For two weeks, you’ve been waking up at 3 a.m. each day, running six miles and choking down a breakfast of four raw eggs. You’ve trained with the six most intense Vinyasa yoga instructors in the Western Hemisphere, transforming your body into a limber, malleable machine of pure focus. You have gone into the woods to wrestle deer and bears with your bare hands. You can stop people with a stare.
You’re ready for Black Friday.
Yes, that most mad holiday of the year is just two weeks away. A day when people young and old, poor and rich, desperate and fierce line up outside of strip malls across the country ready to literally fight one another to get the best deal on a new TV, a video game or the latest Tickle Me Elmo doll.
Year after year, the country’s biggest electronics retailers — Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), Target (NYSE:TGT) and Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) among them — pull out all the stops to whip consumers into a frenzy well in advance of Black Friday, leaking details of their sales in fliers in print and online. And the 2011 flood has already started.
Here are the five best leaked Black Friday deals for electronics:
51-inch Samsung Plasma Television (Walmart)
Korean competitors like Samsung (PINK:SSNLF) have increasingly been able to match the quality of products from Japanese TV giants Sony (NYSE:SNE) and Panasonic (NYSE:PC) — at a much lower cost. The company’s mid-tier 51-inch plasma screen HD television, with a 720p resolution and a 600Hz refresh rate, already retails for $750.
Walmart, however, is hocking them at a whopping 33% price cut — $498 — on Black Friday. An already cheap, beautiful set available for a third less? Open the trunk.
Samsung Stratosphere 4G LTE (Best Buy)
Samsung doesn’t just put out quality TVs — it does smartphones, too. The company just released its first 4G Android phone with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard on Oct. 13. The Samsung Stratosphere has gotten positive reviews from a number of outlets. Verizon (NYSE:VZ) charges $150 for the phone with a new contract. Typically, Best Buy charges $99.
On Black Friday, Best Buy will be giving away the Stratosphere on a new two-year Verizon contract. This is a fast phone that will actually let you type rather than smudge up a screen pawing out a text message to your buddies. And again — it’s free.
Sony PlayStation 3 Bundle (Walmart)
Sony’s PlayStation 3 is turning five years old just before Black Friday. The device debuted at a whopping $600 — a price tag that allowed competitors Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Nintendo (PINK:NTDOY) get a damaging head start on the company with their respective Xbox and Wii. Today, the PlayStation 3 enjoys a strong audience and retails for $250.
Walmart is pushing the system hard this Black Friday, offering up the system, an extra controller, and the games Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One and Little Big Planet 2 for $199. Each game usually runs $60 and the extra controller goes for $55. A package that usually goes for $425 for just $199? That’s just the kind of crazy Black Friday deal that gets people into fights.
Amazon Kindle Wi-Fi (Staples)
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is grabbing headlines this holiday with its new, super-cheap (relatively speaking) tablet, the Kindle Fire. That doesn’t necessarily mean its straight e-reader, the original Kindle, will stop selling — especially with the way retailers are discounting the device. Amazon usually sells its Wi-Fi-enabled, advertising-free Kindle for $139.
Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS), meanwhile, is offering a killer Black Friday deal on the device. The same Kindle is just $100 and comes with a $20 credit for the Kindle store, meaning you can get a couple of books to boot!
The department store standby Sears (NASDAQ:SHLD) has lost much of its luster as an electronics retailer during the past two decades, ceding its territory to Walmart and others. To that end, the company is taking a novel approach to its Black Friday deals by simply matching whatever its competitors advertise.
A report in The Wall Street Journal said that starting Friday, Sears will match all Black Friday promotions until Nov. 30. Walmart and Best Buy also plan to run price-matching deals, but those outlets probably will significantly outdraw Sears, limiting potential stock. Thus a trip to Sears seeking Black Friday deals might help you beat the crowds without breaking the bank.