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12 ways Black Friday 2013 will be different

Black Friday will always be a frenzy of bargains, but stores looking for a competitive edge always change it up each year. Here’s what's in store for the upcoming Black Friday.

By Nov 14, 2013 6:09PM
This post comes from Louis Ramirez at partner site DealNews. on MSN MoneyBlack Friday will always be a frenzy of bargains, but with each passing year there are some elements that change. We at DealNews feel that the best way to make the most of this epic shopping event is to be prepared, so we've compiled a list of ways in which Black Friday 2013 will be different than previous years. Here's what you can expect.

Shopping © Corbis3D TVs will finally be affordable
HDTVs are the poster children of Black Friday. But while sets with this technology have typically been priced astronomically high, this year 3D TVs will be cheaper than their non-3D counterparts, particularly in the 55" category, which is the sweet spot for these TVs. Price-wise, we expect 55" 3D TVs to hit $425, which would not only blow away last year's November low of $799, but also undercut non-3D sets of the same size by $4.

There are new gaming consoles (that we actually want)

Sorry, Nintendo, but last year's Wii U launch was just a warm up for this year's Black Friday, which will see a new PlayStation 4 and Xbox One (created by Microsoft, which owns and publishes MSN Money). Unfortunately, actually scoring a console this month will be next to impossible; so, if you find either console at list price, that's about as close to a "deal" as you'll get. Alternatively, you can opt for console bundles, which will pair the Xbox One or PlayStation 4 with extra controllers, accessories, or games at a cheaper cost than purchasing each item individually. Or double down on a PS3 or Xbox 360, which will hit new lows now that their successors have debuted.

Doorbuster deals will trick you into remaining in-store all day

Although most doorbusters can be found online -- sometimes at cheaper prices -- they're still one of the most effective ways to get shoppers to purchase items in-store. Retailers have caught onto this and will now scatter their deals throughout the day in an attempt to keep shoppers in-store longer, preferably spending more money. So whereas before you might have seen multiple doorbusters commence at 7 am, this year you'll see them debut at all hours of the day.

More brick-and-mortar stores will price match Amazon
Even with its pricier shipping policy, brick-and-mortar stores still fear Amazon. As a result, more brick-and-mortar retailers will join the Amazon price matching camp. Best Buy and Target have typically price matched with Amazon, and so far this year Staples is one of the new vendors to join the party.

Competing devices will force Roku to finally offer good deals
Don't get us wrong. We're big fans of the Roku box, but year after year we've been disappointed with the company's modest Black Friday discount, which traditionally hasn't been the lowest price of the year. However, this year Roku is faced with an uphill battle as there are some major new players in the media-streaming industry, one of which is Google's $35 Chromecast. As a result, we expect Roku to offer better deals than its usual Black Friday discount. Roku also now has an extensive line of products ranging from the original Roku to the current Roku 3, which means retailers have stock of previous-gen models ready for discounts, likely making this year the first stellar year for Roku deals.

Surface tablets will see major discounts
Tablets deals are prevalent most of the year, so these highly sought-after devices rarely see any significant discounts come the holidays. But this year things are different, particularly in the Microsoft camp. Weak sales and a new crop of Surface 2 tablets mean retailers will be slicing prices on their stock of first-generation Surface tablets.

There will be more credit options for small businesses
While most consumers will turn to large retailers for their holiday shopping, there's good news for those who prefer patronizing their local small businesses. Thanks to a swarm of credit card processing apps like Square and PayAnywhere, more small businesses will be able to accept credit card payments at their stores. These apps have made it easier for small businesses to accept credit cards without the need to set up a merchant account with a bank, lease a card reader, or pay a setup fee. That all translates into more and easier payment options for the consumer.

Your commercial emails may get swallowed by Gmail
If you thought nabbing one of Amazon's lightning deals was difficult before, wait till you try buying one this holiday season. Thanks to Google's new Gmail layout, email sent by marketers can automatically get dumped into your "promotions" box. That means any time-sensitive sales you're tipped off to via email will sit in inbox purgatory until you look for them. Unless of course you disable this feature.

Just "liking" a Facebook page won't score you that discount
Today's retailers are social media savvy, or at least they like to think they are. So whether you're getting first dibs on a sale or taking a sneak peak at an early Black Friday ad, chances are liking a Facebook page won't suffice anymore. This year retailers will make customers jump through a hoop or two before offering up any discounts on goods. These hoops may entail subscribing to mailing lists, signing up for membership rewards, or even following them on Pinterest.

You'll be shopping before the turkey is in the oven
Love it or hate it, the holiday creep is here to stay and this year you can expect an even larger number of stores to open on Thanksgiving Day. Sure, there will be people who shake their heads in dismay as Thanksgiving gets swallowed by corporate America, but shoppers have spoken and they want stores to open earlier. Black November, anyone?

Expect more stores to offer "guaranteed doorbusters"
Doorbusters are ultra-cheap items designed to lure shoppers into stores. But because of their limited quantities, only a handful of customers manage to get them — and people are wising up to that fact. So last year, Walmart offered its customers guaranteed doorbusters: if an item sold out, shoppers received Walmart vouchers that allowed them to buy the item at Black Friday prices, and pick it up when the item was back in stock and ready. It may take awhile before this becomes the norm for Black Friday, but we expect more retailers to offer similar vouchers this year.

There's one less week between Thanksgiving and Christmas
With one less weekend to shop this year, consumers can expect to be bombarded with sales and promotions as early as the day before Thanksgiving. In addition, the National Retail Federation found that consumers will be a little more cautious with their spending budget this year. All this means that retailers will have to work twice as hard to get people to spend, and that means bigger-than-life advertising.

Despite these changes in the seasonal landscape, this Black Friday is expected to be bigger and better than years before. 3D TVs will hit new lows, select tablets will hit the bargain bin, and more brick-and-mortar stores will compete with Amazon. Likewise, you can trust the staff at DealNews to bring you the best deals throughout the holiday season 24/7. So sit back and enjoy that turkey drumstick knowing that you're getting the best of Black Friday and Cyber Monday delivered straight to your screen, without even having to set foot inside a store.

More from DealNews:
Nov 14, 2013 6:43PM

Way 13:  tired of the hype and crowding, and disappointed by previous "sales", and still suffering small budgets due to the continuing recession (despite what politicians and economists claim) more people will stay home instead of going shopping.  And will enjoy the holiday for a change.


Isn't it a shame that retailers have turned Thanksgiving into just more Christmas shopping?

Nov 14, 2013 7:15PM
I went shopping on Thanksgiving last year for the first and last time ever.  Screw that.  It was miserable and cold and since I hadn't been camping in line for the previous three days, I missed out on the big "doorbuster".  Never again. I'm spending that time where I should be: with my family.
Nov 14, 2013 6:47PM
Nobody go shopping on Black Friday or on Thanksgiving.   Let's all stop shopping in the stores and shop online.  Stores will be forced to close on Holidays and not be open 24 hours. 
Nov 14, 2013 8:33PM
Going to take my "Black Friday" shopping money and help feed the people in the Philippines, this year.



Nov 14, 2013 6:47PM

Beware of the so-called "Black Friday" bargains. I used to work retail electronics and you should be cautious of those great deals. Often items on sale ex. tvs, etc. were models that did sell well throughout the year (ala BestBuy) or ex. notebooks that are low quality special ordered for Black Friday (ala BestBuy.) The best time to purchase any computer is when a new Micro$oft operating systems rolls out ex. Windows 8.1, thus Windows 8 devices plummet in price. As for the best time to purchase a tv it is in January-March when new models roll out rendering the previous one obsolete.  Thanks to Amazon killing Black Friday all my holiday shopping is done (after reading reviews on newegg, walmart and before purchasing from Amazon!) I will now spend Thanksgiving at home instead of fighting traffic, and mobs to end up with what might not really be the "bestbuy" or "great deal."

As for brick n mortar stores matching Amazon. Why bother? I can sit in the comfort of my own home not worry about heavy traffic, mobs,pushy salespeople trying to sell me every known accessory to go with my purchase along with some protection plan that's used 1/10 of the time that your company may not even be in business next year to honor it???. All I have to do is wait on UPS to deliver my Amazon purchases to my door. FYI all Amazon Prime members get two day shipping on most anything sold directly through Amazon too.

Nov 14, 2013 8:47PM
I know exactly what to expect on Black Friday: me staying home.
Nov 14, 2013 6:59PM

With so many people struggling just to survive these days it's almost deplorable that retailers are scrambling to get the last dollar out of the population. Retailers should take a break, re-think their operations and let us take a breath.


I doubt that being closed on Thanksgiving and the day after is going to hurt their already speculated poor sales forcasts.

Nov 14, 2013 7:58PM
Black Friday used to be fun when we were younger and did not have some of the things we have now, at that time it was worth it to go out and get gifts cheap for others and get things we needed for cheap.  We do not need things anymore, and I found myself buying for the sake of a deal which just adds clutter (had my own hoarder intervention).  I usually hit Bath and Body works after Christmas for candles and bath stuff for 75% off and Wallgreens for a clearance packaged perfume, but that is it.
Nov 14, 2013 8:52PM
My Holiday shopping was done weeks ago.  Anything else I give will be home made.  Hope the stores enjoy not having my businees. Ha!
Nov 14, 2013 8:46PM
Okay I need to address a few points here:

1) The PS4 and Xbox One are brand new consoles and it will be YEARS before we see a price drop of them, so don't even think you will find one for less that retail price on Black Friday (IF you can find one). Further, if you really wanted one, you did what I did and preordered one many months ago.

2) Amazon does not charge tax in most states (where they do not have a physical warehouse presence). Their prices will still beat brick & mortar stores like Best Buy and Target based on that even at the same price ($500 TV on Amazon with free super shipper saving option becomes $535 at Best Buy with a 7% sales tax).

3) The current 3D HDTVs are a fad that is fading. The next big thing is 4K resolution HDTV (which will not be 3D, imagine that!). Unless you *really* need a new HDTV or *really* want 3D, save your money for when 4K HDTV prices drop starting next year and more content becomes available. Yeah, it's that good.

4) Over the last several years, the "deals" on Black Friday have not been all that great. Tablets and laptops (yawn) appear to be the only really good bargains this year in the tech sector.

5) Back to #2, order online and don't burn your gas and raise your blood pressure by sitting in traffic jams around shopping centers, worming through mass amounts of people, and waiting in long lines that give Disney World a run for the money. Stay home, eat, drink, and chill. And save money.
Nov 14, 2013 9:16PM
I'm doing  the best thing a person could do on Black Friday going to work, I work at a Target distribution warehouse and were swamped! will save my hard worked $$$ for another day without all the craziness. A lot of my shopping is going to be done right here online this year, more than ever before its safer, and I won't have to worry about all the pushing and shoving which I have done Black Friday sales for years, not anymore.
Nov 14, 2013 9:43PM
Just another broken spoke in the wheel of the family. As  a child we always anticipated going to our little town a week or so before Christmas see the Lights, the Parade and do our shopping. It was something we looked forward to all year. Now in addition to disrupting the family gathering on Thanksgiving, all of the folks that work the malls etc., . have to  give up their Holiday to attend to the wild crowds in hopes of saving a dollar or being the 1st to get the Hot New Item. Plus the advertising store displays etc, are brought out earlier each year.  And then on the big day we get a Tie.
Nov 15, 2013 1:22AM
I have no need to expect anything, for as I do for the many other gimmicks man create to encourage us to spend money, I will not participate. By the way, the way people behave during this silly event is chaotic and uncivilized.
Nov 15, 2013 7:32AM
On Black Friday, I'll be trying to decide if I buy groceries or fill my prescriptions.  Can't do both.  Merry Christmas.
Nov 15, 2013 1:50AM
If everyone who complains about the commercialization of Christmas and retailers making employees work on Thanksgiving actually STAYED AWAY on Thanksgiving, big box chains would start closing on the holiday if their stores were empty. Why put up with Black Friday crowds?! Shop online instead!
Nov 15, 2013 3:10AM
I am glad we celebrate Hanukkah without all the hoop la.  In our family, we eat Thanksgiving dinner, light Hanukkah candles, eat potato pancakes with sour cream and apple sauce.  Yum!  Celebrate freedom and eat other goodies, but not to much.  We keep gift giving to small practical, and purposeful in order to facilitate calmness and well being.
Nov 15, 2013 6:46AM
My gifts have already been purchased.  I'm done. All I do now is wrap.
Nov 15, 2013 12:03AM

Someone once said only in America after a day of giving thanks do we go out and spend all out money and time shopping lol. I will pass I use to go to black friday befor it became INSANEwith ppl trying to kill each other. I will pass. I will be at work getting holiday pay!

Nov 15, 2013 12:46PM
Last black Friday I saw a woman using her baby stroller as a battering ram.When I looked inside there was no baby in there.A lot of people got banked up ankles that day.
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