The Best Black Friday Deals Throughout the Years

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LOOKING BACK IN BLACK

The day after Thanksgiving is the biggest shopping day of the year. Black Friday sales have gotten pretty outrageous, and we can't wait to see what the specials are for this year. But until those late November circulars post, a look at Black Fridays past, their then-pricey technology, and even some stores that no longer exist show that the closer we get to modern day, the earlier the stores open, and the more drastically prices drop.

1979 — Save $150 on an RCA 25" TV
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1979 — SAVE $150 ON AN RCA 25" TV

In 1979, $150 was a much bigger discount than it is today, and a 25-inch color TV was top of the line. Originally retailing for $850, the last Black Friday of the '70s saw it offered for the whopping low price of $700! Korvettes itself would close by the end of 1980.
1981 — Save $605 on a Stereo System At Bamberger's
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1981 — SAVE $605 ON A STEREO SYSTEM AT BAMBERGER'S

In 1981 this Sony stereo system came in five pieces. You needed the amplifier, the radio tuner, the turntable for vinyl (which was current then, not retro), speakers, and a rack to hold it all. With each item discounted, you could save $605 on the whole thing. And if you wanted to get really modern, you could add a cassette deck for $200!
1983 — Gold Chains Up to $800 Off At Bamberger's
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1983 — GOLD CHAINS UP TO $800 OFF AT BAMBERGER'S

You wouldn't think jewelry ever needed to be discounted to move, but jewelry sales are popular after Thanksgiving. In 1983, Bamberger's had 14-karat gold chains for half off, which could save up to $800. The chains could be worn solo, or you could buy a diamond for it while you're in the store.The east coast Bamberger's chain would eventually become Macy's.
1983 — Save More Than $400 on a Commodore 64
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1983 — SAVE MORE THAN $400 ON A COMMODORE 64

Commodore 64 was the home computer to have in the '80s. If you didn't have one by 1983, Bamberger's had you covered with $401 off the PET line. That C64 would cost only $999, and you'd be playing video games on floppy disk and printing with your dot matrix before Christmas.
1985 — $700 Off a Bed At Hecht's
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1985 — $700 OFF A BED AT HECHT'S

Furniture is also a good buy on Black Friday, and in 1985, east coast department store Hecht's was selling a $1,200 daybed for only $500, a savings of $700. It also had some good deals on king-size Sealy mattresses for up to $300 off.
1986 — Montgomery Ward's Free Love Seat ($700 Value)
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1986 — MONTGOMERY WARD'S FREE LOVE SEAT ($700 VALUE)

In another furniture deal, Montgomery Ward's gave away a $700 love seat when you bought a $700 sleeper. The sleeper was $100 off; the free love seat added up to a $800 savings. How many of those sets ended up on the side of a curb by the mid '90s?
1988 — $300 Off a Bulky Camcorder At Macy's or Sears
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1988 — $300 OFF A BULKY CAMCORDER AT MACY'S OR SEARS

Back in the '80s, we couldn't take videos with handheld cellphones. Video cameras were essentially like carrying around an entire VCR. By 1988 they were starting to become more affordable. These RCA and Panasonic camcorders cost only a thousand bucks each, but we were grateful for the $300 savings.
1991 — $4,101 Off Montgomery Ward's Diamond Solitaire
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1991 — $4,101 OFF MONTGOMERY WARD'S DIAMOND SOLITAIRE

Many of the Black Friday jewelry sales amounted to thousands of dollars in discounts. In 1991 they must've had diamonds burning holes in their pockets, because Montgomery Ward's made many drastic reductions, including this 14K solitaire dropping to $2,199 from $6,300.
1994 — $800 Off a Macintosh Computer Package At CompUSA
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1994 — $800 OFF A MACINTOSH COMPUTER PACKAGE AT COMPUSA

Back in 1994, this model Macintosh sold for $2,800, so $2,000 at CompUSA (remember them?) was a buy that came with $800 in software. People also needed a printer (remember them?) for another $880.
1996 — $430 Off a Brother MFC-1750 Printer At Office Depot
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1996 — $430 OFF A BROTHER MFC-1750 PRINTER AT OFFICE DEPOT

Save $430 on a printer that retailed for $800, but was $370 over Thanksgiving weekend of 1996. Brother still makes multifunction copiers, which we for granted now — but in 1996 being able to fax, scan, copy, and print all in one device was a game changer.
1998 — Toshiba DVD Player for $288 At Best Buy
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1998 — TOSHIBA DVD PLAYER FOR $288 AT BEST BUY

DVDs took over from VHS as the standard home viewing format this year, leaving laserdiscs in the annals of collector obscurity. New players normally sold for around $400 in '98, so $289 was a big discount. DVD player also played CDs — but I don't know anyone who played music on their TVs. Prices would drop to $250 by next Black Friday.
1998 — Toshiba DVD Player for $288 At Best Buy
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1999 — $1,656 OFF A CHINA CABINET AT GARDNER'S

East coast furniture store Gardner's cut $1,656 off the price of a cherry wood China cabinet — and check out the other savings on these dining room units. Maybe those savings would've come in handy before the whole family arrived for Thanksgiving dinner, but this helped plan for Thanksgiving Y2K.
2000 — $600 or More Off Computers At CompUSA
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2000 — $600 OR MORE OFF COMPUTERS AT COMPUSA

Gee, Y2K didn't happen and computers still worked in the year 2000. Maybe that's why CompUSA slashed prices: A Toshiba notebook computer was $600 off, and you could save $650 on a Compaq desktop.
2003 — Save $500 on Atomic Skis At Sport Chalet 2003
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2003 — SAVE $500 ON ATOMIC SKIS AT SPORT CHALET 2003

Though these Atomic men's and women's skis retailed for almost $700, Sport Chalet sold them for $300. But for Black Friday, it knocked off another hundred.
2004 — Save $1,000 on a 42" Plasma At Sears
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2004 — SAVE $1,000 ON A 42" PLASMA AT SEARS

HDTV was all the rage in the aughts, but it didn't really start becoming affordable until a few years in. Sears offered one of the first big discounts on a 42-inch Sylvania plasma: $1,000 off at $1,800. If you missed the 6 to 11 a.m. Black Friday sale, you could still save $500 immediately afterward.
2005 — Save $250 on a Driver or Wood Golf Club At Dick's Sporting Goods
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2005 — SAVE $250 ON A DRIVER OR WOOD GOLF CLUB AT DICK'S SPORTING GOODS

Golfers should be used to waking up early for tee time, so if they got to Dick's Sporting Goods at 5:30 a.m. They could get a TaylorMade R580 Driver or Wood for $150, a $250 savings. It came with a 12-pack of golf balls.
2006 — Save $824 on a Toshiba 42" Plasma At Walmart
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2006 — SAVE $824 ON A TOSHIBA 42" PLASMA AT WALMART

Walmart and Sears went to battle over the Black Friday deal on this HDTV. Sears dropped $800 to sell it for $1,200. Walmart took off another $25 for $1,164 These were still 720p models (the full HD capacity is 1080p). If you wanted to go bigger, Best Buy saved you $700 on a 56-inch Toshiba DLP model.
2007 — Save $350 on An Espresso Machine At Bj's
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2007 — SAVE $350 ON AN ESPRESSO MACHINE AT BJ'S

An espresso maker may sound expensive at $650, but coffee aficionados knew the same Saeco V'Spresso machine sold usually for around $1,000 in 2007. The model adjusts for water hardness and has a cup heater, plus many other features to make the perfect espresso shot.
2007 — Save $700 on an ATV At Pep Boys
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2007 — SAVE $700 ON AN ATV AT PEP BOYS

How many people go shopping for off-roading vehicles on Black Friday? Well, the ones who did in 2007 could find a deal on the Camo 250 ATV. Getting there between 5 and 11 a.m. meant paying only $1,800 for a four-wheeler valued at $2,500. Then you could drive it back home and take a nap.
2008 — Save $1,200 on a Treadmill At Sports Authority
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2008 — SAVE $1,200 ON A TREADMILL AT SPORTS AUTHORITY

Burn off those holiday calories without going broke. Sports Authority reduced the Healthrider Club H120T treadmill by $1,200 to a mere $800.
2008 — Save $300 on a Pioneer GPS At Circuit City
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2008 — SAVE $300 ON A PIONEER GPS AT CIRCUIT CITY

Only 10 years ago, not everybody had a smartphone with GPS built in, and Waze was still a few years off; getting GPS in a car was a must, and it could cost you. So $300 off this top-of-the-line Pioneer with touchscreen and Bluetooth was appealing. Circuit City would even install it in a car for free.
2009 — More Than $500 Off Drums At Guitar Center
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2009 — MORE THAN $500 OFF DRUMS AT GUITAR CENTER

In 2009, Guitar Center had some major deals for drummers. Two types of drum kits were more than $500 off. The Tama drums were only $299, which was $544 below retail, although the cymbals were sold separately. An electronic drum kit by Simmons was $600, a $585 markdown.
2010 — $150 Off a Generic Ereader At Belk
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2010 — $150 OFF A GENERIC EREADER AT BELK

It wasn't Kindle, it wasn't even Nook, but you could read digital books through Kobo on the Sharper Image Literati. It would only cost $100 — that is if you made it to Belk between 4 a.m. and 1 p.m. Friday.
2010 — $1,000 Off an LG Washer/Dryer Set At Best Buy
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2010 — $1,000 OFF AN LG WASHER/DRYER SET AT BEST BUY

By 2010, Blu-ray players were less than $100 and HDTVs were under a grand, so the big 5 a.m. doorbuster at Best Buy was an LG washer/dryer unit. At $1,000, this was half off. If you were worried about other shoppers buying up all the washing machines at 5 a.m., you could line up as early as 3 a.m. and Best Buy would give out tickets in the order you arrived.
2011 — $1,300 Off a 70" LED TV At Fry's
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2011 — $1,300 OFF A 70" LED TV AT FRY'S

Fry's offered a giant 70-inch LED HDTV for $1,499, or $1,300 off list price. If 70 inches is too big for your britches, a 55-inch 3D TV was marked down to $997, or $1,402 off. Fry's opened at midnight on Thanksgiving night to give early birds/night owls a run at the electronics deals.
2011 — $700 Off a Basketball Hoop At Dick's
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2011 — $700 OFF A BASKETBALL HOOP AT DICK'S

For the backyard baller that wants their own hoop, Dick's knocked half off a 60-inch glass backboard basketball net. For $700, you could set up one-on-one or pickup games for Thanksgiving weekend, so long as you got to Dick's between 5 a.m. and 2 p.m. to take advantage.
2012 — $1,200 Off Elliptical At Sports Authority
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2012 — $1,200 OFF ELLIPTICAL AT SPORTS AUTHORITY

Elliptical machines are great for low-impact cardio workouts, but you're going to feel the burn in your wallet. Sports Authority's 2012 deal cut a $2,000 elliptical down to $800. All fitness buffs had to do was make the purchase between midnight and 3 p.m.
2013 — $1,300 Off a Refrigerator, $1,000 Off Washer/Dryer At Sears
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2013 — $1,300 OFF A REFRIGERATOR, $1,000 OFF WASHER/DRYER AT SEARS

Sears had discount refrigerators and washer/dryer sets most Black Fridays, usually with deals of around $1,000 off a fridge and for a free dryer when buying a washer. In 2013 the discount grew to $1,300 off the refrigerator and $1,000 off the washer/dryer set.
2014 — Up To $766 Off Suits At Jos. A. Bank
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2014 — UP TO $766 OFF SUITS AT JOS. A. BANK

If you were looking for some fancy suits for holiday parties, Jos. A. Bank had huge deals on men's suits in 2014: up to $766 off suits that sold normally for close to $1,000, now in the much more affordable range of $229. Black Friday shoppers were on fleek in 2014 — when they still said "on fleek."
2015 — $1,300 Off Samsung 65" 4K 3D TV
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2015 — $1,300 OFF SAMSUNG 65" 4K 3D TV

By 2015, TVs were more than just HD; you needed 4K and 3D. Samsung's giant 65-inch model was only $2,000 at Best Buy, a savings of $1,300. With 4K resolution in 3D, you wouldn't know where your living room ended and the TV began.
2016 — $1,200 Off BFG Pro Treadmill At Dick's
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2016 — $1,200 OFF BFG PRO TREADMILL AT DICK'S

The latest exercise deal was on a BFG Pro treadmill. Normally $2,600, on Black Friday of 2016 you could get it for $1,200. Concentrate on working off that turkey dinner instead of paying off your home gym, and this deal was available all weekend from Thursday through Saturday.
2017 — $460 Off a Kenmore Oven At Sears
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2017 — $460 OFF A KENMORE OVEN AT SEARS

If you follow all the Black Friday sales throughout the years, you could eventually furnish your whole kitchen. In 2017, Sears cut nearly $500 out of the price of a Kenmore oven range, if you made it before 2PM on Black Friday. Even if you were late, it was still $350 off in the afternoon and evening. Of course, in 2018 you're bound to see some major store-wide price cuts on Kenmore appliances and other products at the remaining Sears stores as the company recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

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