There’s a great haze hanging over Black Friday shopping in 2021, and it’s not induced by the usual Thanksgiving dinner turkey coma. The fog is from the dozens and dozens of full cargo ships yet to be offloaded at the nation’s largest shipping ports.
As Kiplinger and others have warned, gift shopping this holiday season will be seriously hobbled by a struggling supply chain and overall prices rising due to inflation. “We’ve seen shipping delays before, but supply chain issues in the past were more specific to a handful of items, says smart shopping expert Trae Bodge of TrueTrae. “This is more of a widespread issue, so I think shoppers will be surprised by how difficult it will be to get certain gifts.”
But that doesn’t close the door on promotions tied to the day-after-Thanksgiving that we’ve come to call Black Friday.
“Despite higher prices overall, Black Friday definitely isn’t cancelled,” says Nathan Burrow, senior deals expert at The New York Times’ Wirecutter. “It’s still a time where you can save — so long as you shop strategically. The shopping holiday has expanded beyond a single day and now occupies the better part of a week with preview sales starting as early as October. Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday are more or less all part of a continuous sale, and though we have noted a trend of retailers closing their brick and mortar locations for the Thanksgiving holiday proper (Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond, The Home Depot, and Costco are the most notable), online storefronts will be available throughout.”
Bodge of TrueTrae agrees that Black Friday is still an important shipping event, but shoppers must use their heads. “I’m hearing that the number of deals might be fewer and we could see some stock issues if retailers don’t receive shipments on time, but there will still be lots of deals,” says Bodge. “To make the most of the day, I would suggest that consumers sign up for emails from the retailers they plan to shop with, but in addition, shoppers can level up their savings by seeing what their favorite deal sites are up to, especially with cashback, which can really make a big savings impact. For instance, CouponCabin.com has a rotating offer where 20 stores a day offer 5X their usual cashback. And Rakuten is offering up to 10 percent cash back over Black Friday weekend and up to 15 percent on Cyber Monday from hundreds of stores.”
So let’s get at it: We found 28 Black Friday deals and doorbusters, many available beginning the day after Thanksgiving, some starting as early as … now. Have a look.
Black Friday Deals at Amazon
Last year, Amazon lit off the holiday shopping season a month before Black Friday, when its pandemic-delayed Amazon Prime Day was moved from its usual summer spot to October (it returned to summer in 2021). But that doesn’t mean Amazon hasn’t pushed Black Friday-like sale prices in 2021.
The e-commerce giant deeply discounts its proprietary smart home products — smart devices with Alexa built in such as Kindle readers, etc. — around the holidays. For example, the Alexa-enabled Echo Show 5 (2nd generation) is 43% off, the 50-inch Amazon Fire TV 4-series is 30% off, and Fire TV Stick 4K is 50% off.
Surprisingly, you can pick a pair of the red-hot new Airpods Pro with Magsafe charging for $200, a $50 savings. Robotic vacuums and air fryers will be a thing this year, and Amazon has the iRobot Roomba 692 for $200, a $100 savings. A variety of Roborock robot vacuums are in sale, including the Roborock S7+, which sonically vacuums and wet mops, and includes a an auto-empty dock. It's $719.99 after a $229.49 discount. A Ninja Air Fryer AF101 is selling for $90, down from $120.
Wirecutter’s Burrow says there will be Black Friday (and early Black Friday) deals from Amazon on Sony and Samsung products as well.
Black Friday Deals at Best Buy
Best Buy dropped its Black Friday deals early, and as you can guess, it’s loaded with bargains on TVs, including a Samsung 75-inch Class 7 Series LED 4K UHD Smart Tizen TV for $850, a $250 savings, and a Sony 55-inch Bravia OLED 4K UHD Smart Google TV for $1,400, a $400 savings.
Also on Best Buy’s Black Friday list is an Apple 21.5-inch iMac with Retina 4K display for $1,000, a $500 savings; Bose Quiet Comfort headphones for $279, a $50 savings; a Keurig Limited Edition Jonathan Adler K-Mini Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker for $50, a $50 savings; and a Mr Christmas 7.5 foot, Alexa-enabled, prelit artificial Christmas tree for $400, a $100 savings. What does Alexa bring to a Christmas tree? The ability to control the lights’ timing, patterns and colors remotely. Your cats will love it.
Black Friday Deals at Costco
Warehouse powerhouse Costco’s Black Friday ad promises savings on lots of electronics, of course. And you can always find fine quality and savings with Costco’s private label Kirkland Signature lineup of goods (and you’ll find Black Friday savings on many items, including chocolate-covered almonds). But first note you still have to have a Costco membership, starting at $60, to shop the deals, online and in warehouses.
For Black Friday 2021, Costco is featuring a Samsung 32-inch Class FHD curved monitor for $200, a $50 savings; a Conair Turbo Extreme Steam hand-held fabric steamer for $35, a $15 savings; an HP touchscreen laptop for $500, a $100 savings; and a NutriBullet blender combo for $70, a $30 savings.
Costco’s ad notes it is closed on Thanksgiving Day (as are dozens of retailers), but it has some online sales starting on that Thursday.
Black Friday Deals at Home Depot
Home Depot is promising Black Friday sale prices until the end of December and, as you can probably guess, said deals are heavy on appliances and tools. One tip: If you need the appliance, make sure it’s in stock; many homeowners have been waiting for months for backlogged appliances they’ve paid for. Some of those appliances haven’t been built yet or are stuck somewhere in the crippled supply chain.
Black Friday deals at Home Depot include a stainless steel 28.2-cubic-foot Samsung French door refrigerator for $1,298, a $700 savings; a Galanz digital toaster oven and air fryer for $80, a $50 savings; a DeWalt cordless drill-driver set for $99, a $60 savings; and a stainless steel Samsung dishwasher for $498, an $81 savings.
Black Friday Deals at Lowe’s
Lowe’s and Home Depot go toe-to-toe the rest of the year, why not on Black Friday? To that end, you’ll see a similar lineup of sale items from appliances to tools.
Lowe’s is dealing a 28.2-cubic-foot Samsung french-door fridge for $1,300, down from $2,000; an Amana top load washer for $494, down from $600; a versatile Little Giant ladder for $159, down from $239; and a DeWalt 20-volt cordless drill-driver for $99, down from $159.
Black Friday Deals at Walmart
Walmart stores on Black Friday will have deals including $398 for a 70-inch 4K Onn smart TV with Roku (Onn is Walmart’s house brand); $109 for a an Apple Watch Series 3 GPS, down from $199’ $69 for Power XL 12-quart 6-in-1 air fryer oven; $299 for an Xbox Series S game console; and $14-$25 for special buy select video games (note: all of these deals will be available online beginning 7 p.m. Eastern on Monday, Nov. 22, 5 a.m. in-store on Black Friday.
Bob was Senior Editor at Kiplinger.com for seven years and is now a contributor to the website. He has more than 40 years of experience in online, print and visual journalism. Bob has worked as an award-winning writer and editor in the Washington, D.C., market as well as at news organizations in New York, Michigan and California. Bob joined Kiplinger in 2016, bringing a wealth of expertise covering retail, entertainment, and money-saving trends and topics. He was one of the first journalists at a daily news organization to aggressively cover retail as a specialty and has been lauded in the retail industry for his expertise. Bob has also been an adjunct and associate professor of print, online and visual journalism at Syracuse University and Ithaca College. He has a master’s degree from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and a bachelor’s degree in communications and theater from Hope College.
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