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Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Saving by shopping on Black Friday
Had a nice Thanksgiving, followed by a busy post-thanksgiving shopping schedule. Since last year, we had been thinking of buying a large-screen TV, if we could get it at a reasonable price. Finally, on the black Friday, we bought a 42" Olevia LCD.

Earlier we were thinking of buying a 50" TV but our budget was to spend a maximum of $1,000 inclusive of all taxes, shipping etc. We also wanted to stick with a Plasma or a LCD TV as with a DLP, we heard that you need to replace a bulb every few years and the cost of the bulb is quite high. This criteria limited us to a 42" TV. Since we were buying a smaller-sized TV instead of a 50", we decided to cut our budget further and not to spend more than $800, excluding taxes, for it.

I had seen an ad for a 42" Poloroid Plasma TV for sale at Walmart on the Black Friday but when we reached there around 10 AM, all sets were already sold out. We then went to Staples and Best Buy but had no luck there as well for finding a 42" TV for under $800. Fortunately, I had also seen an ad for a 42" Westinghouse Plasma TV for $799 (+ tax) at Office Depot which happened to be on our way. Since we reached there around noon, I had expected that all units would have been sold out. Luckily for us, there were two sets remaining of 42" Olevia LCD TV which I and another customer who had just come in before me bought. The price was $899 plus tax. However, Office Depot was offering a $200 mail in rebate on that day, so our final cost will come to around $750, inclusive of taxes and rebate. Since we managed to fit the box fit in the back of our trunk, we didn't have to worry about shipping as well. We still have to set up the unit but overall, so far, we are happy with the purchase price.

We also bought a washing machine (since our old machine is almost on the verge of quitting) and a few winter clothing items, as they all also happened to be on sale. Overall, it was a good Black Friday experience. Since we had left for shopping after 9 AM, by the time we hit the shops, we didn't have problem finding parking at any of the places, and the crowd size was reasonable.

It was definitely worth a wait for us to postpone the purchase of non-emergency items, especially electronics items, until Black Friday since the discounts are pretty decent. Going forward, these are the rules I plan to stick with:

- Postpone purchases of electronic items as long as possible, as their prices drop drastically while memory, processing power and other features increase over time.

- Check online prior to going out for shopping at retailers to get an idea of the prices that are being offered at various online and physical retail stores. Take into consideration the total cost of buying an item, including sales tax and shipping cost.

- Purchase items, especially electronic items, during the early morning hours of Black Friday when the retailers are having significant markdowns on various items. Sale discounts are especially good on electronic items during the early hours of Black Friday.

- In the past, when I wasn't sure of buying the item even if it was on sale, I wouldn't buy it. However, later on, after going home I would think that it was a good deal and I should have bought the item. Of course, by the time I would go back to the store, the item would no longer be on sale. Now the rule is that if an item I want is on sale but am sure not whether I should buy it, buy the item as the deep sale price may not last. Do not use the item but wait for a couple of days to decide if I still really really want the item. After a few days, if I don't have the strong desire to have the item (which is often the case), return the unused/unopened new item. Otherwise, if I still like the item, then just keep it.
posted by Ruby @ 7:38 AM  
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