Black Friday and Cyber Monday are just a few short weeks away, and many major retailers—such as Walmart, Target, and Amazon—have already started rolling out early Black Friday deals. If you're shopping for holiday gifts for your loved ones (or yourself), you might want to jump on these deals now—well before Black Friday or Cyber Monday—because of inventory shortages and shipping delays this year.
"For any trending or popular toys, electronics, and beauty items, don't wait and buy now," says Kristen Gall, retail and shopping expert with Rakuten. With inventory shortages stemming from global supply chain issues, you'll run the risk of these items going out of stock before you get the chance to purchase them," warns Gall.
If you're sticking to a budget during the holidays, avoid overspending by starting early and scoping out deals ahead of time on the items on your list, so you can get them as soon as those Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals start. You don't want to blow your budget by buying something just because you see it's on sale; those prices can look tempting, but you might not always be getting a good deal.
"This holiday season is expected to be one of the most expensive yet for consumers between the rising cost of goods and increased shipping costs," says Gall. If you're planning on shopping Black Friday and Cyber Monday, here are the categories that will likely have the best discounts, so you can save money on your holiday shopping and get the most value for your dollars.
If you're in the market for a new tablet, phone, laptop, headphones, and any other gadgets, shop Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals to save.
"So many different kinds of electronics will be on sale, and usually we see some of the best prices ever on items around this time of year," says Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst with comparison shopping site, DealNews. Ramhold suggests having a backup or being open to shopping around if the device you want is not on sale. "Remember that the particular item you're looking at might not be discounted, or it might not go as low as you want...Don't be afraid to look for refurbs, open-box, and previous generation items either!" she says.
Laptops and tablets make up the biggest share of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on electronics, with discounts up to 40 percent off, says Liam Mills, product expert and CEO of ValueHunta. "Most retailers and warehouse stores put up the biggest sales for electronics. Although the items on sale are usually of low specifications, you can get deals on individual parts and upgrade your system then," says Mills.
If you're looking to buy electronics online as a holiday gift, take advantage of those early Black Friday deals and order now, so it gets here on time. "This is especially true for toys and gadgets, which are particularly affected by the microchip shortage," says Jay Klauminzer, CEO of online gift card and cash-back company, Raise.
Small kitchen appliances
Looking for new additions to your kitchen? Black Friday is the right time shop for some steals. "These items are super popular for Black Friday doorbusters (which can be found online, despite the name) and often include things like blenders, toasters, single-cup coffee makers, waffle irons, hand mixers, and more for under $20 each," says Ramhold.
Be sure to keep an eye out for rebates too: "Sometimes these will drop the prices on these products to less than $10 if they're not outright discounted that low to begin with," she says.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales on fall fashion staples such as sweaters, scarves, and boots are likely to save you big. "Average savings will be around 50 percent off, but in many cases we'll see discounts go much deeper, between up to 70 percent and even 80 percent off, if not more," says Ramhold.
But if you're looking for winter clothes, such as coats, gloves, or gear for your favorite winter sports, you're better off waiting for after Christmas sales. "After Christmas, retailers are looking to free up inventory space as they look at incoming stock for next season, leading to heavily discounted items including coats, boots, ski equipment and snowboards," says Gall. Hold off on buying winter clothes until after the holidays to get the best prices.
If you're shopping for a beauty enthusiast in your life (it can be yourself), check out Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals for reduced prices to save on your favorite beauty items and brands.
"Many high-end cosmetics brands slash the prices of their makeup both in stores and online for Black Friday and Cyber Monday," says Olivia Tan, a personal finance coach based in Florida. "If you normally reach for the less expensive items in the beauty aisle, this is the time to treat yourself."
Tan says that while some stores may limit their deals to a few products, others may have store or site-wide sales on their inventory.
Related: The Best Christmas Gifts for 2021