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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!