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Black Friday 2018: Here’s What To Buy, And What To Avoid

Here we are again: Mildly annoyed by the obvious consumerism, but totally in love with the deals. It must be Black Friday.

The Friday after Thanksgiving is still the official start of the holiday shopping season, but things are changing. For one thing, even Thanksgiving itself isn’t sacred — shoppers head outside or online to get an early start before the turkey is even cold. And instead of lining up at the crack of dawn after sleeping off their feasts, more people are shopping on their phones. In fact, if you follow the advice of our friends at Wirecutter, you’ll stay home and shop in your P.J.s.

Shoppers won’t want for time this year: The gap between Thanksgiving and Christmas — 32 days if you don’t count the holidays themselves — is long (next year it will be just 26 days). That means procrastinators get more time to put things off and retailers get one more shot at luring you in. (On the flip side, Hanukkah seems to coming be super early, no?)

We’ll be covering it all here, with reporters weighing in on lots of topics, like how the Toys ‘R’ Us bankruptcy has created a big opening for other retailers, and how the United States compares with China’s own made-up shopping holiday.

Your Black Friday Playbook

Feeling overwhelmed by deals? You’re not alone. In the hope of clearing out inventory, retailers bombard us with thousands of items that are marked on sale. Many of these products are of subpar quality, or they aren’t actually on sale at all. We wrote a cheat sheet of the types of products that are hot — and the ones that are not — on Black Friday to help you home in on the quality, deeply discounted goods.

Here’s the upshot: Black Friday is a great time to buy a new video game console, a television, headphones or a smart home product like the Amazon Echo or Google Home. One of the most notable deals we’ve seen: Best Buy, Amazon and many retailers are selling Sony’s PlayStation 4 with a new Spider-Man game for $200, down from the normal price of $300 for the console alone. So come prepared: Jot down a list of things you’d like to buy in those categories and look out for price drops.

— New York Times

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