Black Friday fizzles...
When it comes to Black Friday, I feel like a crotchety old man, describing how it used to be back in the day - back in aught-one and aught-two, when I could roll up to a retail store an hour before opening and still get a decent spot in line, when I could leave with an armload of free after rebate stuff, and when I could hit 3 or 4 stores, get most of what I wanted, and be back in bed by 10am.
Several years ago - I think it was '06 - I went to Circuit City at midnight, in the hopes of scoring a $300 laptop. I was too late. That's when I decided that Black Friday was no longer worth it - the combination of crappier deals and more people chasing them had made it not worth it. That, and I realized I really didn't like sitting in the cold for long periods of time.
So the last few years, my Black Friday ritual has consisted of firing up the Macbook Pro and surfing deal sites. I've made out pretty well in previous years, especially a couple years ago when Amazon listed a bunch of Logitech stuff with duplicate rebates.
But this year, I didn't get a whole lot. Part of it is that what I normally chase - free after rebate or nearly free after rebate stuff - has quickly been disappearing as some of the retailers that were the biggest promoters of it have either dropped rebates or gone out of business altogether - compusa, circuit city, officemax, pc club. I've been banned from shopping at frys.com after last summer, when I filed a chargeback after they lost a damaged TV that was returned to them.
Also, retailers have started moving around when they have their promos, so the bulk of my black friday purchases were made before Black Friday. I'm hoping there will be some decent deals for "cyber monday", although in the past those have been mostly hype. I'm also hoping more deals come closer to Christmas.
So, since wednesday, here is what I've bought:
LG hbm-235 bluetooth headset - 99 cents AR(After Rebate)
Gigabyte Radeon 4550 video card - $10 AR
Tom-Tom 340tl 4.3" GPS with lifetime traffic and maps - $99 (this will replace a year old Tom Tom 1 third edition refurb, which I can probably get $30-$50 for on eBay, which is only slightly less than I paid for it)
Bunch of cheap $1.99 DVD's from their lightning deals (Talledega Nights, Casino Royale, The Fast and the Furious Tokyo Drift, The Hangover)
2 VIA usb pci cards - FAR (free after rebate)
Samsung bluetooth headset - 99 cents AR
Insignia Blu-Ray player (with wireless streaming Netflix and Pandora) - $89 (for me, my first Blu-Ray player)
iogear bluetooth music transporter - FAR
Logitech M310 cordless mouse - $5 AR