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Thanksgiving deals 2021: Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales

Experts recommend shoppers do most of their holiday shopping this month to avoid supply chain issues and to take advantage of holiday deals.
Smiling Mid Adult Woman Holding Arranging Flower Vase On Dinning Table At Home, for Thanksgiving
This November, retail experts suggest approaching holiday shopping earlier than usual given the supply chain issues that are expected to affect shipping and stock.Jordan Vanderzalm / EyeEm / Getty Images

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In November, people usually fall into two groups: those who are excited for Thanksgiving and those who are excited for the winter holidays. Some people might be inclined to hold out until Black Friday and Cyber Monday to look for deals, but you should get started as early as you can given the global supply chain issues and ongoing staffing issues, according to Kristin McGrath, a senior editor and retail expert at online shopping resource RetailMeNot. The later you wait, the more likely something will be out of stock or not arrive on time. These supply chain issues may also impact the number of sales and deals shoppers come across, especially with tech, thanks to a rampant chip shortage affecting everything from computers to cars.

According to a September survey of 1,082 people by RetailMeNot, 22 percent of respondents planned to start their holiday shopping last month, and 24 percent of respondents planned to start their holiday shopping in November ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Those looking to get started early on their holiday shopping don't have to wait for Black Friday and Cyber Monday to get the same quality deals — retailers like Best Buy, Target, Amazon, and Lowe’s have already started their early holiday sales.

To get an idea of the best sales and deals worth considering right now, we consulted retail experts and our recent coverage. We also asked the pros what you can wait to buy.

November 2021 sales

We picked the sales below based on Select reader interests and our previous coverage. The sales include multiple deals, and not every product in a sale is going to be the best deal around.

What to buy in November

McGrath said that shoppers should expect to find an average discount of 25 percent off makeup and skin care products, 23 percent off clothing, 22 percent off toys, 20 percent off computers and electronics and 19 percent off travel-related items across retailers.

Despite global supply chain issues possibly interfering with the restocking of clothes and toys, McGrath said November will be the time to buy these items due to the number of sales that will be available across retailers.

Vipin Porwal, the founder of online coupon tracker Smarty, said that department stores with a larger brick-and-mortar presence like Kohl’s, Macy’s and JCPenney will have to bring out their best deals to compete with primarily online retailers during holiday sales, so shoppers should keep an eye out for their in-store sales this month.

In terms of the expected average sales on electronics, McGrath said the best deals will be on smart home assistants, video doorbells and photography equipment. While there will be sales in spite of inventory issues, some sales will also occur because there is too much inventory.

“This will be a very good year to shop Black Friday sales for health and wellness products, as well as work/study from home items, as current inventories are saturated from the pandemic, so prices on these items can fall up to 50 percent,” Porwal said.

What to skip in November

As always, some deals this month will seem “too good to be true,” McGrath said: Some doorbuster TVs, for example, may be “cheapened for mass consumption” or equip “lower-quality components, fewer HDMI ports and other problems.”

“The Super Bowl usually falls right after the annual Consumer Electronics Show, so retailers often offer deep discounts on older models [then] to make way for the newer TVs released during the show,” McGrath said about another time of year to consider buying a TV at a discount, adding we should expect fewer sales on laptops and other computer equipment, too, due to the chip shortage.

McGrath also said that shoppers should think twice before buying holiday merchandise, large appliances and mattresses right now. Holiday merchandise will be available at larger discounts after the holidays, and retailers usually offer better discounts on large appliances and mattresses during other holiday weekends, like Independence Day, Labor Day and Memorial Day, McGrath said.

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