Black Friday sales have started, but where are the deals, asks USA TODAY’s Jefferson Graham.

LOS ANGELES — Retailers are rolling out a barrage of discounts on electronics in the run-up to Black Friday, some as early as this weekend.

The deals “are spread over a longer period of time now,” says Melissa Martin, a spokesperson for the website and app, which tracks sales. “You’ll just have to hunt to find them.”

More so than in years past, retailers including Amazon, Best Buy and Costco have already begun offering discounts on electronics, though most of the best deals on items like the Apple Watch, Microsoft xBox One game console and 4K TVs won’t be available until later  next week, around Thanksgiving.

The rock-bottom “doorbuster,” prices are reserved for Thursday night and Friday morning, the day after Thanksgiving. That’s the Black Friday tradition, when retailers draw off-work shoppers into the stores with deep discounts, putting their ledgers into the black for the year.

This year, however, most retailers are offering discounts on selected products all week long.

Best Buy already has knocked $50 off the price of a bundled offer of two wireless Wi-Fi speakers from Sonos, for $349, and taken $50 off the price of a new Apple Watch, which starts at $350. The retailer will be offering $100 off on Black Friday.

Retail chain Radio Shack says it will offer its deals on Wednesday, not Thursday or Friday. The chain filed for bankruptcy protection in February and closed more than half its stores this year

For folks who want to stand outside waiting for the doors to open early, either at 6 p.m. Thursday night or Friday morning, Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest retailer, will offering the best deals on non-brand name TVs, with 40-inch HDTVs for $149 and a Roku streaming box for $25, normally $50. What’s new this year is online access. Wal-Mart’s doorbusters will be available all day Thursday, at

For those looking for a new tablet, starting today, Costco will be offering a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 bundle for $250 off the normal price, at $899. A variety of TVs will also be on sale early at the wholesaler, including a 55-inch Vizio 4K TV for $709.99, a discount of $170.

Amazon says it will offer a variety of discounts in the days leading up to Black Friday including the Kindle Paperwhite tablet for $99.99 ($20 off) and the new 7-inch Fire tablet for $34.99 ($15 off).

  • Here's the truth about Black Friday 'doorbusters'

    Here’s the truth about Black Friday ‘doorbusters’

  • Black Friday - where are the deals?

    Black Friday – where are the deals?

  • The worst things you can buy before Black Friday

    The worst things you can buy before Black Friday

  • What to expect from Amazon's pre-Black Friday deals

    What to expect from Amazon’s pre-Black Friday deals

  • These Black Friday myths are costing you cash!

    These Black Friday myths are costing you cash!

  • Walmart scales back on Black Friday frenzy

    Walmart scales back on Black Friday frenzy

  • Target's Black Friday deals bundle Apple products, gift cards

    Target’s Black Friday deals bundle Apple products, gift cards

  • Roku's debuts Black Friday deal

    Roku’s debuts Black Friday deal

  • REI sending customers away Black Friday

    REI sending customers away Black Friday

Shawn DuBravac, chief economist for the Consumer Technology Association, says some 91 million of us will shop for tech gifts during what’s now “Black Friday” week — Monday November 23 through November 30 — and that overall sales will rise 3.4%.

Even with websites like Black Friday and showcasing the retail ads to bring in consumers, DuBravac admits we have yet to see the biggest bargains touted yet.

“It will slowly start to accelerate as we get closer,” he says. “Everything will really start to pick up on Wednesday with Black Friday pricing. There are deals out there now, but the big ones will only be available for Thursday or Friday.”

The CTA expects videogame consoles and TVs to be the most purchased tech gifts this year.

Jefferson Graham talks to consumers about what tech gifts they want for the holidays, on #TalkingTech.
Sean Fujiwara

Follow Jefferson Graham (@jeffersongraham) and Eli Blumenthal (@eliblumenthal) on Twitter. 

Read or Share this story: