If you have a black belt in Black Friday shopping, listen up: Orange County retailers are gearing up to dazzle bargain hunters earlier this year—starting on Thanksgiving Day.
So, for the best Black Friday deals, you'll barely have time to gobble down your turkey before hitting the stores.
Toys 'R Us, Walmart, Kmart and Sears open their doors at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving. Target welcomes the shopping hordes at 9 p.m. And others open at midnight or at the crack of dawn Friday. Several merchants plan to offer waves of "doorbuster" deals.
And, online, many merchants will offer Black Friday prices all day on Thanksgiving, plus free shipping. Many of the deals, online and off, are designed to offset competition from Amazon.com, according to a report in the L.A. Times.
Here's our Black Friday guide. We’ve highlighted popular shopping spots and included the “sweetest deals.” Happy hunting!
* REMEMBER: All deals are subject to change. Check with merchants to verify details.
Thursday opening times for popular Black Friday destinations:
- Walmart, 8 p.m. Thursday
- Toys 'R Us, 8 p.m. Thursday
- Sears, 8 p.m. Thursday
- Kmart, 8 p.m. Thursday
- Target, 9 p.m. Thursday
- Best Buy, midnight
- Kohl's, midnight
Black Friday deals
Opens: Three sale events: specials on toys and games at 8 p.m., discounted electronics and gadgets at 10 p.m., and deals on everything else starting at 5 a.m. Friday.
Sweetest deal(s): Nook Color for $99; $75 gift card when you purchase the iPad 2 for $399
Deals by event:
- 8 p.m.: Xbox 360 with Skylander’s Bundle for $149; Wii console $89; Sony PS3 with Infamous and Uncharted Bundle, $199; Nintendo DSi XL console, $99.96; Xbox Live three-month Gold Card for $11.96; Epic Mickey 2, $24.96; DVD and Blu-ray movies from $1.96 to $8.96; Cinderella Styling Throne, $30; Barbie Jeep, $89; Hot Wheels Loop and Stunt, $25; NABI Kid’s Tablet, $129; Little Tikes Gourmet Prep 'N' Serve Kitchen, $50
- 10 p.m.: One-hour in-stock guarantee on iPad 2 for $399, plus a bonus $75 gift card; in-stock guarantee on Emerson 32-inch HDTV for $148; in-stock guarantee on an LG Blu-ray player for $38; other deals include the Garmin touchscreen GPS for $69, dual screen DVD by Sylvania for $49, iPod fourth-generation for $195 and Nikon S3200 16-megapixel camera for $69
Additional tips: Some deals are available only during specified times, so plan accordingly. Visit Walmart.com and print out a map of your local store with the locations of Black Friday specials. And remember: Walmart will match any price you find over Thanksgiving weekend.
Shop online on Thanksgiving. Walmart will have special deals for online shoppers, including the Xbox 360 plus Dance Bundle for $229 and the Apple iPod Touch with bonus accessories for $179
TOYS 'R US
Opens: 8 p.m. Thursday
Why go: The toy chain calls this its “lowest prices ever" sale and flaunts more than 200 doorbuster deals
Sweetest deal(s): Purchase the iPod Touch for $199.99 and get a $20 Toys 'R Us gift card and $30 iTunes multipack
Deals: Save $150 on the Power Wheels Barbie or Silver Cadillac Escalade, on sale for $269.99; Rock Star Mickey on sale for $19.99; Dora’s Kitchen set is $49; buy one, get one free on all batteries; Samsung Galaxy 2 Tablet, $299; Leap Frog Tag Reading System, $19.99; receive a $15 iTunes gift card when you buy a $50 iTunes gift card; DS, PS3 and Wii Games are buy one, get another for $1
Opens: 8 p.m. Thursday, open all night
Why go: 1,000-plus doorbusters, including discounts on TVs
Sweetest deals: 32-inch HDTV for $97 (unknown brand) and ProScan DVD player, $9.99
- 8 p.m.: $19.99 Nordic Track coats for men/women; 60 percent off handbags and slippers; 60 percent off kids' clothes, coats and pajamas; 60 percent off all fine jewelry; $219.99 for Xbox 360 4 GB console with Kinect; buy an Xbox 360 and save 50 percent on select games, including Epic Mickey 2 and Assassins Creed III; $99 for Wii Console; $169.99 Nintendo DS bundle flame red 3DS with Super Mario 3D Land and members get $20 points with purchase; Nook simple touch, $39.99
- 4 a.m.: $29.99 Craftsman 18-volt drill/driver; Samsung 60-inch slim LED HDTV, $1299.99; 51-inch Samsung plasma HDTV, $579.99; $129.99 Panasonic DVD home theater, members get $15 back in points; 30 percent off all Kenmore Elite appliances; "lowest prices ever" on various Craftsman tools; all bikes and scooters on sale—Disney Princess or Cars 10-inch bikes only $24.99; new Razor scooter with seat, $179.99
Additional tips: Clip a Black Friday ad coupon for $10 off a $40-or-more purchase or $15 in points
Opens: 8 p.m.-3 a.m.
Why go: Deals on everything from footwear to bicycles to electronics
Sweetest deal(s): LG 50-inch plasma HDTV for $549.99
- 8 p.m.: $88 for 24-inch LED TV; all footwear is buy one, get one free; $184.99 for 12-foot trampoline and enclosure; $69.99 boys' or girls' electric scooter; up to 80 percent off all fine jewelry
- 3 a.m.: Single Shot Arcade basketball, $39.99; Huffy 26-inch mountain bikes, $68.88; Nintendo DSi, $79.99 for Shop Your Way members, $94.99 for all others; $129.99 Wii console, Shop Your Way members get a $30 coupon; select DSi and Wii games on sale for $14.99; GE G100 long-zoom digital camera, $119; $299.99 for an HP Pavilion Notebook
Additional tips: Don’t forget about Kmart’s layaway—put a little down on Friday and pay it off later. Members get a $5 Kmart award card when they spend $50 or more.
Opens: 9 p.m. Thursday
Why go: Free Target gift card with purchase of iPod Touch for $195
Sweetest deal: 50-inch Westinghouse HDTV for $349 (while supplies last)
Deals: $199.99 XBox 360 Kinect; PS3 with two games and wireless controller, $199.99; Nook Simple Touch for $49; Brave and Madagascar 3 DVDs, $10; $99.99 for Nikon L310 Digital Camera; iPad with retina display for $499.99 and receive a $60 Target card with purchase; iPod Nano for $149 plus $20 Target gift card; RCA dual portable DVD players, $59; Gateway laptop, $349; NHL 54-inch air-powered hockey table, $55
Additional tips: Find Black Friday deals online on Thanksgiving
Opens: Midnight (stores will hand out tickets two hours before opening; last year there was a movie screening, so you never know what they might do this year). The company is hoping strong sales can help it rebound from a rocky year, according to the L.A. Times.
Why go: Free Droid Razr, great prices on televisions and gaming consoles, and free gift cards with purchases
Sweetest deal(s): iPod Touch 5 for $294.99 plus a $50 gift card; $100 iTunes card for $80
Deals: $8.99 for selected DVDs including The Hunger Games, Breaking Bad and The Big Bang Theory; $39.99 for a Toshiba Smart Wi-Fi Blu-ray player; free Verizon Droid Razr Maxx 4G LTE with two-year activation; $179 Toshiba 40-inch HDTV; Samsung laptop, $349.95; Nabi 2 tablet, $169; Sony PlayStation 3, Famous Collection Limited Edition Bundle, $199.99; Epic Mickey 2, $29.99; $294.99 for iPod Touch fifth-generation, get a free $50 Best Buy gift card with purchase; $149.99 Nintendo 3 DS Flame Red; Microsoft Xbox Holiday Bundle, $199.99; iPad Nano, $149.99 and get a free $20 gift card with purchase; Kindle Fire HD 16GB tablet, $199.99
Additional tips: Online-only deals include price match guarantee; extended holiday returns; 30 days unlimited phone support
Why go: All shoppers receive $15 of Kohl's cash for every $50 spent; more than 500 early bird specials, including 50 percent off children's games
Deals: $9.99 for a Crockpot 4-quart slow cooker or Black & Decker blender; Keurig special edition brewer on sale for $149.99; Polaroid 8-inch internet tablet for $159.99; Vivitar Vivicam, $49.99; Discovery Kids digital camera for $19.99 and various Babycakes treat makers for $14.99
Additional tips: If you are Kohl’s card holder, look for special extra savings coupons in the mail.
Why go: Snag free headphones with a $75 fragrance purchase, including Wonderstruck by Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber Girlfriend
Deals: Black & Decker rice cooker, Bella 12-cup coffee maker or griddle for $9.99; 60 percent off Christmas china and holiday dinnerware and linens
Additional tips: Make sure to clip your $10 coupon on their Black Friday ad to receive $10 off your $25 purchase; use your Macy’s card or Savings Pass to get an extra 10 or 15 percent off
Opens: "Cheermageddon" hits at midnight on Thanksgiving and lasts until 4 a.m.
Why go: If you get to Old Navy early enough and spend $40, you will receive a Super Mario Wii U game and also have a chance to win one of 1,000 Wii U consoles given away on Black Friday
Deals: Adoraboots for kids and adults, $12; half-zip fleece jackets for $5; from 4 to 8 a.m. coats for kids are $15 and coats for adults are $19; Disney Pixar DVD and tee for $15; on Saturday, graphic tees for the family are $5 and everyone can get a pair of jingle jammies for $8.
Additional tips: Check the Old Navy Black Friday ad and clip your $10 coupon to use when you spend $50
Other deals and steals
SAM’S CLUB opens at 7 a.m. Friday and members will enjoy a free cup of Starbucks holiday blend coffee and an artisan fresh pastry.
It’s rumored that MICHAELS craft stores will give away free Godiva chocolate bars to the first 100 customers. Check store website to confirm.
Visit JCPENNEY on Black Friday and receive a free Christmas button. Check the code on the back and enter it online to win prizes, including vacations and gifts.
COSTCO members will get a copy of Simply Delicious: The Costco Way on Black Friday while supplies last.
Spend $65 or more at VICTORIA’S SECRET and receive a free tote bag full of beauty samples.
Braving the busiest shopping day of the year
- Check out all the circulars and ads. Many have coupons or savings passes to clip.
- Go online and visit store websites for valuable information.
- Check out Black Friday websites, many of which include comparison charts, sale schedules and valuable tips.
- Blackfriday.com and BFads.net and theblackfriday.com have all the ads available in one place with timely updates.
- Shop Local allows you to plug in your ZIP code for specific local offers.
- Offers.com offers great advice on saving money with their Black Friday Savings Center. Check here for the most up to date store opening/closing information.
- Mobile apps can also keep you on your toes and moving when you’re out and about. Fatwallet’s mobile app can find you the best prices while you are on the go and Pricegrabber’s mobile app compares in store and online deals.
- Many stores, such as Toys "R" Us and Walmart, offer their own apps to help you with shopping.
- BFads.net has a phone app available this year also. If your phone helps you with other tasks, this might be the way for you to maneuver the Black Friday mania.
- One last bit of practical advice for dedicated Black Friday shoppers: Many sales are happening late at night and into the wee hours of the morning so bring a buddy and be safe!
For early morning traditionalists, some stores will open at 4 a.m. Friday with special sales. To keep up with all the Black Friday deals, check your favorite retailers' Facebook pages and websites.
Want to avoid the holiday mega-crowds altogether? Look for Cyber Monday deals on Nov. 26 or visit your local mom-and-pop retailers on Small Business Saturday on Nov. 24. Another option: Hire a shopper via TaskRabbit.com.
Happy and safe shopping to all!
TELL US: Do you shop on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday or Cyber Monday? If so, where do you find the best deals? Share in the comments below.