This is a shopping seaon like no other.
Gaming devices like the PlayStation and Xbox consoles are going to be really tough to find, and the list of hard-to-get items has grown even longer, encompassing Wi-Fi routers, cheap laptops and audio gear.
BEST deals so far:
- LG C1 OLED TV (65-Inch) – Costco
Deal price: $1,800; street price: $2,100
- Google Nest Doorbell Camera – Walmart
Deal price: $150; street price: $200
- Apple Airpods Pro: $159 (save $90 vs. Apple store, lowest price ever) – Walmart
- Netgear Nighthawk Wi-Fi router: $150 (save $150) – Best Buy
- Bose QuietComfort 35 Series II Noise-Cancelling Headphones – Target
Deal price: $200; street price: $280
- Consider automation. Millions are following Twitter accounts that scan retail sites and tweet as soon as game consoles and graphics cards are back in stock. You can set up your Twitter apps to send a notification to your phone as soon as those accounts post. I recommend following @mattswider, PS5 In Stock Alerts, iloveps5, and Wario 64 — all are legit and will tweet out whenever the console is back available at major retailers.
- Check retailers “retroactive price adjustment” policy: Many make you sign up for their free member programs such as My Best Buy or Target’s Circle and RedCard.
- If you want something, buy it now. In the unlikely event that the product goes on sale this Black Friday or Cyber Monday, you can ask the retailer for a retroactive price adjustment or return the item and buy it for the lower price.
- Make sure you find the caveats – they all have them. For instance: Best Buy started its holiday deals event early, with Black Friday prices guaranteed—if the price drops lower before Black Friday, Best Buy will refund you the difference, though there are a few caveats: First, you need a My Best Buy membership (free). If a product you buy drops in price before November 26 (Black Friday), then you will be refunded the difference on December 15. Only the products listed as “Black Friday Price Guarantee” are eligible. That said, if you see “Our Lowest Price of the Season” on a product, that’s the price it will remain through January 8, 2022.
- Check on the return windows: Another example from Best Buy: they have an extended return window for any purchases you make from October 18 through January 2, 2022. You have until January 16 to return the item, so if a product does dip further on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, it’s worth buying it and returning the one you got at a higher price.
- There are some exclusions to this return policy, like holiday products (decorations, artificial trees) and items bought with third-party contracts, like a cellphone with a cellular plan.
- Use price trackers like camelcamelcamel, slickdeals, and coupon-finder Honey.
- Slickdeals: Slickdeals shows you the best deals, coupons and cash-back options available at the time of purchase from the online retailers that support it.
- Honey: Honey compares prices between Amazon, Amazon’s third-party sellers and other online retailers, factoring in estimated shipping costs and Prime status to find the best deal. Once you install the browser extension (on Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Edge) and navigate to a product page on Amazon, you’ll see the “h” icon appear over the product photo. Clicking it takes you to the Drop List feature, which shows the product’s price history and lets you set an alert for drops. If you see a tag that says “Best deal,” you can be confident that no other Amazon seller offers a lower price. You can also search for products through the extension or on Honey’s website to see current and historical pricing, coupons and availability on a range of e-commerce sites such as Walmart, JCPenney and Home Depot.
- The Camelizer from Camelcamelcamel: Most savvy shoppers know that shopping at certain times can snag you the best deals. The Camelizer is an extension that shows you the price history of an item you’re browsing on Amazon to help you decide whether to buy now or wait for a better deal. It will also send you price drop alerts via email or Twitter, and you can import your Amazon wish list so that you’ll know when your heart’s desire goes on sale.Pro tip: If The Camelizer graph looks a little funny, right-click it and open it in a new tab.
- Don’t wait too long to buy something you need in time for the holidays: If there’s a specific thing you want, monitor its stock availability and price at multiple reliable retailers. Many sellers indicate stock limitations right next to the price, so keep an eye on dwindling or delayed stock. If you see what you want at a price you’re willing to pay, buy it rather than waiting for a slightly better price.
- This is especially important for items with some buzz, such as hot seasonal toys, apparel, or game consoles. Items for which you can probably wait until Black Friday for the best price include smart speakers and smart-home gadgets, portable audio gear such as headphones and speakers, personal grooming items like electric toothbrushes and razors, and Chromebooks.
- Don’t impulse-buy mediocre products
- Don’t fall for bad deals from unreliable retailers (check out my recent scams story)!
- Avoid manually entering your credit card info at checkout: Using an online wallet service like PayPal, Google Pay, or Apple Pay gives you an edge in both speed and security when you’re rushing to the virtual checkout counter.
Links to early BF/CM Deals:
- Amazon (Read our Amazon Shopping Tips)
- Bed Bath & Beyond
- Best Buy
- Home Depot