#65: Black Friday/Holiday Buying for Geeks

We discuss some past bad experiences with Black Friday shopping deals and offer recommendations for avoiding disappointment. We offer some suggestions for saving on holiday shipping. We dive into the world of buying holiday presents for geeks — people who are, by definition, seriously picky about what they like. And we take listener calls, including one listener’s bad experience with a Black Friday printer, a follow up on the iCloud Reminders app sharing for the Mac-less, and some thoughts on using Evernote for cooking.

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Shooter’s Tip: Usually Apple has a one day a year sale for iPods, iPads and iPhones on their website on Black Friday. It’s the only day of the year when stuff is not refurbished or on closeout when you can get a deal on a new Apple product via their own website.

Also, for the 2nd year in a row I scored a good deal when the new iPhone model was announced. I picked up a 64 GB iPhone 4S with Applecare Plus for $250 as an upgrade the week after the iPhone 5 was announced. Last year I picked up a 32GB iPhone 4 when the 4S was announced for $200. If you don’t mind one year old phone tech it’s not a bad deal if you can get it.

Last year I also picked up a 32 GB wifi only iPad 2 for my sister’s Christmas gift for $50 off on Black Friday. It wasn’t a door-buster type deal but it was the only time I saw Apple discount the iPad 2 until the 3rd generation iPad came out earlier this year.

~Shooter Out

Went to the Buy More last night for a few things, chief among them was a Blu Ray player for $40.00. They hand out tickets for the popular door busters before hand, and I was able to get one for the Blu Ray. Upon further review, I see that this particular model doesn’t have Wi Fi. Having some time before the doors open, and in posession of an iPhone, I did some research. I see that the Wi Fi adapter for this model costs about $75.00, so I had to find a plan B. I ended up getting one for about $70.00, but when you say do your research before hand, that is the reason why. At least I knew they would have other models on sale, but I would of really been up smeg creek if I bought it and found that bit of information after getting it home. Last year we got one on Black Friday, and while in line I saw it wasn’t Wi Fi, but since it was going to sit next to our router, and I have literally a mile of Cat 5 I’ve acquired over the years, it wasn’t a problem. This one, however, was going upstairs and I had no desire to run cable to it. If you’re going to stand in line, you might as well Google what you are intending to get so you don’t get surprised when you get home.

As an employee of a major electronics retailer that is often mentioned in the cast, it has been a very long week. Tomorrow is Cyber Monday and we are expecting it to be as busy as it was today.

The vast majority of my Black Friday stories involve crazy customers that don’t know what they are looking for, all they want is something that is “On sale”. I will relate one co-worker story: A co-worker told a customer that we were out of 32Gb iPads, but you could buy a 16Gb iPad and upgrade it to 32Gb later. She thought that you could put RAM in them like you could in a laptop. It took several minutes for me to explain to the customer that you couldn’t.