This story is part of , CNET’s gift picks with expert advice, reviews and recommendations for the latest tech gifts for you and your family.
Welcome to Black Friday Whack-A-Mole, when early deals pop up and disappear and then (sometimes) pop up again. There’s also Black Friday Ring Toss, the game of hoping you land the deal millions of other shoppers also want. Example: The long-teased TCL 55-inch Roku TV for $148 hit Walmart late yesterday — and sold out minutes later.
That particular deal may not come around again, but rest assured there are others. For example, the nextstarts this Saturday, Nov. 14. The latest . And although Amazon recently pumped the brakes on , there’s no doubt those discounts will be back.
The list below continues to feature some of our favorite early deals. Below them, you can see some of the expired stuff, which we’re keeping here because we expect them to resurface. As always, keep this post bookmarked and check it often for updates!
Best early Black Friday deals available now
Kohl’s isn’t technically having a Black Friday sale, but we’re tossing this in because it’s a great deal on an item every kitchen needs. Score the beloved Crock-Pot for just $25.50 with promo code SAVE15. This model has lid clamps for easier travel.
Take note that shipping isn’t free, however, unless your cart hits $75. But you can pick it up in-store and bypass shipping altogether.
Tying the lowest price on record, the K-Mini is about as compact as coffee makers come. Pop in a pod, pour in some water, push a button — it’s also about as easy as coffee makers come. This one can brew cups ranging from 6-12 ounces.
With standard AirPods on sale for an all-time-low $99 (see below), why spend almost double to get AirPods Pro? I’ll make the arguments for better fit and much better sound, but, really, it’s all about the noise canceling: These in-ear ‘buds block outside noise better than just about any other product on the market.
They’re also great for calls and offer an excellent transparency mode. Like to work out? The AirPods Pro are sweat-resistant; standard AirPods are not.
Pro tip: Use your Amazon Prime Rewards Visa card to get 5% back on this purchase, effectively bringing your price down to $184.30. Don’t have that card? If you’re a Prime subscriber, grab it and score a $100 Amazon gift card. That would shave the initial price down to just $94, then $89.30 after the 5% cash back. Read our AirPods Pro review.
TCL is best known for its Roku TVs, and we like the Roku smart TV system better than the Android TV version in this television, but for this price you can just buy a Roku Streaming Stick Plus, attach it to this TV and still come out ahead. Aside from its smarts we expect this 4-Series TV to perform “good enough,” just like the Roku equivalent.
Note that this was $50 cheaper last week, and therefore may be again — but for now it’s still a really solid deal on a 55-inch smart TV.
Lenovo’s premium two-in-one, the Yoga C940, boasts a sturdy and sleek all-metal design and a touch display that can rotate 360 degrees into tablet mode. It includes an active pen and can also instantly wake from sleep, one of the phone-like features it received courtesy of Intel’s Project Athena.
This configuration features a 14-inch display with a 4K resolution powered by a 10th-gen Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM and 512GB SSD with 32GB of superfast Optane memory. A similarly configured Yoga C40 on Lenovo’s site works out to $1,650, so this deal is even better than it looks. And it already looked good. Read our Lenovo Yoga C940 review.
Early Black Friday deals: Sold out or expired (for now)
As we roll into winter, I’m already missing my garden — especially the herbs I grow to make homemade chermoula (my best discovery of 2019).
LED-powered indoor gardens to the rescue! There are lots of these on the market right now, some pretty pricey. This is an unusually good deal on the AeroGarden Harvest Elite Slim, which supports up to six seed pods and comes with a starter heirloom-salad seed kit.
Excited as we are for the $148 55-inch Roku TV that’s coming to Walmart later today, this is a pretty sweet deal as well.
As a general rule, we don’t like Amazon’s Fire TV as much as Roku because Fire TV menus push Amazon content too much and are more confusing in general. But this model does have a voice remote with Alexa, and the price is just amazing for a screen of this size.
This 55-inch TCL has a 4K UHD display with HDR. It’s equipped with our favorite smart TV interface, Roku, which you can control with the included voice remote. There are four HDMI inputs (including ARC) and dual-band Wi-Fi for smooth streaming.
This midrange Pavilion is equipped with an AMD Ryzen 5 4500U CPU, a 512GB SSD and has a 1,920×1,080-pixel display. It also features upgraded B&O speakers and weighs 3.9 pounds.
Amazon, Walmart, Costco and other stores were offering $99 AirPods, the lowest price on record, but for the moment that deal is gone. In its place: $194 AirPods Pro at Amazon (see above), also the lowest price on record.
Will $99 AirPods be back? [Shakes Magic 8-Ball.] All signs point to yes. Read our AirPods review.
If ever there was a time to tune out the world, it’s now. (Because, you know, election, pandemic, murder hornets…) Sure, there are newer over-the-ear noise-canceling cans from Sony and even Bose, but this perennial favorite was great when it came out and it’s still great now — especially at this price, which rivals the lowest we’ve seen. Original list price: $350. Read our Bose QuietComfort 35 II review.
These days, a multicooker is an essential kitchen tool, like a toaster oven or microwave. This Instant Pot Viva can get you in the multicooker business for half price: $49 buys you a nine-in-one gadget that works as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, sous vide, cake maker and more. It has a 6-quart capacity and comes with 15 preset programs for recipes that include soups, beans, rice, ribs and eggs.
Normally $30, the new-for-2020 Fire Stick Lite continues to see a solid discount ahead of Black Friday. This entry-level streamer delivers 1080p video with HDR support (but not 4K). The big missing apps are HBO Max and Peacock (for now), but the Alexa-powered voice remote is top-notch. Read our Fire TV Stick Lite review.
The Echo Show 8 is simply a larger version of the Echo Show 5, but that makes it a better candidate for the kitchen and other places you might prefer a bigger display. (It’s definitely preferable for video calls.) This matches the lowest price on record for this model.
Vanessa Hand Orellana/CNET
New for 2020, the Apple Watch SE is the middle child of the Apple Watch lineup. It’s got the same basic design as the Series 6, but lacks that model’s always-on display, ECG functionality and oxygen saturation measurements. The 40mm and 44mm models run $279 and $309 at the Apple Store, but this weekend’s $50 price cut is the first big holiday sale we’ve seen on this model. Read our Apple Watch SE review.
You don’t have to spend hundreds to add some automation to your house cleaning. The Eufy RoboVac 25C can be controlled via a mobile app or by voice with Alexa and Google Home. It’s smart enough to differentiate between floors and carpet and can avoid stairs automatically.
What you need to know about Black Friday 2020
Black Friday 2020 is shaping up to be a very different kind of shopping experience than any holiday shopping weekend in recent memory. With ongoing inventory issues due to the extended — not to mention the need for retailers to maintain a safe environment for customers and employees — it’s likely that there will be no throngs of expectant customers lining up for hours ahead of massive doorbuster sales.
In fact, a number of stores will be closed on Thanksgiving this year, ending a long-standing tradition of kicking off Black Friday sales before the turkey has had a chance to cool. These retailers have not yet announced plans for Friday, Nov. 27, but we’ll update this article as we learn more about their holiday hours.
In addition, all of the retailers listed below require customers to wear face coverings. Unless their policies change between now and Thankskgiving, it’s reasonable to assume that face coverings will be required for Black Friday sales as well.
Bookmark this post and check back often for more early and upcoming Black Friday deals!
CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and check out our CNET Coupons page for the latest promo codes from Best Buy, Walmart, Amazon and more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our .