Black Friday 2019 Predictions: Where to Find the Best Deals
Holiday shopping for kids is pretty straightforward: Hone in on It-toy of the year, then do whatever it takes to secure the bag. For adults, holiday shopping is a much more nuanced and strategic affair. For the grown set, true buying satisfaction often comes from finding the deepest discounts on the highest-priced items that otherwise fall way out of budget during the rest of the year (think: gigantic TVs, smart home devices, and the new AirPod Pro headphones). Which brings us to Black Friday — when some of the biggest items from big-box retailers are available for 50% off and more.
Making sense of all the Black Friday sales (many of which last mere hours or toggle between in-store vs. online opportunities) requires downright obsessive/compulsive planning, along with a parade of push notifications. Lucky for you — you have us.
By looking at the deepest discounts given last year and early-drop specials already in progress, we’ve zeroed in on what are expected to be the biggest deals ever (including the 3rd Gen Echo Dot for just $1.)
What’s more, our research has found that Black Friday is the day to go for big-ticket, big-box items that stores won’t want to ship through Cyber Monday deals (think 50-inch 4K TVs and french-door refrigerators). Below, see which items have already tumbled in price and which stores are expected to go on the most rampant price-slashing sprees — some before we’ve even digested our turkey.
Proving some of the season’s most shocking deals are already underway, Amazon — with its "Happy HoliDeals" — has nanoized the price of its 3rd Gen Echo Dot from $50 to just $1, according to Tom’s Guide. As if that doesn’t send enough sticker shock pulsing through your add-to-cart finger, the teeny price also includes a month’s subscription to Amazon Music Unlimited. The next-to-nothing cost does come with a caveat: The streaming subscription auto-renews after the free month at the rate of $9.99 or $7.99 for Prime members...until it’s cancelled.
Amazon is expected to slash prices on more than just its Echo Dot: Ring, Fire tablets, and Kindle readers will likely get their own frenzy-inducing bargains. For its part, Google will likely cut deals on its own assistant and Nest suite of smart home devices, too, with retailers like Best Buy and Walmart expected to offer the lowest prices.
Forget eggnog and cashmere. Would it even be the holidays without obscene markdowns on TVs, laptops, and tablets? This year, stellar deals on 4K TVs are anticipated to take center stage, with sharper price drops expected on Black Friday than on Cyber Monday. It’s also expected that 2018 and 2019 model laptops and tablets (like MacBook Airs or Galaxy Tab A) will be snapped up for less than ever before, while modest price reductions on the latest Apple MacBook, Microsoft Surface Book laptops, and the forthcoming ultra-slim Samsung Galaxy Book S may also be seen.
For now, here’s a taste of current savings: Walmart has kicked Black Friday off early (like, way early, with deals starting October 25, 2019), courtesy of its online-only Deal Drop sale. As of now, shoppers can score a 128GB, 6th Gen Apple iPad for $300 (a $129 savings). The superstore has also slashed the price of the RCA 50" Class 4K Ultra HD (2160P) HDR Roku Smart LED TV from $700 to $219. Meanwhile, Best Buy has already discounted the recently released Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 by $50.
Turn to The Home Depot and Lowe’s for killer deals on refrigerators, washers, and dryers and more. Last year, The Home Depot sliced 40% off select appliances, including a LG Black Stainless Steel Smart French Door Refrigerator, which could be had for $750 below retail. For its part, Lowe’s mirrored these type of deals; for example, it knocked $1,200 off a similar model fridge from Samsung, which reduced the price to just $1,000.
Amazon knocked off a few bucks off Apple AirPods with Charging Case (from $159 to $144), but we Apple loyalists may want to wait before taking the deal: With the next-gen Apple AirPods Pro, which just dropped (at a reported $249), we suspect retailers will offer some sort of holiday savings on the new wireless earbuds as well.
Apple isn’t the only wireless headphone game in town: Amazon is launching its own Alexa-compliant Echo Buds with noise reduction on October 30 for $130, so be on the lookout for a price drop come Black Friday. What’s more, Walmart is already offering a healthy price cut on Bose SoundSport In-Ear Headphones, which have been reduced by 60% to a pocket-friendly $40.
This September, Nintendo released a fresh version of its Nintendo Switch with a superior battery life. But the ramped-up gaming system that works as both an at-home console and on-the-go device has been next to impossible to find on sale. According to Tom’s Guide, that soon may change: During last year’s Black Friday madness, first-gen Nintendo Switch devices could be scored for about $250 (a $50 savings) at retailers like eBay, Newegg, and Google, so there’s a good chance the same sort of deals may be offered for the newer version as well.
Meanwhile, both PCMag and Laptop Mag predict Best Buy and Walmart to drive down the deepest discounts on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One X consoles. As Laptop Mag points out, Walmart offered PS4 bundles for $199 during Black Friday sales last year. The retailer also has sold the Xbox One X at the lowest price of the year at $339. As for the PS4 Pro, Amazon reduced its price to $350 on Prime Day, and the console has been spotted this year at another e-tailer for even cheaper, which means an even steeper cut may be around the corner, according to Tom’s Guide
Amazon has already provided a modest $15 discount on the freshly-released $400 Apple Watch 5, which features an always-on display. But come Black Friday, older models — like the Apple Watch 4 and Apple Watch 3 — are expected to clock in at a more budget-friendly $199 and $299, respectively, predicts Laptop Mag.
Flashy tech and big-ticket items may take center stage during holiday sales, but Black Friday also makes for a great time to save on everyday necessities, too. With Amazon Prime discounts available at Whole Foods, and special deals offered to Prime members on Prime Day earlier this year, Tom’s Guide is predicting the Amazon-owned grocery store will kick down Black Friday deals for its members as well. Using this year’s Whole Foods Prime Day deals as an indicator, look to save on everything from reusable water bottles (which were reduced by 30%), bath and body care (some lines were discounted by 40%), and protein powders (also lowered by 40%) to chicken, produce, and nut butters.
Black Friday also proves the best time to score discounted NYE dresses, throwback athleisure, denim, and more — all without having to slip out of your sweatpants. Last year, stores like, Express, Lucky Brand, and Reebok spoiled online shoppers with 50% everything sitewide on Black Friday. Meanwhile, J.Crew’s matching offer was so popular, it crashed the brand’s site. Elsewhere, Levi’s offered 40% and Nasty Gal upped the ante by slashing prices 60% on everything sitewide as well.
While there are no guarantees of which beauty brands will represent with the biggest Black Friday deals this year, some of the most standout offers from last year can light the way to this year’s glow up.
Perhaps the most legendary of Black Friday beauty sales year over year belongs to Bath & Body Works, which, according to Refinery29, offered buy-three-get-one-free deals on everything in the store last year. What’s more, it allowed shoppers to combine unlimited coupons in one transaction and offered a $115 product-filled tote bag for just $30 with a $30 purchase. Many of these deals are offered year over year, so we expect nothing less come Black Friday 2019.
Other brands got in on the action, too. According to Refinery29, Target offered buy-one-get-one for 50% off on any beauty set in store last year. Clean nail polish line Zoya sliced a massive 70% off holiday sets purchased through the brand’s site, while plant-based skin-care line BioClarity reduced skin care sets by 48% and spendy makeup line Charlotte Tilbury took 50% off select items.
Got all that? Last pro tip: Some stores kick off their Black Friday sales as early as midnight so set your alarms and happy (and safe) savings!