Last year, the deals were not so hot. Here is my 2013 Black Friday post discussing all the best camera deals I found. Yeah, so… last year was… yuk. And it seems like the deals get worse and worse each year. Here is my advice for Black Friday 2014: expect the deals to suck. If you go in with this mindset, you won’t be disappointed. Anyway, here are some tips:
Know Which Stores May Have Potential Black Friday Deals
Well, any store that sells electronics has the potential to have Black Friday deals on DSLRs. Here are the top vendors (listed by my personal preference) that I would be looking at: B&H, Rakuten, BarrowLenses, Adorama, Ebay, Amazon, Fry’s, Walmart, gearshop.dpreview.com, Target. If this group of stores does not have the deals you are looking for, then most likely whatever deals you are looking for do not exist. B&H (no tax for CA residents) and Rakuten are nice because they usually have the lowest prices on camera equipment. gearshop.dpreview.com was once offering a $50 off $100 deal. Basically you could have gotten the Canon 50mm 1.8 for about $60 shipped, or the Canon 40mm 2.8 for $110 shipped. Target offers you 5% off and free shipping via REDCard, so if they ever offer a good deal it is sweetened with REDcard.
Know What the Market Prices Are
Canon has “sales” year round. Get $10 off, get 10% off, get a $100 mail in rebate etc… On refurbished items they have like a two week cycle. Two weeks of promotions, two weeks of regular pricing, two weeks of promotion, then another two weeks of regular pricing. Here are some recent sales prices Canon had on lenses:
- Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM ($150, normally $200)
- Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM ($350, normally $400)
- Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II ($110, normally $125)
- Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM ($550, normally $600)
- Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM ($370, normally $420)
- Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM ($600, normally $650
- Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM ($630 after $80 rebate)
- Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II ($2000 after $300 rebate)
- Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM ($1420 after $200 rebate)
- Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro ($900 after $150 rebate)
These prices are considered decent prices for brand new Canon lenses. So if Canon busted out these prices during the 2014 Black Friday, I would feel neutral. I’m really hoping for a deal that would allow me to snag a Canon 35mm f2 IS USM for $500.
Maybe Buy Used or… Don’t Buy Stuff On Black Friday?
Are you desperate to upgrade your T3i to a T5i? Well, in my opinion a T5i doesn’t offer much more for the dollar. Maybe wait till 2015 and see what the rumored T6i brings. I heard it may have a mirrorless design. The Canon 5D and 6D lines are due for upgrades, and we still have not seen the rumored 50mm and 35mm L series primes that are set to be announced/released some time in 2014 or 2015. The biggest deals happen when new gear is released. The old gear gets slashed in price. Or, if you really need to satisfy an itch, buy used. The last 5 lenses I have purchased were all used.
Anyway, this is my favorite time of year. I’ll definitely be posting more stuff before Black Friday. Maybe BlackMagic will slash the price of the Pocket Cinema Camera by 50% again. Bummer, I missed that one. Here’s to hoping for a Black Friday $400 BlackMagic Pocket Cinema.