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  • Writer's pictureLisa Lee Freeman

5 "Black Friday" deals to snag now—or skip

Call it Black November! Black Friday shopping madness has begun! Whether you’re ready or not, it’s time to start sorting through the doorbuster deals. Here’s a sampling of the best early sales and my advice on how to plan your shopping to nail the best bargains!

  • Amazon: Check out the Black Friday Deals Store, which features special discounts on toys, electronics, and just about everything else you can think of. Use the Amazon app to stay up to date on all the deals by setting Watch-a-Deal alerts. Amazon also launched an augmented reality feature (called AR view) on its app, which helps you get an idea of how a product will look in your home. Cool!

  • Walmart: The website has kicked off its "Opening Act" holiday deals with $1,000 off a Samsung 55 inch TV and tons of rollbacks on other items. It’s also offering free 2-day shipping on orders of $35 or more with no strings attached again this year. Also, you can get a discount for shopping online and choosing in-store pickup on thousands of items.

  • eBay: You can find “First Minute Deals” on hot brands for holiday gifts, including Dyson, Mattell, and KitchenAid, with discounts of up to 60% plus fast, free shipping and a guarantee of 3 days or less on the delivery. The site’s new price-matching guarantee even covers you through Black Friday and Cyber Monday. (Other sites usually have blackout dates on price-matching policies.)

  • Home Depot and Lowe’s: Both stores launched big appliance sales this week.

  • Costco: The warehouse store is also advertising big early holiday sales on fridges and other appliances, plus $200 and $400 off select laptops.

Here's my advice!

What to buy now:

  1. Hot toys. If you’re worried about scrambling at the last minute to find the season’s hottest toys, snap them up now. Hatchimals, for example, were hot last year and odds are they’ll be a hit again. Walmart and Amazon are already having deals on these little fuzzy guys. But buy all of the rest of your toys in December when prices get slashed ahead of the last-minute holiday rush.

  2. Appliances. If you need a new oven or dishwasher in time for Thanksgiving, I say hop on the Lowe’s and Home Depot’s 40% off deals. Buy more than one, and you can save hundreds of dollars.

What to hold off on:

3. Laptops, TVs, phones, and other tech gadgets. It’s tough to beat the deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Based on past years, that's when you’ll find the steepest discounts on TVs, laptops, and other tech toys, including Amazon gadgets. Last year, I got nice discount on Sonos speakers, for example, and they rarely go on sale. DealNews forecasts deep discounts on many iPhone and Android models during the Black Friday rush.

4. Vacuums. You just can’t beat Black Friday deals. Many major brands will be advertising $100 or more off top models, if last year is any indication.

5. Clothing. The really big sales won’t even start until next month. You may start seeing deals on coats and sweaters, but the discounts will get much deeper as Christmas approaches. And post-holiday sales will have the best markdowns.

One final tip: However or wherever you’re shopping—especially if you’re voice shopping using an Amazon or Google device—remember to compare prices. Just because it’s a “Black Friday deal” doesn’t mean it’s the best price around!

Also take advantage of gift guides. All of the major retail sites have started to launch them, including Amazon, eBay, and Etsy. They can help make it easy to find the perfect gift for your loved ones and even your boss or your customer (Amazon has a cool new business gift guide). They can be a big help in planning your holiday gift list.

Happy Shopping!

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