Disclaimer: The views expressed here are mine alone and do not represent those of allgames.com.
Black Friday Sales - Where to Shop
It’s that time of the year when companies make a big push to either increase sales or keep their profits in the black. Of course, I’m referring to Black Friday sales where it is not unheard of for companies to make a positive difference in their bottom line during this time. Consumers tend to follow the first come-first served rule in order to get the merchandise that is offered at greatly reduced prices -- sometimes -- unfortunately, not too orderly. I want to help you decide where to shop on Black Friday. You may want to know just how good are the Black Friday sales. Is it worth your time and effort to leave the comfort of your home to shop for deals? Even if you are shopping online, it will take time and money to search, compare and choose where you plan to spend your hard earned dollars.
This is where I come in. This year I will be grading Black Friday sales based on price and special Black Friday sales’ offers. Regarding sales offers, one of the retailers that usually gets a low grade moved up a notch due to the especially enticing offer that went along with the Black Friday sale. To provide background on how my research was done -- this year -- I checked Black Friday sales online as well as on the video game consoles -- Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Remember -- this is mostly a video game/tech Black Friday sales' grading, so I will not be taking into account any other merchandise. I also randomly select sale items, so feel free to check the Black Friday sales to be sure you are not missing out on any!
I will start with the lowest graded retailer for Black Friday sales and end my grading with the retailer that scored the highest. Remember, smart phones and other tech are not included in my grading, so there will not be an assessment of Apple iPhones,Samsung smartphones, Google Pixel phone, watches or similar type merchandise.
Newegg -- Grade D-
To cut to the chase, the video game deals found at Newegg are not competitive. There were no items that stood out to me with a “must-buy” price. For example Xbox One S is selling for $189.99 which is not a big discount. Also PS4 Slim is selling for $199.99 which is close to the price this system is being offered by other retailers. So to save time, I would suggest you skip Newegg for Black Friday sales on video games and video game systems unless you are curious about other items they have on sale.
Kohls -- Grade D
Believe it or not, the department store Kohl's is being graded relative to video games/tech for Black Friday sales. During one of my Mom’s Minute with Ms. H Video Game Shows, I discussed my video game field trip to Kohl’s and shared with my listeners that I was surprised at the array of video games as well as video game consoles available there. Unfortunately, Kohl’s Black Friday sales model seems to rely heavily on tempting you to shop at Kohl’s by adding Kohl’s cash. For example, you can purchase a PS4 Slim for $200.00 and receive $60.00 Kohl’s cash. This means that the PS4 Slim is still costing you $200.00. You just get $60.00 in Kohl's’ cash (coupon) that you must spend at Kohl’s. This is a waste of money if you do not plan to make any other purchases at Kohl’s. Another “deal” that involves Kohl’s cash is you can purchase an Xbox One S for $190.00 and get $45.00 in Kohl’s cash.
Due to this Kohl’s cash sales tactic, Kohl’s did not fare well in my grading. Kohl’s received a D instead of an F because I think it is a plus for Kohl's to venture in the video game business. They just need to get rid of the Kohl's cash angle.
Toys R Us -- Grade C-
I checked the online flyer and it seemed that video games as well as other related tech are being treated as “stepchildren.” In other words, I had to stroll through several ads before I got to the video games, and when I did, it really was not worth it. Toys R Us has the PS4 Slim 1TB selling for $199.99 which is pricing similar to the competitors. Regarding video games, Outlast is selling for $29.99 which is only a $10.00 savings over the regular price. Another game that has a $10.00 savings is Forza Horizon 3, which is on sale for $49.99 Additionally, FIFA 18 is selling for $34.99. None of these discounts are steep enough to qualify for big Black Friday sales, especially when other retailers are selling the same video games or systems at much lower prices.
A plus for Toys R Us is if you purchase a game online that sells for $29.99 or more, you get free shipping.
Best Buy -- Grade C
Best Buy Black Friday sales are just average. Again, you can purchase a PS4 Slim for $199.99. An xBox One S NFL 18 bundle sells for $229.99 and the Nintendo Switch is selling for $299.99. The Assassin’s Creed Origin video game is selling for $34.99 which is not competitively priced. However, you may want to check on the Call of Duty WWII Video game. On Friday, November 24, 2017 only, you can purchase this game for only $39.99. This price is worthy of a Black Friday sale but you have to wait until Black Friday. Best Buy Black Friday sales start Thursday, November 23, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. ET.
Steam -- Grade C+
Steam has upped its game when it comes to Black Friday sales. Even though the sale is called Steam Autumn Sale and runs until November 28, 2017 -- this promotion can be classified as a Black Friday sale. Of interest is GTA V video game selling for $30.00. Of the retailers graded in this Black Friday sale, Steam comes in first in pricing of the video game Evil Within 2 -- which is selling for only $30.00. Other sales of interest are Middle Earth Shadow of War selling for $36.00, and Rocket League going for only $10.00.
Amazon -- Grade C
Amazon Black Friday sales may be confusing at first in that there are sales going on all during the month of November. Also, some of the deals have time limits. For example, Just Dance 2018 for the PS4 is $29.99, regular price $59.99. When I was online, this sale ended within 7 minutes. Interesting enough, the digital download price remained stable at $59.99. Another timed sale was the Jackbox Party Pack which is on sale for $15.82 -- regular price $29.93. A PS4 Playlink game I was interested in -- Hidden Agenda is on sale for $14.99 -- regular price $19.99. Overwatch is on sale for $29.99, regular price $59.99. The digital download is also on sale for $29.99. A piece of tech that caught my eye was a set of K-World earphones that was only $27.99 down from a regular price of $116.99. Now this is what I would call a good Black Friday sale's discount.
GameStop -- Grade B-
GameStop gets sort of a high grade mainly because the physical stores are opening earlier than both Toys R Us, Best Buy, Target and Walmart for their Black Friday sales. In-store Black Friday sales for GameStop starts 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 23, 2017 and runs until Sunday, November 26, 2017. A big draw for you to go to GameStop even if it may not be your favorite place to shop for video games is that if you buy the PS4 Slim 1TB for $199.99, you will get a free $50.00 gift card. Other sales include Evil Within 2 for $25.00 and FIFA 18 is on sale for $27.00. Destiny 2 which has a regular price of $59.99 is on sale for $27.00. GTA V is on sale for $30.00 and Skyrim is on sale for $20.00. Tekken 7 for the Xbox one is $25.00 and the Last of Us is only $10.00. Also if you are an an Xbox 360 fan, you can possibly get a free Xbox 360 for $0.00 by paying $59.99 and then requesting a rebate for the same amount. Just remember to send in the rebate!
By the way, if you want to buy items at GameStop other than video games, all of their t-shirts will be selling for $10.00. I will be picking up the Victory Call of Duty T-Shirt that I spotted a few weeks ago which will be on sale. If you are not accustomed to shopping GameStop for Black Friday sales, I suggest you give it a try. If you are wondering, GameStop is the store who moved up a notch grade-wise this year.
Microsoft -- Xbox One Grade B-
There seemed to be a gazillion or more Black Friday sales on not only the PS4 but also the Xbox One. However, one must be careful to scrutinize which games are really on sale, and which are being pushed to be sold during Black Friday. I graded Microsoft Black Friday sales a tad lower than Sony’s mainly because of the seemingly deceptive advertisement. A large ad states that there is an exclusive Black Friday sales offer where you can get an Xbox One Game Pass for Only $1.00 that will allow you to play more than 100 games. However, if you read the fine print, you will find out that instead of paying a one -time $1.00 fee, you actually sign up for a subscription to pay a certain amount of money each month . Also, regarding Black Friday sale prices, you have to be a Gold member to get the sale prices of some of the video games. For example, If you are a gold member, you can get Deus Ex Digital Deluxe for only $13.50 -- regular price $89.99; Dishonored for $15.00 -- regular price $29.99 and Dragon Age Inquisition for only 10.00 -- regular price $39.99.
Other sales include Need for Speed Payback, Deluxe Edition selling for $47.99, regular price $79.99; The Evil Within 2, selling for $30.00, regular price $59.99; NBA 2K 18 on sale for $41.99, regular price $59.99; Assassins Creed Origin on sale for $48.99, regular price $69.99 and Battlefield 1, Premium Pass Bundle on sale for $15.00, regular price $49.99.
Sony PS4 -- Grade B
Sony has quite a few digital bundles on sale -- including the Call of Duty Digital Deluxe Bundle for $89.99, a savings of $10.00; Digital Deluxe Bundle for Destiny 2 selling for $74.99 that has a regular price of $99.99. Other Black Friday deals are FiFA 18 for $35.99, regular price $59.99; Middle Earth: Shadow of War Bundle, $69.99, regular price $99.99 and Just Dance 2018, seling for $40.19 -- regular price $59.99. An especially good deal is Rise of the Tomb Raider which has a regular price of $59.99 which is on sale for only $19.79. Of course, this game has been out for a while.
Other Black Friday sales are Battlefield 1, Revolution Pass selling for $14.99, regular price $49.99; Need for Speed Payback for $35.99 regular price $59.99 and Assassin’s Creed Origin for the PS4 on sale for $41.99, down from $59.99. Also Overwatch is selling for $29.99 down from $59.99.
Target -- Grade B+
Target seems to be patterning themselves after Walmart by offering a range of video games within certain low price points. Unfortunately, their prices are not as competitive as the leader. The PS4 Slim 1TB with wireless controller is selling for $199.99. Call of Duty WWII is on sale for $45.99, a savings of $14.99. Just Dance 2018 is selling for $25.00. Target also has a list of games selling for $15.00 including Skyrim, Forza Horizon and others. The Evil Within 2 video game is selling or $29.90
AND THE WINNER IS….drum..roll>>>>>>>>
Walmart -- Grade A
The retail giant, Walmart gets a high score mainly because of the wide array of video games that are on sale in different price slots. For example, Walmart has a slew of games in the $29.00, $19.00, $12.00 and even $9.00 categories. Unlike some of the sales where retailers may be trying to get rid of some of their slow selling video games, Walmart seems to be on the up and up since most of the video games on sale are the more popular video games, vice some you may not have heard of.
For example, Walmart offers the lowest price of the recently released Call of Duty WWII for only $43.00 in-store beginning Thursday, November 23, 2017 and all day online. Best Buy beats this price by a few dollars but you must shop on Friday only as mentioned above to get the sale price of $39.99. Other sales include Need for Speed Payback, WWE and GTA V in the $29.00 category. Additional games are Assassin’s Creed Origins, Battlefield 1 Revolution, FIFA 18 and Forza MotorSport 7 selling for $29.00.
Black Friday Sales Tips
As a reminder, when you shop Black Friday sales, always make sure the sale is genuine and hopefully you are getting the lower priced deal. Also, due to the anticipated crowds at some of the Black Friday sales if you shop in-stores, be cautious and vigilant -- remember Safety First!