There’s been so many pre-Black Friday sales going on and so much sell-off attempted in the last few months because of overstock issues, is there anything special about Black Friday anymore?
When ConsumerAffairs went looking for the answer, the pickings were indeed slim.
“All retailers are competing for attention and if there is anything left it would be a very small quantity. Most likely, if you're looking for something specific, there's nothing left,” Hannah Nash, co-founder of LucyNash, told ConsumerAffairs.
Nash said that the options aren’t as robust as they have been on Black Fridays in the past but retailers are offering significant discounts in order to attract new customers and clear inventory.
ConsumerAffairs took Nash’s advice and went hunting for big discounts to see what might be left.
Here’s what we found…
Retailers that have the most and largest discounts
The places to go if you’re looking for a wide range of things are the major retailers such as Walmart and Target, BlackFriday.com shopping expert Mackenzie Shand told ConsumerAffairs. And those stores also have some of the largest discounts, too, just because they buy so much from vendors.
“Best Buy is a great shopping destination for tech discounts and retailers like Home Depot, Lowe's and Wayfair are good places to check for large discounts on home-related products,” she said.
“In terms of discounts, the majority of Target's deals range from 30% to 50% off. Amazon has advertised many 30% and 40% off discounts, but the discounts reach 70% for Alexa-enabled, smart devices. Similar to Target, Walmart has many items discounted between 30% to 50% off.”
Jewelry is an exceptionally good buy at department stores
For some reason, jewelry is a particularly good choice for money-pinching gift-givers this year. ConsumerAffairs saw upwards of 60% discounts at department stores such as Kohl’s and Belk, and a hard-to-believe 75% off jewelry at JCPenney.
Macy’s isn’t laying down when it comes to discounts in the jewelry department, either. It’s got many 60% off deals which also lets shoppers buy a necklace or pair of earrings for $29.99 when they spend $25 or more.
Free gift cards
Retailers are hanging gift card mistletoe everywhere they can. ConsumerAffairs saw some tremendous deals at Target where you could get a $20 gift card with a purchase of $100-plus on baby care items, a $50 Target GiftCard with a purchase of the Xbox Series S – Holiday Console, and up to $100 gift cards for purchases of smart TV sets.
BlackFriday’s Shand also turned up several, too -- up to $250 in Apple gift cards when you purchase Apple products such as AirPods and iPads, or an additional $15 Apple gift card when you buy a $100 Apple Gift Card at Target or Best Buy, and a $10 gift card when you purchase $100 worth of gift cards at Barnes & Noble.
Don’t forget Amazon
Amazon’s biggest deals of the year usually come during their Prime Days, but Ryan Turner, the founder of Ecommerce Intelligence told ConsumerAffairs that the online giant is doing the unusual this year – a Black Friday promotion of its own.
“This does appear to be a 48-hour only sale window, with hundreds of thousands of items discounted across all major categories,” he said. “It'd definitely be worth it for consumers to watch their Black Friday spending budgets and be sure to save some money for the day itself.”
Some web tricks that might turn up extra savings
Retailers are using every opportunity they can to keep a consumer in their lair. When ConsumerAffairs was checking out Belk’s website, we got a pop-up offering us $10 off any $20 purchase – something the promotion said could be used on top of other coupons.
When it looked like we were clicking off Kohl's website, we got a 15% off offer if we'd sign up for its newsletter. At Duluth Trading Company's site, we got a pop-up offering 20% off plus free shipping for signing up for its email list.
It might be a smart move to check out every retailer’s website and move your mouse a little bit to activate any pop-up discounts the company wants to offer you for signing up for their mailing list or purchasing something.
By the way -- do it in incognito mode so you can make sure that you don't have the retailer's web cookie embedded in your browser. Otherwise, a pop-up deal may never happen.
Online shoppers who aren’t afraid of plug-ins or deal-checking platforms can try out things like Cently, which sniffs out coupon codes that can be used at checkout, and CamelCamelCamel, an Amazon price checker and browser extension.
Capital One also has a browser extension called “Capital One Shopping” which automatically applies coupons to your cart and sends you price drop notifications.