Black Friday was once a day of blockbuster deals. You would wake up early, bundle up, and head for the mall to join the hordes of early-morning shoppers for great deals on TVs, laptops, and other tech gear.
The Christmas creep begins earlier and earlier: Black Friday isn't just one day anymore. Of course, that hasn't been true in some years, but now the shopping holiday isn’t just taking over the week of Thanksgiving, it’s taking over the entire month.
In fact, a report last month from RetailMeNot.com termed the holiday season “OctoNovemCember,” because 40 percent of consumers now begin buying holiday gifts before Halloween.
You may not know that Black Friday actually isn’t the biggest shopping day of the year. That honor for in-store shopping usually falls on the Saturday before Christmas. According to the Wall Street Journal, Black Friday doesn’t even offer the biggest bargains.
And the biggest shopping day online is Cyber Monday, which is the Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday.
With consumers stocking up on purchases earlier in the year, online retailers are attempting to carve a larger slice of the spending pie than brick-and-mortar stores. And brick-and-mortars are using their online outposts to kick off the Black Friday blitz early.
Best 2012 Black Friday tech bets?
The best tech deals this year likely will include discounted 55-inch LCD 3D TVs and Blu-ray players, says IHS iSuppli analyst Jordan Selburn.
Aside from tablets, consumers aren’t excited about new gadgets, Selburn adds.
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Traditional shoppers on Black Friday morning are out in the cold.
“From a technology perspective, are TVs this year offering more than last year? Not really anything customers seem to care about. Image has gotten better, smart TVs are getting smarter," he says. "But people don’t seem to care about smart TVs that much.”
“There really isn’t that much got-to-have technology that you couldn’t have had a year ago out on the market,” Selburn says. “Because of that, if you’re a retailer and you’ve got to sell more stuff, what do you do?”
The answer: Slash prices earlier and deeper than ever before.
Deals out there now
Newegg.com says it will offer Black Friday deals every weekend this month during a promotion it calls "Black November." Amazon Thursday launched its Black Friday store, which will feature different deals on a slew of products every day leading up to the post-Thanksgiving shopping blitz. Note: so far, the majority of them are not tech products.
Walmart will reprise its month of “ultimate online specials” to preface Black Friday and current offerings Friday were a little more tech-specific than Amazon's: smaller HDTVs, GPS kits, and laptops in the mix.
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Black Friday madness
Still interested in Black Friday season deals?
To keep up on in-store and online Black Friday deals as they’re inevitably leaked, here are some sites where you can receive updated roundups of many store ads that targeted to the concept, if not the actual day:
Additionally, don't forget to check in with your favorite shopping site. For instance, stores like Walmart and Target already have Black Friday sign-up pages in place now. Check with other favorite retailers to receive Black Friday deal notifications when they begin.