This year's Black Friday, the official kickoff for the holiday shopping season, is likely to make gadget-hounds happy.
Leaked ads and early plans announced by top retailers show some common themes: TVs, electronics and video games will be among the most popular items on sale on Nov. 25. That jibes with what consumers say they want to buy this year. An EBates survey found that the top items on teen and adult wish lists are new iPhones, a gaming console and a digital camera.
- For more tips on budgeting and spending for the festive season, see our Holiday Financial Guide
About nine out of 10 Americans plan to shop on Thanksgiving weekend, Ebates said. Yet that doesn't mean shoppers like Black Friday, which has become synonymous with wild crushes of consumers, stampedes and even deaths. Some big retailers are once again planning to open their doors on Thanksgiving day. For example, Macy's (M) said it will unlock its doors at 5 p.m. local time on Turkey Day, an hour earlier than last year.
"Over the years, we've seen that Americans start their shopping early, using their computer, mobile phone or tablet to get the best deals while spending time with family," said Kevin H. Johnson, CEO of Ebates, in a statement.
Shoppers who are serious about finding the best deals on gifts might want to study the leaked ads in detail, which can be found at a number of sites, such as Bestblackfriday.com and NerdWallet.
Even if a price looks like a good deal, it's worth double-checking with a price-comparison app such as ShopSavvy. That's because many consumers aren't all that convinced they'll find good deals. Jones-Dangler Marketing found that only 20 percent of Americans believe they'll find the lowest prices of the year during Black Friday events.
The fact is some products will come with good discounts (such as TVs), while some should be avoided, such as holiday decorations.
Other products that will be heavily discounted on Black Friday include drones, laptops and tablets, toys such Hatchimals and smart-home products such as Nest thermostats. Hatchimals may shape up to be this holiday season's "it" toy, given that its manufacturer noted that some of its shipments have already sold out and that it's increasing production. The toy is an egg that hatches an animatronic stuffed animal.
Here are some the deals top retailers will be promoting on Black Friday.
Walmart: The country's biggest retailer will open its doors at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving day. Its top deals include:
- A $99 iPhone 5 (billed as saving $50)
- A 40-inch high-definition TV selling for $125 (billed as a "special buy")
- A Playstation bundle that includes the Uncharted video game with a $30 gift card for $249 (a $50 savings)
In a statement, Chief Merchandising Officer Steve Bratspies said the company "will win the season on price."
Target: It said it will open its doors at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving. It's also offering "early access" sales that include Beats Solo 2 wireless headphones for $119.99 (instead of $299.99) and 25 percent off Apple TV models.
Black Friday doorbuster will include:
- Apple Watch series 1 for $198 (a $72 savings)
- iPad Air 2 starting at $274 ($126 less than its nonsale price)
- Buy one, get one 50 percent off on some toys, including Star Wars and Marvel-branded toys
Best Buy: According to a leaked ad posted on Bestblackfriday.com, the retailer's deals this year will include:
- A Samsung 55-inch LED TV set for $479.99 (a savings of $320)
- $125 off various models of the 9.7-inch iPad Pro
- Dell Inspiron 15.6-inch laptop for $349.99 ($150 less than typical)
Kohl's: Bestblackfriday.com noteds that the department store will give $15 in Kohl's Cash for every $50 spent, redeemable between Nov. 27 and Dec. 5.
- $99.99 Fitbit Alta (regularly $129.99 to $149.99)
- $249.999 Haier 4K HD TV (normally $349.99)
- 50 percent off toys from Fisher Price, Playskool and other toymakers