Tech Matters: A guide to Black Friday shopping in 2022
Black Friday 2022 is now upon us but you still have time to prepare your shopping strategy. You may be reeling from sticker shock as you do your grocery shopping for the big day with food prices higher than ever before, including an increase of up to 35% for the holiday bird, 32.5% for eggs and 17% for flour, a baking basic, according to a recent report from Wells Fargo. The bird flu is largely responsible for poultry and egg price increases, but inflation is the culprit for higher prices of just about every consumer product. Still, early holiday deals on technology look promising and saving this year on gifts may be more important than ever in the face of costlier living expenses.
The National Retail Federation estimated in a press release that 166.3 million people are planning to shop between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, which is 8 million more people than last year and its highest estimate since it began reporting this figure in 2017. But that doesn’t necessarily mean waiting in line for hours out in the cold after you’ve finished your Thanksgiving dinner. In fact, most Black Friday deals will be available online, merging Black Friday and Cyber Monday into one four- to five-day savings spree. That’s a trend that began with COVID and has persisted as people showed with their spending that they prefer to shop from the comfort of their own homes. Even retailers such as Target, Walmart and BestBuy will be closed again this year on Thanksgiving to let their employees enjoy the holiday.
To get the most value out of this year’s holiday shopping, start with a list and stick to it. Think about what you want to buy for each person on your gift list and add an alternative or two. Black Friday is also a good time to save on planned purchases for yourself and your family, so add those items as well.
Make your list as detailed as possible, identifying the must-have features of an item you have in mind. For instance, if you’re shopping for a robot vacuum, mapping and self-emptying may or may not be features you want to pay an extra $60 for. The items that go on sale are usually the ones that a store has too many of to sell at a regular price, so they discount older models to make room for new stock coming in at the end of the year. These days, you’ll find small improvements in most electronics, so it really doesn’t make a lot of sense to spend a lot more on the newest model. But it does make sense to buy a well-known brand that offers a standard warranty.
For technology and electronics, most big retailers stock the same items. While you should comparison shop, you’re unlikely to miss out on a huge savings from one store that’s not offered by another. For popular items, include Amazon, Walmart, Target and BestBuy and any other big stores that you like.
Amazon will offer a 48-hour Black Friday event starting on Thanksgiving, including surprise deals that drop every 30 minutes. You may want to download the Amazon app to make checking for deals more convenient. Amazon is offering up to 70% off its own products, $100 off Fitbit products and 60% on Ring devices.
Best Buy will open at 5 a.m. local time on Friday. For the first time, it does not have a standard sales ad, but did release a list of top deals that range from a $230 savings on an HP touch screen laptop so the price is around $400, to $1,000 for an LG 65-inch 4K smart TV ($700 savings). Target will open at 7 a.m. Friday and offer the same deals in-store and online. Its Black Friday deals end on Saturday. Its headliner deal is $50 savings on an Xbox Series S plus a $50 Target gift card. Walmart opens at 6 a.m. Friday with the third and last of its string of Black Friday deals during November. However, it will launch a Cyber Monday sale to close out its month of deals.
Happy holiday shopping!
Leslie Meredith has been writing about technology for more than a decade. As a mom of four, value, usefulness, and online safety take priority. Have a question? Email Leslie at firstname.lastname@example.org.