Black Friday 2020: The Best Deals to Expect

When is Black Friday 2020?

Technically, it’s November 27, 2020. But it’s less of a single shopping day and more of a mentality. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Cyber Week, Cyber Month, Cyber Season. Does time even have meaning anymore, 2020?

That is to say that we expect to see steady deals of varying quality in the coming weeks. Many brick-and-mortar stores like Best Buy, Target, and Walmart will not open on Thanksgiving this year, joining the ranks of Costco and REI who have historically closed on Thanksgiving Day. But that means more retailers are pushing their sales online so more people than ever will be snagging deals online. It’s likely that we’ll see online sales the entire month of November, but we expect to see the very biggest web sales kick off no later than Monday, November 23 (and possibly even sooner, with some retailers planning for November 20) and escalate through Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Will the coronavirus impact Black Friday?

There’s very little the pandemic hasn’t affected, and, if Prime Day was any indication, Black Friday may be a little different this year. Amazon approached Prime Day 2020 with a bunker mentality—once the event launched, it was apparent the company had taken steps to avoid any surprises or logistical challenges. The Prime Day that resulted was a much more focused event than last year in terms of the product categories and brands highlighted. Amazon played it safe, and when it chose to highlight a given product category or brand, it largely offered actually good deals on readily available stuff with stable inventory. In this way, Amazon ensured it wouldn’t be outflanked by the competition on price or face logistical issues. When a discount featured Prime Day Deal branding, the price was usually solid and the item shipped pretty readily (until stock started to dwindle, but even those extended availability times were usually overestimated). This could very well turn out to be Amazon’s strategy for Black Friday 2020, too. One difference from Prime Day we can definitely expect is the presence of competing sales that challenge those offered by Amazon. Offerings from Walmart, Best Buy, and Target underwhelmed during Prime Day, so they’ll be looking to make up ground. Even manufacturers will get in on the act, with significant sales expected from brands like Dyson. Amazon will match select competitor sale prices on items they also carry, so expect Black Friday to be much more of an arms race.

Will there be Black Friday shipping delays?

While Amazon and other large companies have had several months to work out their pandemic supply-chain kinks (and we don’t expect to see the kind of systematic slowdowns that happened in March and April), there’s only so much volume that shipping companies can handle within a short window. “The push for early holiday shopping is practical as much as it is promotional for retailers,” says Deals editor Nathan Burrow. “It’s a hedge against shortages and shipping delays, allowing customers to ensure they get holiday items and gifts on time.” Depending on what you’re buying, it may not be worth waiting to purchase if your item doesn’t arrive due to shipping snafus, as Salesforce estimates that the overall volume of packages will exceed shipping capacity by 5 percent globally.

Should I wait until Black Friday to shop sales?

Our Deals team is always searching for discounts that meet our standards on Wirecutter picks. That means you don’t have to wait until Black Friday to get a good deal on something you have your eye on, whether it is a gift for friends or family, or a little something for yourself. If you absolutely need to get your purchase by a specific date, it might not be best to wait.

What Black Friday sales should I expect to see?

Smart home devices from Amazon, Google and the like should see solid pricing. Small appliances like vacuums and the almighty Instant Pot will likely also be on sale. We’re also likely to see the first discounts truly worth your time for the new 8th gen iPad and Apple Watch Series 6. Plenty of electronics will be on sale, including TVs (we have our fingers crossed for deals on the TCL 6-Series) so just give a little scrutiny to the model number and specs before you buy it to make sure you’re getting the product you think you are. We’re even likely to see laptop deals, with Dell already kicking off their early Black Friday sale and the hope of the first deals that really grab on the most recent MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.

Will retailers like Best Buy, Target, and Walmart offer better deals during Black Friday than Prime Day?

Best Buy, Target, and Walmart have historically shown up on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and sometimes even the days preceding and following with many discounts—some good, some just okay, some downright cruddy. In years’ past, these retailers have also gone up to bat during Prime Day, too. This year, despite press releases and promotion, these big-name stores didn’t offer much in the way of competing sales that offered discounts as good or broad as Amazon’s.. Walmart’s “Big Save” event was more like Prime Days have been in the past, a seemingly random collection of items with limited curation. Wirecutter found some deals of interest, but not as many as we hoped to find. Target’s Deal Days, similarly, generated some solid deals but wasn’t able to offer the slate of discounts that Amazon offered. Finally, Best Buy’s Early Black Friday event largely disappointed, mostly because Best Buy was unable (for whatever reason) to offer any discounts on Amazon’s own Echo, Fire, or Kindle devices. The absence of Alexa ecosystem sales from anywhere but Amazon meant competing sales on Google Assistant gear never really materialized either. While Best Buy was able to offer a few stellar laptop deals and a notable TV deal or two, it didn’t offer as many deals or early deals as expected.

Though the deals from these retailers were less than exciting during Prime Day, it could be because Target, Best Buy, and Walmart are gearing up to surprise us with big savings during an extended holiday shopping season. We can’t know for sure that the deals themselves will be up to snuff, but our Deals team is already tracking deals from Walmart’s planned early Black Friday sales. We’ll keep our eyes peeled for anything that could indicate early trends for how other retailers will play Black Friday sales this year.

Walmart early Black Friday deals

Walmart is actually hosting three sale events in the run-up to Black Friday this year. The first event of Walmart’s “Black Friday Deals for Days” will begin on on November 4 at 7pm ET. More deals will be announced on November 7 online at midnight ET and in stores at 5am local time. The second event starts online on November 11; just like the first event, shoppers can expect to see more discounts added to the site on November 14 at midnight and in stores at 5am local time. The third and final event will start on November 25 at 7pm—the night before Black Friday—and a stream of discounts will be added at midnight and in stores the next day starting at 5am local time.

What is The Home Depot planning for Black Friday?

The Home Depot announced in a blog post published last month that it plans to extend Black Friday through the holiday season in 2020. The retailer recently announced that savings will start online and in-store on November 6 and extend through December 2. The sale will include discounts on a range of product categories, including holiday decorations, power tools, and other home improvement essentials.

Lowe’s early Black Friday deals

Instead of a one-day Black Friday sale, Lowe’s is taking a new approach this year. Starting October 22 and running through December 2, Lowe’s will be rolling out one-day online-only “Lowe’s Cyber Steals” on home improvement gear including tools, small appliances, lighting fixtures, and flooring, among other categories.

Best Buy early Black Friday deals

Best Buy kicked off its holiday sales this year on Prime Day with an “Early Black Friday” deals event. Though the retailer hasn’t announced official plans for Black Friday or for the remainder of the holiday season, it’s currently hosting an “Amazon 60-hour sales event” that ends tonight (October 22) at 11:59pm CT. Shoppers can save on any items they may have missed out on during Amazon’s own Prime Day last week, including Echo speakers, tablets, and smart displays.

Best Buy has also unrolled another perk for My Best Buy members this holiday season. All members of the free loyalty program are eligible to receive a Black Friday price guarantee—meaning that if the Best Buy price drops lowers on any item you’ve purchased before November 28, you’ll be entitled to a refund for the difference.

When will Target’s Black Friday sales start?

Target already announced last month that it has plans to kick off the holiday deals season early by offering Black Friday deals throughout the entire month of November. According to a press release, Target’s deals will span the home, apparel & accessories, and electronics categories, among others, and these discounts will be available both in stores and on

Target also plans to extend its 14-day Price Match Guarantee for a limited time through the holiday season. This year, if shoppers notice that something they’ve purchased has dropped in price in-store or on, they’ll be able to request a price adjustment from Nov. 1 through Dec. 24. To be eligible for a price adjustment, the item must be advertised as a Black Friday deal.

Has an Amazon Black Friday event been announced?

Not yet, but Amazon began advertising their pre-Black Friday deals the day after Prime Day, launching its “Holiday Dash” deals event on October 16. Amazon’s Holiday Dash deals events claims to offer Black Friday-worthy discounts on a range of product categories from fashion and beauty to electronics and kitchen. Though the retailer hasn’t mentioned any official plans for Black Friday, we expect these preview sales to run until we start to see a second wave of great deals in mid- to late-November.

Will I be able find Black Friday laptop deals from Dell or Lenovo?

Both Dell and Lenovo have recently released a handful of sneak-peek Black Friday doorbuster deals on their respective websites. The majority of the discounts we’ve seen from both retailers either don’t include many Wirecutter picks or just aren’t that good of a deal, but we have seen one deal on the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 8 (i5-10210U, 16 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD). As the top pick in our guide to the best business laptops, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon usually sells for $1,800—this deal (which is the first we’ve ever posted) brings the price down to $1,000.

What deals should I avoid on Black Friday?

Steer clear of too-good-to-be-true prices on TVs. They’re often no-name brands that are cheaply made. “If you care about getting a quality TV, they aren’t good deals. A good deal (as we define it) is a great discount on a quality item, and these TVs aren’t that,” says Nathan.
We also think the Apple Watch Series 3 isn’t worth your time. You might see a price of $150 or less and be tempted, but we think you’ll be happier with something much newer and faster. Even us penny-pinchers on the Deals team know that sometimes spending a little bit more is worth it. Other out of date tech like the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X will still cost too much for what you’re getting, we advise grabbing the newest gaming consoles or older budget options. The good thing about Black Friday is that you’re likely to see the best prices of the year on most product categories that don’t see season-specific sales, but we still advise taking an informed approach and shopping smart to avoid getting fleeced. Now, more than ever, every penny counts.

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