Everything You Need to Know

Emilee Geist

All products and services featured by IndieWire are independently selected by IndieWire editors. However, IndieWire may receive a commission on orders placed through its retail links, and the retailer may receive certain auditable data for accounting purposes. Black Friday is one month away. Not to worry though, you still have […]

All products and services featured by IndieWire are independently selected by IndieWire editors. However, IndieWire may receive a commission on orders placed through its retail links, and the retailer may receive certain auditable data for accounting purposes.

Black Friday is one month away. Not to worry though, you still have plenty of time to outline your game plan for tackling one of the biggest shopping days of the year.

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Shoppers will likely be returning to storefronts after the pandemic forced them away last year, but for those of you who would rather shop online (or at least order online and pick up later), we’re answering some of the questions that you might have about Black Friday 2021.

Between supply chain issues that could affect your holiday shopping plans and mountains of markdowns from Amazon, Walmart, Target and other major retailers, it’s hard to keep track of everything. Below, find out everything that holiday shoppers need to know to prepare for Black Friday.

Black Friday 2021: Dates, Deals, and More You Should Know

The Friday after Thanksgiving, also known as “Black Friday,” is the annual shopping extravaganza that officially kicks the holiday shopping season into gear. The name dates back to the 1960s when Philadelphia police officers coined the phrase to describe the shopping frenzy.

Black Friday was initially relegated to in-store and catalog shopping until the internet came along to make things more convenient. Black Friday is a great time to stock up on discounted TVs, smartphones, tablets, headphones, and other tech gadgets, along with toys, appliances, houseware, apparel, shoes, books, movies, and tons more. Black Friday is the first major shopping day of the holiday season before Cyber Monday (November 29), and Cyber Week (which begins on Cyber Monday).

This year, Black Friday will take place on November 26 with sales in stores and online. Many retailers are also rolling out Black Friday sales in October and November.

When it comes to a mega-shopping day like Black Friday, shopping online is probably the most convenient way to get everything done without too much stress. Some of the advantages of online shopping: You don’t have to worry about standing in long lines, or shoving your way through a crowd to get that must-have toy or electronic. Another thing to remember: Retailers usually offer online-only Black Friday deals, and pre-ordering things makes it easier to get what you want as soon as it comes out.

Another great idea for a Black Friday game plan is to put together a shopping list of items to buy (for yourself or others) at least a day before you start shopping. This will make it easier to outline exactly what you need ahead of time.

black friday clock

black friday clock

What Are the Best Sites to Shop for Black Friday?

Amazon — Shoppers can usually find just about anything on Amazon. The site (and app) has an easy-to-use search bar, or you can peruse Amazon’s curated homepage to find deals and more. Brands like Apple, Sony, and Microsoft have Amazon stores, which makes Amazon a great alternative when you can’t find an item on the manufacturer’s website. Furthermore, Amazon Prime members get free two-day shipping on most items (if you’re not a member, click here for a free trial), discounted pricing, and other perks.

Best Buy — Best Buy is a go-to retailer for all kinds of electronics (TVs, headphones, Bluetooth speakers, tablets, computers, laptops, gaming consoles, etc.) and appliances (refrigerators, ranges, washers, dryers, blenders, and more). The retailer is currently offering early deals (until October 31) that will save you more than $500 on select items.

Walmart — Whenever we talk about the top retailers for Black Friday, Walmart is usually in the conversation. The retail giant has already started cutting prices ahead of the big day with “Black Friday Deals for Days.” These amazing deals include a Samsung Chromebook 4 for just $84 (a savings of $122), $10 games and puzzles, $5 kids toys, discounted tires, vacuums, cameras, clothing, towels, games, and more. Walmart members will get exclusive early access to these deals four hours before everyone else.

Target — Target is another retail store that many shoppers will be visiting on Black Friday. The retailer will unveil “Holiday Best” deals every Sunday beginning October 31 through November 6. Additionally, Target purchases made between October 10 and December 24 qualify for holiday price matching.

B&H Photo — If you’re into film and photography, B&H is a great retailer for cameras and other equipment, and usually comes in handy when retail juggernauts like Amazon and Best Buy are sold out of something. B&H hasn’t announced Black Friday sales but judging by last year, shoppers can expect to save upwards of 50% on certain items.

Home Depot — It’s not just for home improvements. Home Depot has a huge online storefront with everything from furniture and appliances to power tools and Christmas trees. Home Depot’s Black Friday savings will begin on November 1.

Macy’s — Macy’s is a go-to-spot for deep discounts throughout the year, but the markdowns really start heating up around Black Friday. Shoppers will find deals on apparel, holiday decorations, handbags, and accessories, furniture, beauty products, jewelry, shoes, electronics, and tons more. Macy’s is currently running a “Friends & Family” promo which gets you up to 30% off on select regular price items, sale items, and clearance items.

Sam’s Club — Sam Club’s will be offering customers “4 Day of Thanks-Savings” beginning on Black Friday. The subscription-based retailer’s Black Friday deals start on November 25 (online only). The rest of the deals will take place in stores and online from November 26 to November 28. The four days of markdowns include discounts on TVs, furniture, air fryers, mattresses, bedding, smartphones, and exercise equipment.

Verizon — Although Verizon hasn’t announced Black Friday discounts, you can expect to find great deals on iPhones, Androids, and other popular devices. Right now, customers can get up to $700 of the new Google Pixel or iPhone 12 mini when you trade-in your phone and sign up for an unlimited plan. Verizon also has deals on iPad, iPad Mini, Samsung tablets, laptops, and cell phone accessories.

Concept view of percentage label for sales promotion

Concept view of percentage label for sales promotion

Early Black Friday Deals You Can Shop Right Now

If you want to get started shopping early, there are tons of cool gadgets marked down ahead of Black Friday. Below, find a roundup of Apple AirPods, wireless speakers, and other discounted electronics that you can buy before Black Friday. For more holiday-themed shopping guides, see our list of best advent calendars for movie and TV lovers.

Apple AirPods Pro




Buy it

Apple AirPods are extremely popular, so it’s always great when you can snag them on sale. These Apple AirPods Pros are currently marked down $52 at Amazon.

Fire Stick TV 4K Streaming Device with Remote Control




Buy it

Need a Fire TV stick? This discounted bundle comes with the device and remote control — plus it’s 30% off at Amazon.

Samsung 7.1-Channel Soundbar

Best Buy



Buy it

After more than a year of binge-watching TV shows and movies from home, don’t be surprised if you’ve become a sound expert. Upgrade your entertainment experience with this Samsung 7.1-Channel Soundbar offering immersive, high-fidelity 3D sound with Dolby Digital 5.1.

Vizio V-Series 65″ Classic 4K TV




Buy it

The Vizio V-Series 65” 4K Ultra HD TV produces over eight million pixels for breathtaking detail four times the resolution of 1080p. Other features include full-array backlight LEDs evenly distributed across the screen’s backlight for superior light uniformity and picture performance, and SmartCast Instant to access the best selection of apps, from Netflix, Disney+, YouTube, HBO Max, and many more. The TV is equipped with Apple AirPlay 2 and Chromecast built-in so that you can control, mirror, and share your content from your Apple or Android devices directly to the TV.

2020 Macbook Air Laptop




Buy it

This 2020 Macbook Air Laptop is powered by Apple’s ultra-fast M1 chip, making it up to three times faster than earlier designs. The laptop has a 13″ retina display screen, 8GB of ram, 256GB of storage, and 18 hours of battery life.

Samsung MX-T70 Sound Tower Wireless Speaker

Best Buy



Buy it

Let’s get this party started! The Samsung MX-T70 sound tower is marked down $320 at Best Buy, which is an excellent pre-Black Friday deal. This device fills the room with up to 1500W of bi-directional sound. The built-in 10” woofer delivers loud, impressively detailed bass, while the LED party lights enhance any gathering with a variety of rhythmic lighting effects.

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