On Black Friday, everything looks like a good deal.
The reality? Many things are not.
With a little bit of work, you can tell if a particular item is worth your while — but what about stores on the whole?
Are there retailers who typically offer better Black Friday sales than others?
The answer is yes, according to a recent study released by WalletHub.
And the disparity is shocking: While some retailers offer an average discount of 68%, others have a typical discount of less than 30%.
We bet you’re as curious as we were to learn which retailers came out on top — and which came out on the bottom.
Which Retailers Have the Best Black Friday Deals?
To determine whose Black Friday prices are truly a bargain, WalletHub analyzed 8,000 deals from 30 retailers.
“The average discount was weighted based on the pre-discounted price of the item,” they explain, “to give more credit to the retailers that are discounting higher-ticket items.”
And the results?
Some stores you might associate with huge Black Friday sales actually don’t offer the biggest discounts.
10 Stores With the Lowest Black Friday Discounts
- Amazon (25.8%)
- Walgreens (28.7%)
- Toys”R”Us (28.9%)
- GameStop (29.2%)
- Walmart (30.1%)
- Home Depot (31.4%)
- Best Buy (33.5%)
- Ace Hardware (34.2%)
- Staples (34.4%)
- Dell Home (35.3%)
The WalletHub study included several discount retailers like Costco and Sam’s Club, but we omitted them from our list because their prices are much lower to begin with.
Still, it certainly surprised us to see Black Friday stalwarts like Amazon, Toys”R”Us, Wal-Mart and Best Buy on the list. You could argue these retailers already have lower prices, too — but we would have expected their Black Friday sales to be better.
Now, on to the winners of the study…
10 Stores With the Greatest Black Friday Discounts
- JCPenney (Average discount: 68%)
- Kohl’s (66.7%)
- Stage (63.9%)
- Groupon (63.7%)
- Belk (59.5%)
- Macy’s (56%)
- Kmart (50.1%)
- Panasonic (47%)
- Fred Meyer (45.3%)
- Office Depot & OfficeMax (42.8%)
Penney’s coming in with a 68% discount!? My mom would be so happy; she’s the only person I know who still shops there.
And rounding out the top 10 are several other stores you might not think of as having big Black Friday sales. (What is Stage? And who is this Belk character?)
You should, however, take these lists with a grain of salt.
Some stores have higher prices so their sales appear better. And stores on both lists will likely have great — and not-so-great — deals on Black Friday 2015.
But if you’re choosing between Office Depot (42.8% average discount) or Staples (34.4%), for example, we’d probably pick the former.
Most importantly, be vigilant when deciding what to spend your money on — and if you need help or guidance, check out our Black Friday deals blog!
Your Turn: Did any of these numbers surprise you?
Susan Shain, senior writer for The Penny Hoarder, is always seeking adventure on a budget. Visit her blog at susanshain.com, or say hi on Twitter @susan_shain.