I know, I know. it’s not even Halloween and already I’m talking about Black Friday 2021. That’s because Walmart, and pretty much every other retailer in the nation, is kicking this event off early…again. I think super-early Black Friday, with the longer sale cycle, is going to be the norm from now on. So let’s start planning ahead to get the best deals!
In 2020, Walmart stores nationwide didn’t open on Thanksgiving night. Expect them to stay closed again this Thanksgiving, which gives you time to spend with your family…or put together a game plan for Black Friday morning.
First thing you need to get started is the Walmart Black Friday 2021 ad, first dropped Oct. 18, 2021. If you forget, don’t worry. If you favorited Walmart in the app or signed up for emails, your phone has probably been blowing up already with this info. We’ll keep you in the loop about everything if you bookmark our Walmart deals page or favorite Walmart in the KCL App and allow notifications.
Need another reason to download our app? The top three retailers, Walmart, Target, and Amazon, love to battle on prices during Black Friday. Throughout the holidays you’ll see us comparing prices across all three to make sure you’re getting the best deals and reminding you to double-check right before you buy. Bookmark the Black Friday Deals page if you’re on your computer.
These are my best tips for shopping the best Walmart Black Friday 2021 sales:
1. Walmart’s first Black Friday sale starts Wednesday Nov. 3.
CONFIRMED! The Walmart Black Friday ad dropped on Oct. 18 and wave one of Walmart Black Friday Deals for Days begins Wednesday Nov. 3, 2021. Online deals begin at 7 p.m. ET. The same deals begin in-store on Friday Nov 5., 2021 at 5 a.m. local.
This is all pretty similar to what we saw in 2020, when Walmart started the first round of Black Friday Deals for Days online at 7 p.m. Wednesday Nov. 4, then dropped another round online Saturday Nov. 7 at midnight. Doors opened at 5 a.m. Saturday for in-store shopping.
2. Walmart will hold three major Black Friday sale waves.
Waves one and two will be called Walmart Deals for Days. Walmart doesn’t officially use Black Friday language until the week of Thanksgiving.
Wave two of Walmart Black Friday goes live on Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021 at 7 p.m. ET and in stores on Friday, Nov. 12th at 5 a.m. local.
The third week in November won’t have any new sales. The final wave of Walmart Black Friday sales, wave three, begins the week of Thanksgiving. Wave three of the 2021 Black Friday sale will begin Monday, Nov 22, 2021 at 7 p.m. ET and in stores on Black Friday, Nov 26 at 5 a.m. local. Based on last year, we also expect to see fresh online deals drop at 12:00 a.m. ET on Black Friday.
3. Each Black Friday sale event has unique items.
Wave one of Black Friday sales run November 3-7th. Sales include:
- $87 Samsung Chromebook 4 (reg $199)
- $35 Keurig single serve (reg $67)
- $15 My Life As Dolls ($24.97)
- $29 LEGO Classic Bricks 1500 pc (reg $58)
Wave two of Walmart Deals for Days run November 10-14th. Sales include:
- $60 Barbie Dream Camper (reg $90)
- $139 Samsung Galaxy Tablet (reg $219)
- $89 AirPods with charging case (reg $119)
- $6 Pajama pants
- $29 carry-on spinner
- $159 Shark Cordless PetPRO (reg $279)
Don’t expect any sales from wave one or two to repeat. Based on what we saw in 2020, once the items are gone, they’re gone. And once the sale price ends, in many cases, we didn’t see it again.
4. But hands down, Black Friday week at Walmart is the best.
Expect the official and final Walmart Black Friday sale to begin online, Wednesday, Nov 24, 2021 at 7 p.m. ET and in stores on Black Friday, Nov 26 at 5 a.m. local. Based on last year, we also expect to see fresh online deals drop at 12:00 a.m. ET on Black Friday.
2020 Deals included: electronics, toys, apparel, home, and holiday decor
- Women’s plush pj pants – $5 (reg. $22.75)
- HP All-in-One Wireless Color Inkjet printer – $39 (reg. $99)
- 7.5′ artificial Christmas tree with LED lights – $68 (reg. $199)
5. To get early access to all of these sales sign up for Walmart+ now!
If you sign up for Walmart+, you early access to ALL of these sales, and I mean early! Members get access FOUR hours before the sales even go live on the Walmart Early Access page. With inventory being short right now, this is an excellent way to get hot items (like toys and gaming) before they sell out. And they will.
Not sure about Walmart +? You can sign up for a free 15 day Walmart+ trial. (You also get free next day and two day shipping with no minimums.) But, you won’t be able to use the free trial to get early access to Black Friday deals.
6. Then there are the mini sales, like Walmart’s Video Games Event before Black Friday.
Last year, Walmart kicked off Black Friday week with a Video Games Event on Walmart.com. The sale started on Saturday, Nov. 23 at 9 p.m. PT and lasted through Cyber Monday.
During the sale, customers saved $100 on select PlayStation 4 and Xbox video game console bundles; the same prices listed on the Black Friday ad.
7. Jump on Special Buy Doorbusters at Walmart.com because they sell out within an hour.
When Walmart gets a “deal” on a product or a deep discount from a manufacturer, they pass the savings to their customers and that product is labeled as a “Special Buy.” Special Buys are available online and in stores but usually sell out very quickly, so you want to shop online as soon as the deals go live.
In 2020, we saw TVs and small appliances, like The Pioneer Woman Slow Cooker, sell out online almost immediately after they went live.
If they’re sold out online, head over to the store, but you’ll have to wait until Black Friday morning.
8. Only go in store for Walmart’s Special Buys that you can’t get online.
Every year, some of the Walmart Special Buys are only available in stores.
Walmart Black Friday 2020 in-store-only deals included:
- $1.60 bath towels
- $5 or less kids’ pajama sets, sleep & plays, and slippers
- $5 Melissa & Doug puzzles, Paw Patrol vehicles, and Barbie dolls
- $5 Fisher-Price baby toys
- $20 Anchor Hocking 32-piece storage sets
- $25 mini 36-inch trampoline
9. Bottom-line best things to buy during Walmart Black Friday: TVs, some Apple electronics, and toys.
Walmart is the go-to place for cheap TVs, some Apple electronics, and toys — whether you’re shopping online or in store. Shoot for 40 – 50% savings when shopping for TVs.
In 2020, Walmart customers scored a variety of great TV deals, including:
- Onn. 42 inch Ultra HD Roku TV $88 (reg. $178)
- Seiki 32 inch Cass HD 720p LED TV $59.88 (reg. $169)
Other noteworthy deals:
- Apple products: 20% off Apple AirPods, 25% off Apple iPads, and older versions of the Apple iPhone for up to 35% off. And, a $450 Walmart gift card with activation and purchase of a new model iPhone.
10. You might skip Nintendo, Xbox, or Playstation at Walmart — shop at Kohl’s instead.
Video game consoles like the Nintendo Switch, Xbox, and Playstation won’t likely dip below their base sale prices at Walmart, even during Black Friday.
You’ll usually see the basic Xbox and the Playstation bundles priced at around $149 – $199 at Walmart, Best Buy, Target, and Kohl’s, while Nintendo Switch bundles will be in the $299 – $319.99 range.
But, if you shop at Kohl’s, you’ll receive $15 Kohl’s Cash for every $50 spent, making Kohl’s the best place to shop for video game consoles.
In 2020, shoppers scored:
- PS5 Console Bundle with Extra DualSense Controller + Spider-Man Ultimate Edition for $639.99 (reg. price) plus $210 Kohl’s Cash and Rewards
- Xbox One S NBA2K21+ Controller Bundle for $400 (reg. price) plus $140 Kohl’s Cash and Rewards
- Nintendo Switch Lite Console and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Game Bundle for $269.99 (reg. price) plus $85 Kohl’s Cash and Rewards
11. Shop early — you can’t get a rain check during Walmart Black Friday.
You might have been thinking of this loophole to avoid shopping early, because I know it’s the first thing that came to my mind in 2020. In the past, select items were offered with a “One-Hour In-Stock Guarantee,” meaning that if the eligible items sold out within the first hour of the store being open, customers who arrived at the store during that time would receive a wristband that basically worked as a rain check.
But since Black Friday 2020, the Walmart Black Friday ad clearly states that all items are available in limited quantities, while supplies last — no rain checks will be given.
I fully expect this to be the case again in 2021. So I’ll stop repeating myself about shopping early online, which brings me to shipping…
12. Mix and match store pickup and ship-to-home items to reach the $35 free shipping minimum.
In order to receive free shipping, your Walmart.com order total must be at least $35 — that’s a fact. But that doesn’t mean that all items you’re buying must be shipped to your home or curbside pickup. The $35 minimum can be met with a mix of ship-to-home and store pickup items.
When shopping online, some products are not eligible for shipping and are only available for store pickup (dependent on local inventory). On the flip side, some items are only available for delivery.
If the product you want to be shipped to your home is $10, you could also buy an extra $25 worth of products that are only available for pickup. Since your order total is $35, the $10 item will ship to your home for free, while the other items will be ready for pickup at your local Walmart.
TIP: Sign up for Walmart+ and get free shipping without needing to meet the $35 threshold.
13. Take advantage of Walmart’s convenient delivery options.
Avoid the in-store frenzy and get what you want during the holidays when you take advantage of Walmart’s generous delivery options. Here’s four ways they plan on making delivery more convenient for you:
- Extended store delivery times by two hours, which means you have until 6 p.m. to place an order for same-day delivery by 10 p.m. (local times) or next-day delivery.
- Added extra delivery drivers via the Spark Driver app to help deliver stuff even if the delivery windows are full when you place your order.
- Increased the number of oversized items including 70-inch TVs, artificial Christmas trees, and bicycles that you can have delivered.
- Increased the number of stores that can deliver alcohol.
14. Use Brickseek to check inventory at all Walmart stores in your area.
If the deal you want is sold out online and at your nearest Walmart location, use Brickseek to check the inventory at other Walmart stores in your area.
Simply enter the SKU number of the product and your zip code into Brickseek to find out what store location has it in stock. Note that Brickseek isn’t 100% accurate.
TIP: the SKU number is usually a nine-digit number found at the end of all Walmart.com links. For example, the SKU number for this The Pioneer Woman Slow Cooker is 271151544.
15. Use the color-coded zone maps in the Walmart app to navigate the store.
Items are rarely where they normally are during Black Friday. And you don’t want to go running around like an ant to get those Special Buys.
Thankfully, Walmart color-mapped out the whole store in their mobile app so shoppers can find what they want more easily. Just tap the product you want, and the app drops a pin on the exact aisle where that product is located!
- Purple = Electronics
- Green = Toys
- Blue = Apparel
- Orange = General Merchandise
- Pink = Home
16. No price matching at Walmart.com for any kind of Black Friday sale.
Walmart price matching isn’t available in stores at all, so that’s not a thing. While you can normally price match when shopping Walmart.com the rest of the year, it’s not available during Black Friday or even for the Black Friday pre-sale Deals for Days events. But all is not lost…read on.
17. Walmart extends its return policy during the holidays.
Normally, you can return most anything you buy in store or online within 90 days for a full refund at Walmart if you have your receipt. For electronics you get 30 days.
During the holiday season, Walmart extends their return policy like this: Anything you buy in store (even electronics) or online (as long as it’s not a third-party seller) from Nov. 1 to Dec. 25 can be returned within 90 days starting on Dec. 26. That means you get up to 120 days to return most everything.
Why does this matter? This way, if you buy something during the Black Friday shopping season, see that it’s cheaper somewhere else or that the price dropped at Walmart, you can return the item and repurchase, or just return it.
Don’t get abusive of this hack, though. Walmart reserves the right to reject your return if they see too much activity.
18. Return your Walmart Black Friday online order for free by mail.
Not happy with your Walmart.com purchase? You can return most online purchases for free by mail. Log in to your account to start the return process. Print a free pre-paid shipping label provided by Walmart, attach it to the package (make sure to include all the original packaging and accessories), and drop it at the post office.
Select online items are also eligible for free scheduled pickup from your home. If you prefer returning your purchase in store, make sure to take advantage of Mobile Express Returns to avoid the long return lines you’ll find at Walmart during the holidays. Note that in-store purchases can only be returned in store.
19. Skip using Affirm to buy now, pay later for your holiday purchases.
In the past, Walmart offered a layaway option that only required a small down payment and scheduled payments for the holidays.
In 2021, Walmart signed up with Affirm, a buy now, pay later (BNPL) service company that allows you to bring your stuff home when you order it BUT it’ll cost you anywhere from 10 – 30% in interest. So, there’s no savings whatsoever going this route.
20. Split your Walmart purchase into four payments with a ghost card from Klarna.
As the simplest solution I found, you can use a “ghost card” from Klarna to pay for your holiday stuff in four payments over six weeks. You pay 25% of the total due at checkout and then make a payment of 25% every two weeks after.
The good news: Klarna won’t hurt your credit, and doesn’t charge interest or any fees whatsoever.
The semi-bad news: You can only use Klarna at Walmart.com, not in the physical store.
To use Klarna, first, download the mobile app or Chrome browser extension and create an account, which includes adding a debit or credit card that will be used for your four payments. The app will automatically give you an estimated spending amount, up to a max of $1,000, based on a soft credit check (which doesn’t affect your credit). Each ghost card you create will take away from your available spending amount.
Got any great Walmart Black Friday shopping tips or secrets the rest of us should know? Share in the comments below.