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Black Friday TV deals — what to expect in 2021

black friday tv deal best buy
(Image credit: TCL/Best Buy)

We've been waiting for Black Friday TV deals all year. Sure, you can score some excellent TV deals right now, but Black Friday TV deals are the creme de la creme of TV sales with epic prices you simply don't see any other time of the year. 

For example, one of last year's most memorable Black Friday deals knocked the Vizio 55-inch 4K OLED TV to just $899. In my 13 years covering deals, that's been one of my top 3 deals of all time. Not only is it a good TV, but a 55-inch OLED for $899 is just unheard of. Even a $999 OLED is extremely rare.  

That same TV has been on sale multiple times in 2021, but it's normally sold for $1,199 ($100 off) and only once did it hit $999 for a brief weekend sale. 

That said, $899 for a new TV is a lot to pay and not everyone has that kind of budget. Fortunately, there were plenty of Black Friday TV deals last year for just about every budget. Smart TVs, for instance, dropped to $79, whereas many 55-inch 4K TVs hit $199. There was also an epic 50-inch TV for sale for $149 at Best Buy. 

So what kind of Black Friday TV deals can we expect in 2021? Here's what I predict could happen. 

Black Friday TV deals — what to expect in 2021

As we said earlier,  you can find good TV sales any time of the year. However, Black Friday breaks all price records and 2021 will be no exception. 

55-inch 4K TVs: Hats off to Best Buy for offering some of the best Black Friday TV deals of the season last year. It's likely the retailer will hold on to that title once again in 2021, but Walmart and Amazon won't be far behind.

Best Buy offered two epic sales last year. In addition to the aforementioned OLED TV deal, the retailer also had a TCL 55-inch 4K TV for just $199. It was groundbreaking then and it's a price we haven't seen once throughout all of 2021. We expect Best Buy to resurrect this deal again in 2021, likely on a newer model. We may even see a 55-inch 4K TV go for as low as $179, though don't expect it to be one of the newer models. 

For example, Walmart had an Onn 50-inch Roku 4K TV on sale for $128. Onn is an off-brand and Walmart's own line of TVs. (Similar to how Insignia is Best Buy's house brand).

OLED TVs: If you're looking for a premium TV, I think we'll see Vizio's 55-inch 4K OLED for $899 once again this year. LG's budget OLEDs may hit $999 as well, but prices won't drop lower than $899 for a 55-inch OLED TV. That said, Best Buy offered a lot of OLED TV deals last year, so expect them to offer the best discounts again in 2021. 

Amazon Fire TVs: Amazon just unveiled a new line of Omni and 4-Series Fire TVs. These new sets offer premium features and it's even possible they're made by TCL. We expect these TVs will get deep price cuts on Black Friday. Currently, you can pre-order the Amazon Omni Series 4K TV from $409 or the Fire TV 4-Series from $369. Both will release on October 27. However, that means Amazon's other Fire TVs will likely get steeper price cuts this holiday season. TVs such as the 2021 Toshiba C350 Fire TV — which is typically from $30 to $100 off on any given day — could see discounts that are significantly cheaper than their current sale price. This bodes well for anyone who wants an inexpensive 4K TV, but doesn't require premium features. 

When will Black Friday TV deals begin in 2021

Black Friday falls on Friday, November 26. However, Black Friday TV deals will start way in advance of that date. You might see some faux Black Friday TV deals in late October, but the noteworthy deals will start on November 1. A quick note on these early deals: Some of these deals were vert limited last year and we didn't see those price again all month. So it's worth paying attention to these early November sales as they could be cheaper than deals we see on November 26. (We'll bring you the best deals throughout the season). 

Who has the best TV deals on Black Friday?

Vizio OLED TV

(Image credit: Vizio)

Who has the best TV deals on Black Friday? It depends on the type of set you're interested in. Black Friday TV deals are designed to generate excitement around sales, so don't let the hype from every retailer confuse you. The basics of buying a great TV on sale are the same as regular priced models: Know what features you should expect, what extras you may want, and read up on reviews to get a feel for what's good or bad about specific models.

In general, Best Buy has the best Black Friday TV deals, especially on our favorite brands like LG, Samsung and Sony. Meanwhile, we've seen the excellent sales on more affordable brands like Hisense and Onn from Walmart. Amazon typically tries to price-match both Best Buy and Walmart, so be sure to run comparisons if you tend to favor one retailer over another. 

Should I wait till Black Friday to buy a TV?

If you can afford to wait till November, you should absolutely hold on any TV purchases. Black Friday TV prices are unmatched and you could save from an extra $50 to $300. If you've been eyeing a premium QLED TV or an OLED TV, we'd also recommend you wait till November. 

Black Friday cheap TVs: Bargain hunters, beware

Watch the fine print on those deals. You may see some TVs selling for $100 or less, but they all have some pretty severe limitations. Small sizes are common, and 32-inches is pretty small compared to the 65-inch models we usually review. (Check out our guide to choosing the right TV size to find the best size for your home.) 

Most are lacking smart features or rely on off-brand software with limited app selection. But the biggest gotcha you'll see on Black Friday is low resolution — some don't even offer full HD, opting for 720p resolution. While you may see TVs listed for amazingly low prices — some for less than $100 — don't expect any of the smart functions or 4K panels we see in the best TVs.

The other thing to watch for are refurbished and open box units. These can be a source of enormous savings, but they come with wear and tear before you ever set it up, and warranty coverage may not be as robust as a new model will offer. Refurbs are a good way to save a buck during the rest of the year, but as we get into the holidays, the best deals are on new units.

Just remember the old saying about things that look too good to be true. Not all Black Friday cheap TVs are great deals, even when the prices are enticing. 

Louis Ramirez

As deals editor at Tom’s Guide, Louis is constantly looking for ways to avoid paying full price for the latest gadgets. With over 10 years of deals-hunting experience, Louis price checks against multiple retailers and searches high and low for the best deals to bring readers. A born-and-bred New Yorker, Louis is also an avid swimmer and marathoner. His work has appeared on Gizmodo, CNET, and Time Out New York.