All Posts by Linda Cauthen

The Best Black Friday Deals from Amazon, Kohl’s Target and Walmart

Black Friday is right around the corner and the deals have already started. Here are some of the best sales and lowest prices to look for this week, right now and into the weekend.

Walmart

Black Friday has already started at Walmart, where a pair of terrific TV deals are already available. A Samsung 55” FHD Smart LED TV is discounted a whopping $752 to just $447.99, an amazing price for a name brand smart TV this size. Another super Black Friday deal from Walmart is the Samsung 32” HD Smart LED TV for a rock-bottom $158. This is also a super deal on a smart TV just right for a bedroom.

Coming up for official Black Friday is a Doorbuster Deal on a 39” Element Smart TV for $125. Of course, there will be a limited supply so your chances of actually getting this one aren’t that great but Walmart has dozens of other TVs so you still might get lucky. The other Black Friday doorbuster is a 55” Sharp 4K Smart TV for $298.

Once you get a new TV, you’ll want some goodies to go with it and Walmart will have select DVDs for under $2 and Blu-rays for under $6.

Walmart also has a good deal on the Apple iPad, offering a 32GB fifth gen model marked down from $329 to $249.

Kohl’s

Kohl’s may not be the first place you think of when you’re shopping for gaming consoles, but that’s where you’ll find one of the better deals on an Xbox. Kohl’s is selling the Xbox One S 500GB for $189.99, which is pretty standard, but this chain is sweetening the deal with $45 in Kohl’s Cash that can be used between November 26 and December 6. That Kohl’s Cash could come in handy when you’re doing your holiday shopping, so we have to rate this as the best deal for far on the Xbox One S.

Kohl’s also has a great deal on a Samsung 55” 4K Smart TV for $499.99 plus $150 in Kohl’s cash.

Kohl’s has a couple of sweet deals on Apple Watches. Get $90 in Kohl’s Cash when you buy the 38mm GPS Apple Watch Series 3 in gold with the Pink Sand Sport Band for $329 and $75 in Kohl’s Cash with the purchase of a 38mm Space Gray Apple Watch Series 1 with Black Sport Band for $249. Since deals on Apple products aren’t that easy to find, this is a deal worth checking out. If you prefer a fitness band, Kohl’s has the FitBit Charge 2 or Alta HR for $99 each.

Amazon

Some of the best Black Friday deals from Amazon are already live so you can save a bundle on Kindles. The original Kindle is discounted $30 to just $49.99 and this is a great time to pick one up since it will be compatible with the audiobooks service Audible that will launch in the next few months. Also getting a $30 discount is the Kindle Paperwhite, down to $89.99 from $119.99.

Amazon has some cool Black Friday deals on Kindle bundles that will make great gifts. The Kindle for Kids Bundle, which includes the KIndle, a cover and a two-year replacement guarantee, is originally priced at $124.98 but is currently discounted $54.99 to just $69.99. The Kindle Essentials Bundle with basic Kindle, Amazon cover for Kindle and 5W power adaptor is $99.97, a discount of $30. The Kindle Paperwhite Essentials Bundle that includes a Kindle Paperwhite, Amazon leather cover for Kindle and 5W power adaptor is discounted $40 from a regular price of $179.97 to $139.97.

If you don’t need a bundle, Amazon also has the Fire tablets on sale. The Fire 7 Kids Edition tab is discounted to $69.99 from $99.99, The Fire HD 8 Kids Edition is marked down from $129.99 to $89.99 and the Fire HD 10 tablet from $149.99 to $99.99.

All of these deals are available online now until November 28 at 2:59 am ET.

Have an avid Game of Thrones fan on your holiday shopping list? The long-awaited Game of Thrones seasons 1-7 is coming out on December 12 for $139.99 but right now there are several hot GOT deals on Amazon for Black Friday. Game of Thrones: S7 Conquest & Rebellion will be on sale for $39.99, Game of Thrones: The Complete Seasons 1-6 will be priced at $69.99.

Toys R Us

Toy R Us is the kind of place that brings out the kid in all of us, a place where adults can pretend they’re just shopping for the little ones while being tempted by the deals in games and other stuff that lets grownups pretend to be kids again. Whatever your reason for venturing into Toys R Us, you can’t ignore the chain’s impressive collection of Doorbuster Deals like 50% off a long list of toys including the Barbie Pink Passport 3-Story Townhouse originally selling for $119.99, on sale for $59.99 and Barbie Career Fashion Dolls Set that sell for $49.99, on sale for just $24.99.

Other half-off deals are the NERF N-Strike Elite Hail-Fire Blaster marked down from $39.99 to $19.99, Peppa Pig’s Red Car Playset with 2 Exclusive Figures reduced from $19.99 to $9.99, Baby Alive Twinkles N’ Tinkles Doll Set in Brunette regularly priced at $29.99, on sale for $14.99, Fisher-Price Think & Learn Code-a-Pillar originally  selling for $49.99 on sale for $24.99 and the Lite Brite Retro Deluxe Set that usually sells for $39.99 down to $19.99.

There are tons of board games for $5 each like Kids Classic Chutes & Ladders, Disney Matching, Candy Land Game, Disney Pixar Finding Dory Operation Game, Olaf’s in Trouble Game and Don’t Break the Ice: Disney Frozen Edition Game.

Also worth a look are the 40% off Doorbusters on regular-priced Game Rugs originally selling for $29.99, all Go Grippers Toys, select LEGO Construction Sets including Frozen, Batman, and Star Wars and PJ Masks Rev-N-Rumblers Track Play Set.

Look for BOGO deals galore on all Animal Planet buckets, all Fidget Spinners and Cubes, all Grossery Gang and Battleclaw collectibles and select DVDs.

These deals are good from 5 pm to midnight on Thanksgiving.

Target

Target has some pretty impressive deals on tablets like $120 off the iPad Pro, Black Friday priced at $529.00. The 32GB iPad will be $249.99, a discount of $80. Get $100 off the Samsung Galaxy Tab A, going for $179.99 with a $20 Target gift card. Target is matching Amazon’s super low price on the Amazon Fire Tablet 7 by selling it for $29.99, a discount of $20. The Fire Tablet HD 10 will be $50 off, going for $99.99. Get $30 off the Amazon Fire Kids Edition 7, selling for $69.99 and $40 off the Fire Kids Edition 8, discounted to $89.99.

Look for more hot deals as Black Friday gets closer! The bargains will keep coming through Cyber Monday, November 27.

Early Black Friday Deals to Grab Right Now!

Black Friday is officially a few days away but the deals have already started! Here are some Black Friday sales you can check out right now or this week, with a slew of deals on the newest (and most expensive) Samsung smartphones.

Microsoft

Microsoft may have a rather stodgy image but the corporate giant has some pretty cool stuff at Black Friday prices on its website. Right now, MS is offering $150 discounts on a pair of hot new smartphones. Both are unlocked so you can use them on the carrier of your choice, providing it’s compatible so check this out before you buy. The Samsung Galaxy S8 regularly selling for $574.99 is discounted to $424.99 while the $824.99 Samsung Galaxy S8+ is going for $674.99.

These are great prices considering that you’re not locked into a carrier contract and can use the phone on a lower cost service like Consumer Cellular and be free to make changes in your plan whenever you please. If you’re looking to get a top-of-the-line smartphone and keep it for more than two years, buying a non-subsidized phone up front and choosing a cheaper carrier can be cost-effective in the long run.

Microsoft has more Black Friday deals that go live on Thursday, November 23, so you can check these out before sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner. Get $329 off the Surface Pro tablet (Intel Core i5/256GB SSD) bundled with black cover. This tab currently sells for $1,299 alone but the bundle is not currently available on the site. Hopefully they will have more stock by Thursday!

Get $100 of the Harman Kardon Invoke smart speaker with Cortana. This speaker is currently selling for $199.99 in graphite or pearl silver. There are less expensive smart speakers out there but this one comes with cool features like 360-degree sound, voice-activated music, hands-free calls with Skype and free Skype calling from the US to Canada and Mexico.

Microsoft will be discounting the Fitbit Charge 2 fitness band by $50. This fitness device sells for $179.99 just about everywhere but you should find lots of lower prices this Black Friday.

The Alcatel Idol 4S Windows Phone will be marked down from $199 to $169. This phone originally sold for $470 and has impressive specs like a 5.5” AMOLED display. 21MP low light camera. 64GB storage and VR goggle package. It’s unlocked and compatible with GSM carriers so you can take it to a budget carrier for lower monthly bills. On the negative side, it runs Windows 10 and Windows phones haven’t gotten a lot of love from consumers so their future is uncertain. Still, if you don’t mind Windows and need a new phone ASAP, $169 is a good price for a 5.5” smartphone.

Happy Plugs Earbud Plus with 3.5mm jack and built-in microphone for calls will be marked down from $29.99 to $19.99. These stylish in-ear headphones come in a variety of colors.

The Microsoft Store offers free shipping on all orders in the US and free returns within 30 days.

Sprint

A couple of days ago we challenged AT&T and Sprint to match T-Mobile’s BOGO deals on smartphones and Sprint has responded with half-off lease deals on just about every Android phone worth buying this year.

For Black Friday, Sprint will be offering 50% off lease payments for the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Samsung Galaxy Note 8, plus a half-off lease on the Moto Z2 Force.

These deals require you to join Sprint’s leasing program Sprint Flex, which allows customers to pay a monthly fee for the use of a new smartphone. That means you will never actually own the phone and can’t take it to a cheaper carrier after it’s paid for. It also means that you have to give it back if you miss a payment, leave Sprint or upgrade to a new phone. Still, this is a pretty good deal if you want to have the latest top-of-the-line smartphone without paying hundreds of dollars up front. Best of all, if you take advantage of this deal, you’ll be eligible for Sprint’s Galaxy Forever program, which allows you to upgrade to an even newer device every year without an extra charge.

This Sprint deal includes the Samsung Galaxy S8 for $15.62 per month, Samsung Galaxy S8+ for $17.71 per month, Samsung Galaxy Note 8 for $20 per month and Samsung Galaxy S8 Active for $17.71 per month.

For the smartphone user who always wants the newest and the hottest, this is a very good deal.

Samsung

Speaking of Samsung, the Android smartphone leader has not one but two Black Friday sales to check out on its site. The first is going on right now, while the official Black Friday sale kicks off on Thanksgiving.

The Samsung online store is currently offering up to $300 off the price of a brand new Galaxy Note 8 when you trade in your old phone. Obviously, the newer and pricier the old phone, the higher your discount. If you’ve been lusting after the Note 8 and have a recent smartphone you’d like to trade in, this is a good chance to upgrade without paying full price.

If you’re planning to set up a home theater in your living room or man cave, you can find sweet deals right now at Samsung.com. The Samsung 65” MU6290 4K UHD TV is on sale for $1,099, which is pretty good for a name-brand TV this size. Add the Samsung HW-K850 soundbar with Dolby Atmos support for $799 and you’ll have a killer home theater or live-in sports bar for under $2,000. Prices are good through Wednesday and shipping is free.

There are more deals coming up starting Thursday including discounts on new QLED TVs. Items to look for include up to $300 off the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 with trade-in, the Samsung Chromebook PLus for $349, the Samsung Chromebook Pro for $449, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 9.7 for $479, the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier for $279 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8” 16GB for $129.

Now for those TVs. A Samsung 65” 4K UHD TV will be on sale for $849, a 55” model for $429 and a 49” model for $429. See Samsung.com for details.

Target

Want a shiny new Samsung smartphone but don’t have an old phone worth trading in? At Target you can get a $300 in-store gift card with your purchase of a Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+ or Samsung Galaxy Note 8. You’re sure to find lots of things on sale that you can use that gift card for!

Walmart

If the latest Samsung smartphone just isn’t in your budget this year, Walmart is cutting $200 off the price of the Galaxy S7 on Straight Talk Wireless from $499 to $299. If you don’t want to be locked into an expensive contract with one of the major carriers, this Black Friday deal lets you get a newish smartphone for a great price with (almost) no strings.

So is it better to buy now or wait until later in the week? If you see a really super duper deal on one of the items on your wish list, why not grab it while you can?

 

Gaming Deals for Black Friday

The cold, hard truth about Black Friday deals on games and gaming is that practically every retailer is selling the top name consoles for about the same price. The best deals are on bundles – providing you’re getting the bundle you want. There are also discounts to be found on games and accessories but so far, nothing really exciting. Here are a few of the better current deals for gamers.

Amazon

As usual, the number-one online retailer has plenty to offer gamers, like a 1TB PS4 Slim and PSVR bundle discounted $150 to $550 without Prime. This is pretty sweet deal because it includes a PlayStation 4 Slim 1 TB console, a matching DualShock 4 Wireless Controller, a PlayStation VR headset, and a PlayStation camera. Throw in a few of your favorite games and you have just about everything a gamer needs to totally avoid the family this holiday season.

For fans of Xbox, select Xbox One S bundles come with a free copy of Middle Earth: Shadow of War, Call of Duty: WWII or Assassin’s Creed Origins. One of the better deals is already live at Amazon – the Xbox One S 500GB with Battlefield 1 for just $200.

The best deals are on accessories, like $110 for a KrBn Typewriter mechanical keyboard for Pro PC, a JAR-OWL A1 gaming mouse for $12 and Ferrino XL gaming chairs for $300 each.

If you’re looking for a headset that works with PS4, Xbox One or PC, Amazon has the SADES R3 headset for just $23.

Walmart

Fans of PS4 or Xbox One gaming will find plenty of reasons to head over to the local Walmart on Thanksgiving night or Friday morning to check out all the Black Friday deals on consoles and accessories. While the prices on hardware are pretty standard, PS4 1TB for $199, Xbox One S 500GB $189, Nintendo Switch for $299, there are tons of bundles and accessories.

Like most retailers, Walmart will have the DualShock 4 PS4 controllers, including their exclusive Crystal-Blue color, at the discounted price of $39. Unless you must have the Crystal Blue controller, this isn’t that big a deal since just about every major retailer we’ve seen this season has the same product for just about the same price. Walmart has Xbox One controllers, including some special editions, for the same price. The PSVR Gran Turismo Sport bundle will be $299, which is pretty standard for this item. The Turtle Beach Recon 50P wired headset will be $25 and third-party wired Switch controllers for $17 each.

Walmart will be carrying the new  limited edition Nintendo Zelda: Ocarina of Time 2S bundle which is exclusive to certain retailers.

Walmart will have a huge selection of games for PS4, Xbox One or Nintendo including the new Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Explorer’s Edition for $49 and Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 for $19, both for Switch. The brand new Call of Duty:WWII will be $43 while many other popular games will be priced at $19 or $29 each.

Target

Target is not especially known for its gaming deals but there are a few Black Friday items worth checking out. The PS4 1TB is $200, like at most other sellers, but Target is kicking in a bonus $25 gift card with the Xbox One S 500GB for $190. Be aware that Target has listed these as “doorbusters” in their ad, claiming that stock is limited so these items may not last long. Target is also stocking the limited edition green Zelda 2DS.

The most notable Target Black Friday deal on accessories is the PlayStation VR headset for $200. This deadset is usually part of a bundle and you do need the PS4 camera to use it, but if you’ve been looking for a TV headset to add to the PS4 system you already have, this could be the cheaper alternative to spending over $300 for a bundle.

Target will have PS4 DualShock 4 and Xbox One controllers for $40 each, which is not so impressive since we’re seeing them for a few dollars less elsewhere. Select Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus memberships will be $10 off. Popular games will be $15 to $45 each.

Best Buy

While Best Buy has the same consoles at the same prices as rival retailers, the chain does have a couple of deals on bundles that stand out from the competition. The Madden 18 Xbox One S 500 GB bundle is going for $230 with a free Xbox controller as a bonus. The same bundle with Forza Horizon 3 instead of Madden 18 is also $230 with a free controller.

Best Buy also has the hottest accessories but at the standard prices. The PSVR Gran Turismo bundle is $300, PS4 DualShock 4 controllers will be $40, including Best Buy’s exclusive Red Crystal version, and Xbox controllers will also be $40 except for special editions. The Turtle Beach XO Three wired headsets for Xbox One, PS4, and PC and Turtle Beach Recon 150 will be $40 each.

Best Buy has Doorbuster Deals on some of the currently best-selling games including Call of Duty: WWII for $40 and Destiny 2 for $30. Other games are $20 to $35 each.

Toys R Us

The Black Friday deals at Toys R Us are pretty much the same as you’ll find at other retail chains. The PS4 1TB is $200 and the Xbox One S 500GB is $190 with no bonus gift cards or bundled extras. Controllers and headsets are $40 each, like everywhere else. The prices on games are about the same as at Walmart or Target. All in all, there’s not much reason for gamers to shop at Toys R Us on Black Friday unless they’re also shopping for the kids.

GameStop

For serious gamers, or serious shoppers, GameStop has to be your go-to place for the best deals on all thing gaming. While the chain has played it coy about releasing an official Black Friday ad, details have leaked and they’re pretty cool.

GameStop has the best PS4 deal so far for Black Friday 2017: a PS4 Pro 1TB 4K-capable console for just $350. The chain has the standard PS4 1TB console for $200, which is pretty much what it’s going for everywhere else, but GameStop is kicking in a $50 gift card. Unfortunately, there’s no similar deal on the Xbox One 500GB, which is $190 at GameStop, just like everywhere else. On the plus side, all Xbox One S 1TB systems are $50 off with the Middle Earth: Shadow of War bundle selling for just $300. The Nintendo Switch will be the usual $300.

It’s expected that GameStop will be discounting a variety of accessories like the chain’s exclusive red Xbox One Controller going for $55 and Xbox Live Gold memberships for three or six months, $10 off. Look for substantial discounts on Razer PC accessories like the DeathAdder Elite Mouse for $50 and the BlackWidow Chroma V2 keyboard for $130. The PS VR Gran Turismo Sport bundle will be on sale for $300 with the standard PSVR headset selling for $200. The PS4 Gold wireless headset will be going for $65 with PS4 DualShock 4 controllers marked $38 each. A refurbished PS4 Recon 600 wired headset will be just $30 and a HyperX Cloud Core Pro wired headset for $50. A PS4 T150 limited edition wheel will sell for $220 and aPS4/PS3 T80 racing wheel for $90. The PS4 DualShock 4 charging station will be just $15.

Of course there will be games galore, starting at just $10. GameStop is also the place to go for used and refurbished hardware, games and accessories.

If you’re serious about scoring the lowest prices on gaming gear this Black Friday, keep checking back with Amazon and GameStop as both are expected to add last-minute limited deals over the next few days.

 

What to Buy (and Not to Buy) on Black Friday

Black Friday shopping is not for the faint of heart! Even though the insanity is spread out over about ten days from this weekend to Cyber Monday, it’s still easy to get caught up in the frenzy and make less than prudent decisions about what to buy. Since both your time and your money are limited, it pays to plan and decide ahead of time what you’re looking for and how much money you want to spend.

Every Black Friday there are the  hottest, most desirable, most sought after products but that doesn’t not mean that that’s where you will find the best deals. Here are some tips of which products to buy and not to buy this Black Friday.

Electronics – Maybe

For the last few years, electronics have been the best sellers for Black Friday, probably because grownups love toys, too! Unfortunately, the attention concentrated on TVs, smartphones and other devices means that there are some bogus deals that you should pass up in favor of less glamorous but more practical items that are better values.

TVs – Be Careful

Every major chain has tons of deals on TVs, especially big, big super smart TVs but buyer beware! Not every sale item is really a good deal. Some of those sets that sound great on paper aren’t all they seem. Retailers have this nasty habit of bringing in what they call “special purchases” for big sales but these purchases may not be that special. These can be inferior products that aren’t worth the price you pay for them. To make sure the TV, laptop or other device that you buy is of high quality, do your research. Get the model number and check it out. Make sure the item you’re buying is regular stock and backed by the manufacturer.

There are pros and cons to buying a new TV on Black Friday. The pros include having a shiny new TV with all the bells and whistles in time for holiday movies, college bowl games and the Super Bowl. Also, it makes a great gift for the whole family. The biggest con is that the TV you buy in November will very soon become “last year’s model.” In January, most of the world’s biggest makers of TVs and other tech products will gather at the Consumer Electronics Show to unveil their latest wares. Soon after, those new 2018 models will hit stores and the 2017 versions will be on sale at clearance prices. If you really, really want a new TV, go for it but be aware that you may be able to get the same set for less after the first of the year.

Laptops – Probably Not

A laptop should not be an impulse purchase! You should do research to find the ideal laptop for your needs, especially if you’ll be using it for work. Any computer must be considered a major investment, so you’ll be spending some serious money. July and September are better times to get the lowest price on a high-end laptop. OTOH, if you’re looking for a supercheap laptop for casual use like Facebook and email, that under-$200 Chromebook from Walmart should work just fine.

Smartphones – Maybe

Unless you find a better deal than T-Mobile’s BOGO deal on the currently hottest smartphones, you may be better off waiting. Again, CES is coming in January, meaning that most tech giants that aren’t Apple will be introducing new models, making the ones out now no longer the latest thing. Look for good buys on 2017 smartphones from Samsung and LG in the first quarter of 2018.

Gaming – Maybe

If there’s someone on your list that craves a new gaming console from PS4, Xbox or Nintendo this year, you’re going to find that most retailers are selling them for about the same price. However a few are tossing in gift cards or other bonus goodies, so you might as well go for the extras. Look for decent deals on accessories like controllers and VR headsets. Amazon and GameStop can be counted on for sales on games.

Tablets – Spend a Little More

There are cheap Android tablets all over the place for Black Friday, even in drugstores, but this is one bargain that you should probably pass up. Shoppers who bought ultra cheap no-name tabs have found that they just didn’t deliver much bang for the buck so you are probably better off spending a little more to get a name brand tablet that will be backed up by the manufacturer. With Amazon’s Fire tabs starting at $29.99 for Black Friday, the only excuse for buying a no-name Android tablet is that it’s for your kid who will break it anyway.

Small Kitchen Appliances – Good Bets

If there’s anything you need or just want for the kitchen, Black Friday is the time to go for it. Retailers are offering name brand blenders, toasters and coffeemakers at super low prices with mail-in rebates. Plus, some of the priciest appliances like Keurig coffeemakers and KitchenAid stand mixers are on sale, some at the lowest prices of the year. Black Friday is a great time to upgrade your kitchen without blowing the bank.

Sheets and Towels

Surprisingly, these items for the home are seeing some significant discounts for Black Friday so if you want to fix up your home for holiday guests, you can find some good deals. Or you can wait until January for “White Sales.”

Holiday Decorations – Maybe

If you’re planning to buy the tree and start decorating the house on the day after Thanksgiving, then you should be looking for low prices on holiday decor. If you’ll be doing it all in a couple of weeks, you can find everything you need at lower prices as Christmas draws closer. For rock bottom prices on all things holiday, shop on December 26 and store it all until next year. Hopefully, you have adequate storage space and won’t forget where you put the stuff before Thanksgiving 2018.

Apparel – Shop Carefully

In most cases, buying clothing and accessories over Black Friday week is a pretty good deal. You get decent prices on fall and winter apparel items while you still have plenty of time to wear them. On the other hand, you will likely find lower prices later, like after Christmas, as retailers clear out the season’s leftover stock to make room for new styles. That can mean rock bottom prices on even designer merchandise but you may not find what you want in what’s left.

If the kids need new winter coats, it’s a good idea to pick them up at Black Friday sales. Your selection will depend on which sizes and styles remain so if your wear a common size, you’re more likely to score. The post-holiday clearance sales are definitely worth a look because that’s where you may get lucky and find the most expensive clothes and accessories at affordable prices!

Fitness Equipment – Nope

You’re much more likely to find good deals on fitness equipment after the first of the year, when people will have made New Year’s resolutions to get into shape and retailers will be taking advantage.

Jewelry – Nope

Except for small items that make good gifts and costume pieces to accent your new fall clothes, jewelry sales are pretty much a waste of your time on Black Friday. You’ll find lower prices after the first of the year.

Mattresses – Nope

The big sales will be coming in January.

Obviously if your TV just conked out or your laptop is totally outdated, Black Friday is a good time to get a replacement. Just don’t get caught up in the excitement and max out your credit cards or make purchases that you will regret later.

Black Friday Starts Now!

Black Friday may officially be a week away but some retailers are starting the fun early. Here are some deals that are going live this weekend. Why wait when you can get your shopping started now and save big bucks!

T-Mobile BOGO on Smartphones

Last week I was lamenting the lack of hot Black Friday buys on smartphones but now T-Mobile is offering a deal too hot to pass up. When you buy one of the newest, fastest, most expensive smartphones from T-Mobile, you can get another one free! No, the iPhone X is not included but many of the currently most desirable phones are. The list includes iPhone 8, iPhone 7, iPhone 7+, Samsung Galaxy 8, Samsung Galaxy 8+, Samsung Galaxy Note 8, Samsung Galaxy 8 Active, LG G6, LG V30 and LG V30+.

If you’ve already priced any of these phones, you know they don’t come cheap. The iPhone 8 is list priced at around $800 and the Galaxy Note 8 is about $950, almost as expensive as the iPhone X. If you want the iPhone 8+, you will have to pony up an extra $100 but this is still a super deal on the year’s smartest smartphones.

This deal will be available for a limited time so if you’re interested, head over to your local T-Mobile store or t-mobile.com this weekend. Unlike some smartphone deals that are good only for new customers, this one is for existing customers, too, provided they add a new line of service and pay for both phones using T-Mobile’s Equipment Installment Plan.

It will be interesting to see if rivals AT&T and Verizon try to match this deal but for now, T-Mobile has the best smartphone deal of Black Friday 2017.

Bose Deals on Amazon

Amazon has already promised us that the Black Friday action would start early and Bose is kicking things off with some killer deals on audio devices. If you’ve been planning to pick up some headphones as gifts or add some wireless speakers to that new TV, these Bose deals are live at Amazon right now!

Bose SoundSport in-ear headphones regularly selling for $99 are now $49 and Bose SoundTrue Ultra in-ear headphones are discounted from $129 to $79. The deals are even sweeter on the Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones, now just $179, a $120 discount from the list price of $299, and the Bose Soundlink around-ear wireless headphones II which have been discounted from $279 to $199.

Amazon also has cool deals on wireless speakers including the Bose Solo 15 Series II TV Sound System usually selling for $329, now $299, and the Bose SoundTouch 30 Series III Wireless Speaker, discounted $50 from $499 to $449.

There are plenty of Black Friday sales on headphones, earbuds, wireless speakers and other audio accessories this year, but Bose is an old and trusted name in sound, so these deals are definitely worth checking out ASAP. At these prices they won’t last long.

$200 Off TCL Roku TV

Some smart TVs are smarter than others but the Roku TVs just may be the smartest of the bunch. Not only are these sets ideal for streaming, they work just as well with cable or an antenna. Plus, Roku offers an ever-growing list of channels to choose from, many of them free. TCL is the top maker of Roku TVs and their sets have been highly rated for quality. That’s why a $200 discount on a 55” TCL Roku TV is a really big deal!

Right now at Amazon, you can get the TCL 55S405 55-inch Roku 4K TV list-priced at $599.99 for just $399.99. Why wait for official Black Friday when you can pick up this hot 2017 model smart TV right now and have it in time to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade?

Take a Third Off Beats X Headphones

Beats X Wireless in-ear headphones usually sell for $150 but right now you can pick up a pair at Amazon for just $99.99 – one third off. That’s a cool deal on name brand earphones that work with your iPhone to let you take calls, control your music and activate Siri via Remote Talk. These earbuds have up to 8 hours of battery life and can recharge in a flash with Fast Fuel. You can find lower prices on no-name earbuds all over this Black Friday but it will be hard to beat this deal on the top brand in headphone technology.

Black Friday TV Deals Start Today at Sam’s Club

Membership-only chain Sam’s Club is getting in on the Black Friday action early by launching their first batch of TV deals at 12.01 am ET on Friday morning, November 17, starting with a really big deal on a really big TV..

The 75” Vizio E75-E1 4K UHD XLD Smartcast TV is discounted a whopping $420 to $1,478. If you’ve been pricing supersize smart TVs, you can see that this is a sweet deal. Just make sure you actually have a wall big enough to hold a TV this size and all the gear necessary to mount it.

If that one is a little bit too big, Sam’s Club also has a 65” Samsung Curved UN65MU650D 4K UHD Smart TV for $978 with a free $50 gift card to sweeten the deal. A 55” Vizio M55-E0 4K UHD XHDR Plus Smartcast TV is $588 and a 55” Samsung UN55MU6290 4K UHD Smart TV is just $498 plus there’s a $50 gift card thrown in.

This six-day event from Sam’s Club also includes members-only deals on laptops, soundbars and more popular items for Black Friday 2017. Check out the action at samsclub.com and look for a fresh batch of deals next week.

Save $20 on Fire TV Stick at Amazon

All the buzz seems to be about smart TVs this season but there are still plenty of folks out there that still love their non-smart sets and aren’t ready to trade them in. Fortunately, it’s not difficult or expensive to add streaming ability to your old TV with a device like a Roku, Fire or Chromecast. Right now you can smarten up your set by buying the Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote plus Echo Dot combo for just $69.98 on Amazon.

Alexa gives you hands-free control of the Fire TV Stick so you can play your favorite shows and movies from the networks or streaming services plus the Echo Dot lets you talk to your TV from across the room. This dynamic duo can be yours for just $69.99 right now, a saving of $20 over the cost of purchasing the two separately.

Get $40 Off the Roku Premiere

If you’d rather upgrade your TV experience with a device from Roku, Amazon has a sweet deal on the Roku Premiere+, the brand’s top of the line streaming media player. Built to work with 4K TVs, the Roku Premiere+ can help you get the most from your set by streaming content at 60 frames per second with four times the resolution of 1080p. Right now, you can pick up a Roku Premiere+ HD and 4K UHD streaming media player for just $47, a discount of $40.

Get $92 Off RCA Galileo Pro 2-in-1 Tablet

If you love the convenience of a tablet but hate typing on one, this 2-in-1 tablet is just what you need and the price is hard to beat. Walmart has knocked a whopping $92 off the price of the RCA Galileo Pro 11.5” 2-in-1 tablet with detachable keyboard. This nifty little tab weighs less than two pounds but packs a 1.3 GHz quad-core processor and 32GB of storage. It’s powered by Android Marshmallow and has a bright touchscreen. Act fast and you can get all this for just $87.99 right now at Walmart.

Black Friday seems to kick off earlier every year and there’s nothing wrong with that! Some savvy shoppers can probably finish up all their Black Friday bargain hunting before Thanksgiving and spend the rest of the weekend relaxing!

What’s Happening at Sears and Kmart for Black Friday

The beleaguered Sears department store chain needs a Christmas miracle to stay in business next year but from the looks of their Black Friday ad and that of sister chain Kmart, they won’t be getting one. Their uninspiring ads totally fail at their one task of making Black Friday shoppers flock to their stores.

The cover of Sears’ Black Friday ad circular promises “Blowout! 10-50% off everything!” but the fine print adds the phrase “promotional items.” That means sale prices on stuff we just brought in so you can’t compare our new prices to the old ones. The Black Friday Doorbusters start at 6 pm on Thursday and are good until 2 pm Friday, November 24 or while quantities last.

The one place where Sears shines is appliances and there are Doorbuster Deals on a Kenmore refrigerator and washer/dryer combo. Unfortunately, these deals aren’t any more exciting than the ones Sears offers on appliances for every holiday sale, all year long. Sears offers “up to 40%” off” appliances through November 25, but again, this is pretty common for them.

Other Doorbusters offer all Die Hard industrial boots regularly priced at $105 to $110 for $49.99 a pair. Roebuck and Co. Jeans for him and her list priced at $39 are just $9 a pair, $8 for the kids’ jeans. Another Doorbuster Deal is a 320-piece Craftsman tool kit discounted $150 to $149.99. A Craftsman electric snow thrower is discounted $300 to $399.99.

This would be an OK cover for a Labor Day ad but for Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the whole year, this is pathetic. Your cover is where you hit shoppers with your best shot, your hottest deals, your most tempting merchandise. Other chains have sexy tech items. Sears has work boots and a tool kit. Things don’t get any better on the inside.

Apparel

After seven pages of appliances with a few items of apparel tossed in, we come to tools, pages and pages of tools because everybody knows that claw hammers are going to be hot Black Friday items this year. 12 pages in we finally come to ladies’ apparel but it’s the usual Sears branded stuff that’s on sale all year long. The kids outerwear and sleepwear at 60% off looks pretty promising but not worth a special trip to Sears.

Sears matches the prices of other department store chains on name brand denim for men with Lee jeans going for $24.99 and Levi’s for $35.99. Team sports merchandise for the family originally selling for $6 to $100 is 40% off. Outerwear for him regularly priced at $50 to $180 is 60% off.

Holiday decor

Sears has pre-lit Balsam Fir Christmas trees regularly selling for $139.99 for $39.99, a decent price for a 7’ artificial tree. Other trees, lights and ornaments are 50% off.

Kitchen Appliances

On page 21 of the 43-page flyer, things finally get a little bit interesting, with Doorbuster Deals on small appliances. Sears has the KitchenAid 5-qt stand mixer for $199.99, but so does everybody else. Sears does have your choice of a Hamilton Beach Pro Fryer, Presto 16” electric skillet, Hamilton Beach 8-cup food processor or Magic Bullet Personal Blender for $29.99 each. After one promising page of kitchen gadgets, you have to wade through more pages of home appliances and mattresses before you finally get to electronics on page 32, but aside from the Skullcandy Bluetooth headphones for $24.99, there’s nothing very interesting. After more pages of fitness equipment and bedding, you find shoes for the family up to 40% off, more work boots, tires and yet more tools.

This boring Black Friday ad is a good example of why Sears is a failing company with stores closing all over the country. They pack a 43-page flyer with run-of-the-mill merchandise that customers can see all year long rather than wowing potential shoppers with exciting new items and bargains that compete with those of their rivals.

The current state of Sears is especially sad since in days of yore before we ever heard of Walmart, Sears owned Christmas! Every November, kids would eagerly wait for the arrival of the Sears holiday catalog, dubbed “The Wish Book” and breathlessly peruse the pages and pages of toys, decorations and other items to make the holidays memorable. Back in the 1980s, Sears officially named their holiday catalog “The Wish Book” but with the rise of online shopping,their  print catalogs fell by the wayside.

This year, Sears actually does have a “Wish Book” online but it’s heavy on the usual merchandise and light on the toys. Maybe if Sears could take a hint from Toys R Us and bring back the catalog packed with toys for kids of all ages, they wouldn’t be so likely to go out of business in 2018.

Kmart Black Friday

This year’s Kmart Black Friday ad flyer is a skinny five pages, indicating that this may be a blue Christmas for Sears’ sister store, too. At least Kmart’s Black Friday starts off with a bang – a Samsung 55” Smart 4K UHD TV regularly priced at $699.99 for $499.99 plus $50 in Cashback Points. Other chains are selling the same TV for the same price but at least Kmart is tossing in a bonus. Those points are good for 14 days and can be used to lower the price of other purchases over the next 14 days. Other Doorbusters include a Barbie beach or ballerina doll for $1.99, Joe Boxer jeans for $25 each and 1000-TC sheet sets in any size for $19.99 each.

Home

Another good Doorbuster Deal is your choice of a Proctor Silex 5-speed hand mixer, can opener or 2-slice toaster for $4.99 each. These small appliances regularly sell for $9.99 each and this deal does not require a mail-in rebate. Small appliances usually selling for $14,99 to $15.99 are just $9.99 each. Take your choice of an Essential Home 5-cup coffeemaker, personal blender, 2-slice toaster or Black & Decker 1.5-cup food chopper.

Essential Home fleece throws and standard pillows are discounted to $1.99 each. Your choice of Sutton bath towels or 8-pack of washcloths are $2.49 each.

Holiday Decor

Kmart also offers a six-foot pre-lit and pre-decorated American Pine tree for $49.99. For those who want to decorate an office quickly or are just lazy, this is a good deal. For the more creative or thrifty there’s an un-decorated 6” Peninsula Pine tree for just $15. Other Christmas trees priced at $9.99 to $399.99 are 40% off and Christmas ornamentation and home decor items are 30% off.

Electronics

Save 50% and get $5 in Cashback Points when you buy Skullcandy Bluetooth headphones for $24.99. Save $80 and get $20 in Cashback Points when you buy the Samsung 200-watt 2.1 channel soundbar with wireless subwoofer. On their website, Kmart has a large selection of TVs and other electronics but you’d never know it from reading their Black Friday ad.

Apparel

Puffer jackets for men and women will be $19 each and $9 for the kids. Rustler men’s jeans are discounted from $14.99 to $9 each. Women’s sweaters are $9 each. Team sports apparel and merchandise for the family is 25% off and all fall and winter apparel and accessories are 50% off. Selection varies by store and some exclusions apply.

All in all, the Kmart Black Friday ad flyer is less depressing than the one from Sears but still gives little reason to make the discount chain part of your shopping this year. Sears Inc. has had years to come up with ways to keep its chains relevant in the current marketplace but has failed miserably. If Amazon was a shiny new Lexus SUV with all the bells and whistles and Target was a zippy little red sports car, Sears would be a rusted out 1980 Buick ready for the scrap heap. The one time you may want to go on a shopping spree at Sears or Kmart is when they have their going-out-of-business sales sometime in the near future.