Sunday, November 14, 2010



1. Toys

Courtesy of Matel
As we mentioned, Toys R Us put its holiday toy book on sale back in October, so that's roughly how long toys have been a bargain. Target, though, became the toy store du jour earlier this month when a Wall Street Journal price comparison found that Wal-Mart's toy prices were significantly higher than Target's in several instances. That didn't sit well in Arkansas, where folks at Wal-Mart headquarters went on toy box damage control by slashing toy prices to within a dollar of Target's total. So who wins? You do.
With Sears and Wal-Mart originally offering Mattel's (NasdaqGS: MAT - News) wisecracking sanitation vehicle Stinky the Garbage truck for $60 and $56 apiece, Target chopped its price to $50, encouraging Wal-Mart and Amazon to follow suit. Meanwhile, a Barbie Video Girl -- a doll with a not-creepy-at-all digital camera lodged in its sternum -- sells for as much as $60 at Kohls and $50 at Target, but fell to $40 at Wal-Mart and Amazon after a bloody round of price cuts. You could totally make all your G.I. Joes fight all your Transformers and still not have a toy war of this magnitude.
2. HDTVs

Courtesy of Samsung
The picture's been looking pretty dark for HDTV prices for much of the year, with research firm DisplaySearch predicting an 8% drop in average LCD television prices and iSuppli forecasting prices as low as $200 for a 32-inch 720p HDTV and $500 for a 42-inch 1080p model. They pretty much nailed it, as a 22-inch 720p Sharp AQOUS LCD television can be had for $180 at On the larger end, Best Buy (NYSE: BBY - News) is offering a Toshiba 40-inch 1080p LCD television for $400 during its two-day "Save Early, Shop Big" store event November 12th and 13th.
3. e-readers

Courtesy of Amazon
With Amazon and Barnes and Noble (NYSE: BKS - News) already slashing prices on their Kindle and Nook e-readers about as far as they'll go, there's just about no hope for a Black Friday miracle. That said, e-readers are as inexpensive as they've ever been. Amazon cut the Kindle to $140, which is less than the $190 3G model but still not the best bargain out there. The Nook comes in at $150, which is considerably less than the $250 Nook Color, but is an even better value for PayPal customers who get a 15% discount, knocking the price down to a sub-Kindle $127.50. If you're a bookworm concerned more with price than Wi-Fi, however, the USB-dependent Kobo from Borders (NYSE: BGP - News) is your best bet at a svelte $120.
4. Xbox Kinect and PlayStation Move

Courtesy of Microsoft
Unlike the prices for console bundles, which are going to vary wildly between now and Black Friday, the prices of starter bundles for Microsoft (NasdaqGS: MSFT - News) and Sony's (NYSE: SNE - News) motion devices aren't going to budge an inch. Why? First off, they're terribly popular -- with the Move fueling a more than $20 million surge in video game accessory sales after its September release and early sales of the Kinect forcing Microsoft to revise the device's holiday sales estimate to 5 million from 3 million. You're going to pay the full $100 for the Move bundle and $150 for the Kinect bundle. Just suck it up and get it over with already, you big whiner.
5. iPad

Courtesy of Apple
Apple's (NasdaqGS: AAPL - News) little tablet toy has sold more than 8 million units without the benefit of Christmas songs and doorbuster sales. Do you think Steve Jobs and company are going to start messing with the bottom line now? As a general rule, Apple doesn't do sales (though Wal-Mart's $185 price on an 8 gigabyte iPod Touch bundle seems to be an exception). In fact, Apple did you a favor by making the iPad available in such places as Best Buy, Target, Wal-Mart and the Verizon Wireless store. How do you repay them? By fruitlessly getting in someone's way on Black Friday just to find out that the Wi-Fi-only iPad is the same $499 it was when it was released? Save everyone some time and aggravation by just picking one up now if you're hell-bent on getting one by the holidays.
6. Kitchen and Dining

Courtesy of Hamilton Beach
Admittedly, it's hard to beat $3 appliances, but a deep discount is still hard to pass up. Wal-Mart is offering iRobot's (NasdaqGM: IRBT - News) Roomba 440 robotic vacuum for $150, or for $50 less than Target or Kmart. Kohl's (NYSE: KSS - News), meanwhile, lopped the price of its store-exclusive Hamilton Beach 18-quart Roaster to $50 from $60. Sears is one of the few retailers capitalizing on the Veterans Day/Black Friday tandem by offering 50% off a $180 Kenmore cookware set and up to 60% off other items through November 13th.
7. Smartphones

Courtesy of HTC
There's usually a simple answer for how much a smartphone costs: $199. Every so often, however, you get some leeway. Best Buy, for example, is offering Samsung's Fascinate Galaxy S phone for $149 -- a $50 discount from the Verizon Wireless version and similarly less expensive than the new Samsung Continuum. It's also hacked the price of HTC's Droid Incredible to $100 from $149 this week, just because they feel like it. Be careful, however, as the Research In Motion (NasdaqGS: RIMM - News) BlackBerry Curve they're offering for $1 with contract during their two-day sale November 12th and 13th has been free all week long.

No comments:

Post a Comment