Don't Expect Big Holiday Bargains This Year, Analysts Say

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Brandon Bell/Staff/Getty Images News/Getty Images North America

You Call That a Sale?

Are you tired of the word “inflation” yet? How about those dreaded “supply chain issues”? Join the club. Unfortunately, retailers remain plagued by everything from labor shortfalls to lingering shortages, and you’ll be footing the bill by paying higher-than-usual prices this holiday season. While software giant Adobe is forecasting record sales, saying Americans are likely to spend a whopping $207 billion online this November and December, it also says the deals won’t be quite so sweet. Here’s how big the discounts are expected to get on items from toys to electronics.

Related: Shortages That Could Make Your Holidays Way Less Merry

Scandinavian style livingroom with fabric sofa, sofa table. morning image with plant. sofa table on the lug.


Deepest discounts expected in 2021: 7% (-2% from 2020)

Not-as-giftable furniture doesn’t typically see big discounts during the holidays, but the already-meager deals will be even more meager this year. The best day to scope out bargains, such as they are, according to Adobe: Black Friday.

Related: The Best Places to Buy Cheap Furniture Online

Electric tools for construction on stand in shop


Deepest discounts expected in 2021: 8% (-3% from 2020)

Like furniture, tools aren’t top of mind for gift-minded shoppers, but years past have still seen double-digit discounting. This year, the average is down to 8% from 11%. Black Friday is also the time to buy in this category, according to Adobe. 

Related: Tools That Are Still Made in America

Shoot for the sky and you will score
After online shopping a woman takes delivery of her new television
Vladimir Vladimirov/istockphoto


Deepest discounts expected in 2021: 15% (-3% from 2020)

Is it really the holiday shopping season if you can’t score an ultra-cheap TV? Big-box retailers will still be offering plenty of TV deals, but the price tags won’t be quite so low — and you can blame the microchip shortage that is plaguing most electronics right now. Interestingly, Adobe says Cyber Monday, not Black Friday, might be your best bet for low prices.

Related: Awesome Gifts for Couch Potatoes and TV Lovers

Piles of multicolored clothes on the shelves in store


Deepest discounts expected in 2021: 15% (-5% from 2020)

Cozy sweaters, winter boots, fuzzy socks: They all have a place under the tree, but it’s going to cost more to put them there this year. And while Cyber Monday is traditionally a great day for apparel deals, Adobe says you may do even better the day after Black Friday. 

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Tax-Free Items
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Deepest discounts expected in 2021: 16% (-4% from 2020)

While appliance deals are typically better during long weekends like Presidents Day, Memorial Day, and Labor Day, the holidays still offer some solid deals — particularly on giftable small appliances — but they’ll be less impressive in 2021. Shoppers hoping to find the lowest price might have the best luck the day after Black Friday, Adobe forecasts. 

Related: Walmart Is Starting Black Friday Early — Here's a Sneak Peek

toy store
Brandon Bell/Staff/Getty Images News/Getty Images North America


Deepest discounts expected in 2021: 16% (-3% from 2020)

Will the Grinch steal toy discounts this season? Not entirely, although prices won’t be quite as low. Traditionally, retailers don’t let up on toy deals as Christmas closes in, but supply-chain issues make last-minute shopping a particularly risky strategy this year. Shoppers may find the strongest deals on Thanksgiving, Adobe says — which will probably mean shopping online, as many major retailers will be closed

Related: 50 Toy Fads That Drove Grown-Ups Crazy

Amazon Alexa smart assistant device connected at home

Miscellaneous Electronics

Deepest discounts expected in 2021: 22% (-5% from 2020)

Headphones, voice assistants, fitness trackers, and other techie gizmos are always brisk sellers during the holidays thanks to aggressive discounting. They’ll still be among the best deals this year, according to Adobe, although discounts will be down about 5%. Analysts say the day after Black Friday may offer the biggest bargains.

Related: Smart Home Products That Are Worth the Money

different computers in store background


Deepest discounts expected in 2021: 25% (-5% from 2020)

This is always the best time of year to pick up a snazzy new laptop for less, and while the deals won’t be quite as eye-popping in 2021, computers will still see decently deep discounting, Adobe says. And while there will undoubtedly be solid deals around Black Friday, analysts don’t expect prices to bottom out until Dec. 1, two days after Cyber Monday.