In true Amazon fashion, the e-commerce giant undercut the competition by kicking off its Black Friday specials several days earlier than most on November 22
. Every day between now and November 29
, online shoppers can go to Amazon.com/BlackFriday
to find new deals on a wide variety of product categories for up to 50% off -- from electronics to home goods to skincare.
Even better, Amazon will also be offering one-time only deals from top-tier brands throughout the day on November 28 (Thanksgiving Day), November 29 (Black Friday) and December 2 (Cyber Monday). These items are expected to sell out fast, so shoppers looking for deep discounts on quality products will want to stay glued to their computers or mobile devices throughout the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
As we do every year, we turned to our go-to smart shopping experts for their recommendations on which holiday deals are worth buying on Amazon versus in-store at a big-box retailer. Here are their six top picks.
Alexa-Enabled Devices. Amazon's line of smart devices is always in high-demand when Black Friday rolls around. A big reason for that is they come equipped with Alexa, the voice-enabled virtual personal assistant functionality. Want to blast your favorite song throughout your entire home on your smart speaker? Ask Alexa. Getting ready for work and want to know the temperature outside? Yep, just ask Alexa. It helps make life around the house a little easier, which is key for many consumers.
While other retailers will attempt to go head-to-head with Amazon, the e-commerce giant still reigns supreme with pricing on its own devices, notes Cheapism.com staff writer Saundra Latham. Amazon shoppers can get an Echo Show 5 bundle, which comes with a smart plug for $54.98 (marked down from $89.99 -- a $35 discount). At Kohl's, you can only buy the smart home device where it costs $49.99. That's just $5 cheaper than the bundle deal. Amazon's new Fire TV Cube, which allows you to operate your television hands-free, will be marked down to $89.99 -- $30 off the original price. It's not included in Best Buy's Black Friday promotion and is currently selling for $113.99 at the big box retailer. That's about 20% more than at Amazon.
Kindle Kids Edition. A stocking stuffer option for older children, Amazon's kid-friendly Kindle will be a steal at $79.99, marked down from $109.99, recommends Latham. That's $30 off the original price. It comes with a carrying case in fun color options and a worry-free 2-year guarantee. If it breaks, you can return it to Amazon and receive a replacement free of charge. Also included with this deal is a complimentary one-year subscription to FreeTime Unlimited, which allows your child to search thousands of kid-friendly book titles.
Samsung Flat 82-Inch QLED 4K Q60 Series Ultra HD Smart TV. Amazon is boasting deep discounts on a number of TV models and the e-commerce giant didn't disappoint with this massive widescreen. Sure, an 82-inch television set may seem a little over the top. But when you can score a name-brand version that big for under $2,000, you've got to buy it, right? Yes, especially if you have the money saved and you're looking to upgrade an older TV model that has outdated features, advises Sara Skirboll, Retail Me Not's shopping and trends expert. This Samsung version, which is selling for $1,797.99 (originally $3,799.99 -- about 45% off), is Alexa- and Bluetooth-compatible. It also comes with a OneRemote universal remote control that can be used to operate all connected devices.
Shark IQ Robot Vacuum. Robot vacuums have become quite the trendy household appliance. So much so that several big-box retailers have added models from various manufacturers to their Black Friday doorbuster lineup. The iRobot brand has long dominated this product category, but newer brands are creeping up, says Casey Runyan, managing editor of deals site BradsDeals.com. One of them is Shark IQ and their R1001AE vacuum model is available for $399.99, marked down nearly 30% from $549. It has a self-empty base, is Alexa-compatible and you can schedule cleanings using the Shark Clean App. It really does do all of the work for you.
Yedi 9-in-1 Instant Programmable Pressure Cooker. Pressure cookers continue to be an in-demand small kitchen appliance. So what makes this one a can't-miss deal for the cook on your gift-giving list? In addition to the affordable price of $79.96 (marked down from $99.95 -- that's $20 off), it's also one of Oprah's Favorite Things this holiday season, Runyan adds. And the Yedi isn't a one-trick pony like similar products, either. You can pressure cook, slow cook, saute, steam, bake, pasteurize, cook rice, make yogurt and warm cooked food with it. It also comes with an accessory kit that includes two steaming racks, a ladle, a rice paddle, cooking mitts, a stainless steel steaming basket, a measuring cup and a recipe book.
23andMe Genetic Testing Kit. The popularity of at-home DNA testing kits continues grow and Amazon is offering Black Friday shoppers a noteworthy deal. If you've been curious to try one, but have squawked at the hefty price tag, you can grab the 23andMe kit for 50% off (priced at $99, originally $199), Skirboll notes. It's a best seller on Amazon.com and comes highly recommended with a 4-star customer rating (out of five stars).
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Andrea Browne Taylor is an editor at Kiplinger.