Black Friday can feel like a mad scramble but we’re here to help you through it with our guide to retail spots every collector should consider

It’s hard for many of us to resist the deals, the chaos, and the mayhem that binds us all together for this retail kickoff of the holiday season. Black Friday can feel like a mad scramble. That’s why we’re here to help you through the insanity with our guide filled with solid spots you should consider. Many of these stores already have their pre-sales underway so get moving!

ThinkGeek

Since 1999, ThinkGeek has been on a mission to create a world where everyone can embrace their inner geek and connect with one another. Now, their 2015 Holiday Gift center is open for business! They see the holiday season as full of fun and new adventures and in that spirit they are offering help explaining “You know what they like. We know what to get ’em.” From ugly sweaters, to Timmy’s Daily Doorbusters (50% off one day sales), to holiday decorations, to planetary glass sets, to R2-D2 USB car chargers, and more, they are loaded up and ready for you. In terms of Black Friday, they’re already sharing 20% off orders of $40 or more (use code LIGHTSIDE) and promise more surpises beginning at 12:00 AM on November 26th!

Entertainment Earth

Calling itself “the preeminent pioneer and innovator in the worldwide online retail and wholesale toy, gift, and collectibles industry,” this company was founding in 1996 and is based in Simi Vally, California but enjoys robust online sales. This year, the bargains are already underway at Entertainment Earth as they countdown to Black Friday. They’re serving up collectibles NOW that are up to 95% off retail. Featuring brands like Star Trek, Dexter, Doctor Who, Disney’s Frozen, Monster High, The Walking Dead, G.I. Joe, and Guardians of the Galaxy (among others) they’re offering a sale that ushers in Black Friday “at the speed of Santa’s sleigh.” Their words, not ours.

Sideshow Collectibles

Though not technically a Black Friday event, there is a pretty solid sale going on just in time for the holidays over at the ever amazing Sideshow Collectibles! You can catch up to $50 off select collectibles. As the site explains, “snag yours before they are gone.”

Threadless

All those beautiful t-shirts at Threadless and so many of them just waiting to be nabbed for the special people in your life! Subscribing to the model “You are Threadless. You make the ideas, you pick what we sell, you’re why we exist.” Threadless opened its doors in 2000 and has been serving up amazing apparel, art prints, pillows, and other designs from their home base in Chicago, IL ever since. Right now, their Pre-Black Friday sale is in full effect as they offer 30% off everything so long as you use the promo code PREBLACKFRIDAY. This sale runs through 12 PM CT on November 26th so don’t delay. With weekly new designs, there’s always something you haven’t seen before.

Amazon

You already know and use this one, but we would be remiss to ignore it. Amazon is one of the shopping cornerstones of the internet and their Black Friday Deal Week is well underway. From limited-time lightning deals to “deals of the day” their offers can go quickly, but they’re vowing to add new items as often as every 5 minutes! Half the fun here is just parking, hitting refresh, and seeing what comes up next.

Quantum Mechanix

I love this company. They had me at their early support for Firefly merchandise, and their commitment to creative collectibles has held me ever since. Quantum Mechanix has announced their “Our Better-Than-Black-Friday Sale” sale and with it they are offering 30% off everything in stock Monday, November 23 through Monday, November 30.

Disney Store

Have a special princess or prince demanding Disney under the tree this year? They’ve announced their Magical [Black] Friday Sale. Currently featuring over 942 items (so far) discounted up to 50% each, this is worth noting and digging around for gifts (for yourself or others).

Aspen Comics

For all you comic book lovers, we dug through over 50 comic publisher websites to see if any had announced Black Friday sales and only Aspen Comics emerged with a deal to share. This Thursday evening at 6:00PM EST within their Aspen Store you can purchase the new Fathom Blue #5 Black Friday exclusive cover by Siya Oum at the low price of only $4.99! In addition, don’t miss out on a line wide sale including huge discounts on all Aspen items including comics, prints, statues, and more!

Toys”R”Us

Not to be outdone, Toys”R”Us is up and running with daily deals and they were even kind enough to organize the onslaught by category on their Black Friday page. They reference these deals being for their Rewards”R”Us customers, but have no fear as the promo code BLACKFRIDAY opens the doors to deals online. You can also check out their full Black Friday paper ad here.

GameStop

Known for their video game inventory, GameStop has been evolving into the world of collectibles and they’re spelling out their Black Friday Week deals in full detail on their site. Buried in a sea of console, game, and controller deals, their FunKo Mystery Box event has me intrigued. It’s costs $20 but is valued at $40 and contains 5 mystery collectibles including 1 of 5 GameStop exclusive Pops! with a few lucky customers receiving a rare golden Pop!

The Best Advice?

Don’t forget the big box store options! If you roll in all the sales (though many are not collectible focused) at websites like BlackFriday.com you will see over 100 additional retailers getting into the spending spirit. Of course stores like Walmart, Target, Macy’s, Kmart, and others are going to be loaded with collectible steals so branch out and explore as you make your Friday battle plan.

Personally, after digging in for this story, I think Black Friday is most certainly evolving. This year there’s still a lot of extra bang for your buck, but increasingly (as you see above) “the day” is becoming “the week” and that past urge to bust down the doors for “doorbuster” savings is fading and giving way to a simple, much less viscerally satisfying mouse click. As more an more retailers are duplicating their store deals online, is it really worth fighting the crowds anymore? Unless you simply like going elbow to elbow in this fiscal mosh pit or absolutely must have that ultra rare Star Wars figure, it might be worth considering a different plan.

How are people going to treat Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday? For an incredibly interesting (and detailed) look at shopping trends and the move towards Cyber Monday, take a few minutes and consult with the National Retail Federation. They do a solid job estimating what we will see each year in stores and online. You can check out their 2015 predictions and make your own forecast on what’s to come based on their numbers.

Me? I’ll be curled up with hot cocoa, my Batman lounging pants, and a cursor draped in mistletoe bouncing across my computer screen as I make the holidays arrive at my door package after package, with a smoking credit card at my side.

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