Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tough Times May Lead To Great Deals

CNBC posed the question whether a souring economy will head to even better deals than what we've got in the last Holiday rush.  To keep factories and stores running, businesses have to keep consumer coming back for more.  Better gears.  Lower prices.  New jingles may help.

The problem is American consumers are scared and uncertain about their financial future or the direction this nation is headed.  Let's face the facts.  Here are some numbers from Gallup:

  • 59% are worried about their financial future
  • 78% consumer confidence
  • 84% believes the economy will get worse
  • 47% believes standard of living wil get worse, 34% believes things will improve
These are not good numbers if you're a business owner. But if you're out looking for stuff this Black Friday, you're in luck.  Let's look at each mobile category.
  • Laptops - necessity but they'll be competing with Wind, EEE PC, and Mini Notes.  I've noticed a drop about 11% since the high of back-to-school with the values added (memory, HD space).  One of the thing I'm beginning to see a lot of pushing bigger screens for movies.  I have to say though the screens are bright and crisp.  But on the low-end, we'll see a lot of $400 laptops to compete with the netbooks.  Below $400?  It can happen with generic brands you find at Fry's.
  • Netbooks - they're stuck at $400 for a while but some have already begun to crack it.  I've seen deals for as low oas $300 (retail around $450).  33% off.  No wonder Apple doesn't want to compete there yet.   Great deal if you're in the market for a simple easy to use machine.  Keep in mind, it's no laptop.  And if you do decide to pick one up, get one with a LED screen.
  • Digital Cameras and Camcorders.  I  haven't taken a look at these lately.  Largely, because I have yet to find a reason to upgrade.  And this is an area where we might see a lot of great deals.  We're talking about consumers here.  Dave the Mobile Warrior.  Not a prosumer.  It's gotten complicated and the sector needs an iPhone-like shake-up.  Because of all the confusion, we may see a price drop.  And those 5MP cameras people picked up three years ago still work fine.  My Canon hi-def camcorder still works great from about two years ago.  
  • MP3 players.  If you're not looking an iPod or Zune, there are deals now.  Once, MP3 players were locked behind glass cabinets are now just sitting in bins for the picking.  Style aside, these are great music players, san the multi-touching, social functions, or gaming.
  • Mobile Devices.  There is definitely a possibility here.  Last year, we saw some wireless providers come out with some pretty good deals and I'm thinking, given the competition in the smartphone arena, we'll see some pretty good deals with Blackberries like the Curve.  Earlier, Sprint did well with promotion.  I'm guess others will follow.  Competition is fierce but for the top line devices, they'll be standing on their own merits.  I don't think we'll see price cuts coming to Storm, iPhone, Bold, or G1.  But then again with Sprint, I'm looking for them to pull something crazy with the data plan.
  • Mobile Gaming.  DS and PSP.  It's going to be about bundles.  Typically, we won't see a lot of changes here.  With bundles, we'll see maybe a 5-10% saving.  Not a whole lot.  But that's taxes right there.  And while PSP is of the latest edition, DSi won't be available outside of Japan.  The iPod Touch will be mainly a media player, video and music.  It won't influence gaming or prices, if ever.
Already, you can get a jump on the rest of the herd by using live.com to save.  We've talked about it last week and we're very happy with our purchases.  Saving up to 30% on eBay is incredible.  Best of all, you don't even have to abandon your favorite search engines.  

Deals will start early to get the people excited.  We'll see things trickle out here and there from retailers.  Sort of like a taste of things to come.  Walmart will always bring its A-game.  Best Buy will try to knock out Circuit City one and for all.  

Amazon will do it's deal a day thing it always does.  eBay is hurting a bit so we'll see agressive promotions.  

Here's a tip:  sign up for newsletters from the etailers so you can get an early jump pricing and what's heavily promoted.

Link of Interest:  CNBC 

No comments:

Apple Should Prepare to Leave China (There Is Still Time To Execute Such A Plan)

At first glance, you might think that the title of this article is a clickbait considering that China is the second biggest economy in the w...