You've heard the numbers in aggregate for Black Friday weekend, but what about the month of November in general? Or Black Friday itself? Just how does this year stack up against the same period of time last year, especially given the lowered sales expectations and overall retail optimism as of late?
Here's a spoiler: Online retailers don't have anything to worry about so far.
"Despite some analysts' predictions that the flurry of brick-and-mortar retailers opening their doors early for Black Friday would pull dollars from online retail, we still saw a banner day for e-commerce with more than $800 million in spending," said comScore chairman, Gian Fulgoni, in a statement. "With brick-and-mortar retail also reporting strong gains on Black Friday, it's clear that the heavy promotional activity had a positive impact on both channels."
According to comScore's figures, online shopping is up 15 percent between November 1–25, 2011 versus the same time period last year. That's an increase from approximately $11 billion in spending to $12.7 billion, helped out in part by an 18-percent increase for online spending on Thanksgiving Day and a 26-percent increase in online spending on Black Friday itself.
The Amazon Black Friday 2011 sale is now live, and they've got tons of deals that you can take advantage of from the comfort of your warm home - seriously, why would you wanna brave the lines and the cold if you can get a similar deal on Amazon? The nice thing is that Amazon seems to have been keeping tabs on other retail stores, and has matched many of the Black Friday deals that are already out there. Go check out Amazon now to get in on the good stuff.
Yep, even Groupon is getting in on Black Friday 2011! The daily deal site has a bunch of items for sale specifically for the biggest shopping day of the year, including a pair of Fanny Wang 1001 on-ear headphones for just $85. Groupon's Black Friday deals are live now, and go through Cyber Monday, while supplies last. Go on and give 'em a look!
Newegg always has some fantastic deals, and we expect no less for Black Friday 2011. The nice thing about Newegg is that they don't have any physical stores, so you can just enjoy shopping from the comfort of your own home (or the home of your in-laws if you're still there) and get some tremendous deals. They've actually started their Black Friday deals a bit early, so you can get in on them right now! Expect to find super-cheap SD cards, photo frames, video cards, headphones, RAM, and more. Heck, they are even selling a $130 Linksys 802.11n router for just $30!
For even more savings, be sure to use our Newegg promo code thread to add on to your Black Friday deals!
Apple is set to discount some of its most popular products for Black Friday 2011. No word yet on if the stores are opening early, but you can get all the deals online as well as in-store, which is nice. Discounts on items like the iPad 2, iMac, MacBook Air, and iPod touch are just the tip of the iceberg, as Apple is also discounting a bunch of third-party accessories, including the Jawbone Up. We've got the best of the sale listed after the break, along with links to take you directly to the products!
With the sheer number of sales and offers being flung around during Black Friday weekend, there's a chance that you may encounter an item you're interested in that doesn't appear in any ad. Although you can easily price compare offers from competing stores, how can you be certain that it's actually the best deal you can get? Below, we've detailed a few steps that you should take to ensure that your purchase is a wise one. And though you may feel pressure to move quickly on Black Friday — with extremely limited-time offers and deals selling out — a few moments spent researching will make you much less likely to regret your purchases later.
1. Know the Price History for the Item: Many people don't realize that there's an option on dealnews that allows you to view expired deals. This info is useful when assessing the dealworthiness of a current price for a specific item. If the model you're considering was offered for less a few weeks or months ago, it's probably a pretty weak Black Friday deal. We've noticed a few such offerings in the ads already, so be on the lookout.
2. Consider Other Colors: If you're not particular about the color of your item, it's worth doing a quick check to see if a less-mainstream colorway is seeing stronger discounts. For example, some of the deepest cuts on items like Vibram FiveFingers shoes tend to be brightly-colored styles. When searching for additional options, keep in mind that sometimes the model number integrates color information. (Cameras and camcorders frequently do this.) Simplify the model number to broaden your search, and you may find a blue camera for less than the standard black or silver model you were originally considering.
Sears is looking to bring the heat on Black Friday 2011 with a sale that begins at 4:00 am the day after Thanksgiving. We've got the highlights of the sale for you after the break, which include a $99 Kinect sensor, some cheap digital photo frames, and a $30 HD camcorder.
Amazon has a great deal on the Kinect going today. While supplies last, you can get the Kinect sensor with three games included for $125 - that's $25 less than Kinect sells for without the extra games. The titles are Kinect Adventures, Fruit Ninja Kinect, and The Gunstringer. Go and grab it now!
It worked for the HP TouchPad, why not the BlackBerry PlayBook? A sneak peek at the Staples Black Friday 2011 deals (check out our Black Friday 2011 page!)shows a huge price drop on Research in Motion's struggling tablet: just $199 for the 16GB version.
That's a $300 price drop from when the 16GB PlayBook made its debut in April.
Meanwhile, all versions of the PlayBook will get a discount in Canada: $199 for the 16GB model, $299 for 32GB, and $399 for 64GB. That will apparently run from Nov. 18 to Dec 1.
The Staples Black Friday 2011 sale begins at 6:00 am the day after Thanksgiving, and they've got a few items that have our attention. We've got the highlights of the sale for you after the break, which include a $199 BlackBerry PlayBook, Beats by Dr. Dre Solo headphones with a $20 gift card at purchase, buy 1 get 1 free paper, and more.