CONCLUSIONSWe begin the end of our predictions with a few quickies:
Office Depot and Staples will offer free shipping with no minimum for Black Friday. (OfficeMax? As if!) Free shipping on a Sharpie is kind of a holiday tradition here at dealnews. Other online retailers are likely to team up with PayPal (and possibly Google Checkout) to offer special discounts.
Despite Black Friday's focus on tech items, those not looking for electronics won't be out of luck. Expect to see coupons for an extra 20% off at a large number of online stores. It's the most common Black Friday discount. For in-store purchases, see last year's Big List of Black Friday Printable Coupons, where we saw significant savings from Ace Hardware, Staples, Coach Factory Outlet, Victoria's Secret, and many more.
For high-end luxury retailers, wait until the second week of December when strong sales and coupons roll in from the likes of Kiehl's, Gucci, and others. Once again, one place you can ignore is Target.com. The vast majority of Target's Black Friday deals are in stores only and not online.
Last year, we nailed most of our "in conclusion" predictions, including our office superstore predictions and our "soft goods" predictions. However, we predicted lots of $0 after rebate deals for Black Friday, and there were very few.
As usual, you can expect some very aggressive deals this Black Friday season. The bulk of them will be referenced in our special Black Friday deals section. The best advice I can give you is the same I gave you last year: Be choosy about when you buy.
Dan de Grandpre is the Editor-in-Chief of dealnews, consistently named one of the Best Black Friday Web Sites by PC World and PC Magazine, and a Top 100 Most Useful Sites on the Internet by MSN.
See our Methodology on the next page.