Written by Orion, stock photos “borrowed” from the internets (let me know if I missed a link to you)
What’s the cheapest day of the year to buy lots of things?
Black Friday, at least in the US. The only other times that have similar sales are Cyber Monday, the Monday immediately after Black Friday, and the less predictable Christmas / New Years holiday sales.
With Black Friday, you know exactly when it is (November 29 for 2013), and you know the deals are going to be at least some of the best of the year, if not the absolute best.
The best deals that you often hear about, are where people wait in line for 12 hours, then rush into a brick and mortar store and save a couple hundred dollars on one of the 3 TVs they have a special sale on. I’m lazy, and I get cold outside at night, so I don’t like to do that. I’d rather stay in the comfort of my home at my computer, drinking hot chocolate and watching cute kittens do silly things on youtube while waiting for good sales.
So, how do you plan a build or an upgrade for Black Friday?
1. Know what you want beforehand
Make a list of the things you hope to find good sales on. I make a spreadsheet that looks something like this (you can click on this and make a copy of it in Google docs, it’s nothing fancy though):
2. Be flexible
If you want the best deals, you’ll have to be flexible on brand and model. Notice I don’t have either listed on my spreadsheet. Last year, I bought a GTX 660 Ti for $180 after rebate, but it was a PNY model with a stock cooler. Normally I would have chosen one with a better warranty and cooler, but for $180 I was willing to compromise. As a result, a year later the card is still worth more than I paid for it.
3. Do your research
If you know how much your desired doodad costs now, and how much cheaper it would be to be a good deal, then you can instantly make a decision to purchase (or not).
4. Take advantage of other people’s research
Browse Black Friday deals forums online. People there often know of many deals in advance. Fatwallet and slickdeals are a couple of the biggest and best, but there are others too.
5. Sign up for the deals emails from your favorite online stores
This is where you will get the best deals and coupon codes. You can always unsubscribe afterwards.
6. Start early
Stores will often offer a few deals early, especially the evening before Black Friday.
7. Be vigilant
Stores lose money on the best deals, so there are usually limited quantities. The best deals sell out within hours or even minutes of being posted online.
And of course, Logical Increments is a great place to start your research for PC parts. ;)