Smart Buying

Amazon's Best Black Friday Doorbusters and Deals

Some of the biggest holiday savings on Amazon.com are on Amazon’s own products.

Loyal Amazon Prime members revel in their belief in everyday savings at Amazon.com, including free two-day shipping. They get downright giddy when Amazon cooks up special deals for Black Friday and the holiday shopping season.

Amazon started making noise about Black Friday sales well in advance of, well, Black Friday. Well in advance. Its Black Friday deals store opened for “Countdown to Black Friday” business Nov. 1. It features more than 7,000 pages of discounted items, and it’s updated as often as every five minutes.

If you raised both arms in praise and hallelujah, you might want to check that. Amazon is getting called out by deals experts, including DealNews.com, on some of those “Countdown to Black Friday” prices, based on last year’s experience.

“We're skeptical of Amazon's ‘Countdown to Black Friday’ sale,” according to DealNews. “Last year, it offered more deals than Black Friday, but not better ones.”

Also, Black Friday tech deals already announced by Amazon have disappointed some deals experts. Prices are (so far, at least) on par with other retailers’ Black Friday promotions rather than undercutting them, as many shoppers have come to expect.

“That doesn’t mean these prices will stay at this level as they are bound to be featured at some point as a lightning deal,’’ says Brent Shelton of deals websites FatWallet.com and BFAds.net, referring to the limited-time-and-limited-quantity flash sales periodically offered by Amazon. “To know when these prices drop, use Amazon Watch a Deal alerts on [Amazon’s] app or online.”

So, what’s hot at Amazon for Black Friday this year? We checked in with several deals experts to see what the big deals are (or aren’t). Here’s what we found.

Amazon Echo Dot. It’s kind of a big deal at just under $40, says Benjamin Glaser of DealNews. Echo Dot contains the wizardry of Alexa, the nemesis of Apple’s Siri. Both voice-command bots answer to their names and feed their owners info including news, weather, jokes, trivia, kitchen facts, music and more. I’ve been rolling with Echo Dot’s big brother, Amazon Echo, which I bought in July on Amazon Prime Day, and am digging my new housemate.

Says Glaser of Echo Dot’s Black Friday pricing, “Though this is just $10 off, we were not expecting any discounts at all on this recently released second-generation device.”

Amazon Echo. Yes, we were just talking about this. And yes, it’s going on sale, for $140 (regularly $180). That’s a good deal, but deals experts were expecting Echo’s price to drop by $100. At one point recently, it was selling for as low as $120.

Kindle Paperwhite. While the e-reader will be attractively priced at just under $100 – down from $120 – that’s not the lowest price for the device. “It is often available (at Amazon or other stores) for closer to $90,” says Glaser. The expectation? Amazon will likely knock down that price even further on Black Friday.

Fire TV Stick with Alexa remote. Priced at $30 for Black Friday, you’ll be saving about 10 bucks on this streaming media device. “This definitely beats our expectations, offering the lowest price we’ve seen yet,” notes DealNews.

Designer clothing. Final deals aren’t in yet, but last year, they were a doozy at Amazon. A 30% off coupon was floated by Amazon in 2015. That coupon was cleared to be stacked with existing sale prices. That meant some lucky shoppers scored 70% off goods from DKNY, Calvin Klein, Steve Madden, Ben Sherman, Kenneth Cole and Nine West.

Toys. Says Kerry Sherin, of the deals site Offers.com, “Stock up on Barbie, Hot Wheels and Fisher Price toys with select toys being on sale for up to 50% off. You'll find the hottest toys like Zoomer Paw Patrol, Hatchimals, and the Nintendo NES Classic still hard to come by.”

Other notable Black Friday deals at Amazon include:

GreenWorks 13-amp 20-inch corded snow thrower, $110 (regularly $169).

Sensi Wi-Fi programmable thermostat, $102 (regularly $119), which works with Alexa (see Echo Dot, above) to make your dumb home smarter.

Sennheiser HD 598 Cs closed back headphones, $100 (regularly $200).

One last bit of guidance from Sherin: “The biggest savings you'll see at Amazon are on Amazon products themselves. If you've been waiting to snatch up an Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Fire, Fire TV, or Firestick, now is the time.”

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