(BPT) - If you’re already looking forward to scouting out the best Black Friday deals, you’re clearly far from alone. Each year, many Americans look forward to the thrill of the hunt when it comes to securing the best bargains retailers can offer.
That’s especially true when it comes to the newest, most enticing consumer electronics. This year 68 percent of U.S. adults — some 170 million people — plan to buy tech gifts, reports the Consumer Technology Association. In fact, they’re due to spend a record $96.8 billion between October and December. McKinsey confirms electronics will be the most shopped-for item by 58 percent of U.S. shoppers, and the National Retail Federation says electronics are already on the holiday wish lists of 33 percent of Americans.
Last year was a record year for technology buys over the week kicked off by Black Friday, when 61.7 million Americans stepped up to snag the latest-model TVs, tablets, smartphones, video game consoles and other fun and useful electronics.
If you’re among those looking for the best electronic buys this Black Friday, consider the following suggestions:
* Research the offers. Instead of having a knee-jerk reaction to a flashy Black Friday ad, comparison shop for the best prices. Tools such as InvisibleHand and Flubit can automatically check thousands of online sites to find the best discounts, and Small Business Saturday or Cyber Monday may bring forth even better deals.
* Know which features you want. Comparison shopping will be easier if you do your homework and know ahead of time which product features are essential and which ones are lower priority. When mulling high-ticket items, you may even wish to keep a notebook.
* Learn what’s truly state-of-the-art. The most sought-after items tend to be the latest and greatest on the market. For example, the cutting-edge TV technology to look for this Black Friday is OLED, which reproduces more than a billion colors with stunningly high contrast and incredible realism. LG Electronics USA offers 10 different OLED models — more than any other manufacturer — including TVs with blade-slim, Picture-on-Glass and Picture-on-Wall designs. Look specifically for the LG Signature OLED W7, SIGNATURE G7, E7 or C7, which will all be on sale this Black Friday, and keep an especially close eye on the 55-inch LG OLED B7A, which will drop below $1,500 for the first time ever.
* Optimize price matching. Many stores have policies through which they’ll match competitors’ prices on electronics if you show them the corresponding ads. Take advantage of that to avoid having to hop from store to store (where you'll need to find parking at each one).
* Think twice about battling crowds. You may be surprised how many retailers now offer the exact same Black Friday deals both in-store and online. Even better, many offer free shipping over Black Friday weekend. That means that huge state-of-the-art TV can be delivered to your door or your giftee’s door, saving the hassle of transport.
The most savvy electronics shoppers do their homework before stepping foot from their homes on Black Friday. Plan your strategy now for getting the best deals possible.