Black Friday 2015!


No, not THAT Black Friday.

This isn’t a mutual fund folks. In the case of Black Friday 2015, we believe that past performance will absolutely give us an indication of what we’ll see when November rolls around. Frankly, the trends, sales, top sellers, all of the things that in other businesses might change dramatically from one year to the next, are very likely to remain the same when it comes to the upcoming holiday shopping season and beyond.

It’s unique in a sense. Though the top retailers vying for your dollars are likely to be the same as last year, Black Friday 2015 will be the end of some other sellers. Those businesses know that they will generate a large percentage of their annual revenue in the 45 days or so of madness that begins on the first of November. Those businesses on the precipice of extinction will go all out to win you over with low prices with the same level of fervor you’ll see from Amazon and Best Buy, just to name a couple. If they can’t get you to spend at their store or site at the end of the year, some of those businesses will be forced to fold up shop.

Therein lies the “consistency” of the pattern we see every year. Black Friday offers more than the opportunity for retailers to cement their place among the giants as they do their best to satisfy shareholders. Some of the very best deals on and adjacent to Black Friday 2015 will come from smaller, lesser known sites trying to simply stay afloat by producing big numbers at a time when they must do so.

Every year around here we engage in some amusing speculation. We jot down on paper what each of us thinks will be the biggest selling product of the year, and which seller will be the “biggest surprise” of the holiday shopping season. Every year at least one member of our staff or another nails at least one of the answer squarely on the head. No, none of us is related to Nostradamus. It’s just that we’ve seen all of this before.

So what will the deals be on? What products will offer shockingly big discounts? Will one seller outdo everyone else?  Who will be the surprise retailer of Black Friday 2015? Here are just a few of our thoughts that some of our staff may or may not use as evidence to support their choices…

(For the record, these are not rankings. We put them in alphabetical order to avoid any confusion regarding what we think their chances are…)

Top 2015 Black Friday Sellers?

Amazon – Past winner in 2005-2014. Just kidding, but it seems like they’ve done extremely well practically every year. They handle Black Friday “like a boss” not only with shockingly excellent prices, but in matching hot deals shortly after they pop up elsewhere.

Best Buy – We kid them about the fact that some of their best offers last for what seems like a nanosecond, but last year some of the best of the season on HDTVs, Gaming consoles and more came from them. Many times, we saw the folks just above them here duplicate or better that price within minutes. If they take notice, your deal is probably a good one.

BuyDig – We’ve known of them (and shopped with them) for years, but the past year or so has seen this emerging seller offer five of the top ten TV deals (in our opinion) on the web. Yes, 50% of the 10 best HDTV deals of the year have come from these folks. Remarkable.

Ebay – If one seller at eBay doesn’t drop the price, another two will. That’s the philosophy there. With so many big and small names using it as a sales portal, we see Black Friday level price drops beginning early in November and lasting until very late in December. The beauty of having so many different companies sell from one site is that the variety of items available is enormous.

NewEgg – If you’re upgrading or building a computer, and looking to save money while you do it, they’re one of the best in the business. Surprisingly though, we wonder each year when they’ll really “take off” and hit Black Friday big. At least compared to the others in this category, they offer fewer hot deals than the others in this group. Could Black Friday 2015 be their year?

Microsoft Store – If we had to pick a king or queen of laptop deals for this year, they would win hands down. Just when we thought we’d seen the best price on a laptop, they dropped it again. From Acer to Toshiba, they just might outdo the others while selling a smaller variety of items.

Top 2015 Black Friday Products:

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 – So far, the very best deals on this exceptional table have come from Microsoft Store (no surprise there) and third party sellers at eBay. We’re betting those two destinations will be great places to start when the real silliness rolls around this year.

Apple iPhone 6 – Add any number after the word “iPhone” and it’s likely to be one of the hottest sellers of a given year. This year the best prices on unlocked versions have come from Ebay. The best “contract” deals have been delivered by Sprint at Verizon at their own sites.

Samsung Galaxy S6 – This remarkable phone has been practically an eBay exclusive when it comes to great deals. More than anyone by far, their vendors have stolen the show on hot GSM, CDMA, and internationally unlocked versions. We’ve seen “free gift card with purchase deals” from Best Buy and a few others, but if we were looking to pick up an S6, the first four letters we’d type in our browser would be e-b-a-y.

Xbox One – Microsoft Store (you probably saw that one coming) has had the best deals on the super popular new generation console. Those have come in the form of bundles that included games, controllers, and gift codes to sweeten the port. We expect enormous competition for this one in Black Friday 2015 from every seller in this grouping, and many others as well.

Playstation 4 – The same thing applies with the PS4. Lots of deals from everyone we expect them from and some we don’t. But we’re expecting actual price drops instead of just free stuff with purchase. The deals have almost exclusively come for those willing to purchase a bundle. We’re betting we’ll see that change this year, and finally be able to pay less, just for the console.