November 20, 2011

Black Friday GPS Sales and Deals - Full Wrap-Up

Yes, it's that time of year - Black Friday is upon us, and here's the Black Friday GPS Shopping Wrap-up. All the sales, all the prices, and if you scroll the the bottom, you'll see a guide to which GPS units are worth fighting for and which are not.

Some prices are great, and some aren't worth it. Buy a recent model, and a name brand and whatever you do, don't pick up a crap-co brand that is sitting next to the candy at the check-out. GPS unit are pretty inexpensive now and it's worth getting a great brand name product. They can be had easily for under $100. Gone this year are the smaller 3.5-inch units, replaced by the 4.3-inch units as the mainline deals.

Bass Pro Shop


  • Garmin Nuvi 40LM - $85 - 4.3" screen, maps of the 48 states, Lane Assist and Junction View
  • TomTom GO LIVE 1535 M - $179 - 5" screen with LIVE services like HD Traffic, Google Search and more.
  • TomTom VIA 1535 TM - $119 - 5" screen with lifetime map updates and lifetime regular traffic information.
BJ's Club
  • Magellan RoadMate 2145T - LM - $99 - 4.3-inch screen with lifetime map and traffic alerts
  • TomTom VIA 1530 TM Bundle - $119 - 5-inch screen, Bluetooth handsfree, Lifetime traffic and Lifetime Map updates.


  • Garmin Forerunner 410 GPS Enabled Fitness Watch - $219 - A fitness tracking watch that captures several workout aspects, like pace, distance, time, and includes a heart rate monitor chest strap.
  • Magellan RoadMate 2120T-LM - TBD - ad says "$30 off" - 4.3-inch screen, lifetime traffic and map updates.

Gander Mountain

  • DeLorme Earthmate Handheld PN-60 - $199 - handheld color GPS that supports paperless geocaching, elevation profiles, barometric altimeter, 3-axis electronic compass and sophisticated navigation
  • Garmin Dakota 20 Handheld GPS Bundle - $179 - Includes TOPO maps, electronic 3-axis compass, barometric altimeter, and case.
  • Garmin GPSMAP 62s Handheld GPS - $249 - Larger screen, 3-axis compass, quad helix GPS antenna for accuracy, barometric altimeter
  • Garmin Nuvi 1300 LM - $99 - basic 4.3-inch screen navigator with lifetime maps


  • Garmin Nuvi 1450 LMT - $129 - 5-inch screen with free lifetime maps and traffic.
  • Garmin Nuvi 40 - $59 after $10 Mail in Rebate - 4.3-inch screen with lane assist and junction view.
  • Garmin Nuvi 50 LM - $99 - 5-inch screen with free lifetime maps and traffic feeds, as well as lane assist and junction view


  • Magellan RoadMate 2136T-LM - $99 - North American maps with lifetime traffic and maps
  • TomTom XXL 550 TM - $89 - 5-inch screen with lifetime traffic and maps


  • Garmin Nuvi 50 - $95 - 5-inch screen, lane assist with junction view
  • TomTom XL 350M - $85 - 4.3-inch screen


  • Sylvania GPS - $49 - please don't waste your money on this one. For a few bucks more you can get a quality product from one of the big brands.

Office Depot

  • Garmin Nuvi 1450 LMT - $129 - 5-inch touchscreen with lifetime maps and traffic
  • Magellan RoadMate - $99 - No model right now......4.7-inch screen
  • TomTom XXL550 - $89 - 5-inch screen, North American maps

Radio Shack

Pep Boys

  • Garmin Nuvi 255W - $79 - 4.3-inch screen; older generation, I would skip it.
  • Garmin Nuvi 265WT - $109 - 4.3-inch screen, oler generation, I would skip it
  • Magellan RoadMate 1440 - $49, really old generation; definitely skip it.

Sam's Club

  • Garmin Nuvi 1490LMT - $149, 5-inch screen lifetime maps and traffic updates and Bluetooth handsfree


  • Garmin Nuvi 40LM - $99 - 4.3-inch screen, lifetime map updates
  • Magellan RoadMate 1700 - $129 - 7-inch screen; good only for large vehicles, the thing is too big to handle on a daily basis for most people.
  • Magellan RoadMate 2136 T-LM - $119 - 4.3-inch screen, Lifetime maps and traffic, lane assist,



  • TomTom VIA 1505M - $89 - 5-inch screen, lifetime maps - note this is a great price but is an "Earlybird" item.


  • Magellan RoadMate - "4.7-inch GPS" - not sure on the model but you can grab one for $69
Here are a couple of tips for picking a GPS.
  1. If you are going out for a GPS alone, consider shopping online, a lot of these outlets have the same pricing online starting on Thanksgiving.
  2. Consider how it will be used before buying - daily commuter who fights traffic, occasional user, or someone older who needs a bigger screen to see the maps.
  3. Spend a few extra bucks for lifetime map upgrades as long as you don't mind hooking up your GPS to your computer to download those maps. This feature is the most competitive one that has been added over the years, and adds a bit more confidence to your regular travels.
  4. Lifetime traffic on most models is of marginal assistance; they will highlight major messes, are not state-of-the-art. The only exception is the TomTom LIVE model.

Basic GPS Unit

I would point you towards a basic unit that has a 4.3-inch screen and potentially lifetime map updates - Consider Garmin Nuvi 40's, which are the most recent models from Garmin in this class. The 1300's are another one to consider from Garmin that is a year older, but still reliable.

TomTom's XL 350 fits the bill here. While not necessarily a low end unit, the prices are good on the TomTom "XXL" units, which are a bit older, but still good. Think of the "XXL550" or "550" as good sub-$100 units at select stores above. They are competitive with the prices for the Garmin units mentioned here.

Larger Screen 5-Inch Models

Great for those who have a long way to the windshield, or who need a little extra help seeing the maps.

Garmin Nuvi 50's are a good choice here; latest "2012 models" and offer good features. The Garmin 1400's are models to consider, but I need to call out that $149 for a Nuvi 1490LMT is not a great deal at Sam's Club - it adds Bluetooth handsfree but is hardly worth the extra money IMHO. Look to the Nuvi 1450LMT at Office Depot.

TomTom has plenty of offers in the mix this year - the Via series is a good choice with solid basic features and a 5-inch screen; look to the VIA 1505's, or the TomTom 1535 unit at BJ's Club.

Daily Commuter

If you have access, and can fight the onslaught at BestBuy, go for the TomTom 1535 LIVE unit. The Live services provide best in class traffic capabilities and can truly ease a commuter's headaches.

Happy hunting and happy Thanksgiving.


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Posted by Scott Martin at November 20, 2011 9:33 AM

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