Black Friday deals 2015
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The best Black Friday deals in the US are now here, well before the official date for America's popular shopping "holiday" on November 27 breaks new records in 2015, according to financial analysts.
Early Black Friday deals are driving bargain hunters to stores and online during Cyber Monday. And, thankfully, the sales will make you forget all about the discount bust that was Amazon Prime Day.
Tech will be a big part of everyone's shopping list: Apple's iPhone 6S and iPad Pro, the Star Wars BB-8 drone and Samsung Galaxy phones and tablets will sell in droves, even when minimally on sale.
Video game bargains will be another in-store and online purchase driver on Black Friday in the US. New Xbox One and PS4 price drops mean the consoles will sell out, with the best bundles going early.
You won't be disappointed if you're a deal seeker - and you won't be alone, so you have to act fast. Here are the best Black Friday month deals we have found so far.
Leading the Black Friday deals charge among video games consoles is the PlayStation 4, with its sales almost doubling that of Microsoft's Xbox One. Don't worry, they're both still at a decent price, closing in on the bargain bottom line of the Nintendo Wii U and 3DS.
PS4 Black Friday deals
The PS4 500GB Uncharted: Nathan Drake Collection bundle is our favorite because it pairs Sony's Indiana Jones-style games trilogy with the console. It costs $349 at Amazon and $349 at Walmart.
PS4 1TB bundle with Call of Duty Black Ops 3 doubles the storage of the gaming system and adds Activision's landmark first-person shooter for a Black Friday discount of $429 at Amazon.
PS4 bundle with Nathan Drake Collection, Call of Duty Black Ops 3 and controller charging station combines the three and adds accessory extra for $399 at Costco.
PS4 Star Wars: Battlefront bundle includes the new game, plus downloads of classics Super Star Wars, Bounty Hunter, Jedi Star Fighter and Racer Revenge, all for $349 at Amazon.
PS4 Star Wars Battlefront Limited Edition bundle is the ultimate Black Friday deal for Jedi fans. It doesn't come out till November 17, but is available to pre-order for $399 at Amazon and Walmart.
Alternatively, the PS4 Disney Infinity 3.0 Limited Edition Star Wars Bundle combines the console with the Disney Infinity 3.0: Star Wars Edition Bundle Kit and four classic game for $399 at Walmart.
PS4 bundled with The Last of Us Remastered and Call of Duty: Ghosts lets you dual wield with two of last year's top-selling PlayStation 4 games. Right now, it's just $399 at Walmart.
PS4 Black Friday Bundle with GTA 5 and The Last of Us Remastered is another pairing of games that came out last year, but still worth investing in if you're an adult. It's $469 at Amazon.
PS4 Limited Edition Destiny The Taken King bundle brings you up to speed on the next-generation console and one of the most popular video games for $399 through Walmart.
PS4 Uncharted Nathan Drake Collection and Batman: Arkham Knight is two for the price of one. Other retailers bundle the Batman game alone (and it's pricier), but it's just $349 at GameStop.
The absolute cheapest PS4 Black Friday deal doesn't come with a game and it's used, but the price is right at $299 through Best Buy.
The inverse, the PS4 console in white, is also pre-owned and doesn't come with a game, but retails for a mere $339 at GameStop.
Xbox One Black Friday deals
Xbox One 1TB Halo 5: Guardians Limited Edition bundle is the best Black Friday deal for fans of the Mast Chief franchise, and costs just $495 at Amazon.
Xbox One Halo: The Master Chief Collection bundle brings last year's game and the 500GB console together with the best price being $349 at GameStop.
Want it in white? The Xbox One Special Edition White Halo: The Master Chief Collection bundle is sold out, but when it is back in stock will cost $349 at GameStop. Until then it's $419 at Amazon.
Xbox One 500GB Gears of War: Ultimate Edition bundle in black is even cheaper on Black Friday, with prices currently at $333 through Amazon.
Want it in white (again)? Xbox One 500GB Gears of War Special Edition White bundle is a exclusive that is actually cheaper. Act fast, because its price is $329 only at Walmart.
Xbox One 1TB Limited Edition Forza Motorsport 6 bundle is ideal for racing fans who can handle the tight curves of this simulation game. It's best discount is $399 at Walmart.
Xbox One 1TB Madden NFL 16 bundle brings a bargain to the gridiron. Its best Black Friday deal so far make it $382 at Amazon.
Xbox One 1TB FIFA 16 Limited Edition bundle combines the other kind of football with Microsoft's next-gen console, and it includes 12 months of EA Access. It retails for $399 at Walmart.
Xbox One 1TB Fallout 4 bundle gives you enough internal storage to save and re-save your game that could glitch any moment. Don't worry, the game is buggy, but fantastic, and costs $399 at Amazon.
Xbox One The LEGO Movie is the console bundle for the kids and the kids at heart. It's $346 through Amazon.
Xbox One 500GB standalone console does away with all of the game bundles, but clocks in at a cheaper price, one that matches the name of Halo's developer. It's $343 at Amazon.
The cheapest Xbox One is at GameStop, which isn't always known for the best prices. It's inexpensive because it's pre-owned There's a black for $299 at GameStop and a white at $299 at GameStop.
Just in case this hot number sells out before Black Friday, there's another deal for a black Xbox One on sale for $299 at Best Buy.
Wii U Black Friday deals
Black Friday deals for Nintendo Wii U console bundles are going to be hard to find because they always sell better than expected with families. Here's what we found so far, before mom and dad snap them up.
The Nintendo Wii U bundle Mario Kart 8 Deluxe pairs one of the best Wii U games with the 32GB system, and it's actually cheaper than buying the system without the game at just $299 at Amazon.
Wii U bundled with Super Mario 3D World and Nintendo Land is the best Black Friday deal if you want Nintendo's console and plumber pairing. It's more expensive at Amazon, but costs $299 at Best Buy.
There's a Wii U bundle with Super Mario 3D World, Nintendo Land and Wii Remote Plus that throws in an extra controller. You need one anyway, and the deal is $339 only at Best Buy.
The Wii U bundle with Super Mario Maker gives you control over creating your own 2D levels, and it's a blast. Best of all, it's merely $299 at Walmart.
Wii U Skylanders Swap Force bundle is the cheapest Nintendo console with new Skylanders game on Black Friday (so far). Yes, it's the entry-level white 8GB console, but just $230 at GameStop.
Finding Wii U bundled with Splatoon is no easy task. It's sold out at Best Buy, but the very underrated Nintendo game is available for $334 at Amazon.
The cheapest Nintendo Wii U Black Friday deal comes with a few caveats. It's used, or "premium refurbished," and is the 8GB model. But it's an incredible $229 at GameStop.
Stepping things up to the Nintendo Wii U 32GB standalone black model, which is also used, brings the price up a bit to a still hard-to-pass-up $259 at GameStop.
The Wii U with Super Mario 3D World, a Wii U Fit Balance Board, Wii U Fit Meter is the most feature-packed, but also the most expensive bundle. It remains a savings at $349 at Costco.
Nintendo 3DS Black Friday deals
Nintendo is venturing into the mobile space, but all of its best portable games remain on the 3DS. It's going to be that way for some time. Here's the best way to save on the still viable handheld system.
The Nintendo New 3DS XL in Red, with the wholly-worth-it C Stick and larger display, is discounted a few dollars to $194 at Amazon.
The Nintendo New 3DS XL in Black is almost a cheap for Black Friday month. It costs $196 through Amazon and it's $196 at Walmart.
The same Nintendo New 3DS XL with a choice of game and bonus figure is a good deal if you're getting a game anyway, as it starts at $209 at Walmart.
Save some money with Nintendo 3DS XL in Black or Red without the C stick. It plays all of the same games and costs just $173 on Amazon.
The 3DS XL Limited Edition Pikachu is waiting to yellow highlight your Black Friday deals week. It costs $225 at Walmart.
Even cooler is the Nintendo New 3DS XL Hyrule Gold Edition. This exclusive, in stock for now, won't be available for long due to its cheaper price at $199 only at GameStop.
New 3DS XL Hyrule Gold Edition with Zelda Triforce Heroes bundles one of the best games on the Nintendo 3DS. It's $239 only at GameStop.
The cheapest Nintendo 3DS XL is the NES Edition Black Friday deal. It's a hidden gem locked away inside of an old Nintendo controller at $159 at GameStop.
Slightly cheaper is the same Nintendo 3DS XL NES Edition console at the used price of $139 pre-owned at GameStop.
iPhone and Android deals are on a lot of wish lists this Black Friday, and we're here to help point out the best bargains on AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint.
Apple's iPhone 6S on AT&T moves to the US carrier's monthly plan, so you don't have to pay for the phone upfront. It starts at $21.63 a month at Best Buy.
The new iPhone 6S on Verizon is sticking to the usual two-year contract plan through some retailers on Black Friday. That means it starts at $199 and up at Best Buy.
iPhone 6S on Sprint also uses two-year contracts, though it sometimes offers lower monthly payments (which add up to more money over time). Best bet is to go with the $199 at Best Buy.
The iPhone is rarely on sale. Even Apple's official store doesn't give Black Friday discounts on its smartphone because, really, it doesn't have to. It's usually out of stock come Christmas, anyway.
Best Black Friday deals 2015
Sporting goods store REI announced that it'll remain closed on Black Friday, but every other retailer is ready with deals in person and online, according to the first ad leaks.
See all Walmart Black Friday deals
The best iPad Black Friday deal is at Walmart, where the chain is rolling back prices for the iPad Mini 2 to just $199. This 16GB iPad Wi-Fi model still costs $269 at the Apple Store, so it's a healthy $70 discount.
Olympus OM-D E-M1: Get this pro-spec mirrorless camera for a great price, now $949 at Amazon US
Nikon S7000 compact camera; With its 20x zoom lens, the pocket-sized S7000 is perfect for vacations, now $179 at Amazon US
Canon EOS 6D body only: Canon's most affordable full-frame DSLR at a bargain price now $1499 at Adorama
Nikon D810 body only: Nikon's professional 36-megapixel full frame DSLR is now $2796.95 at B&H
The cheapest Fitbit you can find is also at Walmart, where the entry-level Fitbit Flex is on sale for $79.99. It's not as glamorous at the Fitbit Charge HR ($135) and Fitbit Surge ($240), but it's incredibly cheap.
Amazon Black Friday deals this week are themed "Countdown to Black Friday Deals Week." These daily bargains are just okay, with the $10 off the Kindle Fire HD 7, $43.99 total for an EPSON Wireless Color Photo printer and $1,798 for Sony's XBR55X900C 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD TV, which throws in a BDPS3500 Blu-ray Player. It's expensive, but 30% off right now.
See all Amazon Black Friday deals
Previously, Amazon had better deals, like a Moto X 2nd generation for $199 off-contract and Metal Gear Solid 5: Phantom Pain for $39.99 on PS4 and Xbox One, which its Daily Deals expire, so you have to act fast before the clock strikes midnight on the West coast. Expect to see much deeper discounts, as we inch closer to Amazon's Black Friday Week on November 22.
Early Black Friday ad from Dell are all about work and play, as it to be proclaiming November to be TGI Black Friday and touting its flagship deal on Dell Inspiron 14 3000 laptop that runs Windows 10. It's half price at $149, which is almost the cost of Microsoft's new operating system alone.
Dell is also the first online retailer to unveil a Black Friday deal for an Xbox One bundle, adding two games and an extra controller to the mix for $299. The best part is that they're not just any two games, it's Fallout 4 and Gears of War: Ultimate Edition in what Dell boasts is the "lowest price ever."
These two deals begin at 6pm Eastern, 3pm Pacific on Thursday, November 26, with more deals from Dell and other retailers expected in the lead up to Black Friday. We'll update this portion accordingly.
Adobe crunched the numbers and reported that on Black Friday in the US last year consumers spent a record-breaking $2.4 billion - up an extraordinary 24% on the previous year.
Follow @TRDeals on Twitter for the latest offers
It was an international spending frenzy the like of which the internet had never seen before. Black Friday in 2015 is only going to get bigger and start sooner. The countdown is on for the unofficial November 1 launch.
What happened on Black Friday last year?
The numbers were so big that websites fell over like Victorian ladies on a hot day, with HP, Best Buy, Currys, Tesco, Argos, Boots and Game's websites all requiring smelling salts.
Online retailers in the US slowed to a crawl, as deal-happy consumers sucked up all of the bandwidth and Amazon Lighting Deals vanished or expired before their eyes.
The chaos isn't over, either. Black Friday 2015 is now less than three months away and it promises to dwarf last year's stats in almost every way. Online retailers are already planning for it.
You're much safer online...
Of course, Black Friday is not by any means a phenomenon that's confined to the virtual realm than physically waiting in line in front of stores.
It was conceived originally as a unit mover for high street retailers, a way for stores to shift a lot of stock at a time when most people in the US have time off work for Thanksgiving.
And while Black Friday chaos online led to websites crashing, bedlam on the highstreet tends to be a lot more troublesome.
Last year, fighting broke out in many stores across the US, with police being called to national retail chains. From Best Buy, to Walmart, we see almost the same security camera footage every year at the stroke of midnight.
YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5w7FjW3QeiQ
It's not unheard of for bargain hunters to pepper spray each other in an attempt to get the best deals in the US.
YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZOTo1K_Kp0
Clearly - it's much safer to stay at home and pick up your deals on the internet, and that's what the majority of people did on Black Friday 2014.
To give you an idea of just how busy the sites were, John Lewis and Currys - two of the UK's biggest retail websites - both saw their web traffic triple compared to Black Friday 2013. Meanwhile, TechRadar's own Black Friday pages attracted more than 1.6 million page views.
So it's no exaggeration to say that the pre-Christmas retail landscape was changed forever on November 28 last year. Retailers knew Black Friday 2014 was going to be big, but it actually ended up being far bigger than they ever imagined.
So what lessons have they learnt, and what can we as consumers expect from Black Friday 2015?
Where to find the best Black Friday deals in 2015:
Here's our rundown of where you will find the best Black Friday deals throughout November this year, and specifically on Friday November 27 itself. It's already late enough into October to begin planning.
Last year, over a million people visited TechRadar's Black Friday deals page where we rounded up all of the best deals from all of the most trusted retailers in the US. This year, you'll be pleased to hear, we're doing it all over again! Throughout November we'll bring you a constantly updated page with all of the hottest tech and games deals on the internet, from super cheap PS4 bargains to laptops, TVs, Chromecast 2, iPads and anything else we can find. If it's an amazing Black Friday deal, we'll have it on techradar.com!
Amazon is the US retailer that sells everything - well, just about everything. You won't be able to find the Chromecast or Apple TV in stock due to the fact that the online retailer favors its own Amazon Fire TV.
That's okay, because there are going to be plenty of other details rolling out on November 1, ramping up to the official Black Friday deals start date on November 27. Amazon mixes multiple Deal of the Day promotions with time-limited lightning deals. Everything from TVs, to video games are going to be on sale again, while supplies lasts, and always easier to ship with Amazon Prime.
Walmart often has best Black Friday deals in the US, and the perk here over Amazon is that you can often order online, but pick up gifts at local stores if you're in a holiday rush.
Walmart often discounts last-generation iPads, so we may see Black Friday sales on the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3. It also likes to keep things kid friendly with video game bundles everyone in a family can enjoy, so look out for consoles like Wii U, PS4 and Xbox One bundled with free games.
Best Buy is one of the last brick and mortar electronics retailers still in business, and it always loads up its homepage with Black Friday deals. You can walk away with an entire home theater setup, with a deeply discounted big-screen television, video game console and speaker system, if you shop carefully enough.
On Saturday, November 7, it'll offer Black Friday-like deals, according to this Best Buy press release. The special holiday shopping event will start at 1 pm and end at 5 pm local time at 400 locations. Robots, VR demos, sweepstakes and free tech gifts for the first 100 customers are expected on this date, too.
Best Buy is known to always want to sell you an extended warranty, which is often times the wrong choice, unless you're incredibly clumsy. With tech on the cheap, you're likely to want to upgrade to a Black Friday deal on next-generation equipment a few years from now, anyway.
Believe it or not, eBay is an excellent place to look for Black Friday deals. We'll be scouting out its special page dedicated to its most valued sellers in an effort to find the biggest discounts on more-often-than-not new stuff, rather than just used goods.
You'll need to keep in mind shipping times, depending on where the seller is and where you live in the US. However, eBay tends to clearly lay out safe delivery dates with enough buffer time in case anything goes wrong. And lots of eBay sellers forgo shipping fees on this holiday to sell even more items.
Target is another iPad discount destination on Black Friday, either bundling gift cards with Apple's tablet or chopping a small percentage off the original price. It's not known for selling iPhone and Android phones at a deep discount compared to Best Buy, but it does have a nice selection of video games and kids toys that match what Walmart and Amazon put out there on Black Friday.
Video game deals are everywhere, so you don't need to shop at GameStop on Black Friday in order to seek the best deals. Ironically, it has some of the highest prices for console bundles and best-selling video games on that day. That doesn't mean there aren't a few diamonds here. Plus, GameStop has been expanding its scope to sell tech, too, and you just can't beat the trade-in value its store will give you - the GameStop clerk will tell you just that as soon as you step foot in the door. Best to do your shopping here online.
Apple has been criticized in the past for being stingy on its Black Friday deals. Sometimes it throws in a gift card (iTunes gift cards, not Apple Store gift cards, even) when you purchase its most expensive computers, phones and tablets.
Worse, it doesn't offer discounts on products like Best Buy, Walmart and Amazon. That means you're getting an iTunes gift card in exchange for paying full price. That doesn't seem fair. Still, we'll let you know if Apple has a change of heart on Black Friday when it launches its deals at midnight Pacific time.
Lessons from the past
Some retailers were like ducks on Black Friday last year: they may have appeared calm, but under the water their little legs were going like crazy.
Some stores totally panicked, as Patrick O'Brien of retail analysts Verdict Retail told TechRadar:
"Some retailers like Amazon planned promotions well in advance, but others were sucked in when they saw the scale of Black Friday and realised that without promotions, they would lose out on footfall or website hits in a key spending weekend."
The upshot? Those retailers cut prices even though they hadn't originally planned to.
"Those retailers ended up losing margin as they typically went for a percentage cut across numerous or even all lines, rather than having planned promotions that they could have organised with the help of their suppliers," O'Brien says.
Winners and losers of Black Friday 2014
Not everybody was hurt, though. Some firms used Black Friday as cover. "The weather meant that clothing retailers had a lot of stock left to shift, so they used the cover of Black Friday to mark down stock."
And others had deals in place with their suppliers to deliver apparent bargains, with stock bought in especially for Black Friday.
You can see the Black Friday winners and losers in ComScore's UK figures for November 2014. The big winners were mainly large electrical, digital and entertainment retailers, with Amazon, Argos and Tesco at numbers 1, 2 and 3 respectively.
In America, meanwhile, we're seeing an interesting shift: the Black Friday money is moving to Thanksgiving instead.
According to IBM, Black Friday sales were 63.5% higher than Thanksgiving Day sales - but last year they were 70%. For US consumers, Black Friday is increasingly becoming a shopping weekend that starts on Thanksgiving and ends on Cyber Monday
Indeed, Cyber Monday is bigger than them all for US customers - last year's Cyber Monday was the US's biggest online shopping day ever.
Where does all the money come from?
One of the most interesting questions about Black Friday is whether it created new demand or just brought forward people's Christmas shopping by a few weeks.
The answer appears to be the latter - Verdict Retail found "no evidence that it stimulated demand" - and some retailers' panicky discounting was tantamount to shooting themselves in the foot.
Essentially, the Black Friday frenzy moved a lot of stock, but that stock was less profitable than usual.
AO.com founder and chief executive John Roberts used the firm's annual report to note that Black Friday "did not produce incremental sales, but condensed sales into a shorter time period", while GAME issued a profits warning because its heavy discounting on games and consoles had a negative effect on its bottom line.
In the US, IBM reported that while overall sales were up, the average order value was down across both Black Friday and Thanksgiving.
That might explain why John Lewis boss Andy Street has poured cold water on the idea of Black Friday, telling the BBC that "We've got to ask if it's right to concentrate trade so much in that one period… I don't think we can put the genie back in the bottle but do we need to stoke that fire any more? I personally hope not."
Street predicts that Black Friday 2015 will still see lots of deals around electronics and computing, but says he hopes that fashion brands and other kinds of retail would be "more confident holding their price."
As Patrick O'Brien points out, though, John Lewis's "never knowingly undersold" guarantee means that if rivals go crazy on Black Friday 2015, "it cannot opt out!"
Rubbish for retailers, excellent for everyone else
If you take a step back, Black Friday should really be called Foolish Friday. Slashing profit margins during the busiest shopping period of the year for no good reason doesn't make much sense, not least because it gives retailers less room to manoeuvre if sales closer to Christmas need some extra oomph.
But as John Lewis's Andy Street said, the genie's out of the bottle - so if retailers don't take part, they'll see their rivals get all the business.
And that's why Black Friday 2015 is likely to be another step up in terms hype and excitement.
Expect even more commercials leading up to Black Friday, bigger headline promotions and even more chaos.
"Black Friday is here to stay," Patrick O'Brien says, "but it will be a lot different in 2015. Retailers are planning for it."
You can be sure that retailers are already talking to their suppliers about the kinds of promotions they can support, and that the deals we see this year will be what Verdict describes as "geared toward gaining footfall and upsetting to full price goods rather than across the board percentage discounts."
What deals can we expect this year?
It's impossible to know for sure which products will receive the biggest discounts this year, but we can certainly make some predictions based on what we saw in 2014.
One of the hottest products on Black Friday last year was the iPad mini and that will likely be the case again in 2015. In fact we'll likely see some highly attractive deals on many Apple products, partly because they're so popular but also because there is room for manoeuvre in their prices.
Last year in the US we saw the Macbook Pro and 21.5-inch iMacs selling for $900 a pop, with Macbook Airs available for $780. In the UK the iPad mini was going for under £150 practically everywhere.
It's worth retailers offering us these headline products with big discounts because they expect that we'll buy more than one item once we're on their site.
It's a safe bet also that Black Friday 2015 will see the cheapest-ever PS4 and Xbox One deals as well as some irresistible bundles. If you fancy buying your kids a console this Christmas, wait until November 27.
We saw many amazing deals on TVs last year so if you're interested in buying a 4K TV in time for Christmas, again you'd be wise to wait for the Black Friday deals madness to begin.
Last year in the we also saw amazing soundbar deals, DualShock 4 game controllers for under half price, Google Chromecast for under $23/£18, huge savings on iPhones, amazing deals on cameras of all shapes and sizes from all the biggest brands, headphones, fitness bands, speakers.
You get the picture. Expect more of the same...
This year Black Friday falls on November 27th
Quick links US:
Amazon.com - Black Friday homepage
Best Buy - Black Friday 2015 deals
Wallmart - Black Friday homepage
Target - Black Friday landing page
AT&T - Special Offers homepage
Verizon - Black Friday deals
Toys 'R' Us - Black Friday made easy
Gamestop - Black Friday deals
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