Blind Bargains

The 2009 Black Friday and Holiday Buying Guide

With all of the hoopla surrounding the holiday shopping season, itís easy to become easily confused. In an effort to cut through the clutter, we present to you the holiday buying guide for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the rest of the 2009 holiday shopping season. Of course, weíll be posting the best deals we find on throughout the holidays.

Assistive technology companies have traditionally shied away from running Black Friday specials, though this stance has changed a bit over the past couple of years. <a target=_blank" href="">GW Micro, for instance, has already announced giveaways of free gift cards and Louis Braille coins for the holidays. Last year, Serotek offered some very aggressive deals on their screen reading products. Look for the smaller and newer companies to especially offer deals, which may only last one day or a single weekend. It would not surprise us at all to see deals from the likes of Sendero Group or HandyTech North America, for example.

When shopping for low-priced blindness-specific items such as playing cards or games, watch out for free shipping deals. <a target="_blank href="">Independent Living Aids generally runs a free shipping promotion with no minimum order a couple of times during the holidays, usually for a day or two at a time. Normally, thereís a $75 minimum. These promotions make those small $10-20 purchases a lot easier to swallow.

When shopping around online, you generally wonít see blindness items on sale. But you may find special holiday coupons for a percentage or dollar amount off which can be used to purchase such items. >Kohlís, Sears,
and many others stock items like talking scales, pedometers, or clocks, for example, and using one of these coupons could save you a few extra bucks. Watch for some of the best deals on Cyber Monday, this year on November 30.

In scanning the Black Friday ads, one item that is absent from major discounts is accessible iPods. When spotting deals on these players, make sure the item you are buying is accessible. For example, the older (2nd generation) iPod Touch is not accessible, nor is the current 8GB model, spotted in a few ads. Apple often runs a one-day only sale on Black Friday, and Amazon.comís current prices on the Nano and Touch are quite competitive already.

On the flip side, the popularity of netbooks has led them to make their appearance in practically every Black Friday advertisement. Finding a decently-equipped model for under $200 online should be a piece of cake. Watch out for stores skimping on features like battery life to give you the lower price. Also make sure your netbook includes a Windows operating system if you intend to run a Windows-based screen reader.

Another item with no major deals this year is flash memory. Prices bottomed out about this time last year with 8GB cards selling for under $10. While normal trends would have forecasted even lower prices this year, this has not been the case. Watch for a store like to have a good deal or two on these cards, if youíre looking to expand your mobile phone, BookSense, or BrailleNote Apex with more memory.

Last year, we were unable to conjure up many reasons to brave the crowds on Black Friday, and this year doesnít seem to be any different. Many of the sales advertised by major chains will also be available from their websites as early as Thanksgiving morning, often with free shipping. And, some of the best tech deals will appear on Cyber Monday.

Amazon Prime continues to be one of the best-kept secrets in online shopping. For the holidays, you can sign up for a free trial and get two-day shipping for free with no minimum. And considering the breadth of products Amazon sells, itís hard to not make use of your Prime subscription.. The free trial works if you havenít done it before. Then, youíll need to use the normal $79 a year subscription rate, still a great deal if youíre a regular shopper.

Finally, be sure to use the tools on the Blind Bargains website during the holidays. One of the most underused features offered is the search box. Type in the item youíre looking for to search our collection of posts, nearly 100 online stores including blindness retailers, and EBay, all on one page. Also, be sure to follow blindbargains on Twitter for the most up-to-date information. Finally, if thereís an item youíre looking for or a way we can help you save time on your holiday shopping, send us a message and one of our editors would be happy to help out.

Happy bargaining.

Category: Resources
Displaying 1 comment.
circulating Tuesday, 15-Dec-2009 4:23 PM ET:

thank you for making our online holiday shopping so much easier...

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J.J. Meddaugh is an experienced technology writer and computer enthusiast. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a major in telecommunications management and a minor in business. When not writing for Blind Bargains, he enjoys travel, playing the keyboard, and meeting new people.

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