Hottest 2016 Items & Black Friday 2017 Predictions

When you think about Black Friday, you are probably picturing huge savings, huge crowds, door-busters galore, and of course deals, deals, deals! Would it surprise you that sometimes the hottest Black Friday items are not considered the best "deals"? This especially rings true for newer video game consoles. Last year some of the biggest Black Friday sellers were the Xbox One S and the PlayStation 4 Pro, but the prices were not spectacular. The consoles themselves were not on sale and the only way to get any kind of bargain was to buy bundles, which we will mention several times throughout this article.

Other categories fared better in the actual "deal" game that Black Friday has to offer. The KitchenAid Mixers were all the rage again, with Kohl's holding the reign for the largest discount. They offered up a whopping $105.00 in Kohl's Cash rewards + a $50 mail-in rebate, which brought the total of one KitchenAid Pro 600 Stand Mixer down to $204.99! Beat that! No, I really mean it Kohl's, beat that this year.

And last but not least, the mother of all Black Friday deals - the Television, had another bang up year with the greatest bargain heroes being the Element or Hisense 40" 1080p HDTV w/ 3 HDMI ports for $125.00 at Walmart! Were you lucky enough to snag this deal or are you hoping to get your hands on the same or even better deal this Black Friday?

Below we have the hottest Black Friday deals of 2016 and our expectations of what we will see for Black Friday 2017 !

Video Game Consoles

Xbox One S

The Xbox One S was everywhere last Black Friday, and was widely priced between $249.99-$299.00, with the former holding a discount of about $50.00. Microsoft was offering the Xbox One S Gears of War Bundle for $299.00 with a free 14-day Xbox Live Gold Trial; Best Buy was offering the XONE S Minecraft Favorites Console Bundle for $249.99, with Dell Home following suit. Kohl's was offering a $75 gift card if you made your Xbox One S 500GB Minecraft bundle purchase through them, while Walmart decided to offer the Xbox One S 500GB Battlefield 1 bundle for (you guessed it) $249.00.

Microsoft recently announced via Twitter that they were slashing the price of the Xbox One S Consoles by $50.00! The announcement came right before introducing the new Xbox One X Project Scorpio (perfect timing Microsoft)! You can get the Xbox One S Battlefield 1 500GB Bundle right now on Amazon for $248.00! With Project Scorpio being released November 7th, do you think Microsoft will cut prices on the XONE S bundles even more? One can hope!

Xbox One S Minecraft Special Edition Console

Microsoft did not disappoint with this special edition console. This distinct 8-bit style console is a charming nod to Minecraft with the block by block front display, the translucent base and hidden secrets for Mincecraft fans, this console is every Mincraftiens dream. The controllers, while awesome to say the least, will set you back $70.00! Choose from Creeper (a diabolical enemy in Minecraft) or the adorable Pink Pig design (I'll admit I flipped out when I saw this) both which feature a textured grip and Bluetooth technology. Your best bet would be to purchase the Minecraft Bundle which comes with 1TB storage drive, Creeper Wireless Controller, a vertical stand, and digital codes for Minecraft and the Redstone expansion. According to PCMAG, every purchase also comes with one month of Xbox Game Pass and 14 days of Xbox Live Gold. You can pre-order the bundle for $399.00 at Mircrosoft with the release date set for October 3rd.

Xbox One X

The limited-edition Xbox One X Project Scorpio has a unique wireless controller and an "Easter Egg" on the console and subtle paint differences. The words "Project Scorpio" are printed on both the fan-inspired console and the controller. Featuring a considerable increase in power and ability to run 4K games, it comes as no surprise that the Xbox One X has made Microsoft history setting pre-orders records, with the official release date not until November 7, 2017. Just like last year with the Xbox One S and the PS4 Pro, we are likely to see the very best deals on bundles, instead of on the console itself. The Xbox One X will retail for $499.99 and reportedly doesn't just beat the PS4 Pro visuals, it dominates, and for an extra $100 we think it should!

PlayStation 4 Slim

Sony’s PS4 Slim was a hit during Black Friday last year. With its all matte finish and affordable price of $249.99, it was the best-selling video game console, followed by the Xbox One S. Also, just like the Xbox One S, we could see prices as low as $199.99 this year!

PlayStation 4 Slim Gold Edition

The PS4 1TB Gold Limited Edition Console came out in June of this year for $249.99 and was only available for a short time (June 9-17th), however some wonder if the limited edition will come back for the holiday season as well at the same low price. It was available at Amazon for $338.03, but has since sold out.

PlayStation 4 Pro

Black Friday 2016 was all about the PS4 Slim, and Black Friday 2017 will be all about the PS4 Pro. Just like in 2016 and just like the Xbox One X we are expecting the better deals to be on bundles instead of just the console itself. The $399.99 price for the PS4 Pro is $100 more than the somewhat competitive Nintendo Switch, but there will most likely be some room for larger discounts this Black Friday.

Apple

iPad Air 2 (32GB) / iPad (2017)

Last Black Friday the iPad Air 2 (32GB) was a hot commodity selling for $274.00, plus if you had a Target REDCard, you would have gotten an additional 5% off to bring the total to $260.00. The thinner and lighter iPad Air 2 has since been discontinued by Apple (you can still purchase one from a 3rd party), and replaced by the new thicker and inexpensive iPad (2017) simply named "iPad" released in March of 2017. Expect this item to be the new hot commodity this season, if not for its technical features then surely for its $329.99 price.

MacBook Air 2016/ MacBook Air 2017

Apple offered their MacBook Air (2016 model), the "minimalist" laptop with a 13" display 1.6GHz Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD and lower Black Friday price tag of $978.00. The 2016 MacBook's Core m5 and Core m7 options could Turbo Boost to 2.7 and 3.1GHz respectively. The 2017 MacBook Air, while having an impressive keyboard, is a bit lackluster when it comes to any real upgrades. It has the same old similar design and is still made primarily of aluminum. The low butterfly switch keyboard has been upgraded with new second-gen switches and the performance has been given a boost with the Core i5 and i7 going up to 3.2 and 3.6GHz. This laptop might seem dated but with a starting price of $999.00 we have a feeling the MacBook Air will live to fight another day, and another Black Friday.

Televisions

Black Friday is notorious for huge deals on TV’s and just like in years past 2016 was packed with TV deals, including nearly half-price deals on select TVs. Black Friday 2016 saw an average discount of 23.2% on TV’s. The LG 60" 4K Ultra HD Smart LED HDTV was a big win for Best Buy with a low price of $599.99. High-end sets are where the expensive MSRPs are, but the rapid advancing world of TV tech means those prices can only be maintained for a short time. So, If you’re in the market for the kind of TV that usually has an expensive price tag, Black Friday 2017 could be exactly what you need.

Amazon Devices

Black Friday 2016 treated Amazon well. In addition to rolling out deals as early as November 1st, Gift Guides, an overhauled mobile version, and offering exclusive deals to orders placed with Alexa, and an average savings of 42% off (compared to 36% off at Best Buy) Amazon continued to pay special attention to its Amazon Prime subscribers with the effort paying off with exceeding sales from the 2015 holiday season. The Echo Dot speaker was the best-selling item across the Amazon Platform on both Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Amazon released the Echo Show this year so we can expect sales for that and as with previous years we're sure to see Alexa exclusive offers, faster than lightning deals, and Prime Members only discounts.

Google Home/Google Mini

The only true competitor to Amazon's Alexa and Echo Dot was the reasonably priced Google Home. I don’t know if "competitor" is actually the correct term. It seems the largest reason people bought Google Home over the Echo was because the Echo and Echo Dot were mostly sold out. The reason being that many people thought Google Home was not technologically up to date as the Amazon devices, however Google’s voice powered search outdoes the Echo with its huge knowledge of the web. This year however, with the release of the new Google Home Mini (speculated release for September/October) and rumored price tag of around $35.00-$40.00, the Echo Dot could have an actual competitor on its hands this year. Also, with Google and Walmart teaming up (you read that correctly) to offer voice shopping from Walmart through Google Home, should Amazon be worried? I doubt it.

Home/Kitchen Items & Appliances

Although Electronics and Toys tend to dominate during Black Friday, appliances and appliance bundles are front and center on the big box retailers Black Friday Ads as well. JCPenney was offering Up to 40% Off Major Appliances last year as well as offering a $500 Off $500 instant coupon, $100 Off $100+ instant coupon or a $10.00 Off $10.00+ instant coupon randomly for the first ones in the door. Best Buy was also offering 40% Off Major Appliance Top Deals as well as $100.00 Off select Roombas. Lowe's offered Up to $200.00 Off select Dyson Vacuums while Target was offering 50% Off select Kitchen Appliances.

The Ninja blender was almost as hot an item as the KitchenAid Mixers with Kohl’s offering $15.00 Kohl’s Cash on the purchase of a $69.99 NinjaXL Blender or Nutri Blender. JC Penney had great promotions on kitchen items as well, such as their $9.99 (after mail-in rebate) half page of Cooks, Sunbeam and Bella items. They were also selling Cooks 1.5-at. Slow Cookers for $14.99 (after mail-in rebate).


Were you impressed with last years deals? Do you prefer to get the hottest deals or the most popular items? Let us know what you're looking for this year in the comments!

September 27, 2017
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