If shopping on Thanksgiving Day or even Black Friday holds little appeal, several retailers are running pre-Black Friday specials right up until the real action begins. But to get bargains close to what's being offered during Black Friday, you're going to have spend some time sifting through all the ads and websites and act quickly.
Amazon, for example, just kicked off its Black Friday Deals Week sale, which features a rotating list of Lightning Deals and other specials that the online retailer promises to update every 10 minutes. A number of Samsung sets are now on sale, though we didn't see any amazing deals; the site also has low prices featuring TVs by oCosmo—a 40-inch 1080p LCD TV was $278, for example—a brand we've never seen. But given the rotating cast of characters, you have to check back constantly to see the deals that are being offered before they either sell out or expire. For example, yesterday we saw a 65-inch Samsung 1080p LCD TV for less than $998; today it's $1,100. You can also peruse the company's Gold Box deals for other specials.
Over at Best Buy, the electronics chain—which yesterday launched a "Blue Sunday" pre-sale that I hope will not become a trend—has a Countdown to Black Friday sale for those unwilling to wait until Thanksgiving. The number of deals is tied to the number of days until Black Friday, so there's one fewer each day. Among the deals we saw today was a 60-inch 1080p LCD TV from Dynex—a Best Buy house brand—for $580. But the deal changes for those who have achieved Elite or Elite Plus status at the chain, meaning you've spent at least $1,500 there in the last year. Then you can get your hands on some of the items early at their Black Friday prices.
Sears and its downtown sister Kmart have early online-only early Black Friday deals, but they're open only to those who are, or become, Shop Your Way Rewards members. Based on our short peek, there are only a limited number of items offered now at their
Black Friday prices. (Remember to log in as a Shop Your Way Rewards member to see the special member price.) Yesterday Sears launched a week-early Cyber Monday sale that ends tomorrow, and some prices are close to their Black Friday advertised price. For example, you can buy a 50-inch Seiki 4K Ultra HD TV right now for $760; it's promoted at $750 on Black Friday. The 55-inch version is priced at $850 right now, the same as its Black Friday price.
But other so-called specials aren't so special. For example, Panasonic's 60-inch TC-P60ST60 plasma set, one of our favorite TVs this is year, is priced at $1,500, just what we paid several months ago. So you'll have to do your homework. Sears will kick off its online Black Friday sales at 6 p.m. CST on Wednesday Nov. 27.