Financial Fitness


How do Black Friday prices stack up?

Posted at 7:23 PM, Nov 15, 2018

Seven in 10 Americans will shop on Black Friday this year, according to a 2018 NerdWallet survey, conducted by The Harris Poll.

But will they be standing in the cold and elbowing their way through the crowds for the same prices they could’ve gotten earlier in the year, minus the hassle?

NerdWallet has been tracking prices on a handful of popular products since the beginning of 2018 to see if Black Friday really is the best time to shop. Here’s some of what we found.

Amazon Echo: Best on Black Friday, Prime Day

The 2nd-generation Amazon Echo home assistant speaker retails for $99.99.

But big box giant Target sold the product for various prices throughout 2018. Here’s how much it cost on some of the year’s biggest holidays:

  • Presidents Day: $84.99.
  • Memorial Day: $84.99.
  • Fourth of July: $99.99 (buy two, save $30).
  • Prime Day: $99.99 (buy two, save $30).
  • Columbus Day: $99.99.
  • Veterans Day: $99.99 (buy two, save $30).
  • Black Friday: $69.

Black Friday’s $69 will be the lowest list price for a single Amazon Echo at Target out of the major holiday sales we tracked.

However, Amazon itself sold the Echo for almost the same price ($69.99) on Prime Day in July — well before Black Friday. That deal was available only for members of Amazon Prime.

Samsung washer: Better before Black Friday

J.C. Penney will sell the Samsung 4.5 Cu. Ft. Front Load Washer for $845 this Black Friday. Its regular retail price is $1,199.

Despite this discount, the Black Friday sale price is more expensive than earlier this year.

We’ve been checking the price of this particular washer at J.C. Penney once a week since February. We’ve seen its price range from as low as $749 to as high as $1,199. Here are some of the lowest prices we’ve seen:

  • Feb. 10: $749.
  • Feb. 16: $749.
  • Feb. 23: $749.
  • April 6: $849.
  • April 13: $849.
  • Nov. 2: $845.
  • Nov. 9: $845.

Black Friday’s $845 price is lower than many months out of the year, but still higher than February. It’s also the exact same price J.C. Penney sold the washer for on Nov. 2 and Nov. 9 — weeks before Black Friday.

» MORE: Americans’ holiday shopping plans taxed by trade war

Dyson V8 Absolute: Better before Black Friday

Macy’s will sell the Dyson V8 Absolute stick vacuum for $379.99 this Black Friday. It retails for $499.99 at Dyson.

This Black Friday sale price at Macy’s is significantly lower than we’ve seen during other holiday sales during the year.

For comparison, check out the price of the vacuum on various holidays throughout 2018 at Macy’s:

  • Presidents Day: $449.99.
  • Memorial Day: $499.99.
  • Fourth of July: $499.99.
  • Prime Day: $499.99.
  • Columbus Day: $499.99.
  • Veterans Day: $499.99.
  • Black Friday: $379.99.

However, a handful of other retailers, including Amazon, Walmart and Jet, sold the Dyson V8 for just $360 on Veterans Day. On this holiday, shoppers could have snagged the vacuum for less than it’ll cost at Macy’s on Black Friday.

Xbox One X: Better on Black Friday

Walmart will sell the Xbox One X 1TB Console for $399 on Black Friday. That’s a savings of $100, compared with the product’s $499 MSRP.

That’s also the cheapest price we’ve seen for the console at Walmart, Target and Best Buy based on our tracking of Presidents Day, Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, Prime Day, Columbus Day and Veterans Day.

Do your research this Black Friday

If you’re planning to shop for any of these products on Black Friday, consult our list of prices to help decide if a particular deal is really worthwhile — and if it’s less than what it cost earlier in the year.

If you’ll be buying something that’s not on this list, keep an eye on the price of the item in the days leading up to Black Friday so you can compare it to the price advertised in the store’s Black Friday ad.

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