To make your Black Friday and Cyber Monday about shopping (instead of researching), we round up the best deals on some of our favorite smart home and home security devices, as well as other popular electronics. Our recommendations help you finalize your holiday shopping list and make the most of all of the holiday deals.
Your Black Friday & Cyber Monday Shopping Guide to Smart Home Tech
Smart Home Products
Black Friday and Cyber Monday FAQs
Black Friday takes place every year on the day after Thanksgiving and marks the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season. In 2019, it fell on November 29. But many stores begin sales (both online and in-store) in the days and weeks leading up to the famous shopping day. Some even open for in-store deals on Thanksgiving day.
Not long ago, shopping on Black Friday involved waiting (and risking injury) amongst crowds of people for retailers’ doors to open before the sun rose. Today, it’s not uncommon for stores to open at midnight on Friday or in the afternoon or evening hours of Thanksgiving.
If you’d rather not skip Thanksgiving dinner to score a steep discount, there’s no need to give up your turkey. Several pre-Black Friday deals make their debut throughout the month of November—and most of the best discounts and promotions will be offered in stores and online in the week leading up to Black Friday.
To maximize your Black Friday shopping experience you need to create a plan and a budget—and stick to it. Make a shopping list and check it twice to avoid splurging on extras that will burst your budget.
Once you have a finalized list, start scouting for sales on the products you want and compare prices among retailers. Checking sites like SafeWise can help you stay in the loop as stores release more information about Black Friday promotions.
Some retailers require shoppers to come into the store for the best Black Friday deals, but you can also score great deals online.
The sheer volume of promotions, discounts, product bundles, and freebies that stores advertise in the lead up to Black Friday can make it difficult to determine which offers are actually worth your time. We carefully evaluate offers on popular products to help you separate the meat from the giblets.
A doorbuster is a special deal or discounted price that’s offered for a limited time on a popular item, typically during the first part of a retailer’s Black Friday hours. Many stores advertise doorbuster deals to lure in shoppers who are looking to score an exclusive discount on a higher-priced item such as a television, tablet, or smart home device.
Many doorbuster items are available in severely limited quantities or made by brands that produce lower-quality items. Before you decide to stand in line for a doorbuster deal, do some preliminary research to make sure the deal is worth it.
The best way to know if you’re getting a good deal is to be an educated consumer. That means you know what you want, which brands you prefer, and what the standard retail price is for each item. Armed with that info, you can compare the advertised discounts to find the deal that gives you the most savings.
Black Friday hasn’t always referred to killer sales—the term’s origin is far more sinister.
The first Black Friday had nothing to do with shopping—and it wasn’t related to the holidays. On September 24, 1869, two shady Wall Street investors drove up the price of gold and caused a drastic stock market crash. Commodity prices plunged 50%, leading people to deem the day Black Friday.1
Today, most people think it refers to the profits stores make on this record-breaking consumer holiday. When companies are profitable, they’re “in the black.” This use of the term became popular in the ‘80s, and it’s stuck ever since.
Technically, yes. Cyber Monday was created as an alternative (or a supplement) to Black Friday. Stores offer online-only deals to help drive website sales. With the huge growth of online shopping, Cyber Monday is giving Black Friday a run for its money. (Or is it our money?)
- David Roos, History.com, “A Visual History of Black Friday: From Financial Crash to Shopping Mania," March 2019. Accessed September 9, 2021.