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starts tomorrow, but many retailers have been offering great deals in the weeks leading up to the big event. The early discounts we see now mark the best prices we’ve seen all year on a wealth of products across all categories, including technology, home, beauty, cuisine and more.
But if you end up shopping until November 26, it’s important to know what you want in advance. Shopping fast is the key to catching products in limited supply, so we have gathered answers to frequently asked questions to help you prepare for Black Friday 2021. In addition, you can find some of the best early deals available right now, below.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Black Friday 2021
What is Black Friday?
Black Friday is an annual sales event that traditionally takes place in late November, marking the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. The savings 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.
We have seen remarkable price declines throughout the month of November, with the lowest of all time appearing more and more as the day approaches.
When is Black Friday 2021?
Black Friday is always the Friday after Thanksgiving. This year, Black Friday falls on November 26th. However, we have already seen offers in Black Friday caliber appear in the weeks leading up to the big day.
Retailers like Amazon, Walmart and Best Buy have already kicked off their Black Friday sales, days before the actual holiday.
When does Black Friday start?
Technically, Black Friday starts at. 12:00 local time on November 26 for online retailers. However, Black Friday sales start when each retailer decides that their offer should go live.
A handful of retailers, such as Walmart and Amazon, have already begun offering deals for the event.
When do the stores open on Black Friday?
Here are the opening hours for the major retailers we track throughout Black Friday. Remember that you can shop all the retailers below, plus others like Amazon, around the clock online.
Apple: Varies from store to store, check the store’s opening hours here.
Bed Bath & Beyond: 6 in the morning
Best buy: 5 in the morning
Dick’s Sports Articles: 5 in the morning
Home Depot: 6 in the morning
Kohls: 5 in the morning
Lowes: 6 in the morning
Macy’s: 6 in the morning
Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack: Varies from store to store, check the store’s opening hours here.
Sephora: Varies from store to store, check the store’s opening hours here.
Goal: 7 in the morning
Ulta beauty: 6 in the morning
Walmart: 5 in the morning
How long do Black Friday sales last?
Do not be fooled by the name that suggests Black Friday is a single day. It is definitely not. It’s more like a shopping season that begins in early November.
What to buy on Black Friday?
As it falls a few weeks before the gift-giving season, Black Friday offers excellent opportunities to buy and save on all your Christmas gifts before the last-minute rush.
It’s almost guaranteed that you’ll get great value for money on certain products during Black Friday – but some items tend to get better discounts at other times of the year. If you go in and know what you’re looking for, you’re less likely to be cheated by a coupon that looks fancy or spend money on products you do not need.
Shoppers can expect tons of great deals – including so-called “doorbusters” – online before and early on Black Friday. During the event, prices will fall at the lowest times of all time, often beating the prices we see during the year. The sale covers all product categories: tech, home and kitchen, fashion and smart home.
This Black Friday, customers should expect to see similar deals as the ones we saw on Amazon Prime Day, except more extensive.
We recommend focusing on the following product categories if you want the best deals:
Historically, Black Friday has been a great time to buy electronics for big tickets – especially bigger 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 is likely to offer more deals.
Like Amazon Prime Day, we saw tons of discounts on smart home products last Black Friday. Amazon Echo products fell at their lowest prices ever, plus we saw numerous discounts and bundles on Google’s recently released products.
This Black Friday, we expect to see discounts on the latest Xbox and Playstation games. Although we did not see any cuts on new consoles last year, we did see a few bundles emerge and we expect more of them in 2021 if retailers are able to secure stock.
If you’re looking for a kitchen upgrade, Black Friday is a great time to shop. We saw great discounts on Instant Pot pressure cookers, KitchenAid appliances, pots and pans, plus everything else you need for the upcoming holiday season.
Of course, the deals found during Black Friday are incredibly comprehensive. There have also been several offers on diapers, toilet paper and other household items.
Is Black Friday or Cyber Monday better?
It’s complicated, and it means less each year.
For those who do not know, Cyber Monday traditionally comes three days after Black Friday, on Mondays. However, we have seen Black Friday and Cyber Monday slowly merge and expand into a week-long or even a month-long affair. Different products get better discounts every day and the deals that each retailer offers will vary.
A good rule of thumb to follow: If you think you are seeing a good deal (e.g. one we recommend), create the order as soon as possible. Although you can always cancel or return a product, it is impossible to take advantage of an inactive or expired agreement.
Suppose you buy a discounted product during Black Friday and see a more marked decline at another retailer on Cyber Monday. Do not sweat it.
You can ask the original storefront to match the price (some automatically refund the difference), or you can return or cancel the order and then place a new order with a better price. Some orders are not even shipped during the weekend, making it easy to cancel orders.
For those who can shop personally during Black Friday, we have found that it is better to shop on Black Friday in these situations:
- For expensive products
- For larger stores
- For this year’s products
Which stores have Black Friday deals?
In addition to a few notable exceptions like REI, almost all major retailers and direct-to-consumer companies offer discounts during the event. We’ve seen deals from Walmart, Best Buy, Dell, Amazon, Adorama, Lowe’s, The Home Depot and more.
As we do every Black Friday, we will review all the deals and gather the best deals from your favorite retailers.
Will there be Black Friday shipping delays?
Delivery delays and major shopping holidays go hand in hand, and this year is no exception. Supply chain problems are popping up, but they are unlikely to ruin your Christmas. To be safe, try to buy your gifts as early as possible to avoid stock issues. With so many offers rolling out early, it’s easier than ever.
When will Black Friday ads appear?
Most Black Friday ad scans are already available, including Walmart, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Amazon, and Target. For the full list of available ads, see the catalog compiled on BlackFriday.com.
Best Black Friday deal we saw last year
Last year, we put together the best Black Friday deals we could find. Some of the best deals we found offered discounts on many products over 50% with hundreds of dollars in savings. Here are some of the best markdowns we saw last year.
How to choose the best Black Friday deals
- We only choose products that live up to our high standard of coverage and that we have either used or researched carefully.
- We compare prices among top retailers such as Amazon, Best Buy, Target and Walmart and include only those deals that are better than all others offered (not including promotional discounts that come from using certain credit cards).
- All offers will be at least 20% off, with occasional exceptions for products that are rarely discounted or provide an oversized value.
Read more about how the Insider Reviews team rates deals and why you should trust us.