I remember waking up early the day after Thanksgiving and going out with my family to get some shopping done during the one day of the year that had amazing sales. That day is called Black Friday, because historically it was the day that retailers would go from being in the red (losing money) to being in the black (making a profit) for the year.
That was decades ago. More recently stores started to open Thanksgiving evening to try to gain some extra sales. Then they started to have sales earlier and now we can probably call the phenomenon Black November because we start seeing Black Friday deals advertised as early as Nov. 1 now. The sales have changed, too. In the past stores would have amazing deals on a few items to get shoppers in the store and OK sales on other merchandise. So what should you look out for this year?
If you’re looking for a new phone, Apple just announced a new series of phones, the iPhone 12. They can be expensive, but the cheaper ones are more than capable, in particular the iPhone SE is a great phone in a small package. Apple typically doesn’t have sales on its products but it does often throw in extras as a bonus during the holiday season.
If you’re looking for an Android phone then the new Google Pixel 5 is going to be up to $200 off the starting price. Of course, Samsung’s phones will end up on sale as well. Quite often retailers will have sales on Apple and Android phones though. Look to save hundreds on these phones if you are willing to jump through some hoops.
You can get TVs for hundreds off right now, though their prices may come down even more if you wait a bit. Smart TVs (they have apps built right into them) are going to be as cheap as $80. If you’re all set on TVs, you might look into getting a soundbar. As a non-audiophile, I don’t have a complete surround sound setup, but I do have a soundbar on both of my TVs. It’s a long, thin speaker that sits right in front of your TV and produces much better sound than the built-in TV speakers do. Some of them even come with a sub-woofer for greater lows.
For the gamer in your life, you could consider a Nintendo Switch. Nintendo released a smaller version of it that is $100 less expensive called the Nintendo Switch Lite. It does everything the regular Switch does except it can’t be output to the TV and the controllers aren’t removable like they are on the Switch. The Switch Lite is 100% a mobile gaming device. Microsoft and Sony released next-generation versions of their Xbox and Playstation just in time for the holiday season, too. Though I expect those to be limited in availability and expensive into next year. If you’re dead set on getting one, you’ll probably have to line up early in the morning in the hopes of getting one.
You’ll want to make sure that you keep track of the dates of each of the sales as well. Several retailers are holding different sales each week so if you see something you want it’s better to snatch it up sooner. Finally, I would encourage you to shop at your locally owned businesses. Big box retailers employ a lot of people but it’s the locally owned businesses that are the foundation of your community. They deserve your patronage even if they cost a bit more.
Jason Ogaard writes Technobabble. He is a Red Wing High School graduate and a software engineer in the Denver area. Contact him at email@example.com.