This year Black Friday is going viral. Shopaholics on a mission have turned to the Internet, swapping strategies and sharing rumors on Web sites, online forums, social networks, and even an iPhone app. Here are the best Black Friday 2.0 tools giving bargain hunters a leg up on the competition. (Watch a report about finding Black Friday deals online)
For the quick and dirty shopper: BlackFriday2009.com earns points from PC World for being "easy to view and navigate." "Black Friday 2009 has the latest news on Black Friday right up front, as well as links to popular stores and a rotating selection of some of the site’s favorite deals."
For the Black Friday amateur: Black Friday at Gottadeal.com offers "the best FAQ list of any site we surveyed," says Business Pundit. Other "cool features" include an item tracker, sale tracker, and personalized shopping list complete with email alerts.
For the organizer: iblackfriday.com lets shoppers plan in advance by creating an online shopping list of Black Friday deals. "The site divides the ads into two sections: those that are available and those that are coming soon," says PC Mag. This way, we know "right off the bat" which retailers will have the best deals.
For the risk-taker: Retailmenot’s online Black Friday forums are a free-for-all of Black Friday deals and rumors. Yet the network of deal-hunters is a good way to "stay connected with fellow shoppers and share bargains," says Comcast Finance.
Dealnews.com: This Black Friday iPhone app is "great" because it gives you deals in real-time, says Geeksugar. It also shows "confirmed and leaked Black Friday deals from all across the web and on store shelves." Even better, the app is free – perfect for "penny pinching" bargain seekers.
TGIblackfriday.com: The "incredible" Black Friday iPhone App makes it easier for shoppers "to know if a deal is really a deal," says iPhones Talk. In an era when shoppers are more used to comparison shopping via their computers than in stores, it’s "our trusty little iPhone…to the rescue once again."
SOCIAL MEDIA OPTIONS
For savngs-minded Twitterers: @blackfriday, @blackfridayinfo, and @blackfridayweb and @BFAds are all worth following, says Missy Frederick at Washington Business Journal. Also, try following specific retailers like @WalmartSpecials and @BestBuy for excusive deals.
For the "anti-Twitter" shoppers: PC World recommends exploiting FACEBOOK to find Black Friday news and deals. Try using the "Like" feature and comments to "determine whether the item in question is worth buying."