Smart Buying

Walmart's Best Black Friday Doorbusters and Deals

The big-box retailer has deep discounts on TVs, gaming consoles and more starting Thanksgiving Day.

Walmart is unleashing a three-pronged rollout of its Black Friday strategy for 2016, mounting aggressive efforts online, on its app and in its brick-and-mortar stores.

The heart of its game plan? Follow up on the success of last year’s Black Friday romp. That means the emphasis will be on deeper price cuts and an abundance of supply. The latter is a boon for late-sleepers who want doorbuster deals but aren’t willing to get out of bed early enough to score (you know, like at 2 a.m.).

Walmart isn’t waiting until Black Friday to roll out some of its deals. Walmart.com’s online Black Friday sale begins at 12:01 a.m. Eastern time on Thanksgiving. Brick-and-mortar stores’ Black Friday sales begin at 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Day. A caveat: Since many Walmart stores are open 24 hours a day, the doorbusters will be covered or cordoned off until 6 p.m. local time. (See which other retailers are open on Thanksgiving Day.)

Like last year, you’ll need to get a store employee to give you a special bracelet for select bargains. The window of opportunity to buy the item has been raised this year to two hours -- it was just one hour in 2015 -- meaning you can browse longer before you snag your goody.

Walmart also has app-exclusive Black Friday offers already rolling out. You need to download the free app to see them, but I can tell you there’s a 65-inch Hitachi 4K TV selling for $599 (a $400 savings), an Acer 15.6 Core i5 laptop for $299 (a $150 savings), and an Xbox One S 500GB “Minecraft” bundle, including an extra controller, for $279 (a $20 savings).

We reached out to deals experts to get their takes on Walmart as a retail player in this year’s Black Friday shopapalooza. Here are some of the more interesting deals you’ll find.

Televisions. Walmart has 11 models in its doorbuster stable. Included in the collection are some red-hot 4K Ultra HDTVs, discounted for the first time this year at Walmart. Walmart’s deals include a Samsung 50-inch Smart 4KTV for $398 (shaving $230 off the regular price) and a “special buy” Phillips 55-inch Smart 4KTV for $298.

Across the retail landscape this Black Friday, says Brent Shelton of FatWallet.com, TV deals will be hot, and Walmart’s are no exception.

“Traditionally, TVs are one of the best doorbuster deals to try to nab and this year 4K TV doorbusters will be very promising,” says Shelton. “This will be a good year to grab a TV doorbuster and step up to 4K at a big savings if you haven’t already. Expect to see a few storesoffer doorbuster discounts on newer curved 4K OLED models, although folks should expect prices well above $1,000 for this new technology.”

Based on personal experience, I’d roll with the 50-inch Samsung for $398. Benjamin Glaser of DealNews.com agrees: “Not only is this deal $100 less than the best price we've seen for this set before, it's $37 below our Black Friday prediction.”

Other Black Friday TV deals Walmart is posting include a “special buy” 60-inch Vizio HDTV for $398 and two unnamed-brand “special buy” HDTVs, a 50-inch for $225 and a 40-inch for $125. While the prices are dirt cheap, deals experts warn that “special buy” TVs at Walmart and other retailers are usually specially manufactured models with limited features.

Gaming Consoles. Videogame consoles will be hot Black Friday items this year, deals experts say. However, Walmart has a dud in one of its Black Friday bundles: The Xbox 360 500GB Forza Horizon 2 Bundle that’s selling for $129.

“We've seen this same bundle for $99,” says Glaser. “Plus, Xbox One bundles will be going for around $200, while the latest Xbox One S bundles are being advertised for $249. So, for value, we suggest saving your money and buying a more current console.”

If you favor Sony over Microsoft, the PlayStation 4 Slim Uncharted 4 500GB bundle will sell at Walmart for $249 ($50 savings), plus the retailer will throw in a $30 gift card.

Laptops and Tablets. Walmart has corralled 10 bargains in this category, including a 32GB iPad Mini 2 for $199 (saving $70) and “special buys” including a Samsung Chromebook 3 for $119 and a 15.6-inch HP Touch laptop for $249.

Drones. After spending way too much for a high-end drone at a holiday charity event in January, I’m familiar with drones. So is Walmart. It’s selling the DJI Drone Phantom Standard 3 for $369 (a $130 savings) and a Promark 3D Virtual Reality HD Drone for $99 (a $49 savings). If you’re on a budget, the “special buy” Sharper Image Video Drone will run you just $30.

Home and Outdoor. Again, these are “special buys,” including $25 sheet sets, $20 comforters and $9.76 kitchen appliances. Also in the lineup are a pair of outdoor grills for $99 each: a Blackstone two-burner propane griddle and an Expert Grill four-burner propane grill. For the kitchen, there’s a 27-piece Pioneer Woman porcelain enamel nonstick cookware set for $89.

Toys. Walmart switches on its “Back to the Future” groove with a Razor Hovertrax 2.0 Hoverboard for $273 ($125 off), a Disney Princess Cinderella Royal Dreams dollhouse with furniture for $88 (a $61 savings) and, naturally, Hatchimals, the toy-of-the-moment Walmart is selling for $48.88.

Fitness Wearables. Meh. Who doesn’t already have one of these sitting in a drawer somewhere? For the seemingly few who don’t, Walmart is selling the Fitbit Charge 2 for $129 (saving $20), the Fitbit Alta for $99 (shaving off $30) and a Fitbit Flex 2 for $69 (down $30).

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