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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Black Friday 2012 GPS deal predictions & buyers guides

Crystal ball

Gazing into the crystal ball for our 2012 Black Friday GPS predictions

Black Friday is barely a week away, so it’s time to pull out the old crystal ball. Actually there isn’t a whole lot of mystery involved since most stores have leaked their Black Friday ads, but I have been sorting through the deals to let you know what to expect…

Auto GPS deals

On the auto side, expect to see Garmin nuvi 40′s and 50′s going for as low as $59 and $69. For the 5″ lifetime map edition 50LM, you’ll likely have to pay $30 more, though we’ll probably see the 4.3″ 40LM discounted more heavily by one or two merchants. It looks like TomTom will take a similar strategy, with 5″ lifetime map models priced in the $99 range. The GPS manufacturers seem to be trying to hold the line on price cuts this year.

Special editions

We always see some odd-numbered models this time of year, ones that typically aren’t listed on the manufacturer’s website. Here are the ones we’re currently aware of:

  • TomTom START 50 and 50TM – US maps only instead of the US + Canada maps found on the 55TM
  • TomTom VIA 1400M – US and Canada maps (the 1405TM also includes Mexico)
  • Garmin nuvi 30LM – The 3.5″ nuvi 30, bundled with lifetime maps

And speaking of maps, watch those nuvi 40/50(LM)’s. If they are US only, they may not be that great of a deal. US+Canada? A much better buy.

Want a higher-end unit? Garmin nuvi 25×5 models may only be discounted by a paltry $20, although some 4.3″ 24×5 models will likely see a steeper discount. And we may see a few surprises yet.

Handheld GPS deals

The picture is a bit murkier on the handheld side, although we should see the Oregon 450 going for as low as $199.99 and there is a nice eTrex 30 bundle that multiple vendors will have for $249.99.  I haven’t seen anyone planning a deal on the GPSMAP 62s yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it show up. Don’t expect to see current low-end models like the eTrex 10 and 20 discounted much though.

When and where to find the best GPS deals on the web

The first deals should go up tomorrow morning, which is one week ahead of Black Friday. I’ll be tracking all the best online deals here on GPS Tracklog and through my GPS Deal Twitter feed, where you’ll get quicker updates and see a few more deals than I’ll post here. Beats standing in line at midnight! But if you do go the brick and mortar route, remember that our site is optimized for your smartphone, so you can do a quick comparison or check out our reviews before buying.

GPS buyers guides

Finally for you researchers out there, here are a few resources that might help you out:

About Rich Owings

Rich is the owner, editor and chief bottle-washer for GPS Tracklog. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.

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