How to Shop for Tech Gear on Black Friday Without Driving Yourself Crazy
It’s Black Friday week. And while you shouldn’t feel like you need to buy anything, there are certainly great deals out there. And among those great deals are a ton of clunkers that don’t deserve your attention at all, and a slew of lightning deals that require you to be ready to pull the trigger at any moment.
How do you manage to buy geek gear on Black Friday without driving yourself crazy, or worse, buying shit that isn’t profitable at all? Light. Make a game plan. Here is my.
Choose your areas of focus
Trying to research every Black Friday trade across all the major categories you might want to buy in is a foolish business. You will drive yourself crazy. Worse, you will never be satisfied; you will always be wondering whether there is a bit of a better deal, you may simply not find the time, so perhaps you should not buy this decent, proven a deal that is right in front of you, because I do not know, ahhh …
Do not do this. Don’t be the kind of people going to the store, watch the deal! deal! deal! all over the place, and load up your shopping carts, beating up everyone else trying to buy the same thing.
I find it helpful to limit the time you overshoot. In this case, I’ll focus on two categories this year: PC components , which are admittedly a fairly large category; and games because I like video games. That means I don’t look at board games, refrigerators, smart devices, televisions, TV show boxes that I no longer care about, or electric blankets – no matter how cold my room is. If I can’t connect it to my recently updated desktop and can’t play it on my PC or Nintendo Switch, I don’t care.
Take advantage of everyone else who is already tracking trades
It’s not difficult, but I’ll tell you anyway. Unless there is a specialty store that you know you always buy a specific item from – for example, where I buy my favorite jeans – don’t stick to a specific store (or stores) for your deals. You may find some decent deals, but you never know if there are better deals than the store you are currently browsing . And if you try to compare all the retailers yourself, you will either go crazy or risk missing out on the one real deal of them all.
Instead, find places where teams of people – or giant communities – all hunt for deals and contribute to the common good. Again, this shouldn’t be too difficult, but I warn you, there are plenty of deal aggregator sites on the web that are nothing more than scams and mindlessly extracting the same information that you will see on all other aggregator sites. While it might be a little more inefficient, I enjoy browsing community curated resources looking for deals. And for my needs this year it meant:
Slickdeals : Yes, the good old Slickdeals. The site is a great aggregator in its own right, but I’ve always loved the extra gems you can find in the forum posts associated with each deal on the first page. This is how I stumbled upon a setup like this that got me a great deal over the many, many months of Xbox Game Pass.
Since I’m only sticking to deals for PC components and games this holiday season, or at least trying my best to, I also love that you can change the types of specific deal categories that you see on Slickdeals’ front page. Create a free account and then click the Settings button at the top of the main Slickdeals trades list to specify which trades you want to see:
/ r / buildapcsales : What else does the geek need? Not only do you get tons of messages every day about the latest and greatest deals from the community, but you can also take a look at the comments to see if everyone else thinks you could have done better – like a different product or a better deal. And if you need help figuring out if what you are trying to buy makes sense, check out the sister subreddit / r / buildapc .
PCPartPicker : Create your PC digitally – and make sure everything is compatible before buying it – with this often recommended website. PCPartPicker not only helps you create a handy shopping list when you go to a physical store to buy something on Black Friday (ugh), but you can also subscribe to be notified if the parts you are about to purchase drop in price. … the specific retailer you follow closely. You can also check price trend charts to determine if the time is good, terrible, or in between to buy whatever components you want.
Boolean Increments : While this site is more about figuring out what components you should buy when building or upgrading your desktop, it is still an incredibly useful tool for planning your Black Friday purchases (or ever). The site also highlights some related deals on its blog , which is related to its general update guidelines. At the very least, you can get a general idea of how much the various components cost, which will allow you to enjoy even more of anything that you think costs less than the published numbers.
Not only did I keep checking Slickdeals for great in-game deals (of course), but I also added a few in-game sources to my deal tracking list:
Cheapassgamer : Whether you visit the website, Facebook page, or get real-time deals with Wario64 , there is no better site on the internet for finding deals for all the games, game accessories, or game-related items you might want to buy. Also, be sure to check the site’s extensive spreadsheets for tracking every transaction.
/ r / gamedeals : Yes, there is also a subreddit as well as a meta subreddit that you can visit to discuss any trades you have observed. There is also a subreddit that tracks any “free” offers posted to / r / gamedeals, as well as a dedicated subreddit for console games (and only console games).
IsThereAnyDeal : The name of the site speaks for itself. Search for the games you want to buy to see if there might be any offers or where they exist. Create an account and you can start following your wishlist. Hope you save some money in the process.