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Black Friday 2018 – Steals & Scams

I try to find the best deals for my customers and networking partners each year, so here are the best deals to grab this Black Friday (and things to avoid).  As new ads get leaked I’ll update this post, so check back thru the coming week for updates.

The Steals


LG 70" 4K Smart TV

Walmart has the best deal I’ve seen so far is a 65″ 4K TCL with built-in Roku for ONLY $398.  In case you haven’t heard of TCL don’t worry, it’s actually a very highly rated TV with some of the best feedback on Amazon.  It’s my go-to recommendation for any customer looking for great bang for their buck.

They also have a 55″ Hisense with Roku for $248 and a 40″ Hisense non-smart TV for $99.  Last year we thought a 32″ for under $100 was a steal so these deals are amazing.

Looking for a huge TV?  Best Buy has a 70″ LG 4K Smart TV for only $699.  That lands squarely on the $10/inch mark I look for on premium brand TV deals.




KitchenAid Stand Mixer

Instant Pots are super popular now and they’re also on sale nearly everywhere.  It looks like Walmart has the best deal though at only $59.  Keep an eye out for Amazon though because they did a lightning deal on them last year for $40.

Kohl’s has a great deal on two different immersion blenders, with one for only $5 after rebate!  And it’s not just the hand blenders on sale.  Check out this page for all the $5 appliance deals at Kohl’s.

Best Buy is going to have a KitchenAid stand mixer for $219 ($280 off).

Belk is also offering an entire selection of Bella appliances for $7.99 after rebate; the most notable being a toaster oven.

The best deal on an air fryer is at JCPenny$4.99 after a $20 mail in rebate.  They’re also offering a toaster oven at the same price.


Game Systems

Xbox One S and PS4’s will be on sale pretty much everywhere for $199.  Both will come with one game or another.  However, the best deal I’ve seen so far is Kohl’s where they’re offering an additional $60 Kohl’s cash bonus.  Bonuses like this are how you make your holiday budget stretch the farthest.

GameStop is offering a $50 gift card with the purchase of any new gaming system.

GameStop is also offering Xbox Live subscription cards for $10 off.

Also at GameStop is the Seagate 4TB Xbox One Game Drive for $99 ($60 off).



If your TV is lacking in the sound department, Target will be running this Samsung Soundbar with wireless subwoofer for $119 ($80 off).


PC’s and Peripherals

32" Dell Monitor

If you’re looking for portable storage Best Buy has a great combo deal on a Western Digital 4TB hard drive with a 32GB thumb drive for only $79.99 ($120 off).

Best Buy also has a 120GB USB 3.0 thumb drive for $18.99 ($61 off).

If you need an upgrade to your workstation or home office Staples has a 32″ Dell computer monitor for $129 ($90 off).

Staples also has a Brother Laser Printer for $49 (50% off).

Staples also has a selection of printers and projectors which offer up to an additional $50 savings if you trade in your old equipment.


Other Electronics

If you want Roku but don’t need a whole new TV don’t worry.  Roku Ultra 4K is going to be on sale pretty much everywhere for $48 (50% off).  However, Walmart is the best place to pick one up because they’re throwing in a package of streaming credits worth over $50 including Sling TV, Vudu, and Showtime.

Best Buy also has a deal on a Roku Stick for $29.99 ($20 off).

Another good deal at Best Buy is their select offerings of $7.99 4K Blu Ray movies.  These are generally $30 or more.  They also have standard Blu Ray movies as low as $3.99.

GoPro HERO7Sometimes retailers have price agreements with manufacturers which prohibit them from offering a discount on the item itself.  Instead retailers will make special packages or offers if you buy the item from them.  This is the case with Best Buy and the GoPro HERO7 for $399.  It’s the same price it always is, but BB is offering a $30 gift card and a free 128GB memory card with purchase.  That’s a solid deal if you’re looking to be the star of your own action film.


The Scams

It’s important to do your research before you head out on Black Friday because not everything the stores claim is a “door buster” is actually a good deal.

PowerBeats by Dre are a great example.  They retail for $199.  Kohl’s is offering them for $149 and giving $45 Kohl’s cash as an incentive to buy.  Target has the same ones for $89 with no strings attached.  However neither of these “deals” is better than the current ebay price of $75 with free shipping.  And yes, that’s new, not used.

PowerBeats by Dre

Rocketfish Full Motion BracketAnother example: Best Buy’s Rocketfish TV Brackets.  As far as quality, they’re fine, I can’t say anything bad about them.  That price though…  a full motion TV mounting bracket for 40″-75″ TV’s for $99 ($100 off).  $100 is reasonable, but we can sell you a full motion bracket for $75, and our prices include tax.  In fact, we’ll give you $25 off that price if we’re mounting the TV for you.

Also at Best Buy is a 4ft HDMI cable for $9.99 ($20 off).  Not only is this not a good deal, but at the original $29.99 it’s almost criminal.  Retailers make loads of money on accessories like cables and brackets.  At Install Heroes we charge $1/ft for HDMI cables no matter the length.  For more information about why expensive HDMI cables are a waste of good money check out this article on MUO.

Conn’s really should be more wary of making deals look better than they actually are considering their name is already what we use to convey an abuse of confidence.  That hasn’t stopped them from inflating the value of deal they’re offering on an HP laptop this Black Friday.  It’s a 15.6″ touchscreen i5 laptop with 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive for $399.  It’s actually not a bad deal.  The problem comes when they claim that it’s a savings of $600.  A laptop with those specs for $1000 is a rip off, and any claim that suggests it’s worth $1000 is a scam.  Just to compare; the computer I’m writing this post on right now is an i7 convertible touchscreen with 12GB of RAM, a 1TB hard drive, and a 128GB SSD but it only cost $1100… two years ago.

This is just another example of the importance of doing your research and having a pro that you trust to answer questions.  Install Heroes always offers free advice, so feel free to contact us about any electronics you’re considering for purchase.  We’ll be happy to consult with you about your needs and whether the item your considering will meet them.

Cyber Monday: online deals (Followup to Black Friday post)

As promised we are delivering the info you need to get some great deals on Cyber Monday.

Some retailers are following the same game plan they did on Black Friday by jumping the gun on Cyber Monday.  Toys R Us for instance is starting their Cyber Monday sales on Sunday night. is still offering their “Lightning Deals” and will continue throughout the week

So where’s the deals?

Games & Toys

Checkout Toys R Us for up to 75% off on a huge selection of video games!

USB Missile Launcher w/ Webcam
$29.99 (13% savings)

TVs has a great 40″ Sceptre LCD HDTV.  I trust Sceptre products based on my experience with my 8 year old LCD monitor that works like the day it was delivered to the house.  And they warranty their products for 1 year on parts and labor, unlike some companies.
$269.98 (33% Savings)

Computer Peripherals

Great deal on a new Wireless Router.
$19.99 (75% off)

Connect any computer to a HDTV with this IOGEAR USB 2.0 to HDMI External Video Card.
$15.99 (75% savings, Instant + Rebate)

Home Theater

Outstanding deal on an Onkyo home theater in a box.  Surround sound receiver with 5 speakers and a powered subwoofer.
$399.99 ($400 savings!!!)

Polk 10″ Powered Subwoofer
ONLY $79.99 ($170.00 savings!!!)

Energy 5 Speaker package was $149.99 on Black Friday
$129.99 ($170 savings!!!)


Here’s a good deal on a 32GB SD Memory card.
$17.99 (25% off)


Another good deal is this Hamilton Beach counter top convection oven with rotisserie capability.  I’ve had one similar to this for years and my wife and I truly love it.  You can bake without heating up the whole house, and leftovers and frozen foods turn out far better than in a microwave.  Heck, we don’t even own a microwave anymore because of this oven.  It really is that great, and so is this price…
$55 ($34 savings)


We normally don’t cover much of anything for your car, but this is such a great deal that I couldn’t pass it up.  An Autel MaxiScan® Canbus OBDII Check Engine Auto Scanner Trouble Code Reader.  That’s a mouthful, but basically with this device you can read the trouble codes coming from your car/truck when the check engine light is on without paying a mechanic those expensive diagnostic fees.
Only $17.49!!! (75% savings)


Links to Cyber Monday Deals

Black Friday & Cyber Monday: online deals

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Everyone want’s a good deal, and some take it to the extreme by getting up early (or staying up late) to go shopping on the Friday after Thanksgiving, which has become known as Black Friday.  The day was so named in the 60’s in Philadelphia because of the heavy traffic and overcrowded sidewalks.  In the 80’s Black Friday began to be known as the day in which retailers began to turn a profit.  Since most retailers operate at a loss until the holiday shopping season they’re considered to be “in the red” by accounting professionals.  “In the black” indicates that a retailer is turning a profit, and so the Friday after Thanksgiving continues to be known as Black Friday.

A far newer moniker, Cyber Monday describes the day in which most workers are back at the office after a long Thanksgiving weekend and are less than productive while the utilize high-speed internet to find online deals.  With high-speed internet connections becoming widely available across the country, some shoppers are opting to forego Black Friday all-together and settle in on the couch at home to do their holiday shopping.

No matter how you choose to get your shop on, Install Heroes wants to help you find some great deals.

So, where’s the deal?

In the past few years many retailers have left shoppers wondering where they left the discounts.  This year I’m happy to share that there seem to be some pretty good deals out there, and not just for those dedicated (or insane) individuals who are willing to wait in line for three days to get the “door buster” deals.  And, since we’re consumer electronics specialists you can probably guess what types of products I’m going to highlight.


Having worked at some of the big box electronics retailers, I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that not all computers are made equal.  Many of the “too good to be true” laptop deals you’ll find are just that.  You can definitely find a laptop for $150 this year, but you’re going to sacrifice speed.  Those types of deals might be good for a child’s first laptop, but anyone who is looking for a good school or office computer would do well to avoid these “deals”.  Instead I’ll recommend good buys rather than “good deals”.

Here’s a steal on a very strong Dell desktop computer with a 23″ monitor!
Only $399.99!!! ($200 savings)

Super cheap HP “homework machine” for your school aged kids.  Pentium 4, 1GB RAM, 40GB Hard Drive, Win XP Pro
Only $89.99 has a good Toshiba laptop for under $400.  500GB hard drive, 4GB RAM, 17.3″ screen.  FREE Shipping

For only a few more greenbacks you can pick up this blazing fast Dell laptop.  1TB hard drive, 8GB RAM, Intel Core i5 CPU
$479.99 ($100 savings)

Computer Peripherals 

Monitor: 19″ Lenovo Widescreen LCD $69.99 ($50 savings, Refurbished)

Monitor:  22″ AOC Widescreen LED $99.99 ($50 savings)

Hard Drive: 500GB Western Digital VelociRaptor $79.99 ($120 savings!!!)

Hard Drive: 2TB Seagate $69.99 ($60 savings)


A good TV for the bedroom, kids room, or dorm room:  24″ UpStar LED Widescreen TV $99.99 ($100 savings)

Nice!  Vizio 50″ LCD HDTV $499.99 ($100 savings, Rebate)

Home Theater

Polk 10″ Powered Subwoofer
ONLY $79.99 ($170.00 savings!!!)

Energy 5 Speaker package
$149.99 ($150 savings!!!)

I’m always impressed with soundbars when we install them.  They offer good sound for those who don’t have the budget or room compatibility to install a true surround sound system.  This Boston Acoustics soundbar with wireless subwoofer is a steal!
$179.99 ($170 savings!!!)

Things to avoid

1)  3TB hard drives.  I have heard a lot of negative feedback from customers about these drives failing far too soon.  There may be a flaw in the manufacturing process, or maybe it’s just bad luck.  But I suggest avoiding them. i.e.

2)  Brands that you’ve never heard of.  Most brands that are trustworthy have a good reputation.  If you’ve never heard of the brand then there’s likely good reason to avoid them.  If you’re still interested in the product, see if you can verify customer satisfaction.  Many sites, like, have great customer feedback systems.  If other customers who have already purchased the product rate it highly, then you may feel comfortable making a purchase.  If you are having trouble finding good feedback about the item you’re considering for purchase, try Googling the model number and the word “reviews”.

3)  Products without standard warranties.  The consumer electronics industry has an unspoken rule that products should have a minimum 1 year manufacturers warranty.  It’s been so ingrained in us, we just assume everything is covered for at least a year.  However, there are sneaky manufacturers who don’t stand by their products, and you may be surprised to know who some of them are.  RCA, for instance, covers their TV’s for 1 year on parts but only 90 days on labor.  The minimum labor charge to fix your RCA or Curtis brand TV is $140.00.  Depending on the size of your TV you’d be better off buying a new one than paying to fix yours if it breaks after only 3 months.

Some products will actually have longer than a 1 year warranty from the manufacturer.  Hard drives often come with 3-5 years of warranty.  Also, seriously consider the extended warranties offered by retailers.  If an extended warranty covers an additional 1-3 years AND costs less than %25 of the new product AND if it’s a product you’d rather not upgrade in the next 2-4 years, then buying the extended warranty may be a good idea.


Links to Black Friday Deals…

Newegg deals

Bestbuy deals

Tiger Direct deals

Check back this weekend to links for Cyber Monday deals!