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October 9, 2018

The best Black Friday stores compared: Amazon, Walmart, and more

by John_A

Black Friday is fast approaching, and savvy shoppers know what that means: it’s time to start planning.

These days, Black Friday doesn’t just involve a few hours of frantic shopping on Thanksgiving night. It’s a weeks-long event that encompasses pre-Black Friday deals, Black Friday itself, and Cyber Monday. For this reason, we’ve rounded up details about the best sales from today’s top retailers, with information about when to shop and what to look for at each. Whether you’re browsing in-store or online, we’ve got you covered.


Walmart has always been a favorite for Black Friday shoppers, offering deals on products in almost every category and pre-Black Friday prices on select merchandise in early November. In 2017, their stores claimed to have “more availability than ever before,” so you can reasonably expect to find what you need in stock. On Cyber Monday, the retailer makes it easy to compare prices with their online comparison tool. The tool displays their price as well as the most current prices found on other sites, directing you to the best deal even if it isn’t from Walmart.

What to shop for

Walmart is definitely a leader in home entertainment where Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales are concerned. Top products last year included smart TVs from Samsung, Vizio, Element, and Sharp (like the Sharp 55-inch Class 4K on sale for $299), as well as soundbars and Blu-ray players. Keep an eye out for featured deals on laptops, tablets, smartphones, and gaming consoles and accessories.

Shipping and returns

Free two-day shipping for orders of $35 or more. Walmart accepts returns on items bought during Black Friday/Cyber Monday until January 10, 2019.


Doors open for the Black Friday weekend sale at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving night, though you can shop the entire day online.


Being a purely online retailer, Amazon has a lot of flexibility when it comes to its Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals. In fact, once Black Friday begins, it’s important to keep checking Amazon for new products; they add deals to the site as often as every five minutes.

What to shop for

Because Amazon releases new deals continuously, it’s tough to pin down what you should look for. That said, this has historically been a great site to search for smart home technology (like smart plugs, lighting, and even robot vacuums), household appliances, tablets, and exclusive e-readers.

Shipping and returns

Free shipping for Prime members or for orders over $25. Items shipped by Amazon between November 1 and December 31 can be returned until January 31.


Black Friday is a multi-week event for Amazon. The Countdown to the Black Friday Sale starts on November 1, followed by the Black Friday Week Sale beginning on November 17. Amazon Prime members also receive early access to over 30,000 deals, including Black Friday and Cyber Monday specials.

Abt Electronics

Located in Glenview, Illinois, Abt Electronics is the largest single-store electronics and appliance dealer in the country. While this family-owned business is mostly visited by greater Chicago area residents, it has an incredible number of online deals during November that are worth looking into. It also offers a Low Price Guarantee, meaning shoppers can rest easy knowing they’re getting the best price on their favorite products.

What to shop for

If you’re upgrading your kitchen for the holidays or looking for high-tech gifts, Abt Electronics is the place to shop. In addition to deals on home entertainment and audio systems, the company offers savings on top brand appliances, from fridges and ovens to air purifiers and smart thermostats. Best sellers last year included LG OLED TVs and Sonos One Speakers on Black Friday and GoPros and Fitbits on Cyber Monday.

Shipping and returns

Free shipping on most orders of $35 or more across the continental United States.


The store is open on Black Friday at 8 a.m., and Cyber Monday week-long deals begin on November 26.


Jet is often compared to Amazon, though it promises to deliver cheaper products thanks to its real-time savings engine and club price savings. It’s an especially good place to shop for common household essentials such as clothing and health and beauty products. In addition to Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals, customers can expect to receive personalized discounts based on the items that are in their shopping cart. So even without splurging on a new home theater, you’re bound to find some savings.

What to shop for

Last year’s Black Friday Deals included smart home hubs, smart TVs from Samsung and Sharp, and gaming consoles. The company also offered huge savings on toys (like the coveted Tickle Me Elmo), luxury beauty products, and home goods, so it’s safe to say we’ll be seeing more of that this year.

Shipping and returns

Jet offers free shipping on orders over $35, and you have 30 days from delivery to make a return. However, if you opt out of free returns, you can save a few more bucks.


Jet is another online-only retailer, which means it’s always open! Black Friday pricing runs from November 19 through to December 1.


You can’t talk about Black Friday without talking about Best Buy. Last year’s Best Buy ad contained 50 pages of electronics deals, ranging from kitchen mixers, drones, and smartwatches to soundbars and TVs. This retailer doesn’t hold back. Some of its hottest Cyber Monday deals offered up to 40-percent savings on large appliances from brands like Whirlpool and KitchenAid.

What to shop for

Best Buy sees Black Friday as a great opportunity to shop for Christmas gifts, and its deals reflect this. Shoppers will find a huge range of gaming consoles and accessories, games from just $15, and select action figures and collectibles. You can even purchase Tidal subscriptions, Apple Store and iTunes gift cards, and more. 

Shipping and returns

Free shipping on all online orders. Best Buy offers a relatively short return period of just 15 days, though that increases to 30 days for My Best Buy Elite members and 45 days for Elite Plus members.


Like Walmart, Best Buy opens its door to Black Friday shoppers on Thanksgiving evening, but an hour earlier at 5 p.m.


With a slogan like “Expect More, Pay Less,” it’s no wonder that Target is a champion of great savings during Black Friday. This is an excellent store to shop for Christmas gifts for the family as well as the latest home electronics. Last year, the retailer offered never-before-seen deals on products like the Westinghouse 55-inch UHD TV and the KitchenAid Ultra Power Plus Stand Mixer, so there’s no doubt we can expect big things from the firm once more in 2018.

What to shop for

Target is known for offering a little bit (or a lot) of everything, and this carries through to its Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals as well. In addition to the usual consumer electronics like TVs, cameras, and headphones, expect to see lots of products for families, including toys, car seats, and video games.

Shipping and returns

Free shipping on orders over $35. Target offers a 90-day return period, though Target-branded products come with a one-year return policy.


Target opens its doors on Thanksgiving evening at 6 p.m. and Black Friday at 6 a.m. Shoppers should also expect online-only deals in the days leading up to Thanksgiving.

Looking for more info on Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Our curated deals page has everything you need, or follow us on Twitter for daily deal updates.

We strive to help our readers find the best deals on quality products and services, and choose what we cover carefully and independently. If you find a better price for a product listed here, or want to suggest one of your own, email us at Trends may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers.

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