Black Friday week is upon us. And while you shouldn’t feel like youhaveto purchase anything, there are certainly some great deals to be had. And among these great deals are atonof clunkers that aren’t worth your attention at all, and plenty of lightning-fast deals that require you to be ready to pull the trigger at a moment’s notice.
How do you manage Black Friday shopping for geek gear without driving yourself crazy or, worse, buying crap that isn’t a deal at all? Easy. Make a game plan. Here’s mine.
Pick your focus areas
Trying to scout each and every Black Friday deal across every major category in which youmightwant to buy something is a fool’s errand. You’re going to drive yourself crazy. Worse, you’ll never be satisfied; you’ll always wonder if there’s aslightlybetter deal that youmaybejust didn’t find in time soperhapsyou shouldn’t buy this decent, vetted deal that’s sitting right in front of you becauseI don’t know ahhh.
Don’t do that. Don’t be those people that go to the store, seedeal! deal! deal!everywhere, and load up their shopping carts while pummeling everyone else trying to buy the exact same thing.
I find it helpful to limit yourself around times of shopping excess. In this case, I’m focusing on two categories this year:PC components, which is admittedly a fairly large category; andgaming, because I like video games. That means I’m not looking at board games, refrigerators, smart devices, televisions, boxed sets for TV shows I no longer care much about, or electric blankets—no matter how chilly my room gets. If I can’t plug it into my newly upgraded desktop, and I can’t play it on my PC or Nintendo Switch, I don’t care.
Take advantage of everyone else who is already tracking the deals
This one’s a no-brainer, but I’ll say it anyway. Unless there’s a specialty store that you know you always buy a specific item at—like where I getmy favorite jeans, for example—don’t stick to a specific store (or stores) for your deals. You might find some decent offers, but you’ll never know if there arebetter deals than the store you’re currently browsing. And if you try to compare all the retailers yourself, you’ll either go mad or you run the risk of missing the one, true deal of them all.
Instead, find the places where teams of people—or gigantic communities—are all hunting around for deals and contributing to the greater good. Again, this should be a no-brainer, but I caution you: There are plenty of deal aggregator sites around the web that are little more than scams and mindless regurgitation of the same information you’ll see on every other aggregator site. Though perhaps slightly more inefficient, I like browsing community-curated resources for deals. And for my needs this year, that meant:
Slickdeals:Yes, good ol’ Slickdeals. The site is already a great deal aggregator on its own, but I’ve always loved the extra gems you can find in the forum posts associated with each front-page deal. It’s how I stumbled across setups like these, which allowed me to geta great dealfor many, many months of an Xbox Game Pass subscription.
Since I’monlysticking with deals for PC components and gaming this holiday season—or at least, trying my hardest to—I also love that you can edit the specific types of deal categories you see on Slickdeals’ front page. Make a free account and then click on the “Preferences” button at the top of Slickdeals’ primary list of deals to set what deals you’d like to see:
/r/buildapcsales:What more does a geek need? Not only do you get a bunch of posts each day about the latest and greatest community-sourced deals, but you can hop in the comments to see whether everyone else thinks you could do better—like a different product or a stronger deal. And if you need some help figuring out whether what you’re trying to buy even makes sense, hit up the sist