Black Friday Week Deconstruction – What I Got, Why I Didn’t Shop Too Much, Deal Analysis & More

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Black Friday Deconstruction

Black Friday Postmortem

Now that the craziness of Black Friday week is over, perhaps it is time to decompress a little bit. I know that Miles to Memories has become significantly deal based over the past few weeks.

There were two main reasons for this. First off, I am always looking for the best deals and there are usually a lot of those this time of year. Secondly, I was very sick for the the last half of November and thus wasn’t able to produce as much in depth content to balance out the deal coverage.

Thankfully I shed my ailments just before Thanksgiving and thus was able to participate in a few deals this last weekend. I want to break down a few deals I participated in and why I mostly stayed out of stores this past weekend.

Are Black Friday Deals Really the Best?

Black Friday Deconstruction

Over the years Black Friday has really become known for doorbuster sales. A doorbuster is a loss leader for a business. For example, Best Buy sold a 50″ LED television on Black Friday for $199. My guess is the $199 price at best is breakeven for them.

If they aren’t making money, then why sell it? First off, they limit the quantities severely, but they also get you into the store. Do you remember looking at Black Friday ads? Many of them are 20+ pages long. One page of doorbusters and 19 pages of very profitable items.

In other words, you aren’t going to find the absolute best deals on many items for Black Friday. You may find very good deals, but I can almost guarantee that you will be able to find those products at lower prices during various other times of the year.

In the end, Black Friday is about convenience. Searching and finding the best deals year round takes time and effort. I don’t shop too much on Black Friday since I find deals when and where I need them. Of course, I did score a few deals, so lets take a look at them.

Black Friday Hotel Sales

Black Friday deconstruction
$37 for an upgraded room at the Bellagio on a Saturday night. Not bad!

I wrote primarily about two Black Friday hotel sales which were of interest to me. The first was Hotel Tonight’s $7 Black Friday hotel sale. Unfortunately they didn’t offer any hotels in Las Vegas during the sale, so I missed out.

The second sale was Expedia’s 90% off Black Friday sale. They offered 90% off at select luxury hotels in a number of cities including: Cancun, New York & Las Vegas. I was able to book a deluxe room at the Bellagio on a Saturday night for $37! (Plus the ripoff resort fee.) Still a great deal.

Cyber Monday Orbitz

Black Friday deconstruction
Orbitz had perhaps the best sale of the weekend!

As I posted the other day, Orbitz offered $100 of $100+ hotel bookings for Cyber Monday. The best part of the deal was the lack of a limit as to the number of times the code could be used. I know people who made a dozen or more bookings using the code.

Since I am expecting a baby next year, my schedule is a little inflexible and I was only able to book three nights for an upcoming trip. In all three cases I found rates very close to $100 and booked the room for a couple of dollars plus taxes. I still can’t believe what a great deal that was. Hopefully all of you were able to save some money!

Other Deals

Black Friday deconstruction

This weekend I also purchased a number of other deals. I have been in the market for a laptop for a couple of months and decided it was time to pull the trigger this weekend. I purchased a convertible 2 in 1 laptop from Staples at a very good price. They also threw in a free kindle for Black Friday.

While I won’t go into too many details, this laptop normally sells for $749. It was marked down to $549 for Black Friday and also included a free Kindle Touch. I was able to use a $15 off coupon in store to bring the price to $534.99.

To pay for the computer I used a variety of Staples Ink rewards and gift cards that I purchased over the past year at significant discounts. Some of the gift cards came from rebates and others from last year’s holiday deals. In the end my cost on the laptop was about $300.

I also was able to purchase Visa gift cards at Staples when they briefly sold them at a discount the other night and Officemax paid me to buy gift cards as well. I also scored a number of gift cards and other items on Small Business Saturday by utilizing my American Express credits. The other day I covered my Small Business Saturday experience and contemplated whether participating was worth it or not.

Miles to Memories Great Deals

Black Friday deconstruction

As I start focusing on more in depth content on Miles to Memories, most of the smaller deals I find will be posted over at MTM Great Deals. This part of the website is segmented off, meaning Great Deal posts won’t appear in the main feed or on the homepage.

You can subscribe to receive Great Deal posts in real time via email. This subscription is separate from the daily email newsletter which goes out. Since most Great Deals don’t last too long, I want everyone to have a way to get them as soon as possible.

Larger deals and ones that pertain mostly to travel will still be covered on the main page. I also want to let everyone know that I am here to answer your questions. If you see something in one of my posts that doesn’t make sense or simply have a general question, feel free to email me anytime at or to leave a comment.


While I didn’t go crazy like some with my shopping this past weekend, I am satisfied with the deals that I was able to get. I scored free gift cards, a great laptop, free Kindle and deep discounts on hotel rooms. All in all, a great weekend for a deal hunter like me.

As a gift for making it to the end of this post, don’t forget to get your free $5 gift card and beverage from Dunkin’ Donuts. Details here. Have a great day!

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  1. Thanks for sharing Shawn. I just subscribed to your Great Deals newsletter. Were you able to participate in Small Business Saturday last weekend?

  2. I booked 7 nights, each individually (3 different hotels), for an upcoming family vacation using the Orbitz deal. Gotta like saving $700! Just hope I’m able to combine the 2- and 4-night stays into one reservation, or at least make at check-in that I’m not going to have to change rooms! Doubt that would happen, but given that the reservations are through Orbitz, do you think I should contact the hotels directly to see if they can be combined (or at least notated as back-to-back reservations)? Call front desk of the property or the toll-free reservation line?

    I signed up for your “deals” emails. Looking forward to them!

    Thanks for your efforts, Shawn.

    • Yeah I would email the hotel directly. They should be able to combine everything in their system so you don’t have to change rooms. Congratulations on saving $700!

  3. Something I appreciated this year was that many vendors seemed to be offering there door busters online instead of just in-store. I got in on that $199 50″ tv from BestBuy and got to do it right from my phone without having to step out! 🙂 of course, it did not last long. I certainly felt bad for the college kids who were sitting in the cold for two days to get it, well kind of feel bad!

    • Yeah those deals always involve either days on the curb or a little bit of luck to get them online. Congrats though on the tv! It was probably the best of the BF television deals available.


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