Analyzing the 2012 Black Friday Ads: RadioShack Offers Inflated Prices

By , dealnews Senior Feature Writer

If you're like us, chances are you have more than one gadget on your Black Friday shopping list. However, aside from Dell and Sprint, we're still waiting to see Black Friday ads for many of the major electronics retailers. Today, however, we're adding RadioShack to our list of analyzed ads. But as it turns out, only one of RadioShack's promotions can be considered an actual deal. Below are some of the ad's highlights disappointments:

  • Canon EOS Rebel T3 12.2-Megapixel Digital SLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Type II Lens for $500
    Not all of RadioShack's deals are worth their Black Friday label. This camera "deal," for instance, is anything but a bargain. Not only have we seen this exact bundle at this price before, but we've actually seen it for much lower, not once, not twice, but three times in the past two months. Just in October we saw it at an all-time low of $380. Needless to say, this deal gets two thumbs down from our Editors.

  • Amazon Kindle 6" WiFi eBook Reader for $70
    Tablets and eBook readers will be hot this holiday season, and while RadioShack is selling the Amazon Kindle 6" for $19 under Amazon's price, you could save substantially more by going for the Kindle with Special Offers (which we saw at an all-time low of $47 back in July). But if you can live with those ads, this deal is the lowest we've seen for a non-ad supported Kindle.

  • Apple iPod touch 16GB MP3 Player (4th generation) for $200
    While this deal may look like a bargain, it's anything but and we advise steering clear of this sale. In fact, at $200 this iPod touch is a buck over Apple's own price for this generation iPod touch (which is the previous, 4th generation model) and $5 more than Amazon's current price for this model.

  • Microsoft Xbox 360 Slim 4GB Game Console with Headset for $170
    On paper, this deal is tempting. Especially since $170 has been the all-time low we've seen this year for a 4GB Xbox console (sans headset). But keep in mind the headset is roughly a $25 value. More importantly, $170 is much higher than our Xbox 360 console prediction price of $140 — a price that we saw last Black Friday and which could make an appearance again this year.

  • Sony PlayStation 3 250GB Console Bundle for $220
    Just announced by Sony in September, this new PS3 console — which houses a bigger hard drive than than the traditional 160GB console — retails for about $299. At $220, it's $20 over the best price we've seen for the 160GB model, but it also offers much more storage space. For gamers, this is one deal worth jumping on.

  • HP DV45268NP 14" Laptop with 6GB RAM and 500GB HDD for $500
    Although we don't know the full specs of this HP system, we do know that we've already seen the ASUS K55A Intel Ivy Bridge Core i5 15.6" Laptop with 6GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive for an astonishingly low $399. By comparison, this HP system is way overpriced. We strongly believe you'll find better laptop deals elsewhere.

  • Toshiba C855-S5347 Celeron 15.6" Laptop with 4GB RAM for $300
    Like the above-mentioned laptop, this Celeron-powered Toshiba is also worth skipping. Not only have we seen this price on this laptop before (albeit with a dual-core AMD APU), but we're actually predicting budget laptops like this Toshiba, will hit a low of $179. Need more processing power? We also predict mainstream 15" Ivy Bridge-powered systems will drop to $364, which makes this Toshiba an overpriced budget laptop.

  • Klipsch S3 In-Ear Headphones in Blue for $25
    While they make a great stocking stuffer, these S3 headphones are anything but a bargain. In fact, we saw them for $5 less this past August. Pass!

  • Nikon COOLPIX L810 16.1-Megapixel 26x Zoom 3D Panorama Digital Camera with Case and Card for $200
    Unless this camera comes with a diamond-encrusted case, this Nikon deal is not worth your time. In fact, we saw this camera for $15 less in June and $80 less two weeks ago. Yet another pass in RadioShack's arsenal of Black Friday disappointments.

  • Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7" 16GB Tablet for $200
    We admit that finding good deals on Amazon's new Kindle Fire HD will be tough, but at this price Radio Shack is charging a buck more than Amazon's price. Shameful. And it goes without saying, this is not worth your time.

  • Digix Wireless Blu-ray Disc Player for $60
    There are various reasons why we think this deal is worth skipping. Not only is it much higher than our Blu-ray player prediction price of $39, but we actually saw this model for $10 less in May.

  • Apple iPod nano 16GB MP3 Player (7th generation) for $150
    While we always recommend buying Apple products from authorized resellers because they tend to undercut Apple pricing, this is one case where we're not advocating that. In fact, RadioShack's price is a buck over Apple's list price.

By now you're probably wondering if there were any deals in RadioShack's Black Friday ad that were worth your time. Truth be told, aside from the PS3 250GB console we mentioned above, we could not find any. Many times RadioShack's prices were above the manufacturer's retail price or significantly higher than prices we've already seen throughout the year. As a result, this ad gets two thumbs down from our Editors.

Want to check out what we think of other sales? Keep an eye on all the Black Friday ads as they leak by visiting our Black Friday hub. We've already posted ads from Fred's, Dell, Harbor Freight Tools, Half Price Books, and Sprint.

An avid gadget lover, Louis Ramirez has covered technology for Gizmodo, CNET, Laptop, and various other publications. Follow him on Twitter at @LouisRamirez.

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DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).


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1 comment
Thanx 4 the exposé! There will be no Tandy-Candy in OUR stockings this Xmas...