Worst Black Friday 2018 Deals

Worst Black Friday 2018 Deals

Although widely considered the most special time of year, the holiday season is not all sugar plums and gingerbread men. Generally speaking, this is the time of year where around the country people are generally in good spirits, buoyed by scenic, snow dusted landscapes, holiday decorations, and the notion of peace on earth and good will towards men. Every silver lining, as they say, has a touch of grey, and this time of year is not without treachery of its own. Driveways are iced over, nights are cold and long, lips are chapped, and showers take entirely too long to heat up.

Black Friday is not without its own pitfalls, and while it's still the best time of year to shop, bad Black Friday deals are real. Here at BFAds, we feel it's our holiday duty to make a naughty list of our own by picking out the worst Black Friday deals and griping about them!

Remember, these aren’t bad products, rip-offs, or scams. In fact, all of the items on our list this year are just the opposite, they’re the deals we want most! But among all the pages and pages of Black Friday ads, they are either not-great deals or are absent altogether.

OLED UHDTV

We really hoped that this would finally be the year that OLED leapt off the Worst Deals list and claimed its rightful place atop the throne of the Top Black Friday deals list. OLED is the pinnacle of home theater picture quality and the spiritual successor to plasma with its impossibly deep blacks and brilliant color that explodes off the screen like fireworks.

OLED HDTVs did actually make several appearances in Black Friday ads this year. In fact, there were more OLEDs advertised than any Black Friday before. The only problem is, while there are discounts, none of them beat deals that we’ve seen throughout 2018, and in fact, many of them have seen lower prices in the months leading up to Thanksgiving.

So, while 4K LCDs continue to make headlines with Black Friday deals that eclipse any previous deal in history, for OLED, there are no true doorbusters and instead only the dream of a doorbuster.

iPad Pro

After a surprise appearance last Black Friday when Target offered the first ever doorbuster deal on an iPad Pro, hopes were high this year that we would finally see multiple retailers joining the fray and that iPad Pro would enjoy the same style of across-the-board discounts that we see every year on both iPads and iPhones.

Then, just before October concluded, Apple dropped the details on all new iPad Pro models for 2018, setting the stage for a Black Friday to remember for Apple fans across the country. After all, for the last 4 years running, the latest models of both the iPad and the iPhone had received Black Friday discounts that very same year, and since iPad Pro had already made an appearance on Black Friday, it was all but a certainty that anyone waiting for a deal would be rewarded with a doorbuster deal.

Sadly, now that BFAds has broken all the major Black Friday ads for 2018, the iPad Pro has shown up in only two places. First, a deal at regional retailer Meijer, that advertises the iPad Pro 64 GB for the full retail price of $649.99 but offers a $125 coupon to use on your next visit, and a small, vague listing at Best Buy that offers up to $150 off select models.

While it’s great to save money, even if it’s through coupons or limited to specific models, they just don’t carry the splendor that shoppers hope for in a Black Friday deal.


PlayStation 4 Pro

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The Playstation 4 Pro and the Xbox One X seem to be taking turns making appearances on our Worst Deals list. Back in the fall of 2016, Playstation 4 Pro was the hottest console of the season, carrying with it the promise of true 4K gaming and showing up on the wish lists of gamers across the country. Then, as the Black Friday ads rolled out here at BFAds, the PS4 Pro was nowhere to be found, leaving shoppers everywhere with no choice but to pay retail price.

The following year it was Microsoft’s turn. Hot on the heels of the Xbox One X release, hopes were high that the newly-crowned world’s most powerful console would receive equally powerful discounts, but Xbox fans had to sit and watch as the Playstation 4 Pro received a full $50 discount from Gamestop while the Xbox One X got nothing.

This year, the tables have turned once again as the Xbox One X is on sale nearly everywhere this Black Friday, with retailers everywhere discounting the Xbox One X standard bundle by $100. Not only that, stores like Best Buy and Kohl’s have created their own special holiday bundles by including games like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Battlefield V with purchase of the console.

Yet, hot on the heels of one of the best years ever for Playstation 4, which saw the release of blockbuster exclusives like God of War and Spider-Man, each a potential game of the year award winner and each in stunning 4K when played on Playstation 4 Pro, there is not one Black Friday deal on a new PS4 Pro!

Speaking of Kohl’s, however, they do stock the Playstation 4 Pro. So anyone looking for a discount can take advantage of the Kohl’s Cash Black Friday promotion, which would net shoppers $120 in Kohl’s Cash to spend between Nov 24th and Dec 5th.

Nintendo First-Party Franchises on Switch

The Nintendo Switch found itself on our naughty list last year after it was advertised in many Black Friday ads but not actually discounted in any of them. The great news is that this year Nintendo has joined Sony and Microsoft in the annual tradition of game console bundles by making available to shoppers a Nintendo Switch bundle that includes the console and a copy of Mario Kart 8. Like other console bundles, this deal is available just about anywhere the Switch is sold, including Best Buy, Wal-Mart , Target, and even regional retailers like Fred Meyer, Meijer, and Shopko.

Inevitably, if there is a Nintendo Switch on your shopping list, the following items on that list are going to be games. Not just any games, but first party games like Super Mario Odyssey, The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild, Splatoon 2, or even second-tier franchises like Mario Tennis Aces or Mario Party. These are the games that sell systems, the games that put the Switch on the map, and these games are absolutely nowhere to be found at a discount on Black Friday.

Sure, there are a handful of first-party games that are discounted, like Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze and Arms, both of which are on sale for $35 at Walmart, but Donkey Kong is a port of the Wii U game and Arms is a new franchise that received little fanfare on release.

Franchises like Mario and Zelda are not just flagship franchises for the Switch, they are synonymous with Nintendo and with video gaming as a whole, and on Black Friday, they’re only available at full retail price.


Final Thoughts

Now comes the part of the Worst Deals list where we make our annual plea to our readers to not fall for the traps of home theater cables and accessories. Overpriced HDMI and video cables, flat panel TV wall mounts, and surge protectors will be on our list for as long as they are advertised as Black Friday deals, sometimes with overhyped titles, but are routinely found for less money when purchased online.

For example, page 7 of Best Buy’s Black Friday ad features a 4-ft. “UltraHD/HDR” HDMI cable for $9.99 after $20 Black Friday discount. Not only is 4-ft. probably too short for most cabling jobs, that deal is still $1 more than the everyday price for a 2-pack of Amazon Basics brand 6ft HDMI cables from Amazon. Just above that, there is an advertisement for a Best Buy exclusive full motion wall mount, discounted down to $99 from an apparent everyday price of $200. Meanwhile, back on Amazon, you can purchase a full motion wall mounting kit that actually includes a bubble level and a 9-ft. braided HDMI cable for just $32.99 after clipping the digital coupon.

With Black Friday taking place before December even begins, there is still plenty of time to shop online for home theater accessories if you plan to give the gift of a new TV this year, even if you don’t have Amazon Prime.

Did we miss a deal that you feel is a lump of coal in the stocking that is Black Friday? Or, were you hoping for a doorbuster price that just never happened? Head down to our comments section and let us know which deals to avoid or which deals you noticed weren’t present at all. While you’re at it, don’t forget to look us up on Twitter or Facebook. You can also keep track of your favorite deals by downloading our new BFAds app for iOS or Android.

November 27, 2018
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