Black Friday is coming on November 26 — here’s what to expect during one of the biggest shopping days of the year
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Black Friday 2021 is one of the most hotly anticipated shopping holidays of the year.
Below, learn everything you need to know about Black Friday 2021, including the important dates to know, where to shop, and what to buy in November 26, plus the best deals available right now.
Black Friday is an annual sales event that traditionally happens at the end of November and, historically, marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season. The event is one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year — sales are so high that the day can push a retailer into “the black,” or solvency.
Shoppers can expect thousands of deals to crop up during the entire weekend, with tons of solid deals during the lead-up as well.
Black Friday is always the Friday after Thanksgiving. This year, Black Friday falls on November 26. However, shoppers can expect Black Friday-caliber deals ahead of Black Friday and even after Cyber Monday .
Technically speaking, Black Friday started at 12:01 a.m. local time on November 26 for online retailers. However, Black Friday sales start whenever each retailer decides their sales will go live.
Judging from what we saw last year, several retailers will be releasing new deals every week leading up to the big day.
Don’t be fooled by the name that suggests it’s a single day. It’s most definitely not. It’s more like a shopping season that begins in early November.
Black Friday deals started days and weeks in advance of the actual shopping day last year and will continue on until a week after Cyber Monday.
Since it falls a few weeks before the gift-giving season, Black Friday provides excellent opportunities to buy and save on all your holiday gifts before the last-minute rush.
It’s nearly guaranteed that you’ll get great value for your money on certain products during Black Friday — but some products tend to see better discounts at other times of the year. If you go in knowing what you’re looking for, you’re less likely to be ripped off by a fancy-looking coupon or to spend money on products you don’t need.
Shoppers can expect tons of great deals — including so-called “doorbusters” — online before and early on in Black Friday. During the event, prices will drop to all-time lows, often beating out prices we see over the course of the year. The sale covers every product category: tech, home and kitchen, fashion, and smart home.
This Black Friday, shoppers should expect to see similar offers to the ones we saw on Amazon Prime Day, except more wide-ranging.
We recommend focusing on the following product categories if you want the best deals:
Smart home devices
Gaming consoles and video games
Historically, Black Friday has been a great time to purchase big-ticket electronics — especially larger TVs. Whether you’re looking for a top-of-the-line Samsung set or LG OLED, or a budget-friendly TCL or Hisense model, Black Friday will likely deliver several deals.
Much like Amazon Prime Day, we saw tons of discounts on smart home products last Black Briday. Amazon Echo products dropped to their lowest prices ever, plus we saw several discounts and bundles on Google’s recently released products.
This Black Friday we expect to see discounts on the latest Xbox and Playstation consoles releases, provided they’re in stock. While didn’t see any markdowns on the consoles last year, we did see a few bundles crop up and we expect more of them in 2021.
If you’re looking for a kitchen upgrade, Black Friday is a great time to shop. We saw big discounts on Instant Pot pressure cookers, KitchenAid appliances, pots and pans, plus everything else you’ll want for the upcoming holiday season.
Of course, the deals found during Black Friday are incredibly wide-ranging. There have also been several deals on diapers, toilet paper , and other household essentials and toiletries.
For those unfamiliar, Cyber Monday traditionally comes three days after Black Friday, on Monday. However, we’ve seen Black Friday and Cyber Monday slowly merge and expand to a weeklong, or even a monthlong affair. Different products receive better discounts on each day, and the deals that each retailer offers will vary.
A good rule of thumb to follow: If you think you see a good deal, (e.g., one we recommend) create the order as soon as possible. While you can always cancel or return a product, it’s impossible to take advantage of an inactive, or expired deal.
Suppose you purchase a discounted product during Black Friday and see a more significant markdown at another retailer come Cyber Monday. Don’t sweat it.
You can ask the original storefront to match the price (some automatically refund you the difference), or you can return or cancel the order, then place a new order with a better price. Some orders won’t even ship during the weekend, which makes it easy to cancel orders.
For those who can shop in-person during Black Friday, we’ve found that it’s better to shop on Black Friday in these situations:
For expensive products
For major stores
For this year’s products
If you plan to do all your shopping in stores (if it’s available in your area) instead of online
It should go without saying, but this year’s in-store experience will be a lot different from last year. If you so choose to shop on Black Friday in-person, make sure to read up on the safety guidelines provided by each storefront.
As we do every Black Friday, we are sifting through all of the offers and rounding up the best deals from your favorite retailers.
Shipping delays and major shopping holidays go hand in hand, and this year is no exception. While we do expect shipping delays, we don’t think it will be as bad as last year.
Every year, shoppers eagerly await Black Friday advertising to get a sneak peek at the deals each retailer will offer. Shoppers use these “ad scans” to help create their Black Friday game plan. We’ll update this section to include all of the available ad scans as soon as they become available.
We only choose products that meet our high standard of coverage and that we’ve either used ourselves or researched carefully.
We’ll compare the prices among top retailers such as Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart and include only the deals that are better than all others offered (not including promotional discounts that come from using certain credit cards).
All deals will be at least 20% off, with the occasional exception for products that are rarely discounted or provide an outsize value.