Tech Talk Tuesday: Black Friday

Updated: Tuesday, November 26 2013, 11:34 AM MST
Tech Talk Tuesday: Black Friday story image

Ahh, yes! Just two more days and I’ll be next to a big pot frying up a delicious turkey.  I can’t wait!  With every juicy bite we get closer to the first day of the holiday shopping season known as .. BLACK FRIDAY!  Today on tech talk Tuesday I’m going to stuff your brains with black friday tech super shopping knowledge. Let’s begin!

Right of the bat, I want to state that Black Friday USE to be fun.  My family would have Thanksgiving dinner, a nap, then, like general’s around a table, plan a battle strategy for the assault on all the deals.  We would pour through the sales, then divide and conquer.

Now we have stores that are opening up early on Thursday or companies that are having only online sales.  LAME!  Black Friday has turned Gray Thursday and that just cuts in to turkey time, or I should say family time, and that is just not cool in my book.  To make a statement this year, I’m out!  That will show them!  Unlike me, if you’re still into this Thursday/Friday ritual, I have some rules for you to live by.

This is a tech blog/article/thing, so I’m not here to help with finding the best deal on yarn.  We’re talkin' TV’s, Blu-Ray Players, and anything electronics.

Tip #1 Don’t go looking for "HOT ITEMS" at the stores.  Look online instead.

Hot items include things like: Apple Products, Xbox One, Playstation 4, most tablets.  For example, if you're looking for iPods for the kids, Target has them for $5 off with a $30 gift card.  Not Bad!  The best part is you can get it now. You don’t have to wait.  You also have offers from places like Apple that are having a sale starting midnight online.  Nice!  As for the gaming consoles, there might be some deals at stores like GameStop so check their website often, but at this point these new consoles are so hard to find, it would be dumb luck if you get one this Black Friday.

Tip #2 Televisions are not made equal.

If a new TV is on your list this year, then heed my warning.  Stick to the name brands.  Normally, with most items name brand doesn't matter..  You're probably paying more just for the brand name.  TV’s are the exception.  There are some brands on the market that just come specifically for Black Friday because they can be sold dirt cheap.  There's a reason most of these are such a steal is because you are getting exactly what you pay for.  Vizio, Samsung, and LG are brands that have really good deals from places like BestBuy.  I would say stick with those.   Stay away from Sharp, Insignia, and any other brand that doesn't sound familiar to you as they are not worth fighting over on Friday night.  If you're still up for the challenge, one thing that separates a good TV from a bad one is multiple HDMI inputs.  If there is only one input then I wouldn't recommend that TV.  Manufactures cut corners by providing only one HDMI.  If they cut corners there,  you'll find a whole lot of other things you won't like about this TV once you get it home.

Tip #3 Thumb Drives are not Black Friday worthy.

This is more of a personal preference, but if the only reason you’re fighting a crowd is to get thumb drives at a cheap price you are wasting your time. No one at Christmas says, “I wish I had a 64GB flash drive!”  My son and I almost died last year as two men almost brawled over thumb drives.  I don’t understand this at all as this item literally goes on sale 20 times throughout the year.  Wait for the other 19 times and buy one then.

Tip #4  Sleeper Hits worth your time at the stores or online.

Besides obvious electronics that are usually on everyones lists like TV’s or Blu-Ray players, here are some items that no one talks about but make awesome gifts.  Here are my recommendations:

Streaming Devices: Apple TV, Chromecast, and Roku,

Fitness wrist devices: Nike Sport Watch, FitBit Force, Misfit

Soundbars: Samsung or whatever has a wireless subwoofer

Bluetooth Speakers: Jawbone or Beats

Tip #5

Here in El Paso there aren't a lot of stores that sell quality Black Friday electronics so strategize.

BestBuy, Target, RadioShack, Walmart, GameStop, and/or Kmart all sale electronic purchasing locations.  Personally, I would tell you to stay away from Walmart.  It’s always a mess and the last couple of years I’ve gone, they are never organized.  Last year, I asked two employees where one item was and I got two different answers.  I finally had to ask another shopper where to go and together we hunted down the line like savages.  Needless to say, I didn’t get the item I was looking for, so don’t be like me, I already made the mistake for you.  Try a store that you know typically has low traffic.  Anything near a freeway, for me, is "off limits."  BestBuy is another hot spot that I would try to avoid, as that is the first place any one thinks of when looking for tech.  RadioShack, Target, and Kmart might be better choices as they are not high up on the tech tree of stores.  Look online at the sales and see if there is anything there that you want.  If not, just be ready for lines and crowds anywhere else.

That does it, so remember, try looking online first and then if all else fails go out ready to face the battle at the stores.  Do you have any horror stories to share? What are you looking for this Black Friday? Did I miss anything you wanted to know?  Leave me a comment below. As always we would love your feedback/suggestions for this or our next edition, so feel free to send your comments to our resident Tech Guy Lonnie Valencia.

Tech Talk Tuesday: Black Friday
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