Like last year, the 2023 holiday sale season started early, with major retailers such as Amazon, Best Buy, and Target offering big sitewide events in early October.
A big difference, however, is this year prices offered now are expected to remain steady all the way through Black Friday in most cases.
Some items, such as TVs, may be discounted further, but on many items, you can save the same now as if you were to wait for Black Friday.
Look for deals on electronics, TVs, laptops, iPads, AirPods, home security equipment, small and major appliances, vacuums, bed and bath, smart and Bluetooth speakers, kitchen tools, home improvement items, luggage, and more.
Check the Consumer Reports website for deals on products it’s tested.
Things not to buy on Black Friday
Black Friday may be the biggest shopping day of the holiday season, but it isn’t the best time to buy everything. While stores will try to dazzle you with discounts during the holiday sales season, not all of the deals will be good enough, and some products are better to buy at other times of year.
Wait on the following items, DealNews.com recommends:
Low-end, off-brand TVs may seem like a real bargain, but they may not last through next Black Friday.
Furniture and mattresses
Furniture and mattresses aren’t good Black Friday deals because they tend to favor in-store rather than online shopping, so customers can pick products that are comfortable for them. People are often too busy during the holiday season to shop for them. Better times to buy furniture and mattresses are Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, July Fourth, and Labor Day weekends.
More toy sales often occur in December rather than November. You can expect the best toy prices in the two weeks before Christmas. And if you want to pick up gifts for future birthdays or holidays, post-Christmas sales may offer even deeper discounts.
However, if you’re shopping for the season’s hottest toys, you may need to buy early even if you aren’t getting the best price. Sometimes toys can sell out, so if there’s an item your child has to have this holiday season, it may be better to buy it early rather than waiting for the price to drop.
There’s one exception to the holiday toy rule: video game consoles. Those could be on sale on Black Friday, and it would be surprising to see them on sale in January.
Gift cards are the ultimate last-minute holiday gift, and it’s typically best to buy them at the last minute or close to it.
Jewelers tend to be busy during the holiday season, so in addition to modest discounts, there may be limited stock.
Exercise equipment and gym memberships tend to go on sale in January as retailers try to pull people in after weight gain concerns after the festive foods of the holiday season.
Cosmetics and beauty products
Any sales you find on Black Friday likely won't be as strong as the post-holiday sales.
If you’re looking to update your winter wardrobe, you’ll have more luck finding winter clothes on sale in January and February.
Power tools and hardware
Pick up tools and hardware around Father’s Day in June, when there will probably be lots more deep discounts.
The best deals on decor don’t show up on Black Friday. Instead, look for clearance sales after the Christmas holiday is over at the end of December.
Apple releases iPhone models in September, and while there will be some iPhone discounts during Black Friday – likely in the form of gift cards – deals on the latest models are usually small. New iPhone 15 models will likely keep their premium price for the next year, until new models arrive. Though Black Friday or Cyber Monday are better bets for discounts for the latest iPhone than buying at other times of the year, you still can’t expect to get a great price without jumping through some hoops.
However, Black Friday is a fantastic time to get last year’s iPhone, which saw price cuts in September when the new models were launched – and will likely see good sales through the holiday season.
So, compare prices throughout November and have fun shopping.