Black Friday = November 28th
You may or may not know, but one of the biggest shopping days of the year is coming upon us in a hurry. Black Friday is on Friday (duh) November 28th, and as always, falls on the day after Thanksgiving. Some places I have read say the term "Black Friday" comes from it being the start of the "black" season for retail stores (that is to say, they start turning a profit, so they are in the black, rather than the red), while others say since it is such a busy day, it is the catalyst to lots of smog. Whatever reason it has it's name is irrelevant; what is relevant is the fact that it is time to save big on those purchases you have been holding back on. As Greek philosopher Socrates once said:
Go big or go home, pussy.
While most retailers want you to visit their stores and buy a shitload of merchandise, they try to keep the frenzy atmosphere high by not making their ads public until just a few days prior to Black Friday itself. In comes my friend Michael.
Michael runs Bfads.net which is the comprehensive site for all of your Black Friday needs. People from all around the country send in information on all of the Black Friday deals that retailers are planning. There you will find scans of actual advertisements, and he also lists out individual items, and their associated cost. If you go on there now, you will see he already has several stores listed.
Keep in mind that both online and B&M (brick and mortar) retailers will have deals associated with time and day of purchase, and many are in conjunction with mail-in rebates. Since most people in America have the day after Thanksgiving off from work, many retailers will have early bird deals, and deals that span the entire weekend (through Sunday). Most stores open up much earlier than normal - between 5 and 7 a.m. - and most people looking for huge savings will be lining up hours before stores open.
Black Friday = November 28th
I know that for many people, mail-in rebates leave a bad taste in your mouth (probably only second to semen), but if you follow their instructions, you should not get burned. They bank on people forgetting to send in their rebates on time, or missing a step in the process. From my own experience, I have never been screwed out of my rebate, but I also only buy from reputable companies (meaning, I'll buy the slightly more expensive hard drive from Seagate, rather than from Bob's Hard Drives & Hosieries).
My advice to you is to check back at Michael's site regularly, and make note of which items are most important to you, and focus on them. If you are looking for a big ticket item (i.e.: large TV, gaming console, digital camera) and don't plan on waking up super fucking early to stand in a line, then don't waste your time. People will line up hours ahead of the start of a sale, just to insure they get the best deal possible on their big ticket item of choice. As Black Friday approaches, give yourself several options, both in terms of stores and products. What I mean by that is don't put all your eggs in one basket, and have a plan B, C, etc. I would also recommend going with friends or family, especially if you plan on waiting in lines prior to store openings.
Being a big fan of the Circuit City chain, I was sad to hear they were closing 155 stores nation-wide, but this could also be a blessing-in-disguise for Black Friday shoppers. Circuit City's Black Friday deals are usually right up there with Best Buy, Target & Walmart, but my gut instinct is they will be practically giving things away on Black Friday. Speaking of Walmart, Michael tells me they had contacted him and are only allowing their advertisements to go up on the Monday of the week of Black Friday. That should still give you plenty of time to come up with a plan.