The holidays are just around the corner, and for deal hunters like you and me, it's one of the most exciting times of the year. Here's a look at what you can expect to see during the Black Friday sales in November.
To make my predictions for Black Friday 2015, my team and I poured through the last few years of Black Friday ads to spot pricing trends. We looked up the lowest prices ever seen on the doorbusters and off-season deals we’ve found over the past year. In the end, we assembled a list of Black Friday predictions for the best deals you can expect to find on televisions, tablets, gaming systems, kitchen gadgets and more.
Of course, there's more to Black Friday predictions than pricing. Trends are also a huge driver of Black Friday sales, so make sure to check out our top holiday toy predictions to see what your kids already want for Christmas.
Before we get to the predictions, it’s worth sharing a few of my favorite frugal Black Friday shopping tips:
Buy online to take advantage of coupon codes and free shipping offers.
Nearly everything in the ad, including doorbusters, will be available to purchase online. You’ll also stay warm, avoid the crowds, and get to spend more time with your family on Thanksgiving. Check Brad’s Deals, where we list the best online coupon codes every day. (Bonus tip: Amazon matches nearly everything Walmart puts on sale for Black Friday, and vice versa.)
Don’t assume that the advertised price is the lowest you can get.
In many cases, there are coupons that you can stack onto the Black Friday sale to get an even better discount. I’ve often taken this likelihood into account in my predictions below. Many large merchants also offer Black Friday price matching – just be sure the model numbers are an exact match.
Almost everything will be on sale before Black Friday.
Black Friday sales often start a week or more early. Unless you really look forward to going out, there’s no need to wait. Many of the best deals will happen on Thanksgiving Day or even up to two weeks ahead of the actual day. Waiting on really great Black Friday deals means you’re risking a sellout.
Don’t forget about loyalty programs.
Cash back and loyalty points are an excellent a tie breaker when deciding where to buy a Black Friday deal that’s priced exactly the same in multiple stores. Additionally, we saw several stores open their sales early online to rewards members last year, and early access can be crucial to getting a hotly sought-after item.
Black Friday Television Predictions
32" HDTVs from $75
The elusive 32” HDTV at Amazon on Prime Day was priced at $75, and it should set the baseline for what we can expect to see again on Black Friday from both Amazon and Walmart. To be sure, this is going to be a super low quality, no-name TV--if you can get your hands on it at all.
60" HDTVs from $500
It’s likely we’ll see some HDTVs dip into the $500 price range, with lower tier brands going even lower.
4K TVs from $475
We’ve already seen a 40" 4K Smart TV sell for $598 this year, and not only did that come with a $125 Dell gift card, that was in September, which traditionally is not a great month for TV prices. That gift card deal nets out to $473, and is right about where we expect to see entry-level 4K deals start at this Black Friday.
Curved TVs from $699
Curved TVs were too new last year to get the Black Friday deal treatment, but this year the novelty can be had for a discount. We saw a 48” Curved Smart 3D TV going for $699.99 in June via Groupon Goods, and that looks to be the low end of the spectrum for Black Friday 2015 as well.
Black Friday Tablet Predictions
Amazon Fire HD from $79.99
Last year’s lowest Black Friday price for a Fire HD was $79.99, marked down from $99. With today's launch of the new Amazon Fire models, The Fire HD 6 may be a generation behind but will get the best discounts on Black Friday. (If that's still out of your price range, you can now get a 7" Fire with Special Offersfor $49.99.)
Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 from $150
You can score a Galaxy Tab 4 through the end of September for $150. September is generally a good month for laptops and tablets thanks to some great back-to-school sales, so that’s about where I expect to see it priced for Black Friday as well.
Android Tablets from $29.99
Cheap tablets are always a big seller, and 2015 will be no exception. Just note that when it comes to tablets, you truly get what you pay for. I’d personally skip this “deal” and happily pay more for something with a better reputation.
Apple Deals on Black Friday
iPad Mini from $188 + Gift Card
Bundles are tricky to predict. In 2013, Walmart bundled the iPad Mini with a $100 gift card with a $299 price tag for a net price of $199. Last year’s $199 iPad Mini bundle came with a $30 Walmart gift card and netted to $169. I think that $199 bundle looks about right again for 2015, but shoppers will be expecting a price drop.
iPad Pro from $799 + $100 gift card
The new iPad Pro is priced from $799 at launch, and this is one we actually don’t expect to see discounted. However, a value add is likely at outlets like Walmart, Best Buy and Target, and I would expect that to take the form of a $100 gift card.
iPhone 6 + Gift Card: Basically Free with Contract... sort of
Two years ago, Walmart rolled the brand new iPhone 5c back to $45 and paired it with a $75 gift card, effectively paying shoppers $30 to take it home. Last year the iPhone 6 came in at $179 with a $75 gift card for net price of $104, plus the possibility of up to $200 back in gift cards with a trade-in. Of course, the recent move towards contract-free plans from most of the major carriers means that instead of a contract you'll either pay up front for your phone or opt for an installment plan which, to your wallet, is basically the same as the contracts were. Our best guess for that how that plays out on Black Friday is that you'll still be able to walk out with a new iPhone with no money down thanks to a combination of gift cards, rebates, and the promise of monthly payments spread out over the same two years you would have been in a contract for anyway. (This is also why standing in line for a new iPhone on launch day is a huge waste of your money.)
Apple TV from $129, or $149 + Gift Card
The new Apple TV will be priced at $149 to start, but in recent years we’ve seen retailers quicker to slash prices and bundle new Apple products with gift cards. I won’t be surprised to see the new Apple TV drop to around $129 for Black Friday.
Apple Watch from $349 + Gift Card
The Apple Watch may be a new entrant to the Black Friday arena, but it's not difficult to guess what we can expect to see on Black Friday. Bundling is popular route, especially when discounts aren't forthcoming. The Apple Watch hasn't caught hold of public imagination quite the way other Apple products have, and the media has been quick to label it a failure. Appledoesn't see it that way, however, since smart watches are a niche market and it was the Apple Watch that took it mainstream. That makes it unlikely we'll see any discounts this year, though of course they could surprise us. Either way, gift card bundles are all but guaranteed.
More Black Friday Predictions
Xbox One and PS4 Bundles from $399.99
This year the bundles are going to be all about Star Wars, Star Wars and Star Wars. The bundles we’ve seen can be pre-ordered for $399.99 for the Standard Edition PS4 Bundle, $449.99 for the Limited Edition. Gaming bundles are rarely discounted for Black Friday, so there’s little point in waiting to get your order in. You can preorder today at Amazon, Walmart and GameStop.
Keurig Brewers from $60
We’ve seen the Keurig K10 Mini Plus going for $60 several times this year at Kohl’s, where it’s frequently on sale for $79.99, coupons bring the price down even further, and extra holiday Kohl's cash incentives sweeten the deal. It’s likely Kohl’s will run the same sale for Black Friday, when they’re also likely to have a coupon for 20% off, perhaps another another coupon to stack it against, plus free shipping.
KitchenAid Stand Mixers from $100 (after rebates)
The iconic KitchenAid stand mixer is another deal we’ve seen year after year at Kohl’s. Between the sale, coupons, mail-in rebates, and Kohl's Cash, the out-of-pocket cost at the end of it all always ends up somewhere between $97 and $105 for the 4.5-qt. model. The same coupons and rebates will apply to the 5-qt. Artisan as well, which we’ve seen for $225 after coupons and rebates on Black Friday. Bottom line, Black Friday is always the best time to buy a KitchenAid stand mixer.
Beats by Dre Solo HD from $99
This was a great price point for these popular headphones last year. Aside from the shockingly underrated RadioShack deal that set the price at $69.99 after a mail-in rebate, finding them under $99 last year was such a big deal that I don’t expect to see them go much lower than that in 2015, if at all. In fact, we only saw these at their Black Friday price once this year, at Target back in July, so $99 is still a really great, noteworthy price.
Fitbit Flex from $69
Walmart sold the Fitbit Flex for $69 on Thanksgiving Day in 2014. It's still the most popular tracker from the Fitbit line. The deals haven’t changed much since then, and $69 is still considered an excellent price.
Samsung Galaxy S6: Free with Contract
Samsung tends to use Black Friday as a way to start clearing out old inventory before the next generation is released in the Spring. This is usually the point at which this year’s model is handed out like Tic Tacs with a contract.
Chromecast from $19.99, or $29.99 + $10 Gift Card
The best deal we saw for Chromecast this year was $29.99 and bundled with a $10 gift card at Amazon, resulting in a net price of $19.99. That's exactly where I expect to see it land in November.
Roku Streaming Media from $35
Prices on Roku’s Streaming Stick haven’t moved much since Black Friday 2014, when it sold for an all-time low of $39.95 at Amazon. We haven’t seen it any lower than that since, but it’s likely that this year’s Black Friday deal will come in a little lower than that.
Blu-Ray Players from $24.99
The cheap DVD players that were once ubiquitous on Black Friday have been replaced by cheap Blu-Ray players. Not only have they become cheap to produce, but Blu-Ray media is probably on the way out now that the rise of streaming media has made it so easy to buy and download HD movies on demand. Blu-Ray isn't isn't going away anytime soon since it doesn't require an internet connection like streaming options do, but it is starting to take a back seat.
We're already hearing news about retailers’ holiday plans, so you know that the arrival of the first Black Friday ads are just around the corner. You'll find them posted at Brad’s Black Friday as soon as we have them.
This article first appeared in Brad's Deals.