DOORBUSTERS: Best of Black Friday 2012


Best of Black Friday Deals 2013READY for 2013 BLACK FRIDAY Doorbusters?


Someone with a lot of time on their hands could create a long list of excellent doorbusters from last year, as retailers offered them early and often, online and in-store, on Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday and even on Cyber Monday. Some offered these doorbuster-like exclusives to members only, social media followers and mobile app users. And with more than 2,800 price-reduced “lures” to sort through, 50% priced under $25 and 40% clothing deals, it really came down to personal preference. With that said, doorbusters are usually the lowest prices we see all year on this level of quality products, and some were spectacular.

Do they match up to today’s deals? Let’s take a look. FatWallet tech/finance expert Bryan Marsden helps evaluate 11 Popular Doorbusters from Black Friday 2012.

Toshiba 40″ LCD 1080p 60Hz HDTV (40E220U) from Best Buy– See Details.
$179.99 (msrp $419.99), specs: 1080p, 60Hz, 2 HDMI, 1 USB, 1 component, 1 composite,.

Toshiba’s no frills budget series TV was a very good buy at the price Best Buy was offering on Black Friday and served as one of the most popular doorbusters in our Black Friday Deal Finder. It’s not smart, WiFi-less, has limited input/out put connections and only 60Hz (will have some ghosting with action movies, games and sports), but if you were looking for a cheap spare TV, this was it. According to cnet, the picture has good black and color levels, a crisp screen and decent viewing angles. They give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. For $180, it was the kind of deal that has made Black Friday famous.

Apple iPad 2 16GB w/ WiFi & Bonus $75 Walmart Gift Card from Walmart– See Details.

With a “1-hour in stock guarantee”, early Black Friday shoppers could get the best deal on a iPad last year. Basically $75 off retail was a good deal if you shop at Walmart often. It was almost as good as Meijer offer tha same deal with $100 gift card, however it was not a doorbuster, limited in quantities and there was not a guarantee (one hour or not). With the expectations for a new iPad 5 and iPad Mini 2 (although the latest word is saying the mini will be limited), shoppers in the market for an iPad 3 or 4 should keep their eyes pealed for a bonus gift card of some sort, even perhaps an iTunes GC from Apple?!?!

Panasonic 50″ Viera Plasma HDTV (TC-P50X5) (Friday at 4AM) from Sears– See Details.
$299.99 (msrp $799.99), specs: 720p, 600Hz, 2 HDMI, 1 SD card slot, 1 USB, 1 DVI audio in, 1 shared composite/component, 1 digital audio out.

Like the RCA, this TV is only a budget 720p Plasma and has the same shortfalls for picture quality if you sit too close or put it in a bright room, but the price was red hot and one of the most talked about deals last year…while it lasted.

Panasonic was known for the picture quality of their plasma panels, and for a long time were the standard. That is not the case with this TV. Black levels are mediocre, which is rare for a plasma TV. Cnet said the over-all color palette was way to green. It leeched into other color tones and shadows. At $299 it was a fair buy, but for that price you would be better off getting the Toshiba 50″ LED (featured below).

Pyrex 20-pc. Storage Set from Kohl’s– See Details.
$19.99 (msrp $59.99)

One of the best Black Friday kitchen deals under $20 and a 5-Star reviewed product. At the sale price, you could afford to get 2 additional sets of Pyrex containers and have $10 left for another 14pc set before you’d pay the current price of $70 to get one today. What more can we say?

Asus 14″ Laptop (X401A-BHPDN37) from Best Buy– See Details.
$249.99 (msrp $499.99), specs: 14″ screen, 4GB RAM, 320GB HDD, 802.11b/g/nWLAN, 1 ethernet, 1 USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0, 1 HDMI, 1 VGA.

At the Black Friday price of $250, this was on of the best doorbuster values on this list and at half off, a really good laptop. In the ultra portable category at just over 4 lbs., it is a fair bit smaller and lighter than many laptops on this list. However, it’s not considered to be a low end laptop and brings respectable specs. It ranks similar, but cheaper than the HP Sleekbook and Dell 14z (which has a slightly better CPU and a bit more HDD space, but it was also $50 more).

15% off Your Entire Order + $15 Kohl’s Cash for Every $50 Spent – Kohl’s– See Details

Not only did Kohls feature ample doorbusters and price mark-downs, they also offered $15 in Kohls cash for every $50 you spent. If you were a frequent Kohls shopper, this greatly extended your buying power for the holiday season…so much so, Kohl’s has adopted this coupon frequently throughout 2013.

If you were shopping online (crowdless savings!), they sweetened the pot by offering the coupon code BLACKFRI for an additional 15% savings, enabling Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers to save significantly on bulk purchases. Sale price + 15% off coupon + $15 for every $50 spent + Free shipping on any order over $50 = one of the best store sales of Black Friday.

Champion Mens ECO Fleece Pullover Hoods (Assorted Colors) Olympia Sports– See Details.
$Buy 1 get 1 for $2.99 (Reg. $35-$38)

A more traditional doorbuster… and nearly a B1G1 free for a quality Champion fleece pullover or zip in assorted colors. Basically, if you couldn’t decide between 2 colors or styles, you could get both and save $32-35, or just spend an extra $2.99 for a cool clothing product.

50% Off Any One Regular Price Item from Micheal’s – See Details.
(Friday Noon – 10pm)

Micheal’s “doorbuster” wasn’t tied to a particular product. Instead they offered 50% discount on any one regular priced item in the store. It’s pretty much their annual doorbuster that’s hugely popular with the arts and crafts crowd. If you missed it last year, make sure you check back with us this year to see if they offer it again!

Microsoft Xbox 360 4GB Console Skylanders Bundle from Walmart– See Details.

If you have been reading FatWallet’s Best of Black Friday series, you will notice that Skylander, from the video game recap, was one of the “must have” items last year. If you didn’t already own a Xbox, and were going to get your kids a Skylander pack anyway, making this was a great bundle. It killed two birds with one stone! It also wasn’t a bad value as other Xbox 360 bundles were going upwards of $50 more at $199.

40% OFF LEGO (Entire Stock) from Toys R Us– See Details.

Everyone knows that LEGO kits are one of the higher priced premium toys on the market. Their kits can literally go into the hundreds of dollars (although price per piece can calm the sticker shock…and 2.5% cash back can make a real difference). With that in mind, they are also one of the most popular toys on the market. To draw this audience in on Black Friday, Toys-R-Us had a flat 40% off all LEGO items in the store. This was a fantastic sale on a much sought after holiday item.

$10 Off Purchase of $25 or More (w/code) from Macy’s– See Details.

This was one of the most coveted coupon codes of the holiday season and one of the most favorited deals by FatWallet deal hunters. Macy’s wanted to make sure they were on your “must visit” list. They did what most stores did. They offered doorbuster items, ran a sale on Black Friday, but if shopped at any of their locations before 1pm on Black Friday, you were also able to use the $10 off $25 coupon. It did have a few exclusions, but if you were looking for clothing gifts, it made for an exception holiday deal.

HDTV Deals Predictions for 2013 Holiday

Last year, we saw some new tactics really take hold, like offering “VIP” members not only a sneak peak, but first shot at their Black Friday Deals online days before Thanksgiving (the real day Black Friday pricing begins), including some of the doorbusters and social media channels joined in this tactic, offering their audiences exclusives and doorbusters just for them. We can expect this to continue and expand into exclusive mobile doorbusters, too! Clothing will still lead the way this year for the shear amount of doorbusters, but shoppers should keep their fingers fast on the trigger for doorbuster like deals on digital cameras, blu-ray players, GPS, and any older tech that is being replaced by tablets, smartphones and media streaming devices. They should also expect increased store-wide discounts for early shoppers, both in-store and online, as retailers compete for the sales from the mad rush.

SERIES Master List: “Best of Black Friday 2012”

FatWallet’s in-depth series reveals the top products and deals from last year…some you’ll wish you didn’t miss! Featuring expert deal reviews, shopping tips and predictions for 2013, series content is based on sales and shopping activity recorded from FatWallet’s Black Friday Deal Finder (and mobile app) in 2012 which featured 27,000+ deals and doorbusters, 100+ Black Friday ads, and the hot Thanksgiving Day Deals, as well as Cyber Monday Deals from last year.

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