Black Friday 2011 Cheers & Jeers: Thanksgiving Trumps Friday for Deals
Another Black Friday is on the books, and while you have another day of good deal-shopping ahead of you on this lovely Cyber Monday, it's time to assess the deals we've seen so far. Who served consumers well, and who stumbled? Read the fifth annual dealnews awards for the best and worst of Black Friday to find out!
Cheers to Thanksgiving, which surpassed Black Friday in volume of top-quality bargains. Both days received about an equal number of deals posted to the site, but only 39% of the deals on Black Friday were of Editors' Choice caliber, while a whopping 48% of Thanksgiving's deals were marked. That's in contrast to last year, where the percentages were about equal, with Black Friday edging Thanksgiving out overall. (Do we have midnight madness to thank for this change?)
Jeers to some of the weak sales that followed after Thanksgiving. There were still fantastic deals on Black Friday, but some were surprisingly sub par for the day.
However, jeers to Amazon for "lightning" game deals that were essentially 100% claimed the second they started. Quick-selling lightning deals were an overall problem at Amazon this year (again). An example: a choice 40" HDTV deal for under $200 was supposed to go live at 10 pm. One of our writers immediately tried to test the deal, only to discover that there was already a waiting list nearly 500 people long. Such incidents left many of us wondering how much stock they had to begin with.
Cheers to Best Buy, for spectacular deals on both Thursday and Friday. Sure, Amazon matched most, but if Best Buy had not dropped its prices, would there have been any good deals at Amazon?
However, jeers to Best Buy for mistakenly offering a $100 iTunes gift card for $60, then canceling orders and asking customers to instead purchase the deal for the price they had advertised, which was $80.
Jeers to a lack of decent hard drive deals. The best we saw was an all-time low on a 3TB USB 3.0 external HDD, but that's about it. It seems that the floods in Thailand have truly kept retailers from discounting these products to the prices we had predicted prior to the disaster.
Jeers to Toys "R" Us, whose site wasn't prepared for consumers' demands and subsequently crashed. It stayed down for a good while, forcing many shoppers to miss out on an excellent "buy one, get two free" Transformers and Spiderman sale. Similarly, Meritline was down for much of Black Friday.
Cheers to the iPhone 4S sale at Fry's, which put all models at all-time low prices.
Cheers to luxury retailers Saks and Neiman Marcus for bucking an age-old trend of skipping Black Friday. They offered sales directly, and through eBay (Last Call Neiman Marcus). Unfortunately, Nordstrom didn't join in.
A big old jeers to the violence that broke out at stores on Black Friday. We love deals, but there's never a place for fighting. Ever. And as we said last week, shopping in-store might not be worth it anyway.
Last, but not least, a MASSIVE cheers goes out to the dealnews staff. Our writers, editors, and beyond worked extra long hours, not only on Black Friday, but also on Thanksgiving. They sought out and tested hundreds of deals, so our dear readers could save money and time, all while avoiding the in-store madness.
Black Friday may be over, but there's still many stellar deals ahead today. Be sure to check the deals as they come in, and consider setting up an email alert for the category or product of your choice.
Front page photo credit: Welcome Back to Pottersville