Here are some guidelines:
- For devices with displays, ask for the resolution 800x480 (1024x600? It depends on the price.) is not reasonable for a 7 inch display but 1280x800 should be the minimum.
- Dual-core processors can mean almost anything. Intel Pentium Dual-Core, Celeron Dual-Core and AMD E- processors are the low end. Look for Intel Core i3 or AMD A- processors at minimum.
- Computer monitors with IPS displays will look better than most. What good is a monitor that doesn't display the scene correctly?
- Don't buy tablet bundles from HSN, QVC, or ShopNBC/ShopHQ. You can do better by getting the accessories yourself, and you'll save money.
- Research what you want because you may find better deals in your town than the deals online. You never know where to look unless you're prepared. Micro Center, Big Lots, and Tuesday Morning often have good deals. Ross, Marshalls, and TJ Maxx sometimes have good deals, but use cash, not a card because they have all had problems with hackers.
When I lived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, I could visit 4 different malls along the Blue Route/I-476, on Black Friday. Sometime, I got great deals, and other times, I just got pizza and a drink. There are times when it's better to window shop.
These days, I rarely go outside on Black Friday because it's so cold here and people are so crazy for deals that they'll trample or beat each other. It's too important to be good to each other. Stuff is just stuff. You can't replace people.
Due to my water heater problems, I didn't go out on Thanksgiving or Black Friday. (It's difficult to clean up properly without at least warm water.) The plumber who was taking care of the water heater told me that he and his daughter went to the local Walmart last night (Thanksgiving Day) and they had many police officers there, and he spoke to one who said that it had been crazy. I'm all for good deals, but seriously, are they that important? I expect the news tonight will be full of tramplings and fights to get that cheap item.
I saw HSN and one of the other shopping channels charging an extra $300 for iPad Air and accessories in a bundle. One of them was also attempting to sell a 4th generation iPod touch bundle. That would be 2 generations from the current iPod touch models. You can do better, especially by getting a refurbished product on the Apple Store web site.
News outlets keep reminding us that 30% is the magic discount where retailers can still make money. That said, prices may reflect a bigger discount but that's because the retail price will shift to suit the circumstances on occasion (H.H. Gregg) or be set higher at the beginning (Best Buy). You have to check a lot for deals. Kohl's will present cardholders with a 30% coupon, so you end up with a virtual 70% discount, but they obviously can't afford to do that unless their prices are high enough to account for such a discount. The doorbusters are the only products where any company is willing to lose money, to get you to buy other things.