Black Friday, the biggest blowout sale day of the year, is approaching quickly, and if you’re going to capitalize on the huge savings, you’re going to need a plan.
If you know what to shop for, you can save hundreds of dollars on high-quality items that will make great gifts (or upgrade your own tech). These 10 items are the best you should buy on Black Friday if you’re looking for great deals.
Tablets and E-Readers
Both tablets and e-readers have been hot Christmas gifts for the past several years, and retailers will offer great prices to entice you to buy one.
You’ll often find the best deals on tablets that are a year or two old, but with new models coming out all the time, last year’s will still be a great choice. You’ll even find some good deals on the latest models. A 6th gen iPad would normally set you back around $329, but you could save up to $80 on Black Friday.
In the past, Kindles have been marked down $20 to $30, which is a big discount on the $60 to $150 base prices. There are discounts on e-books as well, especially on Cyber Monday.
Like with tablets, the laptops that go on sale for Black Friday are often last year’s model, a refurbished model, or a mid-to-low-range option that doesn’t pack as much power as some of the more expensive machines.
It’s likely the vast majority of people will be fine with a less-than-ridiculously-powerful laptop, and nabbing one on Black Friday could save you a pretty penny. This year, you’ll find decent deals on MacBooks, Chromebooks, and even some Microsoft Surface models.
Like with anything else, impulsively buying a laptop on Black Friday is a bad idea. Even if it’s 50% off, it’s not a good deal if the device doesn’t fit your needs. Be sure to think about what you need out of your computer and make a list of the features you’d like if you’re considering buying a Black Friday laptop.
The most iconic of Black Friday’s deals, TVs often get massive discounts. It’s certainly not uncommon to see deals on TVs that will save you anywhere from $300 to as much as $800. As with laptops and tablets, though, remember that it’s not usually the top-of-the-line TVs that are on sale (those tend to go on sale in January, before the Super Bowl).
Again, you probably don’t need the absolute best. Even a mid-range TV will give you a great picture with decent sound, and if you can get one for $500 or $600 when it usually costs $800 or $1000, it could be worth buying. You don’t even have to splurge that much. Best Buy also offers steep discounts for smart 4K TVs under $400 you can check out.
For instance, Best Buy’s Doorbuster promotion showcases a Toshiba 43″ LED 2160p Smart 4K UHD TV for $129.99 (in-store discount).
Just know that TVs go fast, so if you’re going to grab one on Black Friday, you need to get out early!
Video Games, Consoles, and Movies
If you’re looking to upgrade to the latest and greatest game console—or just to make a few additions with discounted video games—Black Friday is a great time to do it.
Games often go down in price too, and you’ll probably find the best discounts on games that aren’t new releases. But if there’s something you’ve been meaning to pick up for a while, this would be a good time to do it.
You can purchase plenty of discounted games at Target, and you can also score a PS4 for $100 less than retail. A logical place to look for video game consoles and games on Black Friday is GameStop. You can also get a $70 pre-owned Xbox console for $0 with a mail-in rebate (mail back the rebate, and GameStop will reimburse for your purchase).
In addition to console and game deals, you can also get discounted accessories, online gaming memberships, and even collectibles on Amazon.
You probably use Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hulu to watch movies, but some of us still enjoy owning a hard copy of our favorites on DVD or Blu-Ray. Black Friday is a great time to snatch them up, as some titles can get as low as $4, but only if you already have a DVD player. While you used to find great deals on DVD players on Black Friday, they’re few and far between now.
You can also get great bundle deals on cameras (but first, here are five money-saving tips you need to know before buying a DSLR). Purchasing a DSLR, a mirrorless camera, or a point-and-shoot is rarely just about the camera—there are lenses, bags, straps, SD cards, and other accessories to buy.
On Black Friday, many of these accessories will come with your camera in a bundle for a reduced price (but remember, there’s a strong case for never buying a new DSLR).
Target and Best Buy are both offering the Canon EOS Rebel T6 (listed among one of the six best cheap cameras) with a standard 18–55mm lens, an additional 75–300mm zoom lens, and a bag for $400, saving customers about $350. That’s a solid setup for a very reasonable amount of money, particularly if you’re just getting started.
If you’re serious about your photography though, these kit lenses will only get you so far.
If you’re not looking for something as complicated as a DSLR, you’ll also find point-and-shoot cameras, Instax camera bundles, and of course, accessories to add to your collection.
As with many of the other electronics that go on sale on Black Friday, you can often find the last version of a smartphone at a significant discount. How significant? Amazon actually sold the HTC One for $0.01 with a two-year contract. Best Buy also sold the HTC One for $30, both huge savings on the list price of $200.
If you’d prefer to go with a recent and popular iPhone, Samsung, or Google Pixel, you might be able to find discounts of up to $150, or you could also snag a gift card valued at up to $300.
Of course, many of the phone deals will require that you purchase a contract, which will end up costing you a lot of money in the long run, as you’ll just pay full price for the phone over the course of two years. So be sure to check out all of the terms and conditions, as well as compare the plan prices and see if an affordable cell phone plan and an unlocked phone would save you even more money.
Often the butt of Black Friday jokes, small appliances like blenders, toasters, microwaves, and coffee makers drop down to extremely low prices after Thanksgiving. If you want to get more serious about your coffee (or anything else in your kitchen), this is a great time to start. You might need to make another purchase at a particular store to get these deals, but that’s not usually very difficult.
If you’re still on the fence about whether or not you need an Instantpot, you can get one on Black Friday for $59, saving yourself $40. For even bigger deals, you can save $110 on a Dyson vacuum or $230 off the retail price of a KitchenAid mixer.
Do Your Research
The most important thing to remember when you’re trying to save cash is to head to the stores on Black Friday with a plan. Don’t go to a store planning to look at what’s on sale and make a game-time decision—that will only end up in impulse buys and spending more money. See what’s on sale, see if it’s a good thing for you to buy, and then find the best price. That’s all there is to it!