Want to get a jump start on prepping for college life? Start your dorm room shopping early by looking for Black Friday deals on Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday deals after Thanksgiving. You’ll find lots of deals on electronics and other “stuff” you’ll need at college. Here’s how to find some great deals.
Before you go shopping, look through the ads on store websites or on special Black Friday sites such as BlackFriday.com. Next, download a price-compare app such as RedLaser or Price Check by Amazon on your smartphone. The app will let you scan item barcodes to compare prices so you can know if you’re getting a good deal while you’re out and about.
If you’re buying online, start shopping on Thanksgiving morning, since many stores offer their Black Friday deals online on Thanksgiving Day (prior to the physical stores opening). Look for sites that offer free shipping, too. An item may cost a dollar or two more on one site, but if it offers free shipping you might get a better deal than if you had to pay shipping costs on a different site. Plus, check coupon websites such as Retailmenot.com and FatWallet.com for discount codes.
When you go away to college you’ll likely need a laptop, a printer and USB thumb drive (to transfer files between your laptop and a college computer lab). You may even need a small TV for your dorm room, an alarm clock, iPod speaker docking station and a surge protector to plug in all your electronics (and give you more outlet space).
In addition to checking sales at traditional electronics stores, don’t forget to check office supply stores and online stores such as Newegg.com. For example, OfficeMax is advertising a Toshiba 15.6” laptop for $299 (a $200 savings) and Best Buy has a Dell Inspiron 15.6” laptop for $177.99 (nearly $220 in savings). OfficeMax also has deals on printers, with a Canon inkjet printer for $49.99.
Before buying electronics, check the product specifications to confirm if you’re really getting a good deal. For example, some low-cost laptops may not have as much memory or hard disk space as you’ll need (or want), depending on the programs you’ll be running and how much multimedia content you plan to use.
Dorm décor and small appliances
Prices for dorm room décor such as comfy chairs, futons, desk lamps, comforters, extra long twin sheets and organizers may be marked down for the holidays. For example, pay only $29.88 (a $10 savings) for the Big Joe Bean Bag Chair at Walmart or $19.99 for a Bungee Chair at Meijer.
In addition to checking discount retailers like Walmart, Target, Kmart and Meijer, look for deals at dorm-specific websites such as Dormco.com, DormSmart and Dormify.com. Plus, look for deals at furniture and home improvement stores in your area. Consider going to secondhand stores such as Goodwill, too, since many of those stores also offer Black Friday discounts.
Need your morning cup of coffee to start your day off right? Look for deals on coffee makers at department stores, electronics stores and online. Other appliances you may need (or want) for your dorm room include a small vacuum, a microwave or mini-fridge.
Many retailers offer great deals on movies this time of year. For example, DVD prices start at $3 at Meijer, $1.99 at Best Buy and $1.96 at Walmart. Blu-ray discs typically cost a bit more. Look for deals on movies at Amazon.com, discount retailers and electronics stores.
As with all purchases, make sure to confirm the retailer’s return policy before you buy. And happy dorm room deal shopping!
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