November is prime shopping season for most consumer electronics. HDTVs in particular are expected to hit record-breaking lows, and based on the best deals we saw in late October, it's looking like this November won't disappoint. While deals aren't as low as our predictions just yet, name-brand 42", 55", and 60" LCD HDTVs reached lows we haven't seen since the start of 2012. In fact, all three categories hit their second-lowest prices of the year last month. At $332, 42" TVs were just $2 higher than their all-time 2012 low and both 55" and 60" TVs were within a buck of their best price of the year at $800 and $900, respectively.
Keep in mind that our Black Friday predictions take third-tier brands into account, so we expect deals to get considerably lower across the board with 42" HDTVs hitting $189, 55" HDTVs at $789, and 60" HDTVs at $719. Also remember that higher-end TVs will likely see their rock-bottom prices in December through January, rather than on Black Friday.
Rarely do "need" and "best time to buy" so perfectly coalesce. As you prepare to knock the socks off the in-laws this Thanksgiving with an impressive feast, you may discover that there are some holes in your arsenal of cookware. Luckily we saw double the number of Editors' Choice cookware deals in November last year, when compared to most other months. This trend for "best of the year" prices on cookware held steady through December and even January. However November specifically sees the greatest number of cookware deals period: in 2011, there were 35% more deals in November than October. Get your mitts on cookware and cutlery sets, bakeware, small appliances, and more.
While tool and hardware deals in both November and December of last year were slightly underwhelming compared to years past, both months were still far superior to the rest of the year. On average, November and December featured double the number of Editors' Choice tool deals. Keep an eye out for significant discounts on wrench and screwdriver sets, drills, lawn care tools, and more, from stores like Home Depot, Lowe's, Harbor Freight Tools, and Sears.
Year after year, Apple takes 5% to 10% off iPads, iPods, MacBooks, and iMacs during its Black Friday sale. However, third-party merchants usually undercut Apple's small discounts with greater promotions. Expect resellers like Amazon, MacMall, and MacConnection to take up to 20% off or more a number of Apple products. Moreover, last year we saw quite a few price cuts on the iPad 2, and we're anticipating seeing the same this year. So while the iPad mini won't be discounted, the iPad 2 could fall to $299. Meanwhile, any remaining stock of the third-generation iPads (released in July and made obsolete in September) could fall to $449 at least.