The Top 10 Black Friday Ads – What It Takes to Score a Black Friday Doorbuster Deal

A ton of ads were announced this week, including offers from Best Buy, Walmart, and Target. So we’re back with another round of the best ads that you simply cannot miss this Black Friday. More Black Friday ads will continue to leak though, so make sure to bookmark this page for further updates.

BlackFridayoffers_small The Top 10 Black Friday Ads - What It Takes to Score a Black Friday Doorbuster Deal

The Best Black Friday Ads So Far

  • Element 50″ 1080p LED HDTV for $229 at Target
  • 50″ is the new 42″ and this 50″ TV is poised to break all records and become the cheapest 50″ HDTV we’ve ever seen. It even beats our previous Editors’ Choice TV for this size category — by $150.
  • Vizio E701i-A3E 70″ 120Hz 1080p Smart LED HDTV for $998 at Walmart
  • A 70″ LCD HDTV for under a grand is unheard of; the cheapest we’ve previously seen is $1,371 back in February. Considering this is also from a reputable brand, it’s no surprise that this is a limited quantity deal. Nevertheless, for big-screen fans who have the space for such a TV, this is the Black Friday doorbuster of your dreams.
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 4G Smartphone for AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon for free at Best Buy
    The Samsung Galaxy S4 is hands-down the hottest Android phone available right now, and as we predicted, it will be available for free on Black Friday for customers who commit to a new 2-year contract. This stellar deal is $100 below the lowest price we’ve seen for a new Galaxy S4 on any network.
  • Apple iPad mini 16GB WiFi Tablet with a $100 Walmart Gift Card for $299 at Walmart
    While $299 is list price for this first-generation iPad mini, the hefty $100 Walmart gift card makes this promo exceptional. The lowest price we’ve previously seen for this tablet is $249, so if you factor in the gift card, this would be the best value we’ve ever seen for the iDevice. Even better? This is one of Walmart’s guaranteed doorbusters; customers who arrive between 6 pm and 7 pm on Thanksgiving will secure this price, even if local inventory runs out.
  • Apple iPhone 5C 16GB Smartphone with a $75 Walmart Gift Card for $45 at Walmart
    We predicted that we’d see a greater number of “for profit” smartphone deals this Black Friday, and we also had a hunch that the latest iPhones would receive a special promotion this year as well. However, we’re surprised to see the two deals combined. Walmart has been offering the 5C for $45 since mid-October, and starting at 8 am on November 29, shoppers can also get a $75 gift card to go with it. (Walmart will also offer the 5S for $189 with the same gift card, which is still noteworthy but less amazing, since we’ve already seen the 5S for $100 via Sprint and AT&T.)
  • HP AMD E-300 1.3GHz 16″ LED-Backlit Laptop for $178 at Walmart
    If you thought we were nuts predicting a general-use 15″ dual-core laptop for $170 on Black Friday, weep for our sanity no more. This HP 15.6″ laptop sports a dual-core AMD E-300 CPU and a 500GB hard drive, and it’s just a few bucks over our prediction and the cheapest new 16″ laptop with a dual-core processor that we’ve ever seen.
  • Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ Tablet with $50 Off Coupon for $189 at Meijer
    Shoppers who live near a Meijer retail store should rejoice at their good luck, because this Kindle Fire HD offer blows the Toys “R” Us deal out of the water. For just under $190, you get the previous-gen Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ tablet and a coupon for $50 off your next Meijer purchase between December 1 and December 24. (If you can’t get to a Meijer, no worries; the Toys “R” Us deal is still very good.) Assuming you’ll use the $50 coupon, this Black Friday price is $40 under our August mention of a refurb, making it the lowest price we’ve ever seen for this tablet. (Amazon currently charges $229.) Not a fan of the 8.9″ size? Well, there’s more good news for Amazon’s tablets: Best Buy will also offer a new price low on the 7″ version, dropping it to just $100.
  • Apple iPad Air 16GB WiFi Tablet with $100 Target Gift Card for $479 at Target
    We expected the iPad Air’s price to drop by 12% during this holiday season. But if you factor in the $100 gift card, then Target’s Black Friday price is 24% off Apple’s list price. Considering that the best price we’ve for this model this model is $460, that’s a fantastic deal on this latest-gen iPad.
  • PlayStation Plus 1-Year Membership Card for $30 at GameStop
    Only available on Black Friday, this deal for a 1-year subscription to PlayStation Plus is pretty outstanding. It’s the best price we could find now by $20, and also the lowest price we’ve ever seen by $10. If you’ve ever thought about signing up for this premium service, which offers access to free and reduced-price games, this is one deal you should definitely bag.
  • Microsoft Surface 10.6″ 32GB Windows RT Tablet for $199.99 at Best Buy
    We predicted that Microsoft tablets would see the biggest discounts this season, but even our crystal ball didn’t show the Surface RT tablet’s price dropping this low. Best Buy’s $200 Black Friday price point shatters our predicted price of $314, and it’s only a buck over the lowest price we’ve ever seen for a refurbished unit.

There you have it, folks: the best Black Friday ads we’ve come across so far. Be sure to keep checking our Black Friday deals page for all the latest news, ads, and predictions. Do you think we miss a truly noteworthy deal in this roundup?


What It Takes to Score a Black Friday Doorbuster Deal

By now we all know what pre-Black Friday shopping looks like. Throngs of shoppers camped outside of retail stores, hoping to score one of the season’s first doorbusters. Unfortunately, a majority of those shoppers are waiting in vain; landing a hot doorbuster requires more than just waiting in line. As professional deal hunters, we’re here to show you how to increase your chances of getting that deal, and more importantly — how to decide if it’s even worth the time and effort in the first place.

To clarify: The term “doorbusters” is used a lot during the holidays, especially on Black Friday, and refers to ultra-cheap items that brick-and-mortar stores sell to lure shoppers into their stores. Quality-wise, these products aren’t going to win any awards. But when it comes to pricing, these goods are as discounted as they come. And the good news is, not all doorbusters require setting up camp in the cold. But if you’re inclined to do so, here’s how to maximize your chances of scoring a doorbuster deal.

Research the Doorbusters Beforehand

If you’re attempting to snag the cream-of-the-crop doorbuster deals, then you’ll have to choose wisely; while there may be time to secure multiple items during your trip, your best opportunity to get any limited-stock deals will be in the first few moments of the store opening. Don’t waste that time on something trivial if you really just wanted one of those amazing TV deals, for example. To help you distinguish which doorbusters are worth pursuing, check out our Black Friday ad analyses.

Turn to Social Media for Deal Reveals

While many stores will post some choice deals in their Black Friday ads, in order to drum up hype well before the event, there’s a very good chance that some retailers will have some last minute deals to reveal the week of. This is especially true if a store feels that it’s being outshone by its competitors. A good way to find such timely offers is through store social media channels like Facebook or Twitter. While consumers had to jump through some extra hoops this year before getting any sneak peeks, there’s a good chance that the immediacy of social media will be ideal forums for last minute offers.

Be Prepared to Wait

Once you know what doorbuster deal you’re after, it’s time to think strategy. Unfortunately there’s no hard and fast rule for when you should arrive at a store in order to be one of the lucky few to get a limited-quantity doorbuster. According to our own experiences at suburban brick-and-mortar stores, you can generally show up about two hours early to get the most highly-anticipated doorbusters. That said, there are always the people who decide to camp out for days.

Luckily, this tactic doesn’t seem to happen en masse, though you can easily tell if it’s getting out of hand with a simple, advanced drive-by. It may be a bummer to see that there’s already an unruly line outside of your preferred store, but at least you can assess whether shopping in-store on Black Friday will be a waste of time in advance.

Be First in Line

Even if you are one of those shoppers who does camp outside a store for three consecutive nights and are number 10 in line, that doesn’t guarantee you’ll get that doorbuster deal you’ve been waiting for. Doorbusters are very limited-stock items and it wouldn’t be surprising for some stores only carried five (or perhaps fewer) of said item. The one absolute rule we can say about Black Friday doorbusters is that if you’re not first in line, don’t expect to get the deal you’re after.

Manage Your Expectations

Again, because retailers typically stock a limited supply of doorbusters per location, your chances of walking out of a store with one are slim. And even though Walmart is guaranteeing 21 of its doorbusters should they sell out, not many stores offer this guarantee. (And even with Walmart’s guarantee, you’ll have to return to the store sometime before Christmas to pick up your item.) All in all, the chances of a doorbuster selling out are very high. As a result, all shoppers should manage their expectations, so that if there are no doorbusters left to be had, shopping in-store doesn’t end up feeling like a major disappointment.

Get a Doorbuster Deal Online

While there’s no guarantee that every doorbuster will make its way online, we typically see extremely similar discounts and doorbusters from online merchants during Black Friday. Amazon in particular likes to undercut competitors throughout the weekend. In fact, in previous years we’ve noticed that 70% of in-store deals were available online for the same price or less. Of course, if there’s one specific in-store item that you must have, hoping that it’ll be online is a gamble (albeit one in which the odds are in your favor).

Don’t Become a Victim to the Doorbuster Hype

The bottom line is: Doorbusters are bait. They’re designed to get you in-store so that retailers can sell you a host of other less-discounted (and sometimes overpriced) accessories. Just remember, if you are lucky enough to snag a doorbuster, don’t spend your savings on a $100 HDMI cable, extended warranty, or other astronomically expensive accessory. Make a list of the item(s) you want to buy and stick to it. Notably, most accessories can be found online at much cheaper prices than what you’d pay in-store. Remember, not every deal you see on Black Friday is a good deal.

Now that you have an idea of what it takes to score a doorbuster you can relax a bit. You’re prepared! But, if you’re still unsure of whether or not you should shop in-store for doorbusters on Black Friday, check out our helpful flow chart below.

BF_store_flow The Top 10 Black Friday Ads - What It Takes to Score a Black Friday Doorbuster Deal

Still confused? Then let us do the dirty work for you so that, come Black Friday, all you have to do is turn on your laptop and click “buy.” Stay in the loop this holiday shopping season and sign up for email alerts for deals on all your wish list items.