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'Black Friday' Deals Are Back for Last-Minute Shoppers

Thursday, 20 Dec 2012 | 1:15 PM ET
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Sometimes, it pays to procrastinate. Millions of us still need to buy holiday gifts, and retailers want that business. So they've lowered prices to attract last-minute shoppers.

"We're seeing incredible deals right now on laptops and some good pricing on tablets and TVs," said Mike Fridgen, CEO of Decide.com, a site that tracks millions of prices.

They predict that 70 percent of the most popular Black Friday deals will return between now and Christmas.

"Some of the prices are even lower than the door-buster deals on Black Friday," Fridgen said. "So these are exceptional deals."

At ZingSale.com, a site that monitors prices for more than 10,000 products sold by hundreds of merchants on Amazon.com, they ran the numbers and came to the same conclusion.

"Retailers are definitely slashing prices," said Chris Garlotta, ZingSale's co-founder. "We found aggressive discounts that are often significantly better than Black Friday deals."

Their data shows that Back Friday shoppers were able to save about 33 percent off retail. Right now, the average markdown is around 43 percent. A few examples from ZingSale:

  • The Xbox 360 4GB with Kinect Holiday Value Bundle / Retail: $395; Black Friday: $269; Now: $250
  • Halo 4 for the Xbox / Retail: $60; Black Friday: $57; Now: $40
  • Philips Norelco SensoTouch Electric Razor / Retail: $100; Black Friday: $74; Now: $67

Garlotta predicts some of the deepest discounts will be on toys and games (60 percent off), winter clothing (55 percent off) and printers (52 percent off). Also look for big sales on digital cameras, Blu-ray players, tablets and E-book readers. Some TVs and video games will also be bargain-priced.

Reduce Your Stress

If you still have shopping to do, you're not alone. A new Harris Interactive survey done for SOASTA (a cloud and mobile-testing company) finds that more than half (54 percent) of the people asked still plan to shop between now and Christmas.

As you race to the finish line, use digital-shopping assistants to help you save time and money. Here are a few suggestions from the editors at ShopSmart magazine (published by Consumer Reports):

  • CouponBlender.com shows you the best deals from dozens of coupon sites.
  • TechBargains.com specializes in electronics and gift cards.
  • RetailMeNot.com, one of the magazine's favorite coupon sites, now has an app for Apple devices. Use it to snag coupon codes when you shop on your mobile device.
  • The Sale Saver LT app (for Apple) and Discount Calculator app (for Android) calculate the total cost of an item, including sales tax and any discounts.

After-Christmas Sales Expected to Start Early

Now that Black Friday begins on Thanksgiving, is it any surprise that some after-Christmas sales will start before Santa is back at the North Pole?

"Based on what we saw last year, we're predicting after-Christmas sales are going to start as early as Dec.r 23," said Louis Ramirez, senior feature writer at dealnews.com. "Because Christmas Eve falls on a Monday, we won't be surprised to see a few after-Christmas deals, on TVs and apparel, on Friday, Dec. 21."

If you don't find a great tech deal before Christmas, check again after the holiday. Dealnews says the discounts on many consumer electronics, especially HDTVs, are typically more aggressive post-Christmas.


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