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7 Tips for Getting the Best Deals During Black Friday 2018
Don't let the festivities of the Halloween season distract you from the truly important things in life: slick deals. Thanksgiving will be here sooner than you know it, and it's never too early to start thinking about those Black Friday sales.
That's right, Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year, is fast approaching. For some retailers, the deals start on Thanksgiving. For others, it's the day after. And some retailers get the ball rolling early with online or in-store deals well before the big day. You need a game plan. We have a game plan.
Based on offers we saw last year for Black Friday, as well as currently available deals, we've put together this Black Friday 2018 strategy guide.
Look for All-time Low Prices on Smart Speakers
Last year, the Google Home Mini made its way onto "The Most Popular Black Friday Deals for 2017" list from Slickdeals -- and for good reason. You could get the Google Home Mini from Target for $29, plus a $10 Target gift card. Best Buy offered a similar deal of $29.99 plus a $10 Best Buy gift card. This year, the Google Home Mini is still hot, and will likely enjoy price cuts similar to what we saw last year.
At a slashed price point of just $29.99, the Amazon Echo Dot was also a favorite across the board. Amazon sold it directly for that price, but other retailers also had the same deal. Meanwhile, the second generation Amazon Echo was available for $79.99 (a $20 savings.)
Smart home assistants are certain to be a highlight of this year's Black Friday, as well. Watch for older models that may be refurbished for ultimate savings. Amazon recently announced new Echo and Fire TV devices, which will undoubtedly help to drive down the costs of the older ones.
Pay Attention to TV Model Numbers
If you're shopping for TVs during Black Friday, it's best to contain your enthusiasm and maintain a healthy attitude of skepticism. Why? Manufacturers tend to sell TVs with fewer features than their flagship models for Black Friday, making a sweet deal taste a little bitter once you get the goods home. Be sure to pay special attention to performance specifications, as well as the number and type of connections.
With that said, TV deals dominated Black Friday last year. The 50" Sharp LC-50LBU591U 4K 2160p Smart Ultra HD Roku TV went for $179.99 from Best Buy -- a $320 savings. Not to be outperformed, Walmart had its 55" Sharp 4K Smart TV on sale for just $298.
Even Kohl's was determined to offer a decent TV Black Friday deal. For $299.99 plus $90 in Kohl's Cash, you could get a 55" Haier 4k HDTV. For frequent Kohl's shoppers, it was a real steal -- even if Haier isn't exactly a top name in TV manufacturers.
This year you can expect to see similar deals and price drops across the board. Look for older models that will undoubtedly feature steeper discounts, as stores try to clear their inventory in preparation for new goods.
Hunt for the Best Videogame Console + Gift Card Bundle
During Black Friday 2017, consoles like the PlayStation 4 1TB enjoyed some serious savings. Regularly $299.99, last year GameStop was selling it for $199.99, plus a $60 GameStop gift card. The Xbox One S, on the other hand, was available from Target for $189.99, plus a $25 Target gift card. While Kohl's had it for $189.99, plus $45 in Kohl's cash.
Noticing a pattern? Bundle deals on consoles, with a gift card thrown in, have become very popular amongst many retailers. You'll likely continue to see these bonus gift card offers on various electronics, tech gadgets and cell phones.
If you're shopping for games, look for deep discounts from networks like the PlayStation Store, Microsoft Store, Steam and Origin. Additionally, there have been some murmurings about a new PlayStation console, and it's possible we'll see even more impressive discounts on the older models this year. As with any popular electronics, look for refurbished deals and offers on older models, like the standard Xbox One.
Stock Up on Blu-rays for Winter Binge-watching
Shoppers can always find substantial discounts on movies for Black Friday. And the advent of 4K movies has only made it easier to get your hands on cheap Blu-ray discs. Last year, Best Buy turned up with a massive $3.99 sale on a wide variety of Blu-ray movies. Additionally, the retailer offered some of the best deals on 4K UHD Blu-rays, with many priced as low as $9.99.
With 4K still being all the rage at the moment, we'll probably see similar discounts this year. Expect to pay around $10 for older and less popular 4K films, or about $17.99 for popular and new-release movies.
Wait for a Sale on Your Favorite Tablet
With new iterations of popular tablets constantly on the horizon, deals on the older generations will be ready for the taking on Black Friday. The Apple iPad Pro will be announced soon, which means that all previous versions of the iPad are about to (hopefully) enjoy some price slashing.
For Black Friday 2017, Walmart featured a deal on the Apple iPad 32GB Wi-Fi (5th generation). Normally $329, the price was dropped to just $249. The Amazon Fire HD 10 was $99.99, which meant $50 worth of savings.
We expect to see at least $50 price drops across the board for tablets like these, given last year's deals and the speed at which these devices are replaced by new generations.
Look for Bigger Savings on Last Year's Smartphones
Tablet generations roll over rather quickly, but nothing really compares with the speed and frequency at which new phones are announced. This year, the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR are all vying for your attention. These three new models were announced in September together, and all will be on store shelves come Black Friday. Can we possibly hope for deals on this shiny new Apple produce? Probably not. But all the older models that suddenly look antiquated in comparison? You betcha.
Last year Walmart ran a deal for the Apple iPhone X or 8 where you received a $300 Walmart gift card with purchase. Target also offered a $250 gift card for the 8 or the 8 Plus. Keep a sharp eye out for deals on all older generations. And for newer phones, watch for gift card bonuses that might end up saving you a buck in the long run.
Samsung is competing with their Galaxy Note9 as well this year, and the recent leak of the Galaxy S10 might help encourage retailers to drop prices for "old news" phones still sitting on their shelves.
Go to Department Stores for the Best Deals on Small Appliances
Black Friday sales almost always come through on home goods and small appliances. Last year you could purchase a Ninja Bar Coffee Maker or Professional Kitchen System from Target for $99.99 -- $100 off retail price. From Macy's, we saw several vacuum deals, like for the Dyson DC39 Ball Multifloor Pro Canister Vacuum. On Black Friday, the deptarment store priced it at just $199.99, down from $579.99.
Typically JCPenney comes through with a variety of home good deals every year, especially on things like towels and linens. Additionally, expensive cookware and cleaners often enjoy steep discounts on Black Friday. We expect more of the same from most department stores, including Macy's, JCPenny and Kohl's.
There's so much noise to filter through when it comes to finding Black Friday deals, and we hope this game plan helps you during the national shopping frenzy. But remember, you can always find Black Friday-caliber deals throughout the year by using Slickdeals. You work hard for your money, and we work hard to make sure that money goes as far as it can.
For the latest ad scans, deals, and news, visit our Black Friday section!
Are you getting ready for Black Friday? What are the TVs, phones, and accessories you're the most excited for? Let us know in the comments section below!
Photos courtesy of Amazon, LG, Sony, BBC, Apple, Samsung, & Cuisinart
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