Spending

Black Friday shopping guide: You can find discounts of 'up to 90% off' in hot categories, experts say

Walmart, Target, and other big box retailers have already announced their Black Friday sales.

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Black Friday was once the kickoff to the holiday shopping season, and many Americans waited in lengthy Black Friday lines on Thanksgiving night to get the jump on big discounts.

In recent years, retailers have spread out the sales, building up deals for Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday, and Super Saturday. In response to the pandemic, retailers will not be open on Thanksgiving, and instead are turning Black Friday "into an entire season," shopping expert Kristin McGrath recently told Grow. Many stores have already posted deep discounts on products and doorbusters.

The shift comes as stores look to dilute holiday shopping crowds while still racking up sales. Store traffic during the holiday season is expected to be down 25% compared to last year, according to consulting firm ShopperTrak. 

Here's where to get the best Black Friday deals this month, and other tips from shopping experts.

Big box retailers are already offering holiday sales

"Retailers are spreading out their deals over the course of multiple days, and in some cases, multiple Black Friday events over the course of the entire month of November," says Regina Conway, consumer expert at Slickdeals.

Target, Walmart, Home Depot, Best Buy, and Sam's Club have all already released some deals.

Walmart is spreading the spending holiday over three separate events where you can shop online or in stores. Online deals will be released a bit earlier than in-store ones, though. For example, the first event started November 4 at 7 p.m. ET, then more new deals were announced on November 7 online at 12 a.m. ET, and 5 a.m. local time in stores. The same will happen on November 11 and November 27.

Sam's Club is hosting many savings events throughout November, including their annual Thanks-Savings event. This year, it will be a 10-day sale from November 20 to 29. Usually, it is four days long.

Retailers are spreading out their deals over the course of multiple days, and in some cases, multiple Black Friday events.
Regina Conway
consumer expert at Slickdeals

Home, cookware, and electronics will have the best discounts

"Depending on the product, discounts range from 20% off up to 90% off" during Black Friday sales, Conway says. "The higher discounts tend to be for items in the home goods and cookware category."

At Home Depot, for example, a 4-door Samsung fridge is discounted from $2,999 to $1,998 — a 33% discount. A Google Nest Mini is discounted from $49 to $29, or about 40% off.

At Target, a 30-piece Rubbermaid container set that is regularly $42 is retailing for $8, an 84% discount. You can also get a 5-quart KitchenAid stand mixer for $260, or 40% off the original price. If you're in the market for an air fryer, a 7-quart PowerXL Vortex air fryer is $65, or 50% off its original price.

As usual, electronics are also being heavily discounted. At Best Buy, a Hisense 70" Class H65 Series LED 4K UHD Smart Android TV is discounted from $650 to $400, a bit more than 60% off. A Lenovo 14-inch laptop is discounted from $1,599 to $1,199.

The higher discounts tend to be for items in the home goods and cookware category.
Regina Conway
consumer expert at Slickdeals

How to shop smart this month

Just because deals will be offered all month, and probably through the end of the year, doesn't mean you need to shop for the next six weeks. Here are some tips for how to be smart when holiday shopping.

  • Make a list, Conway says. Placing a good deal in your digital cart takes a second, but before you hit "order" make sure you actually need it. "Research the prices and advertised deals for the products you really want or need ahead of time," she says. Knowing what you want might curb your desire to impulse shop.
  • Price compare, consumer savings expert Andrea Woroch told Grow. "People often assume Amazon or Best Buy have the best prices, but that's not always the case," she said. "At any time, prices can fluctuate, so comparison shop." Price-comparisons websites and apps can help you keep track of deals. The app Yroo allows you to search for a product and then see, side by side, the price of the product at different retailers. You can also use Camelcamelcamel.com, which shows Amazon price histories and lets you set alerts for future price drops.
  • Look up price-matching policies, as some stores are extending them. "Target is extending its normal 14-day price match guarantee and extending it through the holiday season for qualifying Black Friday purchases," Conway says.
  • Don't forget to factor in shipping delays when ordering Christmas gifts, Conway says. "Traditionally we've seen the best toy deals happen the first weeks of December, after Black Friday," she says. "However, if you are concerned about delivery in time for Christmas, it may be worth paying a slightly higher price to ensure your gifts arrive on time."

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