Black Friday "deals" to avoid at Best Buy, Target, Walmart

The biggest big-box retailers — including Walmart, Best Buy and Target — are expected to draw huge traffic the day after Thanksgiving, long viewed as the official start to the holiday shopping season. But some of the Black Friday deals already announced this month should be avoided "like the plague," according to online shopping expert Phil Dengler of BestBlackFriday.com.

Other products can simply be found for less elsewhere. Here are some of Dengler's tips for Black Friday shoppers this year:

Avoid Walmart's shipping fees ...

Online shopping for orders under $35 are to be avoided at Walmart, given its main rivals are all offering free shipping with no minimum order size for Black Friday and the rest of the holiday season. Having to pay shipping fees "is a quick way to kill an otherwise great Black Friday deal," Dengler wrote in a recent blog post. If your order is less than 35 bucks, "shop confidently at Target, Best Buy and Amazon without having to worry or calculate added shipping charges," he advised.

... but consider its Apple iPhone deals

That said, Walmart is the place to go for Apple iPhones. The retailer is offering a free $300 Walmart gift card with purchase and qualifying activation of an iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max or iPhone XR. In addition, Walmart is offering a free $400 Walmart gift card with purchase and qualifying activation of an iPhone 8, iPhone 8+ or iPhone XR.

Given the retailer sells a broad ranges of products, including electronics, pet supplies, auto parts and groceries, "a gift card at Walmart is as close to cash as you are going to get," Dengler noted.

Meanwhile, Target's gift card offers represent between $50 to $250 less than what Walmart offers for the same phone. "This is one of the worst disparities for the same deal we have ever seen on Black Friday," Dengler offered.

Kohl's the spot for Xbox One S 1TB Minecraft Creators

The Xbox One S 1TB Minecraft Creators bundle is hot this year, and should be purchased at Kohl's, Dengler advised. Here's his math: Of Walmart, Best Buy and Target, it is Target that offers the best deal, for $199.99 plus a free $20 Target gift card. And while Kohl's offer is 99 cents more expensive than at Target, it come with a $60 in Kohl's cash. Hello, extra $39. 

Target's $99 Google Home Hub: less than meets the eye

Target is offering the Google Home Hub for $99, a savings of $50 and 99 cents cheaper that what it costs at Best Buy. Still, Dengler recommends buying the Google Home Hub elsewhere for extra incentives offered at Best Buy, Walmart and Kohl's.

Best Buy best for Samsung Galaxy Note9, S9 or S9+

Best Buy is the best bet for buying the Samsung Galaxy Note9, S9 or S9+, since the retailer is offering a direct savings of $300 with qualified activation. Walmart and Target both make the offer with free $300 gift cards in their own brands. Given the discounts are the same, best to go with Best Buy's immediate discount as opposed to getting gift cards from the others, Dengler said.