Black Friday: I Was Wrong

If you don’t want to be wrong, ever, just don’t make predictions. A new press release from the market analyst iSupply states that on Black Friday, retailers dropped the prices for LCD HDTVs by a whopping 22%. That’s not the price drop from last year, folks; it’s the drop from the week before. Okay, here’s the part that hurts:

“Defying some pundits’ expectations, U.S. retailers this year were able to offer their customary Black Friday promotional deals for LCD-TVs, which represent a critical factor in driving annual sales growth,” said Tina Tseng, analyst for iSuppli.

Thanks a lot, Tina (says this pundit). You don’t have to rub it in. Yes, I had seen prices drop about 20% already since the start of this year, and like the limbo song says, “how low can you go?” I didn’t expect the deals to get much better, but apparently I was wrong.

According to iSuppli, 32″ models were the most popular offering, with an average promotional price of $369, down from $490 just a few days before. Yes, you could have saved more than $120 if hadn’t listened to me and had waited that one more week. (Let’s ignore for the moment that many of these deals were for limited quantities, and were likely sold out before the sun came up Friday.) The smallest sets offered the best price drops; the average promotional price for 19″ sets plummeted almost 37%, and 26″ set prices were down almost 35%.

Now, the iSuppli press release doesn’t define how they came up with these numbers, but I’m willing to concede that the prices were lower last week than the weeks before, and that this was contrary to what I had predicted. On the other hand, iSuppli says that sales for the week were only up about 6% over the same week last year, in spite of the slashed prices. My guess is that the warehouses still have lots of product in them, and that the retailers will continue to be anxious to move them out between now and the end of the year.

You’d think that I would have learned my lesson, but apparently not. I’m predicting that you’ll continue to find similar bargains right through the end of the year, so if you missed out on one of last week’s deals, don’t worry. There’s still time.