[Note: This article is about the 2008 sales - click here if you are looking for 2009 information.]
If you are in the market for a DSLR this holiday season and are hoping to take advantage of a big sale on Black Friday, you may be out of luck.
The last two years, all of the big department and electronics stores carried the same Canon DSLR model and the same Nikon DSLR model on sale on Black Friday, although some of them had varying accessory kits or additional lenses accompanying the camera models.
This year’s Sears Black Friday ad has already been leaked to several shopping sites. The ad contains the Canon Rebel XS and the Nikon D40, so it appears those will be the Black Friday cameras being discounted this year for DSLR shoppers.
Sears’ DSLR sale prices were the most competitive of the brick-and-mortar retailers last year. Assuming that is the case again this year, it looks like the prediction that I reported on previously from GottaDeal.com (that Black Friday camera prices would be higher than regular prices from online retailers) may be half right.
The price advertised in the leaked Sears ad for the Canon ($549.99) is definitely substantially higher than the everyday price for that same item at Amazon.com ($509):
Sears is advertising a package price that includes the XS and an additional 75-300mm lens (reg. price $229) for $679, but the lens doesn’t have IS which is pretty much a necessity at the longer end of that focal length. So it is a nice discount off the regular price, but…
The advertised Nikon D40 is probably a nice deal, but the leaked ad copy is a bit unclear. It looks like it might be advertising a body and two lens package similar to one sold through Amazon by Ritz Camera for $599. If that is the case, the $449 price is fabulous. Even if the $449 price is just for the body and kit lens, it easily beats Amazon’s price of $499 (which is unusual and probably why this item is a doorbuster sale).
So the bottom line is, if you want a Nikon D40, there looks to be at least one deal to be had at brick-and-mortar stores on Black Friday. Other than that, it looks like online at places like Amazon.com and JandR.com is going to be the best place to look for DSLR camera deals this holiday season.
Update: check out all the actual black friday sales, including the DSLR sales, in the 2008 Scrapbook Update Black Friday Sale Guide.