readers, because our staff at Amadeus Consulting has planned out a perfect navigation route for you to save thousands this holiday season with minimal wear and tear on your reindeer-covered slippers!

Thanksgiving Day Steals

tv

In general, none of us are big fans of any store that would expect us to walk away from turkey-time in order to save a few bucks.  The retailers have been working overtime in their marketing departments, however, and discovered that most of us are eating early with one half of our family and then making a dinner-dash to see the other set of in-laws.  Their goal this year is to snag you on that in-between route, so here are some key times to watch out for-

4 PM, Thanksgiving Day-

That’s when Best Buy starts handing out store vouchers on extremely limited quantities of $299.99 iPad 2’s, $999.99 65” Samsung televisions and many other tech deals that carry discounts of $100 or more.  The items can actually be purchased at 6PM, and there are no rain checks offered for those who arrive late.  Since devoted shoppers have been camping out for days in order to get in on these deals, we suggest going back for that second piece of Pecan pie and skipping Best Buy’s 6PM sale entirely.

6 PM, Thanksgiving Day-

Walmart, on the other hand, is offering a one hour guarantee on all of their Thanksgiving Day blowouts so this may end up being worth the trip.  Shoppers can choose from iPad Minis for $199 (with the bonus $100 Walmart gift card), $278 HP touchscreen laptops, $688 Vizio 60” televisions and many other steep discounts.  There are also great sales on video games, movies and a number of children’s toys so it could very well turn into a multi-purpose trip.

8 PM, Thanksgiving Day-

By the 8:00 hour on Thanksgiving night, all of the malls are opening their doors to officially kick off their Black Friday madness.  Walmart also has another round of sales, this time leading off with $49 RCA tablets and $114.95 Beats by Dre headphones, plus a nice $178 laptop by HP.  Target, meanwhile, has a 50” Element television for $229, a $149.99 Nintendo 3DS, and hundreds of other door busters worth taking a look at.

Early Black Friday Blowouts

windows tablet

Moving on to Black Friday itself, the day is actually a lot less hectic in terms of scoring the best tech deals.  Many of the best deals can be found online, which we’ve placed in their own section below.  Here’s which stores you should consider an early morning dash to-

Best Buy finally tops a category on our list with $150 off all MacBook Air computers, which is really a sensational deal since all of these devices are only a few weeks old.  If you make the trip, also take a look at the $199 Microsoft Surface tablet and the ultra-cheap DVD’s, which are the only two other things to really get excited about.  There are several other really good deals, of course, but they’re also available at similar prices from numerous other retailers and online.

If your vehicle is on the verge of needing tires, then you’ll want to be in line for Walmart’s huge tire sale sometime this holiday weekend.  Prices are good Thursday through Sunday and all sizes are guaranteed to be in stock, with discounts up to $127 PER TIRE.  While we normally wouldn’t mention this in a tech buying guide, it was simply too attractive to pass on.

Also, Black Friday appears to be the best day for a new smartphone since everyone is offering steep discounts throughout the day.  We’re not listing individual retailers here though because the deals are literally everywhere…there’s no need for a special trip in this category.

Best Online Bargains

kindle

Office Depot, Newegg, Amazon and several others kick off Black Friday at the stroke of midnight with some very enticing electronic prices.  The latter online giants have drastic sales daily, however, so be sure to check back often for last-minute stocking stuffers at rock-bottom prices.  Best Buy also has some very good online bargains that can be grabbed at any time Black Friday.

Don’t forget about direct retailers like Dell or HP either, because they’re discounting almost everything in stock for online shoppers.  Also, Apple might be worth a quick peek since they’re teasing exceptional deals. While there are certainly some great deals available, they sadly cannot compete with the door buster deals available through the big retailers for these branded products.

Staples is another one to keep an eye on this year since all of their Thanksgiving/Black Friday deals can be purchased online at any time during their respective sales.  Perhaps their best deal is the $79 Kindle Fire or the $249 Toshiba quad-core laptop, both of which appear to be the least expensive you’ll find this season.  There are also numerous software freebies between discounts and mail-in rebates, so be sure to glance through this section of the website/store as well.