Black Friday Deals
Top Black Friday Deals Comparison
**UPDATED 11/23 AT 4:40 PM**
We will be updating this blog post continuously as new deals are announced! Newest update: Amazon's Black Friday deals.
It's almost that time of year again, when all is merry and festive, and you shop 'til you drop. Yep, Black Friday is upon us. With less than two weeks until the official start of the holiday shopping season, retailers are slowly beginning to release the biggest deals they're offering on the biggest shopping day of the year. We've scoured the ads at Staples, Sears, Kohl's, Walmart, Lowe's, Costco, Sam's Club, JC Penney, Radio Shack, Sony, CompUSA, Dell, Office Depot, OfficeMax, BJ's, Target, Meijer, Macy's, Kmart, Ace Hardware, Little Tikes, Amazon and Best Buy to point you to the best Black Friday deals we could find.
Here are our top products to pick up on Black Friday. (Scroll to the bottom to see how we compared the deals.)
Black Friday TV Deals.A TV is a big-ticket item that many frugal consumers wait to buy until there's a big sale. This year, Black Friday TVs are again proving to be a highly advertised holiday item selling at extremely low prices. The best Black Friday TV deal we've seen so far comes from Best Buy. The store's door buster ad features a 42-inch Sharp LCD HDTV (1080p resolution) priced at $199.99. Walmart is also promoting a host of compelling Black Friday TV deals, including an Emerson 32-inch LCD TV (60 Hz and 720p resolution) for $188. That compares to Staples' 32-inch LG LED TV with the same specs and a price of $299.99 (50 percent off the original price) and a 32-inch Toshiba model (specs unknown) that's going for $199.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate at hhgregg, (a smaller retail chain with some regional dominance), and a 32-inch Haier LCD HDTV (720p resolution) going for $199.99 at Amazon. If you want to go bigger, a Samsung 51-inch plasma HDTV (600 Hz and 720p resolution) will be on sale at Walmart for $498. Get to the store early to cash in on these deals -- electronics at both Best Buy and Walmart go on sale at midnight on Black Friday and last until supplies run out.
Black Friday Laptop Deals.A welcome gift for students and professionals alike, a laptop is practically a must-have these days, and this year retailers are offering up Black Friday laptop deals for cheap. Walmart wins with a 15.6-inch HP laptop equipped with 3GB of RAM, a 320GB hard drive, and a dual-core AMD E-530 accelerated processor for the bargain price of $248. This is closely followed by an ASUS 15.6-inch laptop with the same specs and an AMD C-60 processor on sale at hhgregg for just $249.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate. Both are comparable to a similar Black Friday laptop from HP with a 15.6-inch screen, 2GB of RAM, a 320GB hard drive, and an Intel Celeron B800 processor on sale at Staples for $299.99 -- a 40 percent discount based on the original price.
Black Friday Tablet Deals.With tablets being all the rage this year, we were surprised not to see more Black Friday tablet deals. We did uncover one impressive Black Friday tablet at Staples andofficedepot: a BlackBerry Playbook with a 7-inch screen and 16GB of onboard memory. It was originally priced at $499 and will be on sale at both stores for $199 -- a 60 percent discount.
Photo by tshein
Black Friday Ereader Deals.Retailers are betting on ereaders as a popular gift this holiday season. Versions of Amazon's Kindle are offered at several stores, though we wonder if Amazon has limited the discounts retailers can to offer. The only true sale we saw on a Kindle was at Target, where the Kindle Keyboard 3G will be $85 (regularly $139), a 38 percent discount. Staples and Walmart have the less expensive, basic Kindle for the regular price of $79; however, Staples is throwing in a $15 gift card.
Black Friday Cell Phone Deals.If you're looking to purchase a smartphone this holiday season, Best Buy is the place to go. The retailer is offering nearly 10 smartphones for free with a two-year service contract and data plan -- although note you must be eligible for an upgrade or looking to start a new plan. These Black Friday cell phone Deals are through Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T and include the likes of the iPhone 3GS 8GB (for Verizon, Sprint, or AT&T), the AT&T BlackBerry Torch 9810 4G, the Verizon Thunderbolt 4G by HTC, and the Sprint Evo Shift 4G by HTC. If you just can't wait until Black Friday, Amazon's Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals have already begun and nearly 100 smartphones are discounted to a penny (with the purchase of a new plan), including popular choices from Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T. Plus, if the phone you're wanting has a hotspot feature and you choose to activate it, you'll receive a $100 Amazon gift card.
Black Friday Camera Deals.Cameras have come a long way in recent years, and while most cell phones include a camera, most can't compete with the resolution a full camera can deliver. In most ads, Black Friday cameras were deeply discounted. We found two excellent Black Friday camera deals worth sharing. The first is available at Kohl's: For $49.99, you can get a Vivitar 14.1mp digital camera normally priced at $129.99, a 61 percent savings. Costco members seeking a higher megapixel count can get a 16mp Nikon Coolpix S6100 Digital Camera with an LCD touch screen, 4GB SD card, and case for $109.99, 42 percent off the usual price of $189.99.
Black Friday Game System Deals.Black Friday is one day when popular game systems aren't so pricey. This year's hot Xbox 360 4GB game system will be deeply discounted at both Walmart and Target, but Walmart prevails. For $199.96, it's offering an Xbox 360 4GB with Kinect, a Kinect game, a wireless controller, a one-month Xbox Live Gold Membership, and a free $50 Walmart gift card. If you aren't interested in Kinect and just want the game system, Target is offering the Xbox 360 4GB for just $139.99 -- $60 off the regular price of $199.99, a 30 percent savings.
Black Friday Luggage Deals.Luggage also carries a big discount in most Black Friday ads this year and would be an ideal gift for that jet setter on your list. The most deeply discounted Black Friday luggage we saw was a 21-inch upright American Trunk and Case Radiance 360 Spinner that Sears priced at $29.99, a 76 percent cut from its original $129.99 price tag. If you're looking for more than one piece, Walmart will be selling a six-piece Jeep luggage set for $29; exact measurements and specifications aren't listed in the ad. Kmart is also offering good luggage deals. At 50 percent off a US Traveler 21-inch upright is $14.99 and a 28-inch is $19.99.
Black Friday Home Goods Deals.Love coffee but hate paying for Starbucks everyday? Retailers are helping you out with deeply discounted coffeemakers on Black Friday. Walmart, Sears, and Kohl's are all offering a similar 12-cup programmable Black and Decker coffeemaker. Walmart's is cheapest, at $9.44, while Kohl's and Sears both feature the coffeemaker on sale for $17.99. Popular KitchenAid stand mixers can cost upward of $500 but are discounted at many stores this holiday season. The best KitchenAid mixer deal we saw was at Sears, where a KitchenAid Pro 500 Stand Mixer (regularly $329.99) will be on sale for just $249.99 -- a 44 percent discount. The next-best deal we saw was at Kohl's, where a KitchenAid Pro 600 Stand Mixer will be $399.99, marked down $100 (25 percent off) from $499.99.
Photo by Beth Rankin
Black Friday Toys Deals.Any parent knows that it's easy to go over budget on toys around the holidays, but this year you don't have to. Walmart, Toys R Us, Little Tykes, and Target all have money-saving Black Friday toy deals. LeapFrog Leap Pad Explorer Learning tablets and software are star attractions and Toys R Us is offering LeapFrog Leapster 2 (handheld tablet) for only $24.99 compared to the $49.99 to $69.99 price tag posted on the Leap Frog website. Walmart and Target are both discounting the gaming software to go with the tablet, but Walmart has the better deal -- $8 per game, and there are 12 to choose from. Target may have a larger selection, but the price tag for each is $14.
Power Wheels cars are also popular this year. They're battery-powered and your little one can actually sit in it and drive around. (Is driver ed part of the package?) Walmart is offering 12-volt Barbie or Jeep Wrangler cars for $99 each and there are lots to choose from. Target is also offering a Mini Cooper for $99. Similar Power Wheels are going for $199.99 at Toys R Us.
For kids who are musically inclined, you can snag a Paper Jamz Guitar at Walmart for just $7 or the entire First Act Discovery Drum Set Learning System at Target for $49.99, a $30 savings. If dolls are what your child is asking for, the popular Bratz dolls can be found for just $4.99, a 55 percent discount at Toys R Us. As an alternative, Bratz doll sets that include the doll and accessories can be purchased from LittleTykes.com for a starting price of $21.99.
Get There Early.These deals are available on Black Friday only at the stores' opening bell. Many are jumping on the midnight bandwagon and unlocking the doors at 12 a.m. on Friday, November 25. Regardless of the store's opening time, it's a good idea to get in line well ahead of the appointed hour because many of these deals are available while supplies last and retailers don't carry unlimited quantities of their best Black Friday deals. Amazon has already begun offering its Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals just in case you want to get a head start on your online shopping. A word to the wise, though -- keep checking Amazon's prices and offerings over the next few days because the e-commerce vendor pledges to scope out other retailers' deals and beat their prices by continually updating and improving Amazon offerings and prices.
How We Compared Black Friday Deals.Originally we wanted to compare sales on the same products at each store, but no two retailers feature the exact same items in their Black Friday ads. Even if the items appear to be the same, chances are you'll see some different technical specs in the fine print. So, to choose our top Black Friday deals, we looked at similar, but not identical, items; in other words, the technical specs were close, but not alike.
We also wanted to compare deals based on the percentage saved, not just the sale price. To do that, we needed to know the original price and the sale price. This seemed to be possible until Walmart and Best Buy released their Black Friday ads with no original prices. We tried to find the items at Walmart and learned that they aren't on the shelves yet, so there's no way to determine the original prices to calculate the savings. But we couldn't ignore Walmart's or Best Buy's Black Friday deals -- both stores are high on the Black Friday destination list for many budget-minded shoppers.
One final note: While we normally strive to highlight the most affordable, high-quality products, this time we studied Black Friday ads only and didn't attempt to assess the quality of the items advertised. Our picks are based solely on technical specs and price. That said, Black Friday is often the right time to snag a big-ticket item normally priced above your budget.
What are the best Black Friday deals you've seen so far?