Whether at home on the computer or out in the stores, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the best days of the year to nab great deals on electronics to make cord cutting that much more enjoyable.
Cordcutters can reap tremendous savings on streaming media devices, HDTVs, wireless routers, over air digital antennas and more, but to get the very best deals shoppers need to make a solid plan before they shop.
My friends and family think I’m a little bit nuts, but each year I put together a pre-holiday shopping strategy, just for Black Friday through Cyber Monday. This plan allows me to get all my holiday deal shopping done quickly online without overspending despite the plethora of bargains.
I use Google Drive to organize my search and record my expenditures while I shop.
First, I make up a questionnaire using Google Drive. I use Forms and I send my questionnaire via email to potential gift recipients days ahead of my holiday shopping. After they fill out and submit their answers I view them on a spreadsheet within Sheets in Google Drive.
Second, I go to my favorite Black Friday and Cyber Monday deal sites. (You can find them by using Google to search for ‘Black Friday ad scans’.) Taking the knowledge I gained through the initial questionnaire and combining it with current deal info, I make a list of stores and the products I want to buy. I take special note of any coupon codes or promotional limitations at this time.
Third, as I’m shopping the sales, I fill out a personal Google Form questionnaire that I’ve prepared in advance. It’s an easy to way to keep track of my purchases and gives me a nice reference point for next year’s shopping. This form, as with the questionnaire I sent to others, is automatically updates to Sheets within Google Drive.
Responses to the questionnaire are then put into a spreadsheet like the one shown below.
The cool part about doing things this way is that whether you are shopping from home online as I do, or out in the retail trenches with your smartphone, you can use Google Drive’s tools and Black Friday apps to keep yourself on track for big savings.
Most people would say that a great deal is one that allows you to save the most money. That’s not always true. Take HDTVs for example.
You may be able to get a 32” HDTV for less than one hundred dollars, but if the picture on it is washed out, it’s lacking the ports you want it to have and the sound is terrible. The price was right, but its features and performance were all wrong. Not such a great deal after all was it?
As with all deal shopping, the best way to get great deals is to do your research before you shop. You’ve got to scope out what you want, see if you can get it and then decide on what constitutes a comfortable price for you to buy it.
Be aware too that great deals come up a lot, but are often mixed in with a bunch of lesser deals that stress an urgency to buy before it’s too late.
For example, during the holidays Amazon runs nearly continuous Lightning deals. I’ve noticed that in many cases the Lightning deal pricing isn’t always the lowest price the items have ever been.
To keep track of pricing trends I use the Chrome browser extension called the Camelizer. By using this handy tool I can quickly see if the current special pricing really is all that special. Here are other similar tools you can use for this purpose as well.
In my opinion a great deal is a deal that you feel good about after the purchase. There’s a lack of buyer’s remorse with a great deal as you know you’ve done the best you could by educating yourself and choosing wisely.
If you want the latest and greatest, check out the BeBox by Mohu. This dynamo integrates Android technology with high-end audio for a portable, stand-alone entertainment experience that will be what everyone wants for Christmas this year.
For your friends who are on the fence about cord cutting, Mohu HDTV antennas are always a great gift idea. Check out the open box deals for extra savings.
If you have Apple devices, be sure to snap up the savings on iTunes gift cards at Costco online. Costco gives you a discount on bundles of iTunes cards, and now through November 30th (or whenever they sell out as they do every year…) you get additional discounts. Today I purchased $320 worth of iTunes cards in $15 and $25 denominations for $258. For me this deal was like getting $60 worth of iTunes gift cards for FREE!
Many retailers will be having incredible deals on HDTVs with the 40″ to 55″ being the likely sweet spot for the best savings.
Roku TVs which are Roku’s line of smart TVs, will be on sale too. They are ideal for cordcutters who are looking for a cool onscreen menu that can show all your apps (Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, Crackle…) and any HDMI connected devices like Blu-ray players or gaming systems. Look for Amazon to have the best deals on these, with the 32″ dropping to around $125 at least once during Black Friday.
This week's latest in cordcutting news and trends: New OTA stations, why it might be time to rescan your antenna, a look at Pay TV's sneaky hidden fees, Mohu's Independence Day sale and more.
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A new report found that there are over 100 available over-the-air stations you can watch for free with an antenna.