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Black Friday liveblog: Online deals or brick-and-mortar sales?

Sales tax may be hurting Amazon's bottom line, but overseas, online sales have been booming on similar shopping holidays.

After hours and sometimes days of waiting, Los Angeles shoppers inaugurate Black Friday at several stores.
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Update 2:30 p.m.

Amazon’s Black Friday deals will be hard to beat this year, as usual. But will new rules requiring the online merchant to collect sales tax in certain states affect its ability to price match?  Read the Monitor's analysis.

RELATED: Are you a smart shopper? Take our quiz.

Update 2:15 p.m.

The United States isn't the only country that goes crazy for Black Friday - but China has their own shopping extravaganza that comes a little earlier in November.  They call it 'Singles Day', and while it is ostensibly for giving gifts the gift-buying goes all out.

Update 12:08 p.m.

Many Black Friday news reports offer tips on finding the best bargains, and others extol holiday shoppers as engines of economic growth. But there also exists a lesser-known third genre of Black Friday journalism, which mostly consists of pointing a finger at the frenzied masses streaming through shopping aisles and shouting, "Suckers!"

They have a point, sort of. A press release from Decide.com, a website that tracks price changes on electronics and appliances and predicts bargains (with 77 percent accuracy, the company claims) advices shoppers to sleep in on Black Friday.

"Nine of the 11 major consumer product categories averaged a lower price leading up to Black Friday, the week after Black Friday or the week before the Christmas holiday," says the press release. "Overall, shoppers save a substantial amount of money on popular products by skipping Black Friday and Cyber Monday."

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