While we wait for the 2014 Black Friday ads to start leaking, retailers are wasting no time kicking off holiday sales (even in October). The term “EARLY” stacks well for consumers this year, and aligns nicely with FatWallet’s Black Friday Predictions.
SO WHY SHOP EARLY? Early sales will be the lead for “What to Buy in NOVEMBER” and smart shoppers will rejoice by taking full advantage of retailer member perks like gift card bonuses, added rewards and early access to doorbusters. Early holiday shoppers also get best selection of hot items and products retailers want to move, like previous version tablet and iPad deals, HTDVs, toys and video games, with several ways to stack discounts (free shipping, coupons, cash back sales) to possibly, run the early sale price below what we’ll see come Thanksgiving Day (the real Black Friday kickoff).
Halloween Clearance: Starting Nov. 1 (a few days before), stores, both online and in-store) will feature a massive Halloween clearance on costumes, decorations, candy and other related items that need to clear inventory space for similar holiday items. The “trick” to online clearance is keeping shipping costs to a minimum (standard shipping at many stores will be free, or the lowest cost), and stacking with up to 10% cash back as your final “treat”.
Smart places to look for clearance include a host of specialty costume stores found in FatWallet’s Halloween Deals. Newegg will also be offering 100,000 Halloween items at 90% off again this year and will keep the promotion running into November, in addition to their well-known pre-Black Friday Deals.
November Electronics Sales: Electronics, specifically tablets and cell phone deals will be hot pre-Black Friday items. With the new iPhone 6/6 Plus, Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Nexus 9, iPad Air 2 and a new Kindle Fire HD tablet leading a long list of new versions, retailers will heavily discount previous versions at their expense to clear inventory. If you’re just looking to upgrade, or just buying into the “smart” mobile device era, this will be the best time ever to score a really good product at a premium discount.
Since pricing will be all over the place, we suggest setting a topic alert in the FatWallet Hot Deals forum for tablets or smartphones will help you track the best deal. We’ve already seen lower than Black Friday pricing on iPad Minis under $229, Ipad Air under $350 and Galaxy Note 10 for under $185.
Early Holiday Sales: If you’re shopping early, look to stack discounts, like adding cash back (FW will have dozens of top stores increasing cash back during November sales, including Amazon and Ebay). Price matching is a great way to buy from your store of choice, like say you have a rewards card for Nordstrom, take advantage of their price matching policy to get the price at another stores special and stack with card member rewards (+cash back and now were talking significant savings).
The big perk worth looking out for is special store member sneak-peaks with early access to Black Friday doorbusters and other hot products, as well as an earlier offering of the “real” Black Friday deals, with dozens of stores starting online events as early as Tuesday night/Wed morning, and of course, even more stores kicking off events on Thanksgiving Day.
Black Friday: This is the best time to find holiday gifts under $20 (last year we saw more than 9,000 deals under $20). Everything from B1G1 clothing and shoe deals, to half off or better on kitchen cookware, dinnerware and small appliances. Stack a Macy’s coupon for $10 of $25 purchases with cash back and free shipping, and you’re playing with the big dogs (slang for being a pro Black Friday shopper).
Look for supercheap HDTV deals…following a record number of Super Bowl TV deals last February and a year of consistent discounting on quality models, expect more and better Black Friday TV deals than last year with 42” HDTVs under $250, 50” under $300, quality smart HDTVs and off-brand 4k TVs under $500.
Gadgets and Video Game Deals: Xbox One bundles for $350, PS4 deals bundles around $400, iPod Nano and iPod Touch deals at $89 and $200, respectively, and Beats Solo HD under $150. Black Friday streaming media player deals will be a strong with Roku 3 deals below $70 (currently under $80 w/up to 4% Ebay cash back) and expect Apple TV deals below $80 (w/gift card incentives from stores like hhgregg and Meijer). See all VIDEO GAME and GADGET predictions.
Toy Deals: Influence from blockbuster kids movies and video games from LEGO, Disney’s Frozen, Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Skylanders will be the buzz. Black Friday LEGO deals and Disney Frozen deals alone will lead bigbox discounts as stores like Walmart, target and Toy R Us will compete with up to 40% off top branded toys from Mattel, Fisher Price, Vtech and Hasbro. Prices on older toys like the Furby, last year’s Razor scooters, Doc McStuffins sets and Monster High dolls and accessories will be much lower than last Black Friday. See all TOY predictions.
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