The countdown to Black Friday 2019 is on. Bookmark this page so you can stay on top of the latest news about all of the best Black Friday deals. From now until the mega shopping day officially kicks off — this year, that’s on Friday, November 29, the day after Thanksgiving — we’re covering everything, and we mean everything, you need to know to snag the best items for every gift recipient on your list. As more Black Friday deals launch, we’ll be featuring a round-up of the best ones here, so keep checking back!
Black Friday 2019 will take place on Friday, Nov. 29, the day after Thanksgiving. That's notably late this year. In fact, that means there are only 25 shopping days between Black Friday and Christmas — compared with 32 in 2018.
While Black Friday has historically kicked off in the early morning hours on the Friday following Thanksgiving Day (in 2019, that’s Friday, Nov. 29), the start time keeps shifting earlier and earlier. This year, Thanksgiving falls very late in the month, making the holiday season even more condensed. Thus, Black Friday deals will begin even earlier than they have before— in fact, some retailers and websites have already launched promotions. And if stores follow suit from 2018, most big-box retailers (like Target, Walmart, Kohl’s, Best Buy, etc) will open their doors on Thanksgiving day, some as early as 6 a.m. to give shoppers an even greater head start.
As for when Black Friday Deals end, there’s not a concrete answer because Cyber Monday 2019 begins just three days later. Many industry experts predict that these two days will start to overlap, meaning that deals could potentially run until Dec. 8, which is the Sunday after Cyber Monday.
Several major retailers have already started to release ads and/or dedicated websites for Black Friday deals in October, however, many more ads will be out the first or second week of November.
Walmart’s ad should be out in the second week of November but you can check out its online-only Black Friday deals site (called the “Deal Drop”) right now. Similarly, Target hasn’t released its official ad but has already mailed out its 88-page Bullseye Top Toys catalog, which showcases the hottest gifts it expects kids to wish for this year. Look for the Best Buy ad to also be out by mid-November.
Unlike its brick-and-mortar cohorts, though, Amazon won’t release an ad but will start to post a “countdown,” which leads up to a big onslaught of deals.
The best things to buy are the pricier items that are not as steeply discounted at any other time of the year. That means anything from kitchen appliances and smart home devices to video gaming consoles, smartphones, laptops, and fitness trackers.
Of course, beyond all of the big-ticket tech products, there are also plenty of fantastic deals on clothing (in particular, retailers tend to put winter outwear on mega sale), shoes, beauty products, toys, designer goods (if you’ve been eyeing a luxury purse, Black Friday may be the time to buy it), ride-on toys for kids, car seats, and strollers.
As for what’s best to buy in 2019 in particular, there are a few items you will see on nearly all consumer and retail experts’ hottest deals lists: 4K TVs, Instant Pots, Nintendo Switches, noise-canceling headphones (like the new Apple AirPods Pro), iPhones and iPads, Apple Watches, Samsung Galaxy phones, and more.
According to several industry insiders, Amazon is always a great place to focus most of your shopping attention online. In 2018, the e-tailer featured about 650 bargains during the Black Friday buying season; the breadth of categories and products varies so widely, so there’s literally something for everyone. Just like Amazon Prime Day, the key to being successful is by staying on top of the deals as they go live because many of them are limited time (even more so when they are part of a lightning deal) and limited quantity.
If you’re looking for toys or other popular gifts for kids, Walmart and Target tend to run very similar deals. Besides LEGO, Nerf, Paw Patrol, Marvel, Disney, LeapFrog, Barbie, and all of the other biggest name brands, you can also expect to find decent discounts on gadgets, electronics and gaming devices, including Nintendo Switch, Apple products, and smartphones. These two retail chains are also known for deals on clothes, home items, and baby gear (strollers, cribs, diapers, and more), so think of them as a one-stop-shop.
Of course, if tech gadgets are the very top of your list this year, you may want to consider shopping at Best Buy where there will be a heavy focus on TVs, laptops, Samsung Galaxy phones, iPhones, headphones, and video games and gaming consoles.
If it’s beauty, makeup, and/or skincare products you’re after, last year, Sephora had a number of limited-edition “Black Friday exclusive” items, which were mostly all $15 or less and available both online and in stores. There’s a good chance the company will do something similar this year. Ulta’s Black Friday deals will start to show up online on Thursday evening on Thanksgiving day, and the stores are expected to be open that day, too. Discounts on the items in Ulta’s “holiday hot buys” category will be anywhere from 50 to 74% off.
While the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is the department store’s biggest shopping event of the year, Nordstrom will still participate in Black Friday by offering limited-time markdowns (in 2018, it was up to 60% off) on items across all of its categories. The store will be closed on Thanksgiving day but will likely have extended hours on Black Friday itself. Check with your local store for more details.
Many of the Black Friday sales will be available both in-store and online, making it easier than ever for bargain hunters to opt to stay home for a calmer eCommerce experience. This way, you can still get in quality family time on Thanksgiving without having to rush out to deal with crowds.
However, if you’re after any of the most heavily discounted items, you’ll want to consider visiting stores in person to try to nab them as soon as the doors open. Walmart, for instance, is known for its doorbusters. It’s important to note that these are once-a-year prices, which means they typically come in very limited quantities. Expect there to be people waiting in line for hours (or even days) ahead of time, and plan ahead for your own arrival time.
In order to get the best deals on Black Friday, the key is to prepare, prepare, prepare. Prioritize your list so your must-haves are at the top and you know what stores carry what. Spend time researching prices so you can identify a genuinely good sale when you see it. Consider loading up your online cart ahead of time (if the store will let you) or creating a wishlist so you can easily check out in a matter of minutes. Also, have multiple tabs open on your Web browser ready to go with the eCommerce sites you plan to hit first.
This would also be a great back up plan for in-store shoppers who may have missed out on a doorbuster— use your phone to locate the same (or a similar) product online or at another retailer altogether.
Romper may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently of Romper’s editorial and sales departments.