Sears has traditionally been one of the big retailers we follow during the Black Friday holiday-shopping period, but those looking for can't-resist deals may be a bit disappointed this year. Based on the preview we saw at gottadeal.com and blackfriday.com, other than one or two specials, the Sears Black Friday deals don't seem especially, well, special.
We've already reported on some early previews of Black Friday sales at Amazon and Best Buy. Sears kicks off its Black Friday ad with a teaser that's certain to draw attention—a $97 32-inch LCD TV, though additional details, including the brand, aren't listed. Also of interest: A 51-inch Samsung 1080p plasma, model PN51E530, which will be priced at $580. Since it's currently $698 at Amazon and $700 at several other retailers, this is actually a good deal. (This model is reviewed in our current TV Ratings.)
But other deals aren't so overwhelming. For example, one of Friday's 4 a.m. doorbusters is a Samsung 60-inch 1080p LCD TV, model UN60ES6003. This set—which could be a special Black Friday model, as it's not widely available—features an LED backlight and 120Hz anti-blur technology, and it's priced at $1,300. But B&H Photo has the set at that price right now. The 40-inch version of this model will be $600 at Sears, but it's also available for roughly the same price at B&H now.
Similarly, Sears will have the LG 55LS4500, a 55-inch 1080p LCD with an LED backlight and 120Hz technology, for $900. But it's currently selling for $900 at Amazon (via affiliate Circuit City), Best Buy, and Walmart. LG's 47-inch 47LM4600, a 3D 1080p LCD TV with an LED backlight, 120Hz technology and four sets of polarized 3D glasses, will be $700 during the sale at Sears. But that's the current price for this set at Sears.
For those looking for a smaller set, Sears will have a 32-inch Panasonic 1080p LCD TV with LED backlight (TC-L32X5) for $350. But right now you can get it for $348 from Amazon right now, and it's currently priced at $350 at—you guessed it—Sears.
Also in the mix is a Seiki-brand Blu-ray player, model SR212S, for $50. Sears is selling it for $57 now (and it's $60 at Kmart) so you'd save $7 to $10 on Black Friday. But we expect to see several major-brand models for close to that amount that may be more appealing.
Last year, Sears offered four separate Black Friday sale ads, so it's possible we'll find some more compelling deals as we get closer to the holiday. But it's clear that you really need to compare the Black Friday "special" prices being offered by retailers both to the current selling price at that store and to the advertised prices from other dealers' Black Friday offers. In many instances, you may find that some Black Friday specials aren't so special.
Gottadeal.com: Sears Black Friday Sale ad
Blackfriday.com: Sears Black Friday Ad Sale