With the onslaught of Black Friday stories (sorry about that, dear readers) and leaked ads, it's no surprise that consumers may be feeling a little overwhelmed and confused. But there are ways to keep track of both the ads and the deals without using a spreadsheet.
Here at Walletpop, we're doing our best to bring you Black Friday news as it comes out. When an ad gets leaked, or a retailer announces a promotion, we'll let you know. If there's a new way to save for holiday shopping, extended layaway programs and credit card pitfalls we think you should avoid, we'll let you know. But when it comes to scanning in every single page of every single ad, we defer to the experts. Yes, believe it or not, there are experts.
These days, the websites featuring Black Friday deals do a lot more than just scan the ads. At FatWallet, for example, you can search by store, price or product category. Many sites let you compile shopping lists, participate in discussions and register to receive updates and emails as new information is posted. And while there about as many Black Friday sites as there are stores with ads, here are our picks for the best of the best:
Savvy shoppers know BradsDeals as one of the best resources for coupon codes, online and printable coupons and constantly updated information about deals of all kinds. But Brads' sister site, Black Friday 2010, is one of the slickest and easiest to navigate. There are predictions, top gift picks and even video tips from Brad himself.
Deal News is always a good source for deals all year long, but its Black Friday microsite has the ads, product and retail specific coupons and some editorial content, including predictions and hot toy picks.
But when it comes to the best technology, FatWallet is ahead by more than a nose. You can shop by store, brand, product category and sub-category. Further narrow results by setting a price range, free shipping options, door buster offerings and an online presence. There's even a FatWallet iPhone app, that lets you do it all from your smartphone.
FatWallet spokesman Brent Shelton, told Walletpop in a telephone interview, that the site doesn't just re-post scanned ads but puts all the information into a searchable database. "Basically it's a Black Friday planner on steroids," said Shelton. "The true deal hunter is going to appreciate it; it's really going to save them a lot of time."
Of course, there are loads of additional websites devoted to Black Friday and the ads:
Black Friday 2010 is already going strong at BFAds.com. There are tabs for "hot deals," scanned ads and even buying guides. The site is updated daily, now that we're getting closer to Black Friday, and shopping deals beyond the typical store announcements are aggregated into blog posts. There's also a philanthropic angle: buy a Black Friday t-shirt for $10 on the site and all profits from the sale in November, go to the American Diabetes Association (November, by the way, is Diabetes Awareness month).
BlackFriday.info is a straightforward dissemination of Black Friday information. Ads get posted as they come out and there are links directly to retailers' individual deals of the day, something more stores are offering this year. Black-Friday.net, has similar features with an easy-to-navigate alphabetical listing of retailers in the right hand column.
TheBlackFriday.com has all the necessary information and links, although it can appear a bit crowded.
As you navigate Black Friday on the Web, know that the ads you see as scanned copies are likely leaked, albeit with the tacit approval of the retailers themselves. Sometimes, someone who works at the printer takes a copy home and ultimately it ends up online, but once it's out, there's no going back and it's a rare retailer that doesn't want to be included in a database like the one at FatWallet.
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