The bad: So many will actually be gathered at the same time, but you will all be online for the Black Friday super sale. First come first served gets painted first. Who has the fastest trigger finger?
Black Friday sales start earlier in the year, as soon as Sunday, if you do not count the Black Friday adjacent sales that have already been out there. The “doorbusters” of previous years are now online deals starting at staggered times.
And if you thought the competition for the favorite item was bad in recent years, just wait until you get in front of your computer or mobile device and try to connect.
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“Last year, you probably had about 100 people in line with you,” says Gene Munster, an analyst and investor at Loup Ventures. “This year it will be hundreds of thousands. It will be an update game.”
Get ready to be comfortable, perhaps with laptop in one hand and mobile device in the other, refresh the screen as often as possible and get these items in the cart so they belong to you.
Munster reckons the three major brick-and-mortar retailers, Best Buy, Target and Walmart, will have more stock available than in previous years, as the focus is on online sales, but he still expects quick sales. “In the end, the stores win because they have you there, and you probably end up buying something else, but that may not be what you want.”
Here’s what to look for:
Sunday: Goal Black Friday
The Minneapolis-based retailer launches its fourth “Black Friday Now” sale Sunday morning. Here are some of the best deals we saw:
- The new edition of Amazon Echo speakers, which usually sells for $ 99, is priced at $ 69.99, a saving of $ 30.
- A TCL 65-inch 4K TV is $ 229, available November 22, usually $ 399. But beware: This TCL edition is not the popular Roku-branded TCL TV with built-in Roku streaming, but uses Google’s Android TV as a smart TV platform.
Target stores will be closed on Thanksgiving Day.
Target ‘Black Friday Now’ offer: The series of weekly sales runs throughout November
What happens at Walmart: Walmart just released its second round of Black Friday deals
Sunday: Best buy Black Friday
Best Buy starts its online sales on Sunday, offers more online deals on Thursday, adds another mix of online deals and specialty stores on Friday and more online deals only for Saturday.
Large televisions are usually the reason consumers gather in front of Best Buy on Thanksgiving night and Friday morning, and the retailer does not seem to disappoint with TV online deals.
A large 75-inch LG set is $ 649, down $ 200, while a 55-inch TCL / Roku set is $ 199, also $ 200 off. Best Buy is also looking to move last year’s models of Apple MacBook Pro laptops to a $ 200 discount and has a special deal for the compact $ 399 iPhone SE, but please take it small.
The cheapest iPhone usually sells for $ 399, and Best Buy sells it for half if you bring an older iPhone in to shop and accept two years of wireless service.
Wednesday: Walmart Black Friday
Walmart launches sales Wednesday, online only at 19 ET and continues Friday at. 12 ET online and in store 5 am ET.
The latest Xbox and PlayStation game consoles go on sale at 21 ET Wednesday.
- A 70-inch Vizio V705X TV, usually in the $ 700 series, sells for $ 478.70.
- The AirPod Pros, which Walmart is now selling for $ 199, will be priced at $ 169.
- The Apple Watch Series 3 edition, which Apple is currently selling for $ 199, will be $ 119 online for sale.
With all the emphasis on online sales, what about the store? So far, Walmart has not telegraphed any major deals. The Roku SE streaming player, typically $ 25, is $ 8 off for $ 17, and the Google Nest Mini smart speaker, which sells for $ 39, is $ 19 in-store.
All week: Amazon Black Friday
The e-tailer is staggering discounts on products until Friday, so you will need to keep checking the website. The best deals are, as always, on Amazon products, including the new edition of the Echo Dot smart speaker for $ 28, down from $ 50, the three-pack Eero mesh routers we wrote about on Thursday, $ 223 instead $ 279 and a brand TV 4K streaming stick for $ 24.99 instead of $ 49.99.
Amazon traditionally saves its best prices for after Black Friday and “Cyber Monday”, but encourages customers to bookmark its Black Friday page to find the latest deals.
Good shopping and I hope you get what you were hoping for.
In other technical news this week
Apple introduced the new HomePod Mini speakers and faster Macintosh computers. HomePod seems to take Amazon and Google smart speakers with consumer prices at $ 99 and seems to be one of the best sellers of the holiday. We liked the sound, even though the speakers were not as big as the new Google Nest Audio, but noticed that it is a more useful speaker. It can compose and read text messages back, help you locate your phone and act as a dynamic TV speaker. We haven’t had a chance to check out the new Macs yet, which are billed faster. Prices start at $ 699 for the revamped Mac Mini, $ 999 for the Mac Air and $ 1,299 for the MacBook Pro.
Google introduced a renewed payment app that is part of Venmo, part Quicken and part Apple Pay. The new Google Pay app for iOS and Android modernizes the old version, which was strictly targeted as a tap-and-pay app for transactions.
Hulu with Live TV increased its pricing and will soon be the most expensive of cable TV streaming options, a package that also includes YouTube TV, Sling TV, AT&T Now and Philo. Hulu’s most expensive plan, which includes the Hulu streaming service plus broadcast and cable TV channels, costs $ 71 a month, starting Dec. 18, instead of $ 64.99. YouTube TV, owned by Google, charges a fixed amount of $ 65 per month. AT&T starts at $ 55, T-Mobile’s TVision is $ 40, Sling’s service starts at $ 30, and Philo’s $ 20.
Thanksgiving and zoom. Many of us make our dinners during video conferences. It’s a given. But which device do you want to use? Laptop, smartphone, tablet? I have a guide to it all right here.
This week’s Talking Tech podcasts
Amazon’s Echo Frames is finally ready for their close-up. The $ 250 speech goggles were originally introduced as an “invite only” product in September 2019. The frame, similar to Amazon’s personal assistant Alexa, goes on sale on December 10.
Google opt-in sneakiness. As part of the Google Pay update, Google introduced new features to track your finances and hurt to say they were “opt-in”. Really? How does this process work exactly?
First look: Black Friday deals. How the offers are compared this year.
How to arrange a Zoom Thanksgiving. The technology you need.
Review: HomePod Minis rock. I’m taking the new Minis.
Follow USA TODAY’s Jefferson Graham (@jeffersongraham) on Twitter
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