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:
1 Day Only: $50 Gift Card for $42.50 - Red Lobster, Cheesecake Factory, Texas de Brazil, More $42.50 + Free Shipping
Limited time lightning deal. Amazon has a $50 Gift Card for $42.50 - Red Lobster, Cheesecake Factory, Texas de Brazil, More Free mail delivery - Expires soon
- Valid at:
- The Cheesecake Factory
- Red Lobster
- Texas de Brazil
- McCormick and Schmick's
- Over 1,500 restaurants in all 50 states
Download our free Food Coupons App iOS and Android.
Food Coupons and deals at your favorite restaurants, updated daily - Download now!Sales tax in: All Except AK, DE, MT, NH, OR
Posted: November 15, 2019 11:36 AM PST
- Valid at:
Best Buy 3 Day Sale - 4K TVs, Laptops, Gaming and More! Quantities limited. Free Shipping $35+, free in store pickup. Expires: 11/17/2019
Discounts on Apple products, 4K TVs, laptops and desktops, gaming, smart home devices, toys and much more!
- Doorbuster! Samsung 70" 4K HDR Smart TV $549.99 Free Shipping ($899.99)
- Beats Solo3 Wireless Headphones $149.99 Free Shipping ($299.99)
- Harmon Kardon Onyx Studio 5 $119.99 Free Shipping ($249.99)
- GoPro HERO7 White HD Waterproof Action Camera $159.99 Free Shipping ($199.99)
Posted: November 15, 2019 8:56 AM PST
Amazon Happy HoliDeals Early Black Friday Sale has started. Free Shipping $25 or with Prime.
This is amazon's early Black Friday Sale with new deals everyday through November 21, 2019.
- Amazon Devices
- Limited time Lightning Deals
- Upcoming Deals
Daily Deals for Today ONLY
- Save on Instant Pot Lux 80 now $54.99 shipped free
- Save up to 35% on household essentials - Glad Trash Bags, Clorox and more..
- Save on Philips Kitchen Appliances
- Save up to 30% on furniture
Posted: November 15, 2019 7:00 AM PST
REI has for Members: 20% off 1 full-price item with Coupon Code: GEARUP2019 Expires: 11/25/2019 - Free Shipping on orders $50, free ship to store.
Also extra 20% one Garage (Outlet) item with same Coupon Code: GEARUP2019 .
- Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket $138.93 Free Shipping ($199) - We have one and love it!
- North Face Apex Flex GTX Rain Jacket Mens $171.73 Free Shipping ($230)
- 30% Off All Patagonia Fjord & REI Co-op Wallace Lake Flannel Shirts for Women & Men
- 30% Off Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket for Men & Women
- 30% Off Patagonia Better Sweater Fleece Jacket & Quarter-Zip Pullover for Women & Men
- 30% Off REI Co-op Brand Midweight & Silk Base Layers for Women & Men
Lots of great deals on outdoor gear, apparel, shoes, and more. Enter code in Step 2. of Checkout: Billing.
REI has a total satisfaction policy where you can return items at any time within 1 year. Tax in most states.
Lifetime membership costs $20. You get a dividend back at the end of each year for any full price items you have purchased.
Offer not valid on special orders, package discounts, prior purchases, REI gift cards, REI e-gift cards, gift boxes, Go Pro, memberships, shop services or rentals, passes and tickets.
Discounts not valid on bicycles, hard-shell boats, stand up paddleboards, any item with GPS technology, activity trackers, personal locator beacons, avalanche airbag products, skis, ski boots or ski bindings; snowboards, snowboard boots or snowboard bindings.
Offer is limited to stock on hand and backorderable items, is nontransferable(oops and is not redeemable for cash.Promo Code: GEARUP2019
Merchandise purchased with this offer is not eligible for the REI member refund. Offer may not be combined with any other discount or offer. Limit one coupon per customer.
Sales tax in: Most States
Posted: November 15, 2019 7:00 AM PST
- Customers can get a jumpstart on their holiday shopping with deals on top items in electronics, gaming, toys, home and sporting goods. While supplies last.
- 23andme DNA Test Health and Ancestry $99 Free Shipping ($199)
- Barbie Dreamcamper $64.99 Free Shipping ($94)
- Easy-Bake Ultimate Oven Toy $34.97 Free Shipping $35 ($58.85)
- Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar 2019 $29.99 ($39.99)
- Bounce Pro 7-Foot Trampoline $115 Free Shipping ($235)
- Ninja Coffee Bar System $99 Free Shipping ($179)
- Google Home Mini and Chromecast $45 Free Shipping ($74)
- Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 camera Bundle $89.99 Free Shipping ($199)
- JVC 50in Class 4K Smart TV with Roku, HDR $229 Free Shipping ($349)
- JVC 55in Class 4K Smart TV with Roku $269 Free Shipping ($399)
- Sharp 58" 4K Smart LED TV $299.99 Free Shipping ($448)
- Vizio 55" Class M Series Quantum 4K Smart TV with HDR $398 Free Shipping ($498)
- Airpods 2nd Gen with Charging Case $144 Free Shipping ($159)
- Apple Watch 3 GPS+Cellular 38mm $199 Free Shipping ($379)
- iPad Gen 6 128GB Wi-Fi $329 Free Shipping ($429)
- Asus VivoBook 15.6 HD Ryzen 3 4GB/128GB SSD Laptop $249 Free Shipping ($349)
- HP 14in Slim 4GB, 128GB SSD Laptop $249.99 Free Shipping ($379)
- Lenovo Ideapad 330s 15.6 AMD Ryzen 5 8GB/256GB SSD $329 Free Shipping ($399)
- HP 14 Laptop Core i5 8GB/256GB SSD $399 Free Shipping ($599)
Black Friday is rapidly approaching. How do you stay in the know?
After you have any of our Apps installed setup alerts for when important ads hit:
- Black Friday Amazon Ad Alert
- Black Friday Best Buy Ad Leaks
- Black Friday Costco Ad Alert
- Black Friday Target Ad Alert
- Black Friday Walmart Ad Alert
- Black Friday Home Depot Ad Alert
- Black Friday JC Penney Ad Alert
- Black Friday Kohls Ad Alert
- Black Friday Macy's Ad Alert
Posted: November 13, 2019 11:00 PM PST
- Get unlimited access to over 100 Xbox One and Xbox 360 games on Xbox One, for one low monthly price.
- Play a wide variety of games from exclusives like Halo, Gears of War, and Fable to critically-acclaimed indie titles like Limbo.
- Ultimate gets you unlimited access to 100+ Xbox One / Xbox 360 titles on Xbox One (aka Game Pass), and it includes Xbox Live Gold.
- Note: This item is hard to gift.
Posted: November 13, 2019 10:01 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