Black Friday ads don’t just jump into your lap. You need to find them. Fortunately, we’ve rounded up a combination of tools and websites that will score you the best Black Friday ads of 2016! As an added bonus, I’ve pulled up some great tablets, smartphones, and laptops — which become available before or on November 25th.
Before getting into the tools, let’s first talk about your strategy for Black Friday.
Black Friday Strategy
With Black Friday coming up on November 25 — the day after Thanksgiving — it’s easy forgetting that consumer prices rise during the holiday season. Some of the best deals on consumer electronics appear over the Spring and Summer. But the one day out of the holidays that prices go down is on Black Friday (and to some extent Cyber Monday).
Unfortunately, retailers stock limited quantities of their “loss leaders.” That’s why you need a game plan. A good strategy targets the retailers offering what you need starting at the hour that they open. It may require waking up before dawn, or it may not.
Step One: Write It Down
The first thing you want to do is write down what you want to buy. Among the holiday’s hottest and most demanded consumer electronics are laptops, smartphones, and tablets. I’ll be using these as examples throughout this article. Then use the website under the section Where Do You Get Black Friday Ads? (theblackfriday.com) to find which retailers offer the products you need.
Step Two: Find Out When They Open
Brick-and-mortar businesses can open at different times. They don’t even all open on the same day! That’s why you need to know when they begin Black Friday. For example, some retailers mention in their ads that the sale starts on Thursday, November 24 at 3 PM You can find most special Black Friday hours either on the store’s website or by going to theblackfriday.com. Here’s an example:
Step Three: Where Do You Get Black Friday Ads?
The single best place to find almost all Black Friday ads: theblackfriday.com (TBF). TBF scans all available Black Friday ads and collects them into a searchable database. Here’s how it works.
The TBF site offers four primary services: deal alerts, coupons, manageable shopping lists, and a searchable catalog of the United States of America’s Black Friday ads. The last tool provides the most utility if you already know what you’re buying. For those looking for gift ideas, you’ll want to start with TBF’s list of deals. Deals get sorted into two categories, which include Early Black Friday, and Best Black Friday.
- Early Black Friday Deals: Early Black Friday ads encompasses deals that are already available for sale.
- Best Black Friday Deals: Best Black Friday deals covers all community-rated sales that begin on either Thursday or Friday.
If you already know what you want to buy, you can filter each category by product; for example, if you want a tablet, move your mouse cursor over the search icon and then move it over the text input field and left-click. Type “tablet” into the menu bar at the top of the screen. Then start perusing the available tablets for deals. I find it easy to compare the prices from TBF to products listed on Amazon or Google Shopping.
Using the website’s more advanced features (shopping lists) requires creating an account. I recommend taking this step if you’re serious about getting deals. Otherwise, you can search for products on your shopping list.
Searching for “tablets” digs up TBF’s sections on tablet deals.
The section includes all manner of tablet deals. For example, Target will sell the already inexpensive Amazon Fire Tablet (7-inch) for the ridiculously low price of $33.33!
Most consumer electronics got their filtered section on TBF. Just search for the key terms, such as “tablet” or “headphones, Oftentimes” and you’ll likely find a list of great deals.
Forget Waiting in Line! Finding Black Friday Deals Online
If you hate waiting in line, a lot of retailers released Black Friday ads on November 21st! You can find a complete list of live Black Friday deals on TBF’s website. Here are a few vendors offering early online deals:
GearBest: GearBest made a reputation for itself as an importer of consumer electronics from mainland China. Their prices tend to be comparable to sites like Alibaba and their reputation is somewhat higher. Keep in mind that all purchases made from importers are caveat emptor. Sometimes, customer service can prove spotty. Here’s a complete list of GearBest’s upcoming Black Friday ads.
Here are a couple good examples of strong early Black Friday deals, from GearBest.
$170 Chuwi Hi 10 2-in-1 Hybrid Tablet: In my opinion, the Chuwi 10 2-in-1 offers one of the best low-cost convertible tablets around. It features the same processor found in Microsoft’s Surface 3, a similar display, and all-around better specs — for less than half the price. It also throws in the Android operating system and Windows 10. The keyboard folio runs for around $33, making a complete 2-in-1 (what’s a 2-in-1?) for just over $103, including shipping. Overall, that’s a stellar deal — but it probably doesn’t include a full warranty. Caveat emptor.
Here’s an unboxing video of the Chuwi Hi 10:
$540 Xiaomi Air 12 Laptop: Another great option from GearBest: the Xiaomi Air 12 Laptop. Xiaomi established itself as the Apple of the East by building high-quality electronics at low prices. The Xiaomi Air 12 doesn’t beat around the bush — it tries to fully copy the MacBook Air’s design (and name), but with Windows 10 instead of OS X. Judge for yourself whether or not they succeeded:
Overall, the specs aren’t amazing — but they’re not terrible, either. For its electronic guts, the Xiaomi Air packs a Skylake Core M processor, 4 GB of RAM, and a 128 GB Solid State Drive. (What’s an SSD?) For the price, it offers better value than many laptops on today’s market, relative to the build quality. It’s mainly aimed at people who want a MacBook but prefer Windows 10.
eBay: They claim to offer early Black Friday deals, although judging from their website, these are just regular deals. eBay also requires vigilance from potential buyers. Always know what you’re buying and try to avoid buying fakes (like a fake iPhone).
$160 Microsoft Xbox One (500 GB): The soon-to-be-outdated Xbox One can be found on eBay for the low-price of $160, which places it squarely within the realm of affordability. If you, or your children, want a console this holiday season, you might want to take a closer look at this one. However, be aware that this is a manufacturer refurbished device. That means it only receives a 90-day warranty.
What’s Your Strategy for Finding Black Friday Ads?
There are a million tricks out there for finding Black Friday ads. In my opinion, the best method is using theblackfriday.com. They have collected almost every Black Friday ad on the internet in a single location. No matter what you’re interested in, there’s something there.
Does anyone have any Black Friday tips and tricks? Let us know in the comments!