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Though Black Friday online deals will be everywhere in November, some bargains will be better than others. Instead of hitting up every retailer looking for the top sales, peruse our list of online stores that will offer the best Black Friday deals in 2019.
Best For: Power shoppers who have the time to track Amazon's short-lived Lightning Deals.
Amazon inevitably snags the top spot on our annual Black Friday stores list because the megaretailer just offers so many sales. Last year, we counted almost 650 sales from Amazon during Black Friday season, with bargains in nearly every product category.
Not all of those sales were great — only about 42% of them qualified as Staff Picks, a name we give to the very best deals we see. Still, Amazon had more sales and more Staff Pick offers than any other retailer by a wide margin.
But the site's vast number of sales means you really have to hunt for a good bargain. Those bargains also tend to be time-limited, with plenty of Amazon Lightning Deals that may only be available for a few minutes. You can track upcoming Lightning Deals so you're ready to leap on them when they go live — just know that shopping on Amazon does require extra attention.
Hottest Deals: Amazon's best sales are always on its own products, so look for Fire tablets, Echo devices, and other Amazon smart home items to be up to 50% off. You'll also find clothing — particularly Amazon's own Essentials brand — at up to half off, and other smart home gear at up to 40% off. This includes Philips Hue smart lights.
Best For: Stocking up on holiday toys.
Walmart has fewer — far fewer — deals than Amazon, but the retailer's Black Friday bargains are nothing to scoff at. Much like Amazon, Walmart offers sales in almost every category. So it's a decent option for 1-store shopping, especially if you aren't up to braving Amazon's Lightning Deals.
Hottest Deals: More than a quarter of our Walmart Staff Picks last year were for toys, particularly LEGO and Nerf. That made the retailer a top choice for picking up presents for the kids.
Beyond toys, where Walmart is typically the Black Friday leader, you'll find solid sales on technology products — with some caveats. Walmart generally offers TVs at great prices, but they usually aren't the biggest brands and may only be available in-store. Home items are another good category, with solid offers on kitchen supplies, vacuums, and more.
Best For: Anyone who's interested in buying refurbished or open-box in exchange for better bargains.
Even though eBay is a rather nontraditional retailer, it's become a big player during Black Friday season. Last year, eBay — which already offered good Black Friday sales — upped its game by offering 12% more Staff Picks compared to the year before. That puts eBay just below Walmart in our top sales ranking. Though the product selection is a bit of a grab bag, with a wide range of products and brands, the sales themselves are solid.
One thing to be aware of when shopping at eBay is that you can find a lot of open-box and refurbished products. Be sure you know what condition an item is in before you buy it, because unlike most retailers, eBay has more than just brand-new items.
Hottest Deals: Electronics are the stars at eBay, with sales cutting up to 70% off. Look for smartphones at deep discounts, particularly unlocked previous-gen models from Apple and Samsung. Sometimes you'll also see smaller sales on newer models. You'll find some of the best buys on video game consoles here, too, as deals go up to 25% off.
Best For: Anyone looking for a new computer.
Dell's deals are scattered across three retailers: Dell Home, Dell Small Business, and Dell Refurbished. Between the three, you'll find a huge selection of desktop and laptop computers. The only reason computer shoppers should skip Dell is if they're looking for a Mac: you won't find one here.
Hottest Deals: Though you can buy computers from lots of places on Black Friday, Dell may offer the widest variety. You'll find everything from budget-friendly Intel Celeron laptops for just over $100 to top-of-the-line Intel Core i7 laptops for $1,000 or more.
You'll also find good Black Friday TV deals from brands like LG and Sony, and the sets are often bundled with Dell gift cards. As long as you'll use the gift cards, these TVs have particularly attractive prices.
Best For: Electronics shoppers who don't want to worry about whether they're getting a great deal.
Though Best Buy doesn't have as many sales as other retailers on this list, almost every deal is good: 76% of last year's Best Buy sales earned our Staff Pick designation. Megaretailers Amazon and Walmart offer hundreds of sales, but less than half of them are truly good deals. At Best Buy, you can trust that most sale items are at price lows.
Just watch out for the doorbuster deals. While many Best Buy sales are available online, some are in-store only — and you'll want to show up early to grab them.
Hottest Deals: Shop here if you're looking for a new TV and don't want to deal with products bundled with gift cards, which you'll frequently find at Dell and Kohl's. One of last year's best big-screen TV deals was for an LG 70" 4K LED Smart TV for just $700 at Best Buy. You could get a similar price for a comparable model from Dell, but only because it was bundled with a gift card.
Smartphones — especially new smartphones — are another good buy. Last year Best Buy offered the new Samsung Galaxy S9 for $200 off, without activation or a contract. That made it a top smartphone buy for Black Friday.
Best For: Regular Kohl's shoppers.
Much like Best Buy, Kohl's offers a small number of sales, but they're almost all great deals. Last year, 78% of Kohl's Black Friday season sales were worthy of being among our Staff Picks.
But these great sales come with a catch: in many cases, Kohl's sales are bundled with Kohl's Cash, which you can spend on a future Kohl's purchase. If you'll use the Kohl's Cash, the overall price on these sale items is often among the best you'll find. Though it does lock you into spending even more money at Kohl's, that only helps your budget if you're already a regular Kohl's shopper.
Hottest Deals: Kohl's may be best known as a clothing and home goods store, but it often has good deals on electronics. Look for fitness trackers and smartwatches, including (sometimes) the Apple Watch. Soft goods are also a great buy, with towels, pillows, throws, and comforters priced as low as $2.