Black Friday/Cyber Monday Recap: The Deals that Came, The Ones that Didn’t & What I Bought

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black friday 2015 recap

Black Friday 2015 & Cyber Monday 2015 Postmortem

I am going to start this post by saying that for the most part this past week has been a disappointment deal wise. I’ll explain my thoughts on that in a minute, but in general we didn’t see the quality or quantity of deals that we have seen over the past couple of years. This is especially true in the travel arena.

The Deals That Never Materialized

black friday 2015 recap
The best Cyber Monday deal EVER! (Note: This was Orbitz’ 2014 promotion.)

Last year we saw a ton of great travel deals. Two of them really stand out to me. Expedia had a limited, but very good Black Friday sale where they offered 90% off of select hotels. I was able to score a room at the Bellagio here in Las Vegas on a Saturday night for $37. Unfortunately my experience at the hotel wasn’t even worth that.

Then there was Orbitz who held a $100 off $100 sale on Cyber Monday. The amazing part about that deal was that it could be used multiple times. $100 off $100 one night. $100 off $100 the next, etc. It was fantastic! This year Orbitz didn’t even really hold a sale. I guess that is lucky for me since 1,000 people visited this site on Friday clicking through to my post about last year’s sale.

We did see some travel deals on award redemptions and even up to 30% off with some brands, but those deals were lackluster at best. In my opinion, the reason we aren’t seeing these specials is the economy. We all know planes are full, rooms are occupied and there is less incentive to discount. That means instead of 90%-100% off, we get 20-30%.

The Deals That Came

black friday 2015 recap

So on to the deals that did surface. Let’s shift a bit to manufactured spending and reselling. I spent a lot of money last weekend. There were deals to be had all over the place on iPads and I found a handful of other items that can be re-sold fairly easily. So while I hated the travel deals, I guess my points and bank balance will go up as a result of these sales.

As far as what I bought reselling wise, iPads were the main course along with iPads for dessert and iPads as an appetizer. Both Staples and Target had fantastic deals on them. There were also some good sales on video games and some household items. Basically I looked for promotional codes and increased portal payouts to help me out. Some portal payouts got to ridiculous levels over the weekend.

Speaking of portals, they brought their “A” game this weekend. Ebates had some great promotions and both Top Cashback and BeFrugal raised their normal payouts too. Saving money on Black Friday/Cyber Monday is as much about ninja tricks as anything else. Sale –> promo code –> portal –> credit card rewards/discount gift cards –> Ninja Heaven! (See example below.)

What I Personally Bought

black friday 2015 recap

The majority of my spending over the weekend was MS related, but I did purchase a few things. Perhaps the most obvious purchases I made were some gift cards. There were a few promos at Amazon, eBay & other places which caught my attention. I can never turn down discounted Hyatt, Amazon or eBay gift cards. I’ll purchase those all of the time.

My one big purchase of the weekend was a television at Dell. I had been looking for the right deal all weekend long and then one fell into my lap late Monday. I ended up buying a 58″ LG 4K television. This is one of their “Prime” sets meaning it is part of their top line as opposed to their budget line. Anyway, the set normally sells for about $1,200 on Dell, but they lowered it to $999 including a $200 promo eGift card.

That is a great price, but still not good enough. What put it over the top for me was 13% payout from Ebates along with the $100 off $599+ Amex Offer. Dell lets you pay with 2 credit cards on their website, so I was able to split my payment in two in order to get 2 X $100 credits from their recent Amex Offer. I had to purchase about $100 more in merchandise to spend enough to trigger the second offer, but I found some good deals that can be re-sold without a loss.

So my math was:

  • $999.99
  • +$80.99 in tax
  • -$200 Dell eGift card (I’ll use it at 100% face value)
  • -$130 portal.
  • -$200 Amex Offers
  • -$50 (5% in Dell Rewards)
  • $500.99 total cost!

Now that is a deal for a high-end 4K 58″ television from one of the name brand manufacturers. Oh and Dell even threw in a 2nd year on the warranty for free, so I didn’t have to worry about the implications of splitting the transaction over two cards.


Black Friday/Cyber Monday came and went. There was some opportunity for those who looked, but there was no killer deal! I’m happy with my television, even though I had to work hard to get that price.  Were you disappointed with Black Friday/Cyber Monday? What did you purchase? Let us know in the comments!

Shawn Coomer
Since 2007 Shawn Coomer has been circling the globe with his family for pennies on the dollar. He uses that first-hand knowledge and experience to teach others how to achieve their travel dreams for the least amount of money possible.

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