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Black Friday 2014 Updates

Best Buy 4 Day Kickoff Sale

Best Buy Appliance Sale

Best Buy released a 4 Day Kickoff Sale with a few standouts and many lukewarm prices. The sale includes department wide deals on home items like vacuums, heaters, compact refrigerators and deadbolt locks. Also listed are numerous Panasonic HDTVs at prices that are not competitive when compared against Panasonic's online direct prices.

The lowest priced laptop in the sale is the Samsung 11.6" Chromebook and it's less desirable 2GB hardwired memory variant for $199.99. We have seen the Chromebook at this price or $20 less at other times of the year.

Some Deals We Noticed Are:

We anticipate much better HDTV deals just around the bend and some really low prices on basic dual-core windows based laptops. As for the latest Apple Macbooks, iPads and iPhones we don't foresee great savings to be had as they were just released but great prices should be available on everything a generation back.

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Toys R Us Great Big Christmas Book Posted

Toys R Us Toy Book We just posted the Toys R Us Toy Book sale listing along with the 80-page Toys R Us Toy Book ad scan.

Formerly the Toys R Us Big Book, today Toys R Us gave us another taste of deals to come with their Great Big Christmas Book. These prices go live on November 2nd and will end on November 22nd - right before Black Friday!

This was essentially an expansion of their Hot Toy List. However, if you have presents to buy, this has some great wishlist material. There is something for everyone in this ad, from current favorites like Disney Frozen merchandise to items from classic brands like LEGO and Barbie.

There were a few items listed that especially caught our eye. For the gamers, Toys R Us is offering $20.00 off a 12-Month Xbox Live Membership as well as $10.00 off an extra controller when you purchase an Xbox One System. They'll also be releasing new exclusive Skylanders Trap Team Micro Comic Fun Packs. The Deja Vu version will be released on November 2nd, with Blades following on November 9th and finally Jawbreaker on November 16th.

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Kmart Toy Book Released

Kmart Toy Book We just posted the 413-item Kmart Toy Book sale listing along with the 48-page Kmart Toy Book ad scan, and they are offering some impressive exclusives for Shop Your Way members. Their second page features a "Fab 15" selection of toys - and SYW members will receive a free 6-month upgrade to Shop Your Way Max (free 2-day shipping). Six bonus members who purchase online or in store are entered into their sweepstakes to win all 15 of the toys!

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First Spooky Take Down Letter

First Spooky Take Down Letter While we haven't received as many leaked ads as last year, there's one area where we are still on track: take down requests. Home Depot has sent us our first ad take-down notice of 2014, despite the fact we have not posted a Black Friday ad for Home Depot yet this year.

Home Depot has sent a pre-emptive cease and desist letter before, and received a decorated letter and a Golden t-shirt! While we never received a picture, and therefore could not award a gift card, we're sure Home Depot appreciated our goodwill gesture.

Last year, we also received take down requests from Walmart and Bon-Ton, along with others.

Usually, a cease-and-desist letter is a herald of ad leaks to come. Keep checking back to see what shows up!

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Nielsen Releases Gamer Top Wants List

Nielsen Releases Gamer Want List The Nielsen ratings are out! This time focusing on gamers from all walks of platforms. Nielsen surveyed "nearly 5,000 gamers of all ages over recent weeks..." and crafted a nifty infographic of the top ten games wanted this season.

Many familiar titles command the top ranks like "Destiny" for PS4, "Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare" for Xbox One and "Super Smash Bros." on the Wii U and 3DS. Unsurprisingly the much anticipated port of "Minecraft" ranks number one for Vita handheld gamers. PC gamers are not left out of the survey with "The Sims 4" coming in at top honors.

top ten games wanted this season Not one title spans all the major platforms and only "Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham" appears on both handhelds' top ten lists. A number of titles do appear on the Xbox One, PS4 and PC with "Call of Duty: Advanced Warefare" being in 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively.

top five exclusive titles for the various gaming consoles Another graph in the news brief from Nielsen shows the top five exclusive titles for the various gaming consoles with reboots of long established series dominating the list. Games like "The Sims 4" for PC, "Halo: The Mater Chief Collection" for Xbox One and "Super Smash Bros." for Wii U and 3DS. PS4 follows suit with the third installment of "LittleBigPlant". We foresee bundle deals from each corner on consoles featuring exclusive titles and bonus accessories.

Some current deals we noticed on list toppers are:


We anticipate the majority of these top titles to see little to no discount this Black Friday. But as with years past big names like Newegg, Best Buy, Dell and Wal-Mart often offer gift cards with the purchase of new titles and pre-orders as well as price guarantees in the event prices do drop.

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BJ's Top 10 Toy List Released

BJ's Top 10 Toy List We just posted the 12-item BJ's Toy List sale listing along with the 2-page BJ's Toy List ad scan!

BJ's has released their list of Top 10 Toys for the 2014 holiday season. As has proven to be the trend this year, they heavily featured Disney products - 3/10, to be exact. Although they make no mention of the popular Snow Glow Elsa Doll, BJ's still showed Disney's Frozen some love by showcasing Sing and Swing Olaf. They also listed an assortment of Disney Plush Characters and two different styles of a Doc McStuffins Check-Up Playset. This follows in the footsteps of the other toybooks we've released - Target, Walmart, and Toys R Us have all made mention of Frozen and Doc McStuffins merchandise.

BJ's called out the LeapFrog LeapPad Ultra, also listed in Target's toy book. We have seen various LeapFrog items mentioned from other stores as well. It seems that tech products geared towards kids are going to be sticking around.

Another interesting trend we have noticed is the rising popularity of childrens' hands-on arts-and-crafts kits. BJ's features their exclusive Squishy Sand, whereas Toys R Us and Walmart listed items such as make-your-own chandelier and DIY phone case kits.

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Boosted Pumpkin Carving Contest Prizes!

Black Friday Pumpkin Carving Contest Every year we try to improve on our giveaways and contests, so that we can make the Black Friday experience the best it can possibly be. This year will be no different!

In November of 2013 we gave away a mind-boggling $15,000 in prizes - every single day of the month we were awarding t-shirts, gift cards, and awesome prizes. This year we've already increased our contests and giveaways for September and October, and now we have even better news: we're raising the prize amounts for the top three winners in our Pumpkin Carving Contest!

First place in the 5th Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest is now going to be $250, second place will be $150, and third place will be $100! All of our entries are added to the public album on our Facebook page, so go check out some of the awesome designs we've already received if you need inspiration. The contest runs until October 30th, so you still have plenty of time to enter. Good luck, and happy Halloween!

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Real Facts: Nordstrom's Price Matching Policy

Real Facts: Nordstrom's Price Matching Policy Rumors have been circulating about Nordstrom's price matching policy and Black Friday 2014. We're here to set the record straight.

Nordstrom's price matching policy is not couched in hard to read "legalese," but the first paragraph may be causing confusion:

"We are committed to offering you the best possible prices. We will meet similar retailers' prices if you find an item that we offer available elsewhere. We'll also be happy to adjust the price of an item you've purchased if it goes on sale within two weeks of your order date. Please note that price matching only applies to items of the same size and color. Designer items can only be matched when purchased at regular price."

It is true that throughout the year, Nordstrom will price match, provided that the item is the same and is from a similar retailer. The second paragraph, however, is our concern:

"We are unable to match prices from auction and outlet stores or their websites, or other retailers' discount promotions, shipping offers and gift card offers."

We called the Nordstrom number listed on their price matching policy, and asked if it would extend to Black Friday offers.

Their answer? "It depends." For Nordstrom to price match, the item must be widely available. Therefore, it is unlikely that a doorbuster limited to a certain number of people, or is a limited quantity, or for a limited time, would qualify. It also must be from a credible site or retailer. The representative did indicate that there could be Black Friday items that they would price match, but under the policy linked above, they would not be obligated to.

So, is it a good idea to go to Nordstrom to try and game the system? No, we don't think it is. First, the match on a promotion is not guaranteed. Second, doorbusters and other really good limited deals aren't likely to qualify. Finally, the item must be identical and in stock. This seems unlikely in a hectic, Black Friday atmosphere.

If you want to hinge your Black Friday Battle Plan on this tactic, or if you have a legitimate price match, the easiest way to take advantage of it is by using their live help section. You can also call customer service at 1.888.282.6060.

Thanks, and happy shopping!

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Target Offers Free Shipping, No Minimum for the Holidays

Target Offers Free Shipping Target may have just forced competitors to step their game up. The retail giant has announced that from now until December 20th, they'll be offering free shipping with any online order. The offer extends to clearance items and requires no minimum purchase.

Every online shopper knows the frustration of high shipping costs, especially when they appear after the shopping cart is already full. Shipping fees are one of the most frequent reasons that buyers don't complete their order. Target aims to keep their customers - and keep them coming back - by offering free shipping this year. The only other comparable shipping offer is the free 2-day shipping that comes with an Amazon Prime membership. However, you won't have to pay a $99.00 fee to shop at Target. They are also extending their price adjustment window from November 1st to December 24th. Note that they will not price match competitor's Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals.

Target's efforts to shake things up this year are probably related to the security breach they faced last fall. Their new CEO, Brian Cornell, said in an interview with USA Today that Target is "...very focused and committed to making sure that [they are] managing data security as carefully as possible." Target isn't alone in their hacking scandal; Neiman Marcus, Home Depot, and most recently, Staples, are just a few of several retail chains that have been victims of data theft. If Target wants to prove that their customers are valued, footing shipping costs this year is a step in the right direction.

You won't have to shop online to experience all that Target has to offer. Cartwheel, Target's mobile coupon app, will feature 50% off a different toy every day from November 2nd to December 24th. Most Cartwheel coupons can only be redeemed in-store. Their interactive shopping app for iPad will, among other things, allow kids to build their holiday wishlists using a game-like experience; parents can then purchase the items using the app.

Target boasts over 35,000 new items this holiday season. More than a fifth of their toys will be exclusives, including 60 Frozen-related toys. Expect to see items inspired by their recent partnership with TOMS shoes as well.

We're excited to see how other retailers respond to Target's bold move. One thing is certain - in a race for customers, only the hottest deals will win. BFAds will be here to fill you in!

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BFAds' 2014 Golden T-Shirt Contest

Black Friday 2014 Shirts Doing our best to continue our homage to one of the greatest literary works of all time, the BFAds Golden T-Shirts are back for their fifth year!

As we begin shipping out the BFAds Black Friday 2014 t-shirts, we are going to include Golden t-shirts with random orders.

If you are one of the lucky recipients of a Golden shirt, all you need to do is take a picture of yourself wearing the shirt in front of your favorite store and send the photo to us. In return, we will send you a $100 gift card to the store of your choice!

The golden t-shirts will be shipped separately from your order and winners will receive their original order in addition to the golden shirt.

BFAds 2014 Golden T-Shirt

Everyone who purchases (or purchased) a BFAds Black Friday 2014 t-shirt is automatically entered into the Golden t-shirt contest.

Additionally, everyone who enters the upcoming November Giveaway Sweepstakes (to be announced shortly) will also be eligible to win a golden t-shirt. Those who purchase a shirt and enter the contest will receive two entries, thus doubling your chances of winning!

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Half Price Books Black Friday Ad Posted

Half Price Books Black Friday Ad We just posted the 3-item Half Price Books sale listing along with the 1-page Half Price Books ad scan!

The short but sweet Half Price Books ad is out in typical fashion with a simple, one-page single coupon offering. The first 100 shoppers on Black Friday also get a $5 gift card and free tote, as in the past. This year's one-day only $5 off $25 or $15 off $50+ coupon is not as strong as last year's, which was 40% off any single item as well as $15 off $50+. The Half Price Books 2012 coupon was 15% off your entire purchase or $15 off $50+.

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Black Friday Ad Leak Timeline

Since last week's Harbor Freight release, we've been stalking the internet for news on when other stores will release their adscans, hoping to find something more substantial than rumors. We're still searching.

By this time last year we had several of our favorite stores already posted on our adscans page - and although the opening hours are earlier in 2014 than ever before, the ad scans seem to be coming later. We've gathered up the historical data from past years to share with you in lieu of official announcements (for now). Many stores leak or release their ads around the same time each November - so here are the dates each store released their ads in previous years. 2011 Leaked Black Friday Ads!

Black Friday 2011 fell on the November 25, giving holiday shoppers over a month to get their gift lists checked off - and that year there were already four stores with adscans available by the October 21.
2012 Leaked Black Friday Ads!
In 2012, we leaked Fred's Black Friday adscans on October 11, breaking the tradition of Harbor Freight always being first. By October 22, we had five stores' ads - including Build-a-Bear Workshop, Half Price Books and Tommy Hilfiger. After that, the ads were leaking every day or two up to Thanksgiving.
2013 Leaked Black Friday Ads!
Last year the Canadians released their first ever Black Friday ad for Sears Canada, and we were so excited we posted it and had to wait another four days for the Harbor Freight ad. After October 15, however, we had an ad scan leaking every day or two until the stores all released their ads 4 or 5 at at time, every day, for the first two weeks in November.

Will they wait until November and blast us with ads all at once next month? Feel free to make your predictions in the comments - we're all impatiently waiting together this year!

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National Geographic Ad Posted

National Geographic 2014 Holiday Catalog We just posted the 330-item National Geographic 2014 Holiday Catalog sale listing along with the 72-page National Geographic 2014 Holiday Catalog ad scan!

The National Geographic Society has been focused on history, natural sciences, conservation and of course geography since 1988. Every purchase from this year's catalog helps the Society's efforts in exploration, education, research, and conservation. Inside the catalog you will find gifts inspired by world cultures, including hand crafted items, travel accessories, clothing items, and jewelry.

While the catalog is really just a run-of-the-mill listing of their products we did see the 8-Disc Best of National Geographic Channel DVD Collection for $20 when you spend $100+. Another interesting deal is the Geno 2.0 DNA test which promises to be the "Richest ancestry information available" for $199.95.

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Black Friday 2014 Store Opening Times - Updated

Black Friday 2014 Store Opening Times If you've been following our news posts for the last week, you know we have announced official opening times for several stores already - Kmart is opening at 8AM on Thanksgiving morning and staying open until Friday night, while Best Buy and Macy's are opening two hours earlier than last year with a 6PM Thanksgiving dinnertime start.

Unofficially, several news sites are predicting a Thanksgiving morning opening for Walmart stores like last year, with doorbuster events beginning at 6PM. Dell.com has a countdown timer on their Black Friday page that ends at 7:00AM CST on Thanksgiving morning.

So far this year the adscans have been harder to get ahold of, but we've already got the full ad for Harbor Freight, and they are opening at 7AM (as usual) with Inside Track members being allowed inside the store a full hour earlier than the rest. Stay tuned here for more updates as they happen for Black Friday 2014, or get them delivered directly into your e-mail inbox!

Black Friday Store Hours

Dell 7AM Thursday 11/27
Kmart 8AM Thursday 11/27
Toys R Us 5PM Thursday 11/27
Walmart 6PM Thursday 11/27
Best Buy 6PM Thursday 11/27
Macy's 6PM Thursday 11/27
Carson's 6PM Thursday 11/28
Ulta 8PM Thursday 11/28
Harbor Freight 7AM Friday 11/28
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Hallmark Holiday Open House Catalog Posted

Hallmark Holiday Open House Catalog We just posted the 92-item Hallmark Holiday Catalog sale listing along with the 31-page Hallmark Holiday Catalog ad scan!

Hallmark is a new face in the Black Friday Holiday Book realm with deals on holiday hosting supplies, gift wrap and decorations. The bulk of the sale runs November 7th to November 16th and includes this year's keepsake ornaments. The Open House features many Holiday Favorites including Elf on a Shelf, Rudolph, and Peanuts. The catalog is heavy on holiday warmth and happy memories, but a little light on the deals.

After parsing the catalog with a BFAds Deal Hunter's eye, we were able to find a couple of the better deals like 30% off Hallmark personalized cards with coupon code JOY30 and Buy One, Get One for $1.00 wrapping paper.

As an added bonus, if you spend over $75 you get a free candle lantern at a quoted $24.95 value. Other deals include a $14.95 bell door hanger with any purchase and a Christmas Card Display for $14.95 with the purchase of 3 Hallmark cards.

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