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Where to find the best Black Friday deals on all things Apple [UPDATE: Check out Apple’s leaked discounts]

apple black friday couponsWhile Apple is known for many things–great design, simple user interface, general “walled-garden” tactics–offering deep discounts is not one of them. It takes years for the brand to drop prices on its products, even in the face of multiple refreshes. We’ve all just accepted the fact that Apple devices are synonymous with high prices.

And that is why we don’t advise getting too excited about Apple’s Black Friday sale. The company is promoting its one day sale, but offering little information about the bargains. “You’ll discover amazing iPad, iPod, and Mac gifts for everyone on your list,” the teaser says. It’s nearly identical wording to last year’s ad, and if you remember the savings weren’t really worth mentioning.

So if you are planning on hitting the sales come Friday, we don’t suggest lining up outside your local Apple Store or logging on at midnight. Your time is better spent elsewhere.

That said, if you need to cross an Apple product off your shopping list, there are options.

Refurbished Apple Store (…plus TechBargains)

It’s worth checking out Apple’s own refurb and clearance sections. If you’re looking for a MacBook Air, you should still expect to drop some considerable cash. But if you need a replacement iPod, you could easily save a few bucks. Also, before you make any purchases, check out TechBargains’ Apple Store coupon section, where you can redeem various discounts. 

Amazon, Overstock, and eBay

Amazon also has its own refurbished Apple retail section, which includes everything from MacBook Pros to iPad 2s. If you have Amazon Prime, you’ll get free two day shipping, and of course if you’re shopping for other items you’ll save by not paying the shipping fee for multiple retailers. Overstock and eBay are also always worth checking out for Mac and iOS products, and you can bundle purchases here as well.

Mac of All Trades

While this smaller online Mac store probably won’t be offering any Black Friday discounts, the bargains are pretty great to begin with. Many are in near-perfect shape, and if you don’t mind wear and tear you can save a bundle on scratched or dented items.

Small Dog Electronics

If you happen to be in the Vermont or New Hampshire area, checking out one of Small Dog Electronics’ three locations might be in your best interest. It won’t be swamped by the Black Friday elite who head for national chains and the store is giving out gift bags filled with $100 in merchandise discounts to the first 50 customers in line. One of the items is $50 off an iPad or Mac purchase over $499, and it goes up from there. 

MacMall

MacMall has made a name for itself as a go-to for discounted Apple products. Right now it’s having a 37-hour sale which ends November 23 at 1 p.m. PST, and it’s advertising up to $650 off various Mac and iOS merchandise. We were also told the site will be offering Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.

GainSaver

This online retailer is offering 10-percent off Apple products through tonight at 10 p.m. PST. Talk about an early start on Black Friday. It’s also offering price cuts on various Apple products, which for the most part are last-gen (like an iBook for $194.65, and that’s not including the 10-percent discount, 5-percent off for being the deal of the day, and a $50 gift card toward purchase). Definitely worth browsing.  

[UPDATE]

Apple’s own Black Friday deals have leaked, and Cult of Mac has reported the details. Like we thought, the discounts are on the modest side,  but here’s a quick look: 

  • $100 off the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, or iMac
  • $41-$61 off an iPod nano or iPod touch (depending on storage size)
  • A variety of accessories, including the iPad 2 Smart Cover, a wireless keyboard, a trackpad, and an iPhone 4S will also be on sale.