Televisions line up at a Sears store before Black Friday in Peoria, Ill., On November 28, 2013. US retailers. UU Christmas shopping will begin earlier than ever this year. (Photographer: Daniel Acker / Bloomberg)
If the offers of this Black Friday are giving you déjà vu, you are not alone.
Retailers tend to repeat the same promotions every year: Macy's has been selling cashmere sweaters for $ 39.99 for five years in a row, while Best Buy has reduced the same 6-foot HDMI cable to $ 9.99 every Black Friday since 2013. At Kohl's, sweets include sweaters $ 9.99 (every year since 2012) and $ 199 in KitchenAid mixers (since 2013).
"It's simple: retailers are under a lot of pressure and do not want to put a formula that they know is working," said Rebecca Lehmann, who tracks repeated discounts for the site Brad & # 39; s Deals. "It does not hurt that many of these are items that can be discharged."
Take, for example, the $ 18 Target Razor scooters, or the $ 7.99 Macy's panini roasters and makers. They have been offered at the same price for years: "inflation has not yet recovered," says Lehmann, because customers have grown accustomed to waiting for them.
What else are you likely to see? Aside from the $ 5 of board games at Toys R Us and $ 169 recliners at Walmart, when you start shopping this holiday weekend? Here is a checklist to guide you.
1. Online offers last hours, if not days, before you find them in stores.
It used to be that Black Friday promotions started on Black Friday. No longer.
Retailers have been taking out discounts for weeks. Best Buy launched its "Black Friday" discounts on hundreds of items, including big-screen TVs, Apple Watches and tablets on November 1. Walmart followed a day later, with $ 6 pajamas and $ 998 Samsung televisions.
Kohl & # 39; s released its discounts on Monday, while Old Navy is offering a 50 percent discount from all Wednesday. Toys R Us will launch many of its Black Friday offers online starting at 9 p.m. Wednesday.
The actual action, however, begins just after midnight on Thursday, when Walmart, Kohl & s, JC Penney and many others begin to offer their highest online discounts.
But how do you know you're getting a good deal? ? "Consumers should consider the number 37 this year, that's the average discount offered through retailers," said Jill Gonzalez, personal finance website badyst WalletHub. "Something less, and they may not get a real Black Friday deal."
2. Toys: everywhere.
The best toys are already flying on the shelves, and running out, in many cases, so badysts say that getting discounts on the most coveted toys can be tricky. (Many retailers also say they have reduced inventory this year, which can make it even more difficult to track what you're looking for.
"There really is not a pattern when it comes to toy discounts," said Trae. , a purchasing badyst. "My advice is that if you see a discount on something that is on your list: get it, because it could run out."
Toys R Us, which filed for bankruptcy in September, keeps its stores open during 30 hours in a row starting at 5pm on Thanksgiving, with offers including "Baby Alive dolls" at half price and a 40 percent discount on Lego construction games.
[Want a teddy bear with that fishing rod? These days, it seems toys are popping up everywhere.]
But you may also see toys that pop up in unexpected places, as retailers compete for buyers' dollars, Bbad Pro Shops will sell Build-A-Bears, while Bergdorf Goodman , Bon Ton and Bloombingdales Now they sell it, items from FAW Schwarz.
3. Discounts in electronics, including iPhones.
If there's something you can count on year after year, it's in discounted electronics.
"Televisions, reliably, are always discounted very well on Black Friday and Cyber Monday," says Bodge. Best Buy, for example, is offering 50-inch Sharp TVs for $ 179.99, while Walmart has reduced Samsung's 65-inch curved TVs to $ 997.99.
But this year, he says, buyers are in for a treat: rare discounts on newly launched iPhones.
"Apple is known for not offering promotions, but retailers are finding their way with gift cards," Bodge said.
Walmart offers a $ 300 gift card with the purchase of a $ 999 iPhone X, provided buyers sign a two-year contract with AT & T or Verizon. (The discount also applies to the purchase of an iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 8 and 8 Plus).
Target, meanwhile, will give buyers a $ 250 gift card if they buy an iPhone 8 or 8 Plus, while Best Buy is offering $ 200 for the same models.
4. Generalized discounts on clothing and accessories.
Clothing with great discounts is nothing new. In fact, badysts say that customers have grown up to 30 percent or 40 percent in garments throughout the year.
But prices are likely to fall further this season when desperate retailers seek to prop up sales. Approximately one in three discounts that are promoted during Black Friday are in clothing or accessories, making it the lowest category of frequently-marked products, according to an badysis of WalletHub's personal finance site.
On average, clothing and accessories will be marked 48 percent, while jewelry will be discounted 59 percent, according to the badysis.
"Black Friday is a good time to stock up on fall clothes," Bodge said. But do not worry if you forget a thing or two: clothes and accessories for cold weather, he said, tend to be discounted throughout December.
5. Low prices on small kitchen appliances.
"Anything that is on the counter will see good offers," Bodge said. "Toasters, slow cookers and food processors have become a popular category, especially in department stores."
The "limited quantity" products at Kohl's, for example, include mini choppers, can openers and hand blenders for $ 4.99. JC Penney and Macy's are selling rice dishes, irons and waffle makers for $ 7.99, while Walmart has reduced blenders and fryers to $ 9.88.
And although these may not be the most striking items on your shopping list, Bodge says they can do for reliable holiday gifts, especially for someone you may not know very well.
"They are fun but practical gifts," he said. "And the prices have gone down so much."
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