The Truth about Black Friday Sales
Last Update: 10/1/2018
The truth about Black Friday? Black Friday has morphed into Black November, and retailers - both traditional and online, begin running their Black Friday deals on November 1st. That’s right - as soon as you finally hit the bed after a fright filled night of collecting candy from your neighbors, retailers are gearing up to relieve you of your holiday shopping budgets. With dilution of the term Black Friday, the best sales are saved for the day itself.
Be sure to look at our Black Friday Ad Scans and Deals Page
Questioning Black Friday
Still, many shoppers assume every Black Friday deal is awesome; but is the listed merchandise truly a hot deal?
- Should you wake up early and battle the throngs of consumers standing in line at your favorite store?
- Are these sales really limited time deals, or can better pricing be had at other times?
To answer these questions, we dug deep into last year’s Black Friday deals to see if the deals were really as good as advertised.
- For instance, was there a deal offered later in the year that beat Black Friday’s pricing?
- Is there a reason to give into the hype?
Many retailers “recycle” Black Friday ads and do not change deal pricing on some products from year to year. While this might make sense if their inventory levels are high, consumers have come to expect deeper discounts each year on a wider variety of products new and old.
In fact, the opposite is true - a recent study found that 90% of stores had Black Friday “doorbuster” deals that existed the previous last year. The same study found retailers would often try to trick consumers on Black Friday with knockoff deals from no names, shady rebate offers, and misleading original prices. The upshot? Use a website like BuyVia to compare prices before shopping - a little homework can really pay off in the end.
Where did the Doorbuster come from?
The doorbuster is a limited time super cheap deal designed get shoppers into the store. They are often available early in the morning and sell out almost immediately. More organized stores hand out vouchers to those in line to prevent mass hysteria from occurring from when the doors open up.
Doorbusters have been around far longer Black Friday. These "loss leaders" first appeared in an ad in August 1917 for Killian's Department store, Cedar Rapids, Iowa as: "Wednesday's 8 o'clock doorbusters"
A bargain item was sold at a tiny fraction of its regular price. This brought in crowds long before the store had opened its doors. Other stores in Iowa continued this tradition throughout the 1920's.
Some Black Friday Deal examples from 2017:
Kohl's 30% Off for Cardholders - $21 Crockpot, Shoes, Appliances, Clothes, more - Instant Pot 6Qt $70
Kohl's 30% Off for Cardholders - $21 Crockpot, Shoes, Appliances, Clothes, more - Instant Pot 6Qt $70 plus Free Shipping with promo codes: MITTENS30, FREEMVCJAN when you checkout with a Kohl's Card. Expires: 1/27/2019 - Exclusions apply. Free in store pickup.
- Everyone: Take 15% off or 20% off $100+ with code SAVEBIG Expires 1/21
- Extra 35% off When You Apply for a New Kohl’s Charge
- Apply for a Kohl's card
- This sale happens only once a month.
- Free Shipping on orders over $50+ or free in store pickup for other credit cards.
Stackable Combinable Coupons
- $10 off $30 on Baby with code BABY10 Exp 1/30
- 15% off Bedding, Storage, Window. Select Styles with code HOME15 Exp 1/27
- Exceptions apply
- Combine up to 4 coupons per order
Best Kohls Deals
Instant Pot Duo 60 6QT 7 in 1 Pressure Cooker $89.99 - 30% Kohls Cardholder Coupon = $63, Free Shipping using Code. Larger ones available with coupon discount also.
Crock-Pot Design To Shine 7-qt. Slow Cooker $34.99 - Coupon Codes: MITTENS30, FREEMVCJAN = $24.49 Free Shipping.
KitchenAid Mixer 5Qt $299.99 - Code = $210 Free Shipping.
Instant Pot Duo 60 3QT 7 in 1 Pressure Cooker $89.99 - 30% Kohls Cardholder Coupon = $62.99, Free Shipping using Code. Larger ones available with coupon discount also.
Sold out: Copper Chef XL 5-pc. Casserole Pan Set with Induction Cooktop $69.99 - 30% Kohls Cardholder Coupon = $49, Free Shipping using Code.
Keurig K15 Mini Plus Personal Coffee Brewer $99.99 - 30% off coupon code = $70. Free Shipping using Code. ($120)
Sonicare Series 2 Rechargeable Toothbrush $39.99 - 30% off coupon = $28 Free Shipping using code. Norelco Multigroom 3000 Personal Groomer $16.99 - 30% off Kohls Card holder Coupon = $11.89 Free Shipping using code. Regular $30.
Cuisinart Electric Pressure Cooker $109.99 - 30% Coupon = $77 = $65.45, Free Shipping using Code.
The Big One Body Pillow from $9.99 - Code = $7, Free Shipping using code. Regular $12-20 each. Buy 1 Get 1 50% off
The Big One Body Memory Foam Contour Pillow $14.99 - Code = $10.50, Free Shipping using code. ($50) The Big One Bath Towel $3.99 - code = $2.79, Free Shipping using code. Was From $10.
Contigo Ashland 32-oz. Water Bottle $12.99 - 30% Coupon = $9.09. Free Shipping using Code. ($17)
Fila Men's Athletic Shoes select styles from $29.99 - 30% coupon = $21. Free Shipping using coupon
25% off select Nike Styles - Coupons do not apply. Free Shipping using Code.
Craft and Barrow Classic Fit Dress Pants $21.99 - Code = $15.39. Free Shipping using Code. ($28) Craft and Barrow Classic Fit Easy Care Stretch Dress Pants $19.99 - Code = $14. Free Shipping using Code. ($28)
Women's Fashion Boots starting from $34.99 - 30% off coupon = $24.50. Free Shipping using Code.
40-50% outerwear for the family Additional 30% off code many of them. Free Shipping using Code.
30-50% off Sonoma Goods for Life Clothes for the entire family. Additional 30% off for using code. Free Shipping using Code.
Ninja Coffee Bar Glass Carafe Coffee Bar System $169.99 - Coupon = $119, Free Shipping. ($250)
Magic Bullet 11-pc. Blending System $49.99 - 30% off code = $35. Free Shipping using Code. Was $60
Nutribullet Pro 900 Watt Blender $79.99 - 30% off code = $56 Free Shipping using Code. Regular $120.
Keurig K-select Coffee Brewer Now $129.99 - 30% off coupon code = $97 Free Shipping using Code. ($150)
Keurig K55 Mini Plus Personal Coffee Brewer $129.99 - 30% off coupon code = $97 ($140) Free Shipping using Code. $10 Kohl's Cash
Sonicare Essence Rechargeable Toothbrush $24.99 - 30% off coupon = $17.50 - $5 mail in rebate = $12.50. Free Shipping using code. ($50) Sonicare SimplyClean 5-pack Replacement Brush Heads $34.99 - 30% coupon = $23 Free Shipping using code.
If you shop at Kohls and want to save, definitely get a Kohl's Credit card.
Limit one offer per customer. Dollar-off discounts, including Kohl's Cash® coupons, Yes2You Rewards® and Promotional Gifts, will be applied prior to percent-off total purchase discounts/coupons. Offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other percent-off discounts, including age-specific discounts. Offer not valid on the following merchandise: Gift Cards; Kohl’s Cares® cause merchandise or other charitable items; prestige brands of cosmetics, skincare and select prestige brands of fragrance; Columbia; Dyson; Levi's; Nike; select electronics/electrics; consumables; and select online-exclusive merchandise. For a complete list of these merchandise exclusions, go to Kohls.com/exclusions or look for signs in our stores. Offer also not valid on price adjustments on prior purchases; payment on a Kohl’s Charge account; taxes, shipping and/or handling fees.Promo Code: MITTENS30, FREEMVCJAN
Sales tax in: Most States
Posted: January 16, 2019 10:00 PM PST
Amazon Up to 40% Off Jewelry, prices as marked. Shipping is free on orders over $35 or free 2-day shipping with Prime.
Lots of silver and gold jewelry on sale. Get gifts for all your loved ones or for yourself!
- Sterling Silver Filigree Hoop Earrings $29 (reg. $36).
- Sterling Silver Pressed Flower Teardrop Earrings $28.15 (reg. $39.99).
Posted: January 16, 2019 1:57 PM PST
Harry & David Moose Munch Gourmet Popcorn Tin $3.40 ($34)Sales tax in: Most States
Posted: January 16, 2019 8:50 AM PST
Free 1 Year Sprint Unlimited When You Bring Your Device Expires: 1/20/2019
Save over $800 in the first year!
SIM card costs $2.99 plus $10 shipping.
- Get Unlimited data, talk & text free for 1 year
- Keep your phone and phone number
- No annual contracts, no activation fees - a $30 savings!
- Works with most iPhones and Samsung Galaxy phones
Savings until 1/31/20; then $60/mo. for line 1, $40/mo for line 2 and $20/mo/line for lines 3-5. Reqs. AutoPay (discount applied w/in 2 invoices), new account, bring your own eligible device & Sprint SIM card. Savings claim compared to AT&T Unlimited & More and Verizon Go Unlimited rate plans for 1 line; features differ. Video streams up to 480p, music up to 500 Kbps, gaming up to 2 Mbps. Data deprioritization during congestion. Other monthly charges apply.**Sales tax in: Most States
Posted: January 15, 2019 12:29 AM PST
We look back at last year to see what was in sale. Why? Because this year, we should see similar types of promotions.
Apple Black Friday Deals
Apple had these promotions:
- Up to $50 Apple Gift Card when you order iPhone
- Up to $100 Apple Gift Card when you buy selected iPad models
- $25 Apple Gift Card for Apple Watch purchase
- $150 Apple Gift Card for select Mac computers
- $25 Apple Gift Card for Apple TV purchase
Apple offered similar promotions the previous year, but at least increased the iPad gift card amount. The Apple deals at other stores including Best Buy, Target, etc where far superior to the Apple Store.
So - one would think the best strategy for Apple products is to ditch the Apple store in favor of major retailers? Maybe, but better deals showed up just 14 days after Black Friday - with deeper discounts and zero sales tax. And finally, Apple did not even offer a sale on CyberMonday.
Gap Black Friday Sales
Gap has a “50% off Everything” sale. The later had many other sales of the type Save up to 50% off plus an extra 40% off. These were better on the select sale items, but the 50% off was a lot better on general merchandise.
Black Friday Laptop Deals
Black Friday is a great time to buy a new laptop. Most of the deals were on lower end, budget notebooks. Here were the top items on sale then.
Dell Home Doorbusters - 11/23/17 Thursday 11am ET
- Inspiron 15 3000 Notebook Celeron 4GB/500GB $199.99 ($299.99) Free Shipping
Dell Small Business Doorbusters - 11/23/17 Thursday 11am EST
- Inspiron 15 3000 Notebook Celeron 4GB/500GB 1 Year ProSupport $199.99 ($299.99)
Dell Home Doorbusters - 11/23/17 Thursday 6pm ET
- Inspiron 14 3000 Notebook Celeron 2GB/32GB Windows 10 $129.99 ($249.99) Free Shipping
Dell Home Doorbusters - 11/23/17 Thursday 9pm ET
- Inspiron 11 3000 2 in 1 Core M3 4GB/1TB Windows 10 $299.99 ($599.99) Free Shipping
Dell Home Doorbusters - 11/24/17 Friday 8am ET
- Inspiron 15 3000 Notebook Core i3 4GB/1TB $299.99 ($429.99) Free Shipping
Dell Small Business Doorbusters - 11/24/17 Friday 8am EST
- Inspiron 15 3000 Notebook Core i3 4GB/1TB 1 Year ProSupport $334.99 ($489.99)
Black Friday Video Game Deals
These deals can be of good value, if and only if you like the bundled games. The prices of these holiday bundles held steady, probably due to minimum advertised pricing restrictions. On the other hand, there are plenty of video games on sale, making this a great time to buy software.
- Playstation 4 PS4 1TB Slim Gaming System $199 ($300)
- Best deal: PS4 1TB System $199 free shipping ($300) plus Free $50 Gamestop Gift Card!
Xbox One S
- Xbox One S 500GB Console + Free Game and 1-Month Game Pass $189 Free shipping ($249)
- Xbox One S 500GB System $189 free shipping ($280)
- Xbox 360 Original model Pre-owned Free After rebate. Thursday-Friday.
Black Friday HDTV Deals
TVs are always a bright spot for Black Friday. Some of the best deals can be had then.
- Sold out: TCL 40-inch smart TV, only $249.99 free shipping ($290)
- Sold out: TCL 49-inch smart TV, only $349.99 free shipping ($480)
- Sold out: TCL 55-inch smart TV, only $379.99 free shipping ($600)
Best Buy Doorbuster
- In store only: Sharp - 50" Class (49.5" Diag.) - LED - 2160p - Smart - 4K Ultra HD TV Roku TV - LC-50LBU591U $179.99 ($500)
- In store only: Toshiba- 55" Class (54.6" Diag.) - LED - 2160p - Smart - 4K Ultra HD TV Chromecast - 55L711U18 $279.99 ($500)
Black Friday Smartphone Deals
Everyone wants a better phone, Black Friday is a great time to upgrade.
- Save $350 on Samsung Note 8, S8, S8+ with activation.
- Samsung S8 64GB Verizon $15.41/month for 24 months (Regular $30/month)
- Samsung S8+ 64GB Verizon $19.41/month for 24 months (Regular $34/month)
- In store: iPhone 8 and 8 Plus Free $250 Gift Card with qualified activation - AT&T, Sprint, Verizon
Black Friday is No Longer the Best Sale of the Year
As we have shown, similar or better deals can be had throughout the year. So what’s the point of Black Friday?
We at BuyVia still believe Black Friday can save you money - but you have to set your expectations. If you expect to find the lowest possible price of the year on your favorite items, you are in for a disappointment. But if you are looking for good deals on your holiday list, Black Friday is still a great way to save money.
If you are looking for the best possible price on specific items, do your research. Often web based retailers will trump their retail competition because they pass the decreased cost of overhead onto their consumers. For the best possible deals, sign up here to receive personal deal alerts from Buyvia.
Do you have a comment or a different experience with Black Friday?
Tags: black friday