If you enjoy shopping, you’ve probably already marked November 25 on your calendar. This year’s Black Friday marks the start of the holiday shopping season.
We have been tracking a consistent “Black Friday creep” over the past three years. The majority of November and even October have been consumed by what was once just one day. These days, retailers launch pre-Black Friday bargains early (as early as October) and begin their regular Black Friday online deals as early as a week before Thanksgiving. A weekend-long shopping marathon has also been created by the merging of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, with offers beginning on Black Friday, lasting through Saturday and Sunday, and even MORE, deals beginning on Cyber Monday.
So, we’re here to assist you in creating a thorough shopping list. Here is our official list of what to buy on Black Friday and what not to buy.
Shop Black Friday
Full disclosure: I spent four holiday seasons reading over every retailer’s Black Friday advertisement as the editor of our sister site, BlackFriday.com. Our selections below are based on the top offers from the previous year. However, things could alter (especially in these uncharted times), so keep checking back for updates.
The Best Things to Buy on Black Friday
On Black Friday, you can be confident that the things on the list below will be offered for some of the lowest prices of the year. Therefore, feel good about adding them to your cart, making a short purchase, and then taking it easy the rest of the Thanksgiving holiday.
Computers, Laptops, and Tablets
Black Friday is the ideal opportunity to update if you need a new laptop, desktop, gaming PC, or tablet. Retailers like Best Buy will be selling Apple items, but avoid Apple.com altogether. Additionally, throughout the weekend, doorbusters will be released online by Dell, Lenovo, and HP. To find out what’s dropping and when to check out their Black Friday ads in advance as these electronics sale events can be challenging to navigate.
Frequently, machines with subpar specs will have the lowest doorbuster prices. You can, however, enhance your storage and processing power with that “extra” cash because the price is already cheaper than usual. To find out what specifications you need, see this PCMag tutorial. Be aware that owing to workforce shortages and continued chip shortages, you may need to plan for a longer shipment time if you are customizing your laptop in any way. The good news is that it appears as though the chip shortage that severely hampered last year’s holiday shopping season is abating.
Require a new tablet? One of the Best Black Friday Purchases is a tablet. Check out Best Buy and Target because both will almost certainly have iPad bargains on Black Friday. Check out Amazon’s discounts on its products as well (Fire tablets and Kindles). This year, Amazon reduced the prices of its Fire HD 8 tablet (originally $89.99) to $44.99 and its Fire HD 10 tablet (originally $150) to $74.99 on Prime Day.
Set your eyes on Black Friday if you’ve been debating whether to get a new fancy stand mixer, a blender, an air fryer, or a pressure cooker.
Deals on air fryers and pressure cookers (think: Instant Pot) are so typical of Black Friday that they are nearly standard. Expect a 50% discount on everything.
Additionally, expect significant discounts on blenders, especially those made by Vitamix and NutriBullet. You can save money at those stores directly, but you should also look for Black Friday sales at Walmart, Target, Kohl’s, and Macy’s. Small appliances are frequently eligible for special Kohl’s Cash offers at Kohl’s, and Kohl’s Cash can come in useful for last-minute holiday purchases.
The KitchenAid mixer is one kitchen item you should keep an eye out for on Black Friday. There are various models, and during Black Friday specials, some of them consistently receive discounts of $100 or more. Check Bed Bath & Beyond, Home Depot, Macy’s, Kohl’s, and KitchenAid directly for these offers. Black Friday sales on KitchenAid mixers have recently been fast sold out. Make the KitchenAid mixer the first item you put into your cart this year if it’s on your list because we know how important it is to obtain the color that complements your kitchen.
Airpods, Other Wireless Earbuds, and Headphones
The past two Black Fridays, Airpods and earbuds that compete with Airpods have been the main attraction, with retailers like Walmart and Target prominently featuring alluring offers in their advertisements. At Walmart’s Black Friday sale in 2021, we saw the AirPods Pro (retail price: $249) for a record-breaking low price of $159! That offer immediately sold out, but additional merchants entered at the $189 price point. Target also reduced the price of the Beats Studio Buds True Wireless headphones from $149.99 to $99.99 from its original $249.95 price and the Powerbeats Pro from $249.95 to $149.99.
Don’t forget about Echo Buds either; Amazon reduced their regular price of $119.99 to $69.99 for both Prime Day 2022 and its Prime Early Access event in October. That pricing will probably be repeated for Black Friday.
Even if over-ear headphones for comfort and/or noise cancellation are more powerful and portable than earbuds, you can still find a ton of Black Friday Savings on those as well. Bose’s QuietComfort 45 headphones (original price: $329) were reduced by a staggering 43% at Target last year, making them available for $179.99.
There will be several sales on Black Friday for those who do not already own an Amazon Echo speaker or a Google Nest smart speaker. There are always. Black Friday price reductions of at least 40% for Google and Amazon’s smart speakers have become a multiyear ritual. A smart bulb, smart plug, or even another smart speaker may be included in BOGO promotions. By lowering the price of smart speakers, which serve as their gateway items, Google and Amazon hope to attract as many households as possible to their ecosystem of products. For instance, during Black Friday 2021 at Bed Bath & Beyond, Amazon’s Echo Show 5 smart video screen went to $39 (53% off).
The entry-level screenless smart speakers have pricing that is perfect for Christmas stuffers. During this year’s Prime Day, the Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen.) was recently reduced to $19.99. On Black Friday of last year, several stores, including Kohl’s and Bed Bath & Beyond, had the Google Nest Mini for $24.99 each.
Video Games and Gaming Consoles
Given that several of the newest systems (the PS5 and Xbox Series X) are still comparatively quite popular and have been sold out for much of 2022, finding a deal on any gaming system this year is going to be difficult. Finding the Series X and PS5 in stock is a good deal. You can probably discover bundles for the Xbox Series S or the Nintendo Switch (the console at full price, but with some games, accessories, or even a gift card thrown in).
Video games are where you’ll have more luck. Retailers like Walmart, Best Buy, Target, and GameStop roll out a ton of promotions every year. For $15, there are several options available. While the most in-demand titles won’t fall that low, Walmart last year discounted certain well-known Nintendo Switch titles by $25.
Smartwatches and Fitness Trackers
Black Friday is the ideal moment to upgrade your fitness tracker or smartwatch or to finally make the purchase.
One of the few times of the year when you can nearly always find the Apple Watch on sale is on Black Friday. That applies to both the newest and older models. Expect about the same (or even greater) deals on Black Friday as there were $50 off the new Series 8 during Amazon’s Prime Early Access event in October. Target reduced the cost of the Apple Watch SE by $60 in 2021. (GPS). Deeper discounts can also be found if you’re willing to go back a few generations – Walmart discounted the Series 3 (GPS) by $90 for Black Friday 2021.
If you don’t need a full-blown smartwatch, check out Fitbit and other fitness trackers. We saw the Fitbit Inspire 2 for 25% off during Black Friday 2021 at Target and the more robust Fitbit Charge 4 for $50 off plus $30 in Kohl’s Cash from Kohl’s.
Home Goods (Towels and Sheets)
The unsung Black Friday hero is the linen cabinet merchandise. Towels and linens, however, are an incredibly underestimated Black Friday purchase if you need to stock up. Shops like Target, Macy’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Kohl’s sell them for up to 60% off. They also sell out remarkably fast.
The list of “items you won’t know you need until you need them” now includes massage guns. The average price of a massage gun is around $100, but on Amazon, there have been Black Friday sales offering up to 30% off. And Black Friday is all about buying expensive stuff for WAY less.
What NOT to Buy on Black Friday
It may be difficult to imagine that there is a bad deal to be had on Black Friday. Indeed, practically everything is discounted. Some goods, meanwhile, are better avoided or purchased at a different time of year. Check out the discounts if any of the things listed below are on your shopping list. Don’t, however, concentrate on these things to the exclusion of offers on the aforementioned items.
On Black Friday, there are a ton of Apparel and Clothing Deals to be had. However, these discounts are frequently offered on particular products rather than all of them (although, last year, we did see some pretty healthy sitewide promo codes).
Given that stores continue to have an excess of athleisure and casual items, this year’s sales might be better than usual. There’s no need to rush out and buy clothes on Black Friday, either, as retailers will give discounts ranging from 20% to 60% off your entire shopping basket over Cyber Weekend. And during the After-Christmas and New Year’s promotions, they will once more provide clothes sales.
If you’re interested in apparel, shop the things above first (they WILL sell out), and then focus on updating your wardrobe.
Remember to wait until January if you’re buying winter gear. Although there may still be snow on the ground, shops will be clearing off their shelves in preparation for spring and may even offer better clearance prices than they did on Black Friday.
The Cheapest Doorbuster 4K TV You See
Retailers put a lot of effort into their Black Friday commercials to make you want to purchase that ridiculously inexpensive doorbuster TV. Your best purchase, though, was not the TV. It will sell out in a matter of minutes, to start. Another reason is that it is probably a cheap derivative model that will malfunction and need to be replaced in a few years.
Fortunately, you have more Black Friday options than only low-priced doorbuster TVs this year. We witnessed some of the best TV prices of the year on higher-quality sets during Amazon’s Prime Early Access sale (and concurrent promotions from Best Buy). Think of TVs that typically sell for $500 to $600 discounted down to about $400 (or, in some cases, under $300). Given that the chip shortage that afflicted the industry last year is finally coming to an end, electronics merchants are probably well-stocked with TVs and ready to make some generous discounts to clear out older models.
So instead of being lured in by this year’s doorbusters, do your research and shop around for the greatest set you can. Better yet, hold off until right before the Big Game, when merchants run bargains on higher-quality TV sets. Make sure you understand SKUs before you go TV shopping on Black Friday so you know what you’re getting.
The Latest Gaming Systems
The most recent Xbox and PlayStation consoles are still difficult to get and won’t be on sale this year. The same is true for the new Nintendo Switch OLED, and it’s unlikely that prices will drop for the original Switch either (although you might find some bundled deals, with games and accessories thrown in). You might find moderate Best Savings on Black Friday for the Switch Lite because this year, some colors were $10 off. Overall, game consoles won’t experience any notable price reductions this year, so avoid focusing on them unless simply finding one in stock suffices for you.
In addition to furniture companies hosting their sales, you can find certain furniture offers in the Black Friday ads of large merchants. However, there is no reason you have to shop for furniture on Black Friday and neglect to make wiser purchases unless you absolutely must replace that couch, bed, or dining room table. Presidents Day in February will present you with yet another chance to take advantage of large furniture discounts.
What Else To Buy in November
You don’t have to wait until Black Friday just because it’s towards the end of the month. There are many more wise purchases to make and strategies to save money in November. You could, for instance, take advantage of one of the several early Black Friday bargains that merchants are holding throughout the month, right up until Thanksgiving. Additionally, November offers a lot of opportunities for wise purchases depending on seasonality.