It’s the first week of November, which means the leaves are about gone but the early-Black Friday sales have arrived in full force. As we reported earlier, Amazon is already offering holiday deals, Costco shared its massive holiday-sale catalog and Walmart’s already week-old Early Deals Drop seems to be getting better: See the latest Apple Watch Series 3 GPS Plus Cellular deal below. All this despite the fact that the big day doesn’t officially arrive until Nov. 29, followed three days later by Cyber Monday. Yep, it’s official: Black Friday Madness is upon us.

We got you. We’ll be tracking all the Black Friday (and Cyber Monday) deals between now and early December. And to make life easier, we’re cherry-picking the absolute best stuff — the items we think are genuinely good buys. See our preliminary picks below, followed by some general Black Friday info.

Arcade1Up

This head-to-head machine brings 12 classic arcade games to your den, including half a dozen Street Fighter titles, Final Fight and Commando. And for a limited time you’ll also score $70 in Kohl’s Cash, which is basically free money to use on additional store purchases. (Note that it must be used by Nov. 14.)

Although the product description seems to refer to the upright version of this unit, the model number is definitely for the cocktail table.

Arcade1Up

Most of Arcade1Up’s machines cost around $300. This one — which is a three-quarter-size version of the original — costs $170 once it’s in your shopping cart. And it looks, sounds and plays exactly like the old arcade machines. Walmart is also offering the Centipede edition for $180.

Living DNA

Curious about your origin story? Living DNA’s test is quite comprehensive; it covers your overall ancestry, motherline and fatherline. Plus, family DNA-matching is now included as well. (Take note, however, that this same kit will be $10 less from Nov. 18 to Dec. 3.)

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Yep, it’s nowhere near Black Friday, and the Echo Show 5 is already selling for less than it was on Prime Day. The little smart-speaker with the 5.5-inch display makes a great bedside companion, but it could also pull kitchen duty for things like recipe videos and video calls.

Interestingly, Kohl’s currently has the Echo Show 5 on sale for the same price, but buying it there also nets you $10 in Kohl’s Cash — essentially free money to use for a future store purchase. 

Read our Echo Show 5 review.

César Salza/CNET

The Fossil Sport hit the scene just about a year ago, bringing oodles of features to the Wear OS watch-scape for a reasonable $275. The specs include NFC for Google Pay, GPS, 5 ATM water resistance, a heart-rate monitor and an altimeter. This pre-Black Friday sale drops the Sport (light blue only) to just $149, the best price we’ve seen yet.

Sarah Tew/CNET

At this price, the M-Series Quantum is a total overachiever. It delivers excellent picture quality, with deep black levels, accurate color and very good 4K HDR performance. And its smart system is phone-friendly, with Google Cast and Apple AirPlay control.

Walmart is also serving up a worthwhile deal on the 55-inch model, priced at $398.

Read our Vizio M Class TV review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Speaking of sweet TV deals, Best Buy is now offering the top-rated TCL 55R615 for an all-time-low $400. It’s not an official Black Friday deal, and it expires late on Sunday, Oct. 27, but you can get it’ll return as BF gets closer.

This is the 2018 model; there’s a newer one, but don’t let that dissuade you. In his TCL 55R615 review, CNET’s TV guru David Katzmaier described the 6-Series as still having “the best picture quality for the money, period.” The TV handles both HDR10 and Dolby Vision high dynamic range sources and its picture quality rivals that of TVs costing twice as much. And yes, it has Roku built-in.

Read our TCL 6-Series 2018 review.

That’s it for now, but check back often as we update this post based on new deals and availability. In the meantime, here’s everything else you need to know about this major shopping event.

What date is Black Friday 2019?

Black Friday always falls on the day after Thanksgiving. This year, it takes place on Friday, Nov. 29. 

When is Cyber Monday 2019?

It falls the Monday after Black Friday — in this case, Monday, Dec. 2.

When will Black Friday sales actually start?

It varies from store to store, but expect to see plenty of sales that kick off well before Thanksgiving. Indeed, some stores unveil “Black November” sales that span the entire month, while others will kick-start their Black Friday events early. We’ll post all the details as we get them.

Why is it called ‘Black Friday’?

This is borderline urban-legend stuff. Some say Black Friday dates back to the early 1950s, when stores would kick off the Christmas shopping season with big sales. So big, in fact, that annual store profits would often tip into “the black” (meaning no longer “in the red,” which is accounting parlance for losing money) once all the receipts were tallied. Or: So big that traffic would get so snarled, policemen dubbed the day “Black Friday.”

Find out more, and get the scoop on Cyber Monday as well, in Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday: What’s the difference?

How to find ‘leaked’ Black Friday ads

In years past, a variety of Black Friday sites have dedicated themselves to revealing leaked newspaper circulars in the days and weeks ahead of the big Thanksgiving sales. Those are all still around, but many of the big stores have chosen to “leak” the ads on their own sites, revealing the contents of what will be on sale for bargain hunters who like to plan ahead.

Last year, some stores shared these ads as early as late October, and there’s no reason to think this year will be any different. As always, we’ll be keeping a close eye on Black Friday ads, sharing them as we find them, so bookmark this post and check CNET proper for all the relevant ad info.

Where can I find great deals in the meantime?

So glad you asked! Here are some CNET deal resources you should bookmark:

  • The Cheapskate, a daily, curated, sometimes exclusive collection of the web’s best deals from Rick “The Cheapskate” Broida (that’s me) and CNET’s growing team of bargain-hunters.
  • CNET Deals, a categorical listing of every single deal we can lay our hands on.


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How to win Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2019



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Tamara Palmer contributed to this story.

Originally published last year. Regularly updated with new information.