EARLY NOVEMBER SALES: Black Friday Recap and 2013 Predictions

Best of Black Friday Deals 2013When does BLACK FRIDAY 2013 Start?


The weeks and days in November leading up to Black Friday (that 5 day holiday shopping event starting the Wednesday before, and lasting through the Sunday before Cyber Monday – although that Sunday is really “early Cyber Monday”) are filled with a variety of “countdowns”, daily online specials and “lightning” deals, friends and family events and VIP/members only sneak-peeks (early access to online BF deals). We know from past surveys that some of the early sales are decent and effective as 30% of consumers say they do some holiday shopping before Black Friday. As proof, last year Sears extended their early November Friends and Family weekend sale. And although limited to select products, some of Amazon’s Lightning Deals and
Newegg’s Black November daily deals were as good,
or better than those we see any time of the year.

What we know for sure is in 2013, almost every major retailer will have a “beat the rush” kind of sale, or two. And new price-matching and layaway programs offer legit reasons to start shopping earlier. This is opportunity for smart consumers who want best selection, pay things off a little at a time, and avoid the crowds…they also know they can stack these early savings with other offers (like taking advantage of timely FatWallet Cash Back increases). “Early” may not mean a big selection of savings (many polls still show shoppers expect the best, and most deals on Black Friday), but one can still save and be done with it.

So, which stores brought their “A” game for early sales last year? Do they stack up to current store sales and store deals or better them all this year?

Walmart: Ultimate Online Specials (Nov 1-22)

Basically, Walmart brought back this popular daily sale (or every couple of days) from 2011. They renewed a large selection of sale priced items every few days and although they weren’t quite Black Friday level of savings, there were plenty of mark downs to keep early shoppers interested and excited leading up to the big weekend.

Amazon: Countdown to Black Friday (Nov 1-18)

Amazon started presenting what they label Black Friday deals on November 1 with their annual Countdown to Black Friday Deals (daily Gold Box deals with multiple Lightning Deals throughout each day). Some of them were decent if you chose to shop early, which is what Amazon was banking on…AND, with FatWallet offering exclusive cash back on many Amazon departments, you could get them cheaper then anywhere else! On Nov 19-23, Amazon started Black Friday Deals WEEK which basically ramped up the offering from the previous weeks.

Newegg: Black November Deals (Nov 2-18)

On This was basically a kickoff of “early Black Friday-like” priced items featured every day through Nov. 18, which sounds similar to Amazon’s “countdown” event, only these deals are targeted at computer techies. Then on Nov 19-21, Newegg held a 72 Hour Pre-Black Friday Frenzy that ramped up the number deals and categories. The FatWallet Hot Deals forum will focus on the best deals from Newegg, minute-by-minute, all year long.

Kohl’s 30% Off (Nov. 8-12)

Now a monthly staple of Kohl’s online advertising, they started their early campaign last year with 30% off everything + $10 Kohl’s Cash for every $50 spent, with no limit, through Nov 12. This was increased with $15 for every $50 spent on Thanksgiving day through Cyber Monday. One of the hottest holiday deals ever on FatWallet.

Home Depot: Pre-Black Friday Sale (Nov. 9-11)

Home Depot offered a long weekend appliance sale where early shoppers could save $300-500 and a special on 24 month financing. They also offered decent savings on select tools, flooring and Christmas decorations.

Sears: Friends and Family Event (Nov 11-12)

The annual Friends and Family sale from Sears during last Novemeber was so popular they extended it through Tuesday Nov 13. Shoppers raked in 30% off or better, plus FatWallet members added increased cash back. PLUS…Nov 18-19, Sears held a Shop Black Friday Doorbusters Early Sale which was limited to Sears “Shop Your Way” members. Membership has it’s perks!

Best Buy: Countdown to Thanksgiving (Nov. 18-22)

An impressive early “black-Friday-like” 5 day sale the week before (both in-store and online), and on Nov. 19, Best Buy Premier Silver members were given access to the “true” early Black Friday deals.

Target: Beat the Rush Sale (Nov 19-21)

Bringing a comprehensive 32-page ad for just the Tuesday and Wednesday before Black Friday, Target offered some decent mark-downs for early shoppers who wouldn’t be able to take advantage of the long weekend shopping frenzy. And although these deals weren’t quite at Black Friday savings, in-store shoppers saved big on grocery and holiday celebration needs.

EARLY SALES Predictions for 2013 Holiday

Early sales will be everywhere, especially with a short gap between Black Friday and Christmas, retailers will compete heavily for November sales and several have pushed Toys as an early tactic for October. Last year, we saw some new tactics really take hold, like offering “VIP” members a sneak peak and first shot at their Black Friday Deals online days before Thanksgiving (the real day Black Friday pricing begins), including some of the doorbusters, and social media channels joined in this tactic, offering their audiences exclusives and doorbusters just for them. We can expect this to continue and expand into exclusive early access” for mobile app users. FatWallet’s Black Friday App (for iOS and Android) will keep us all abreast of the early holiday buzz on-the-go!

SERIES Master List: “Best of Black Friday 2012″

FatWallet’s in-depth series reveals the top products and deals from last year…some you’ll wish you didn’t miss! Featuring expert deal reviews, shopping tips and predictions for 2013, series content is based on sales and shopping activity recorded from FatWallet’s Black Friday Deal Finder (and mobile app) in 2012 which featured 27,000+ deals and doorbusters, 100+ Black Friday ads, and the hot Thanksgiving Day Deals, as well as Cyber Monday Deals from last year.

WANNA BE A HOT HOLIDAY DEALS “INSIDER”!Sign Up for Black Friday Deals 2013

Be first-to-know when Early Black Friday sales start and VIP access to all 2013 Black Friday ads and deals, sign-up for timely email alerts, follow the hot deals in our Black Friday forum and Twitter feeds, or download the best Black Friday mobile app for the latest holiday news and shopping on-the-go.

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