Here we go: one week until Black Friday. Am I excited? Pumped? Polishing the ol' credit card for a day of deal-crazed madness?
Don't get me wrong: I enjoy BF as much as the next cheapskate. But I'm weary of the month-long hype machine, what with all the "leaked" ads, pre-Black Friday sales, and so on.
What's more, I have never, and will never, set foot in a retail store on Black Friday. I don't enjoy crowds, especially the deal-crazed variety. Oh, and 5 a.m.? That's sleep time, not stand-in-line-in-the-freezing-cold time.
My other issue: Like last year, the deals I've seen so far just aren't that great. Know why? Because everything's already dirt-cheap all year. Regular Cheapskate readers have seen the $50 GPS, the $80 Blu-ray player, the sub-$300 32-inch HDTV. Sadly for retailers, there's just not much room to go any lower.
All that being said, what kind of cheapskate would I be if I didn't give this hallowed shopping holiday a little love? So here you go: five deals/offers/promotions I'm liking this year. Want more? Dealnews has some of the best Black Friday coverage around--including these tips on using price-matching in retail stores.
- Acer Aspire One Netbook If you're going to stand in line for something, make it the Acer Aspire One 10-inch Netbook for $149.99 at Office Max. Needless to say, that's a seriously smoking deal--though I still wouldn't get up at 5 a.m. for it. Would you? Update: This deal is unconfirmed and should be treated as a rumor until the official Office Max ad appears this week.
- Bing Gold Rush Many people really like Microsoft's Bing cashback program, and with good reason: After buying stuff you were going to buy anyway, you get money back. Three percent here, 10 percent there--it adds up. Starting Black Friday, retailers like AT&T, eBay, Gap, Sears, and Wal-Mart will be raising their cashback rates as high as 35 percent. Microsoft didn't give me any specific details, but if you're planning to shop online, Bing is probably a smart place to start.
- Fast Video Converter Pro Normally $24.95, this handy utility is available free, no strings attached, as part of a Thanksgiving promotion. FVC Pro supports just about every video format on the planet, from 3GP to Divx to WMV. It's perfect for converting videos to play on, say, your iPhone or Zune. Don't wanna wait until Turkey Day? You can actually grab this freebie right now, and up until Nov. 30.
- MiFi 2200 One of my favorite gadgets of 2009, the Novatel Wireless MiFi 2200 is literally a Wi-Fi hotspot in your pocket. It's normally $99.99 with a two-year Sprint contract, but Best Buy will be selling it free with said contract. I don't know if they'll be offering the same deal on the Verizon version, which I suspect many people would prefer. But I do think this will be an in-store-only offer, so plan on a trip to your local BB.
- Navigon for iPhone As part of a Thanksgiving-weekend-trip-to-grandma's promotion, Navigon's MobileNavigator app [iTunes link] is on sale for $69.99. You can also grab, in-app, the new Traffic Live feature for $14.99, a combined savings of $30. Then grab yourself a basic windshield mount like this one and you can put your old, crummy GPS up on eBay.