Gizmos

How Good Are Amazon’s Black Friday Deals?

Large plastic bags containing Amazon boxes.
Black Friday sales are looking pretty good in comparison.
Leon Neal/Getty Images

Amazon will be a must-visit site for Black Friday deals, especially for shoppers who don’t want to brave the crowds in person. But with seemingly arbitrary price cuts and manic terms like “doorbuster” thrown about, it can be difficult to tell what is actually a good deal and what is a mediocre discount that’s been dressed up in the consumer holiday frenzy.

An imperfect but useful benchmark for determining the caliber of a Black Friday deal is the corresponding Prime Day sale. Amazon sold 100 million products during its self-serving shopping day in July, making it the most successful event in the company’s history (despite technical issues that arose).

Using this year’s Prime Day deals as a reference, here’s a look at which Black Friday deals on Amazon live up to the hype.

Televisions

As Slate’s Christina Bonnington predicted in July, Amazon’s TV deals are mostly better this week.

According to Amazon’s Black Friday ads, the Sony 65-inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV is going for $998 (about 30 percent off), whereas it was $1,498 on Prime Day (about 15 percent off the price at the time). The Samsung Flat 75-inch 4K Ultra HD Smart TV is selling for $1997.99 (43 percent off), whereas it was $2,797.99 (15 percent off the price at the time) on Prime Day.

You’ll also be able to buy the 50-inch Toshiba 4K Ultra HD Fire TV Edition for $299.99 (about 25 percent off), which is roughly the same discount that was offered on Prime Day.

Amazon Devices

Discounts for Amazon-brand hardware are generally about the same as they were for Prime Day, with a few notable exceptions.

The Fire TV Cube is now priced at $59.99 (50 percent off), while an older version on Prime Day was going for $89.99 (25 percent off).

Starting on Thursday, the second-generation Echo smart speaker will be selling for $69 (30 percent off), which is the same deal that Amazon had on Prime Day. The seventh-generation Kindle Paperwhite will be going for $80 (33 percent off), also the same deal as on Prime Day. And on Friday, the second-generation Echo Plus will be $109.99 (around 27 percent off), only $10 more than the first-generation device was going for on Prime Day at $99.99 (around 33 percent off).

Amazon also has a number of device bundles available. It can be tricky to compare the value of different bundles, and devices do tend to get cheaper the longer they are on the market, but Prime Day prices may still be a useful reference here. The Fire TV Stick with a first-generation Alexa Voice Remote is now $24.99 (38 percent off), whereas the Fire TV Stick by itself was going for $19.99 (50 percent off) on Prime Day. On Thursday, the Fire HD 8 tablet with the Show Mode Charging Dock will be $80 (33 percent off), while the Fire HD 8 tablet was $50 (38 percent off) by itself on Prime Day.

Gaming

Black Friday gaming deals tend to come in bundles, so determining whether the discount is worth it will depend on whether you actually want the complimentary games and accessories.

The Xbox One S 1TB Console NBA 2K19 Bundle is currently priced at $229.00 (24 percent off). On Prime Day, the similar Xbox One S 1TB Starter Bundle was selling for the same price.

Amazon will also be offering a Black Friday bundle for the Nintendo Switch: For $300, the usual price of the Switch, you’ll also get a complimentary copy of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (a 17 percent discount in total). This is a slightly better value than this year’s $300 Prime Day bundle, which included the Switch, a 64GB MicroSD card, and a $20 eShop gift card (a 12 percent discount in total).

The Nintendo New 3DS XL Super NES Edition bundle is also currently selling for $149.99 (25 percent off), the same price that it was on Prime Day.

Kitchen

This week is a particularly opportune time to shop for higher-end cooking knickknacks.

The Oster Expressbake Bread Maker With Gluten-Free Setting is currently $55.99 (38 percent off), while the base model without the gluten-free options was $44 on Prime Day (37 percent off). The Philips Digital Airfryer’s Avance model is now $225.99 (25 percent off), while the more basic Viva model was $100 (28 percent off) for Prime Day. One deal that looks to be particularly good is the 900 W Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker at $99 (50 percent off); the same model was $109 on Prime Day.

Electronic Accessories

There are a few discounted electronic accessories worth looking out for this week. Amazon is currently offering the SanDisk Ultra 128GB Micro SDXC card at $21.70 (30 percent off), its lowest price ever. During Prime Day, the card cost $26. The Samsung Qi Certified Fast Charge Wireless Charger Stand is selling for $54.97 (a 21 percent discount), though it was priced down to $29.99 during Prime Day (a 56 percent discount).

Slate is an Amazon affiliate. When readers click on a link from a Slate article to Amazon.com, Slate earns a percentage of your purchase.