It’s that time of year again, friends. The time where folks go wild for everything from discounted socks to ridiculously cheap televisions. The Black Friday sales are only a few days away (though some retailers have gone and kicked off their deals early), so get your bodies ready for some intense shopping.
I know, I’ve said before that Black Friday is passé now that online shopping has ensured that deals are actually all around us, pretty much constantly.
And while it’s certainly possible to save on holiday gifts throughout the spring and summer, Black Friday is still a tradition. Seventy-one per cent of shoppers think Black Friday offers the lowest prices of the year, according to a survey from coupon code website CouponBirds.
And when it comes down to it, these shoppers aren’t wrong. The Wirecutter cited a few categories that are still prime for Black Friday savings: small kitchen appliances, Amazon-branded products, smartwatches and fitness trackers, and gaming consoles.
“Retailers aren’t necessarily saving the best deals for this time of year; it’s more that we see good sales offered alongside huge deals,” said Michael Bonebright, consumer analyst with DealNews.com, indicating limited-time or limited-quantity doorbuster deals.
“Black Friday is good because there’s so much stuff on sale.”
Yes, it’s true we have complicated feelings about the pitfalls of consumerism. But if you’ve already made a modest and realistic gift shopping list that includes any of the following, you may find it best to stick to tradition and hold off buying until Black Friday arrives.
Video games and consoles
Consumer expert Andrea Woroch shared that consoles are one to watch:
“Everyone from Target [to other major retailers] will be promoting major deals on video game consoles and offering bundle deals” that include games and controllers, she said by email.
Smart home devices
Woroch and Bonebright cited smart home devices as a major source of savings this Black Friday. Woroch pointed out that last year, video doorbells were discounted 30-40 per cent off for Black Friday.
And don’t forget about Amazon’s devices. Aside from Prime Day, Black Friday tends to be Amazon’s biggest sale. So be sure to keep an eye out on major savings in this area – there are loads.
Small appliances and vacuums
Beyond stand mixers and popular tools such as the Instant Pot, kitchen devices can hit ridiculously low prices, even for well-known brands.
“You will … find a bunch of doorbusters on small appliances such as griddles, coffee makers and toasters, sometimes for as little as $US10 ($15) or less,” Woroch said.
“Some of these deals may require a rebate, so just make sure you take the extra step to mail it in to get the deal.”
Woroch also pointed out vacuums and kitchen appliances as major areas for deals. Some brands, like Dyson, rarely go on sale until Black Friday rolls around, she said.
And while my own experience is far from scientific, I can tell you this: Whenever I’ve needed a new vacuum or a new blender, I’ve waited until Black Friday or Cyber Monday to do my shopping and have gotten a much nicer model than what I would have been willing to pay full price for.
If you’re looking to upgrade your home viewing experience, you can expect to see $100 to $500 off 4K TVs on Black Friday, with some discounts of $700 or more on larger (60-inches or more) sets, said Kristin McGrath, editor of BlackFriday.com.
“Be sure to check the model numbers, specs and brand, though,” she warned, as some doorbusters are lower-end models (often referred to as derivatives. “You don’t want to get surprised by a low-quality set.”
The bottom line: When it comes to items you have to plug in, Black Friday is probably the best time to get a good deal on your shopping.
“Most stores will offer similar prices online and in-store, so it’s not really worth it to shop at a physical retail space,” Bonebright said.
This story has been updated since its original publication.