Best Black Friday deals 2021 — biggest early sales and what to expect

Black Friday deals are starting early this year, and new deals are rolling out every day. Major retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, and Target are unveiling Black Friday deals on everything from TVs and laptops to appliances and headphones. 

Early sales include an OLED TV for $999, Chromebooks from $99 at Best Buy, and up to 50% off toys at Walmart. One of our favorite early deals comes via Amazon, which has a wide range of smart TVs on sale from $99. We’re also starting to see an uptick in Black Friday mattress deals from the likes of Purple, Saatva, and Casper.

Plus, with stock shortages and shipping delays occurring worldwide, we’re recommending consumers make their holiday purchases as early as possible. That way shoppers can avoid delays or bottlenecks that may arise in mid-November. 

While 2021 has seen some epic deals, we expect this year’s Black Friday deals will break all price records. There’s a lot of deal action that will happen in the coming weeks, so keep it locked to Tom’s Guide for the best early Black Friday deals of 2021. 

Early Black Friday deals live now

We always advise shoppers to wait for the official start of Black Friday season. However, stock shortages are causing epic delays on everything from furniture to gaming consoles. So below we’re listing the best early Black Friday deals you can shop right now. We’ll advise if we think prices will get cheaper in the  lead up to Black Friday. Otherwise, these are the best sales right now. 











Black Friday deals to expect in 2021

Black Friday is traditionally the best time of year to make any major purchase. From TVs to mattresses, retailers save their best deals for the holidays with the majority of sales starting the first week of November. However, 2021 will be slightly different in that the pandemic is causing shortages of labor and essential material/parts. 

PS5 restock, for instance, is still near impossible to find. Numerous furniture companies are also backed up with delivery dates that are taking months instead of just a few days. New outbreaks in countries like Vietnam are causing factory closures, which in turn means less inventory for shoppers. 

You can expect these shortages and delays to last through the end of the year, which means Black Friday deals may be in large demand, but low supply this year. So we recommend consumers get their shopping done earlier than usual this year. 

Black Friday deals and Apple

iPhone 13: The iPhone 13 will be on many people’s shopping list this year. This Black Friday, expect retailers to offer Apple’s new phone for next to nothing. Already, carriers like Verizon and AT&T are offering iPhone 13 freebie deals. As we approach Black Friday, you can expect to see better trade-in deals, wherein you’ll get a better/higher credit for your older phone. We also expect to see Apple’s older phones get steeper price cuts. iPhone 12 deals, for instance, continue to plummet in light of Apple’s new phones. 

MacBook Air M1: The Editor’s Choice MacBook Air dropped to an all-time price low of $749 this past summer. However, it was a students-only deal at Best Buy. (Non-students paid $849). Amazon didn’t match Best Buy’s price, but they did drop the base model to $849. Sadly, we may not see that $749 price point again. Instead, the base model will crash to $799 at both Best Buy and Amazon. This time, the deal will not require a valid edu e-mail. 

AirPods: $89 AirPods anyone? Last year the AirPods dropped to $99. It’s likely they could hit $89 this year (or less via an epic Woot deal). They already hit $99 this past Labor Day. Meanwhile, the AirPods Pro hit $169 last holiday season. They were on sale for $179 on Labor Day, so they could hit $159 or $149 this holiday season. Any new AirPods 3 that may come out this year will likely see modest discounts of $20 to $30 off.

Black Friday deals and next-gen consoles

Let’s be honest: There will be no Black Friday deals on next-gen consoles. Sure, we’ll see plenty of deals on PS5 and Xbox Series X games/accessories, but the PS5 and Xbox Series X will not see any price cuts. That said, we do expect to see Black Friday restocks. Retailers like Best Buy and GameStop are already experimenting with in-store only restocks and we expect these in-store events to pick up as we get closer to Thanksgiving. If you prefer to shop online, no need to worry. We expect to see online restocks as well. Just be prepared for fierce competition as the PS5 and Xbox Series X will be high on many shoppers’ holiday lists. In the meantime, you can now register for invite-only Sony Direct PS5 restocks planned for November. 

When is Black Friday 2021

Black Friday 2021 is on Friday, November 26. However, Black Friday deals will start well in advance of the Black Friday 2021 date. Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart are just a handful of retailers historically start their Black Friday deals at the start of the month in November. 

Early Black Friday deals: Quick links

Who has the best Black Friday deals in 2021

Every retailer has Black Friday deals available in November. However, if you’re wondering who has the best Black Friday deals — the answer is based on what you want to buy. For instance, Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart tend to dominate when it comes to deals on 4K TVs, laptops, and smartwatches. 

For deals on apparel and home goods, we recommend turning to stores like Macy’s, Wayfair, and Bed Bath & Beyond. Home goods is a broad topic and also includes mattresses. If you’re shopping for the latter, mattress manufacturers tend to offer the best and biggest discounts, oftentimes undercutting box retailers like Macy’s and Amazon. 

Does Apple offer Black Friday deals

The Apple Store is renown for not offering deals. However, every November it offers its annual Apple Black Friday sale. The sale varies each year offering free Beats headphones with the purchase of select devices or discounts of up to 10% off on select Mac purchases. 

Last year, Apple offered a free Apple Store gift card with the purchase of select devices. For instance, buy an Apple Watch 3 and you’ll get a $25 Apple gift card. To maximize the gift card value, Apple wants you to spend more. So to get the biggest gift card — a $150 Apple gift card — required that you purchase an iMac or a MacBook Pro. This year, iPhone 13 deals will play a big role on Black Friday. Expect to see epic Black Friday deals on Apple’s latest iPhones and iPads. (The best deals will come from retailers and not from Apple).  

Are stores doing Black Friday 2021?

Black Friday deals

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Due to the pandemic, the majority of brick-and-mortar stores skipped their traditional Thanksgiving Day in-store events last year. Walmart, for instance, did not open its stores on Thanksgiving and instead released a new batch of Black Friday deals online. Other stores offered curbside pickup to avoid having customers congregate outside their stories. This year things are different. 

We’ve seen monthly Best Buy RTX 3080 restock nationwide this summer and there’s even a rumor we may see in-store Best Buy PS5 restock soon. As a result, in-store shopping could make a comeback this year, as could early bird deals that requires shoppers to line up outside stores. 

Why is it called Black Friday? 

The use of the term “Black Friday” to describe the retail holiday dates back to 1961 in Philadelphia. It was used to describe the crowded pedestrian and vehicle traffic that resulted the day after Thanksgiving. By 1975, the term had gained traction and was being used outside of Philadelphia. 

These days, retailers have a different explanation for the term. For many companies, Black Friday marks the point in the calendar year when companies go “in the black,” or finally begin to turn a profit for the year. The profit they make is due to the surge in shoppers looking for holiday deals. 

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