Black Friday 2019 kicks off in just under two weeks, but it's not limited to just a single day. Believe it or not, Black Friday used to just be a one-day event that took place the day after Thanksgiving, but in the past few years that has changed a whole bunch. There's now nearly a month of deals, excitement, and more leading up to the big event, and the sales don't stop right after. Quickly following Black Friday is Cyber Monday, Digital Day, and who knows what else may pop up this year.

If you aren't familiar with Black Friday, what it is, how it all got started, and how you can prepare yourself, it's time to fix that. Let's get you prepped on how Black Friday came to be, and help you make the most out of Black Friday 2019.

Black Friday Week by ThrifterSource: Android Central

When does Black Friday 2019 start?

Save the date! In 2019, Black Friday takes place on November 29, the day after Thanksgiving. Many retailers will open at midnight or shortly after, and online sales will be well underway by then. If for some reason you sleep through Black Friday, don't despair. Deals will start early and flow throughout the weekend.

When will Black Friday ads come out?

Every retailer handles its ads a bit different, and some times the retailer controls the release and other times it is leaked. In the past few years, we've seen these ads surface online as early as November 1, but most of the time by the second week in November most of them are available online. There's been a growing trend of retailers having a sale for the first half of the month, and then transitioning into a bigger Black Friday sale.

This strategy allows people to find what they want at great prices, without having to stress about whether they will be able to find it in a store or not. It's very important that you make note of whether or not the deals you want will be available in physical stores or online, because you don't want to show up in the wrong place and miss out on the deal.

We've already seen adds from Target, Costco, Best Buy, Walmart, and quite a few others surface online. It seems as though companies are getting in on the fun even earlier this year, giving you more time to look at them and shop!

How to prepare for Black Friday

Black Friday prep work starts as early as now. The best thing that you can do for yourself is make a list of the stuff you are shopping for, and break it out by what is a must have, what would be nice to find, and impulse things you may add to your cart if you come across them. Knowing the things you need to purchase ahead of time makes it an easier experience once the ads start surfacing online. You'll want to look through the ads, see what each retailer is offering as additional incentives, and make note of when it goes on sale, and whether it's online or an in-store exclusive.

Which retailers offer Black Friday sales?

Amazon Prime BoxSource: Android Central

You can score a Black Friday deal from just about every single retailer in existence. From online giants to major retailers and likely even your local coffee spot, everyone likes to get in on the Black Friday action. You'll find Best Buy, Target, Walmart, and every other big box retailer with Black Friday ads, and online stores like Amazon, eBay, Newegg, and more are sure to be in on the action.

In short: you won't have to look far to find some sort of deal this holiday season.

What products will be on sale for Black Friday?

An easier question here may be what products won't be on sale during Black Friday. Just about everything out there goes on sale, it's just a matter of what price points we see. Last year, the lead up sales to Black Friday were mostly on-par with deals that we've tracked throughout the rest of the year, but there were a few surprises that popped up and ended up being great offers. There will be hundreds, or thousands, or millions (depending who you ask) of deals available during Black Friday, and it's likely that some of your favorite gadgets will be on sale.

From things like Apple's latest iPad models to AirPods, LG OLED TVs, Chromebooks, smart watches, Instant Pots, unlocked Android phones, and even appliances, it will all be available for less during this time frame. Not only the big stuff goes on sale, though. You can also get accessories for your phones, cameras, batteries, and much more at really great prices. Amazon also slashes prices on its line of Echo devices, Ring doorbells, tablets and more. Some of the top Black Friday items will be announced soon, so be sure to keep an eye out for those.

Is Black Friday a good time to buy an Xbox, PlayStation, or Nintendo Switch?

PlayStation 4 with controllersSource: Android Central

Video game consoles are always a hit during the holidays, and since we are likely about a year away from a new Xbox or PlayStation, odds are people will still be buying plenty of these. Nintendo recently released an upgraded Switch that offers longer battery life and more, alongside a new Switch Lite that has an even smaller overall footprint. Both of these will likely be on sale during Black Friday, though you shouldn't expect huge discounts and availiability will likely be limited.

As for the Xbox, earlier this year Microsoft unveiled an all-digital Xbox One, which we will likely see on sale during the holidays for under $200. Bundles are always the best way to buy a new Xbox or PlayStation, so look out for those that include free games, extra controllers, and more.

Black Friday is the best time to buy an Instant Pot

The Instant Pot lineup actually consists of far more options than you may realize, but the good thing is that during Black Friday most of them will be on sale. There are small differences that separate each model, like the inclusion of Wi-Fi or one having a 6-quart capacity instead of an 8-quart capacity. Some of the higher-end models also have the ability to do more functions, but most all of them can pressure cook, slow cook, saute, make yogurt, eggs, and more.

During large shopping events, we usually see Instant Pots drop to as low as $50 or so, but this year I could see things going a little lower. Instant Pots have been around for a few years, and are always one of the most-purchased devices during the holidays. If you have a smaller family, keep an eye out for the Duo Mini 3 Quart and if you want to feed a crowd the Ultra 8-quart is the way to go.

It may not be an "Instant Pot", but if you want to combine a pressure cooker with an air fryer, we'd be crazy not to point out that you need to keep an eye on the Ninja Foodi, which could drop down below $150 during Black Friday.

Fitbit Trackers are sure to drop in price

From basic fitness trackers to smart watch style trackers, Fitbit has a pretty comprehensive lineup that hits a whole lot of price points. This year, Fitbit's main devices to keep an eye on include the Inspire, Charge 3, and Versa 2. These each excel in something slightly different, so be sure to figure out which one you want ahead of time.

The Inspire normally starts at $70, and we hope to see it drop down to closer to $50, the Charge 3 could drop from $150 down to $100 and the Versa 2 from $200 down to $150. These prices would make all the hardware an even better value. Whether your goals for the new year will include some fitness tracking or you're looking for the perfect gift, a Fitbit may be exactly what you need.

Black Friday should finally have you buying an iPad

Apple iPad StackSource: iMore

Apple has diversified its iPad lineup over the years, but one common thing for all of them is that they are very rarely found only at full price. Since arriving on Amazon about a year ago, there's nearly always been an iPad discount to be had, regardless of whether you are looking for the basic iPad or a fully-loaded iPad Pro.

In September Apple released a revamped iPad, which now features a 10.2-inch display and still carries the same $329 list price. Shortly after its announcement, Amazon slashed the price by about $30, and now we've seen that the holidays will drop that entry price to just $250.

Stepping up from the base model are the iPad Air and iPad mini, both of which offer the same specs but with different screen sizes. In the past year we've only seen them get discounted by about $50 each, though we expect that this holiday season could double that.

At the top of the lineup is the iPad Pro, which comes in two different sizes. Pricing for these normally starts at $799, and we've seen it drop to $624 in the past. Honestly, this holiday season could easily drop the price to under $600 for the iPad Pro for the first time.

There's also things like the iPad Smart Keyboard cases, Apple Pencil, cables, and more that will be on sale, so if there's something you have been wanting or need, be sure to have that on your radar during Black Friday.

From gaming laptops to web-surfing Chromebooks, the deals will be coming

Regardless of your operating system preference, odds are there will be a deal for you on something portable to use for work, gaming, or just pure leisure. From Microsoft's Surface line to Acer Chromebooks, Apple MacBook Pros, and everything in between we expect to see lots of deals. During Prime Day, Amazon had a few insane Lightning deals that slashed the price of some devices by hundreds of dollars, bringing them to the lowest prices we'd ever seen for them.

One thing to note with most of these is that availability is rather limited. Unlike items such as Amazon's Echo Dot or a USB cable, sometimes there are only a few thousand of these around at the discounted rate before the deals expire. There are several contributing factors, like it could be an older device that isn't in production any more, or maybe the company is offering it as a Black Friday exclusive. Whatever the case is, if you spot a deal that offers the specs you want at a price you're willing to pay, be sure to buy it then and think about it after.

Bluetooth headphone deals galore: in-ear, on-ear, noise-canceling, and more

Apple AirPodsSource: Windows Central

When it comes to Bluetooth headphones, there are tons of different options available. Some go inside your ears, others on top of them, some of them block out some noise, and others have extremely long battery life. There will definitely be no shortage of options available during Black Friday, but there will be some models that you'll want to keep an eye out for.

Amazon's Echo Buds were only just announced and are the first pair of headphones from Amazon that offer built-in Alexa support, active noise reduction, and more. These have a list price of $130, but knowing how Amazon loves to discount its own stuff, odds are you'll catch them down to under $100.

Apple's AirPods are another wildly popular option, and while we haven't seen any massive discounts on them to date, odds are Black Friday changes that. You may be able to pick up a pair for under $140, which would beat the current low by about $5.

Popular options like the Bose QC35II, Sony WH-1000XM3, and maybe even the WF-1000XM3 will certainly be on sale, though these are more likely to be up to $50 off each, matching previous lows.

There's a whole section of Amazon dedicated to low-cost Bluetooth headphones, many of which have amazing reviews as well. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for good deals, as we imagine there to be lots of them to be had.

How about all these really cheap TVs?

Two things that go together very well are Black Friday and discounted TVs. For years, TVs have always been one of the most popular doorbuster deals around, but that doesn't mean Black Friday is really the best time to be buying a new TV for yourself. There are a few things you really need to know before buying a TV during this shopping weekend.

Some companies offer Black Friday exclusive SKUs, which means that they aren't produced before or after the event, and the quantities are limited. For the most part, this isn't a problem as the company still offers a warranty, but it just could be one more potential headache to deal with if they can't fix it you may not be able to get a comparable replacement due to the cost of the item being so heavily discounted during Black Friday.

That doesn't mean you should avoid all TVs on Black Friday, but our biggest advice would be to double check all the features you are looking for (connections, resolution, speaker quality, etc) are in the TV you are looking at, because dealing with returns on items this large is not as easy as a laptop or gaming console.

What deals should you avoid on Black Friday?

Just because something is "on sale" doesn't mean that you should buy it. There are lots of things that come out every single year around Black Friday that just shouldn't exist, and people should defintiely stay away from buying them. Some of these items include things like the extremely inexpensive Android tablets, low-end TVs and monitors, things from brands you haven't heard of and have no reviews to be found, and more.

The market will be flooded with deals, so be smart and look for the right ones. Odds are there is something similar in cost that is much better than most of the doorbusters or Black Friday exclusive items available. Don't let your impulse win every single time.

Where are the best Black Friday deals?

Unlike Prime Day, Black Friday deals span across just about every single retailer you can think of. This includes the big ones like Amazon, Best Buy, Target, Walmart, etc, but also all of the smaller players and online-only shops as well. Many of the company's will offer both in-store and online offers, but some deals may only be available at a physical retail store, while others are only going to be found online.

Amazon tends to do a great job of not only offering its own selection of deals, but also price matching what the competition is doing as well. It's not uncommon for retailers to all want to offer the same deals, but sometimes there are things that others can't compete with. Kohl's always includes generous amounts of Kohl's Cash which you can use towards future purchases, some offer gift cards, extended financing options, and more, so be sure to consider all of this as you shop around this year.

Since everyone will be shopping for something different this holiday season, the best thing you can do is keep an eye out for the ad scans to appear online, solidify your shopping list, and see whether you need to venture into retail stores or online shopping will meet your needs.

Can you get Black Friday doorbuster deals online?

Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Depending on the retailer, select doorbuster deals may only be available online while others are only available in a physical retail location. The best thing to do is monitor the ads as they become available so you can see what will be available online and what you may need to drive to a store to purchase.

How do I get the best Black Friday deal?

Our biggest piece of advice for this is super simple: buy what you want when you see it. Seriously. You will likely see hundreds of different sales starting as early as November 1, and this means that something on your list may be on sale early in the month. If you catch something on sale for a price you are comfortable paying, just buy it. Odds are, the price you see in November is close to, if not the same, as what it will be on Black Friday, but you don't have to stress about being able to find it or getting it before it sells out.

Trust us when we say that a few bucks is 100% not worth missing out on a discount over. There are no guarantees that on Friday, November 29, the price will be any lower than on any other random day that month.

What is Black Friday?

Black Friday is an annual shopping event that takes place following Thanksgiving. It's the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season, though in recent years that has begun as early as November 1 as retailers continue to start sales earlier and earlier each year. For many years, people would look over every sales ad and create a strategy of which stores to hit early, and where to line up. Many would line up overnight just to be able to score a discounted TV, cheap CDs, and more.

Now, these sales still take place, but many similar ones can be found online, meaning you can shop for everything without even needing to leave your home.

What is the history of Black Friday?

The Friday following Thanksgiving has been referred to as the official start of the holiday shopping season dating back to as early as 1951 when it was published in the 'Factory Management and Maintenance' journal. The term didn't gain traction immediately, and it wasn't until it was published in The New York Times in 1975 that people really started using it. In the early 1980's it became more recognized nationally.

Why is it called Black Friday?

The term Black Friday is all based on financial records and book keeping. In the past, bookkeepers used to use red ink to signify losses and black ink to signify profits. Since it's one of the most popular shopping days of the year, and kicks off the busiest shopping season of the year, this marked a time which most company's stopped losing money and started being profitable for the year. For several years now, retailers have been opening up on the Thursday, which is Thanksgiving, so some started calling it Black Thursday, though others are going with "Gray Thursday" or "Brown Thursday" instead.

What is Cyber Monday / Green Monday?

The Monday following Black Friday is known as Cyber Monday. It's a day full of online-only sales and discounts. Many retailers keep Black Friday deals rolling right through the weekend, and a fresh batch of deals will kick off on Monday and continue through the rest of the week.

Similarly, Green Monday kicks off on the second Monday of December, and that's something that stemmed from eBay back in 2007. It has gained momentum as being a day that represents when many online shoppers will purchase last-minute holiday gifts in hopes of having them delivered on time.

Are Black Friday sales worth the hassle?

Pile of electronicsSource: Android Central

Short answer: maybe. Much like any other big shopping time, there will be a lot of lesser-known brands at extremely attractive prices, and some stuff that magically gets marked up before the discounts to make it seem like you are saving more than you really are. A key thing to keep in your mind while navigating the depths of the deals during November is "there's no such thing as a good deal on a bad product".

Get ready for Black Friday!

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