Black Friday, practically everything goes on sale. That makes this Friday after Thanksgiving a bargain-hunter’s dream come true, but it can also be overwhelming. To help you focus your efforts, here’s a list of the specific product categories that will see the biggest price drops this year.
Pay close attention to the Instant Pot in particular. This popular kitchen gadget has a huge following, and Walmart and Amazon have been locked in a two-year price battle to capture new customers. Last Black Friday and this most recent Prime Day saw two of the most popular six-quart models (the DUO60 7-in-1 and LUX60 6-in-1) plummet in price, and both fell below $60 on Prime Day 2018.
Expect the same heated competition — and price drops of $30 to $50 on Instant Pots — this Black Friday weekend through Cyber Monday. While you’ll find discounts from many retailers, such as Best Buy, Bed Bath and Beyond and Kohl’s, Walmart and Amazon are known to be particularly aggressive with their Instant Pot pricing.
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Smart Home Assistants
There’s a big (and perhaps unsettling reason) consumers see so many great Black Friday deals on smart home assistants. The makers of these devices, including Google, Amazon and Apple, want to be in your home, facilitating and monitoring your search and purchase behavior.
But if you’re interested in the convenience that comes from inviting in a new Echo, Google Home or Apple HomePod into your life, Black Friday is a fantastic time to find deals. Last year, shoppers saw the lowest prices ever on the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Google Home and Google Home Mini. The prices on the Echo products all dropped even lower during Prime Day 2018.
Plus, Amazon just released new versions of its Echo lineup this fall, and the Google Home Max experimented with some bundled deals this summer. So consider the pump primed for Black Friday smart home deals.
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Gaming consoles have a well-established reputation for Black Friday discounts.
What makes this year particularly exciting is that there’s been a dearth of new consoles the past couple years. The Xbox One S and PlayStation 4 Slim are now battle-tested Black Friday veterans and are entering their third Black Friday. Both dropped below $200 last year. Expect a repeat performance, plus rich bundle deals with games and possibly retailer gift cards thrown in.
The Xbox One X and Nintendo Switch, meanwhile, are entering their second Black Friday. These newest consoles saw very few bundle deals last year and no discounts. But now that all the hardcore fans have bought their consoles, Nintendo and Xbox might offer sweeter bargains this year, aimed at anyone who is on the fence.
And don’t forget about virtual reality gaming systems. The Oculus Rift system is entering its third Black Friday and has an established pattern of offering discounts in the neighborhood of $50. It offered those prices during last Black Friday and Prime Day. HTC also released a new Pro version of its virtual reality headset, and its original Vive VR system has dropped to $499, which is $200 less than it was last Black Friday. It will likely drop even lower this Black Friday weekend to compete with the Oculus Rift.
At-Home DNA Kits
DNA-testing kits, which reveal insights into your ancestry and ethnicity, are a popular holiday gift. But at around $100 for the most popular options from 23andMe, AncestryDNA and others, they’re not exactly affordable stocking stuffers.
Start looking for discounts and buy-one-get-one specials around Thanksgiving. If previous years are any indication, you’re sure to find plenty.
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Black Friday 2018 is the ideal time to upgrade to a new phone. Apple, Samsung and Google have established a pattern of releasing new phones in the fall. Carriers and retailers then follow with Black Friday deals on those phones to tempt buyers into upgrading. You’re likely to see buy-one-get-one deals or gift cards — often hundreds of dollars worth of them — with purchase on this year’s new crop of phones. The older-generation phones that were replaced will drop in price, too.
Suffice it to say, no matter which phone you’re looking to buy, Black Friday is a great time to find one.