We received the 32-page Walmart Black Friday ad on Wednesday, November 11, 2015, at around 9 p.m. Over the past few years, Walmart has kept their ad under tight wraps, and they have always been the one to post it on their website first. After mistakenly posting on their Twitter account that the ad was up, and then putting up a press release dated for November 12, 2015 on their website, it was apparent that their ad was close to coming out.
We later realized their plan was to post the ad early for their mobile app users at 12 a.m. on Thursday, but the flyer managed to fall into our hands three hours before this time. In typical Walmart fashion, the leak of the ad created a gigantic stir across the entire Internet, with pretty much every news, blog and social media account covering it. While it is eight pages less than 2014’s 40 page ad, it is still a fairly solid sale. Not their best, but there are some items to get excited about.
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Hours and Opening Time
Last year, Walmart split their Black Friday sale into three different events, the first of which started a 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving. For 2015, they will once again start their in-store sale at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving, but the event format appears to be gone. A representative from Walmart informed us that Walmart will be open the entire day on Thanksgiving, but their actual Black Friday sale will not start until 6 p.m. Online deals will begin on their website at 12:00 p.m. Pacific Time, and run the entire day into Black Friday. These long hours were to be expected after competitors Best Buy, Kohl’s, Macy’s and Target announced early Thanksgiving openings and online sales for the entire day.
Free Shipping Minimum of $50
In many recent posts in our blog, we have discussed the issue of free shipping and the minimum order size that stores are requiring. While a minimum of $35, or even $50 may not sound like a lot, it can really kill the deal by taking back a majority of the savings. After Target and Best Buy announced that they would be offering free shipping with no minimum order size, we were certain Walmart would also do this. Since around $3.5 billion will be spent online alone on Black Friday and Thanksgiving, Walmart is a much less attractive destination than Target and Best Buy for small orders under $50.
1-Hour Price Guarantee
Buried on page-32 of the ad, Walmart has a selection of electronics that are eligible for their famous 1-Hour Guarantee. This is for in-store items only, and allows you a limited opportunity to purchase the items at the Black Friday price before Christmas. If any of the following electronics are sold out before 7 p.m., they will quality for the price guarantee:iPad Air 2 Gold for $399Beats Studio Headphones for $169LG 55″ 4K UNH TV for $698Microsoft Xbox One Gears of War Bundle with $30 Gift Card for $299.9915″ HP Laptop for $249
Ad Match is Back Again
Walmart is serious about low prices on Black Friday, and they are willing to put their money where their mouth is. Back yet again for 2015, Walmart is guaranteeing that the prices in their ad are lower, or as low, as any of their competitors’ ads. It says local competitor’s ads, so that clearly excludes online stores such as eBay and Newegg. The product has to be exactly the same as the one they are offering, and it must be in the printed ad.
This policy also excludes their 1-Hour Guarantee items, which can be found on the last page of their ad. In reality, this is more of a marketing gimmick than anything else. All of the large stores usually have the same price for the big national items such as the Xbox One and PS4. For the more specific laptops and televisions, it will usually be different models at different stores, so the Ad Match will not help you on the majority of items.
Our Favorite Walmart Deals
As usual, electronics top our favorite item list for the Walmart sale. While we were disappointed that they did not have any all-time low deals as they did last year, there are still a few items that you do not want to miss:
Fitbit Flex Wristband for $59
With everyone shooting for a healthier lifestyle these days, Walmart has featured the Fitbit Flex Wristband for $40 off the original price of $99. While not a flashy HDTV or laptop, this wristband is currently rated 4.5 stars out of 5 on Walmart’s website. On Amazon, it is only rated 3.5 stars of 5 over the course of 17,000 reviews, but it is still the best seller in Pedometers. Regardless, the best price we could find today from a trusted store is $71. The best part is this item will ship for free since it is still barely over the $50 free shipping minimum!
Apple iPad Mini 2 for $199
Even though we have seen the iPad Mini 2 with Wi-Fi for $69 off the normal price of $268, this deal is definitely worth repeating. After Apple’s failure last year with the iPad Mini 3, they discounted it for the brand new iPad Mini 4. While the 4 has upgraded features, the 2 is still a great tablet. A few months ago, Apple actually cut the price of the Mini 2 to $268, so you are really getting double the discount compared to if you purchased it a few months ago! Available in gray or silver, and you can find the deal on Page 6.
Roku Special Edition Streaming Media Player for $25
New for 2015 and set to be released on November 26, the new Roku Special Edition Player will be available at Walmart for only $25! While this is the standard price set by Roku and likely to be found at every electronics store, this item is in limited supply, and will only be available during Black Friday weekend.
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Other Important Deals
– 50″ Class HDTV for $269 (brand and original price not mentioned)
– RCA 7″ Voyager II Tablet for $28.88 (save $20.99)
– Samsung 55″ Class Curved Smart 4K UHD TV for $998 (save $200)
– RCA 10 Viking Pro Android 2-in-1 with Detachable Keyword for $79 (save $68)
– Microsoft Xbox One Gears of War Bundle with $30 Walmart Gift Card for $299.99 (save $50)
Your Move Amazon
Now that Walmart, Best Buy, Target, Kohl’s, Sears and pretty much every other big retailer’s ads have been leaked, only Amazon remains as a possible game changer. While we have seen some great deals, we have been disappointed overall. Many stores have gotten lazy and copied prices and items from other stores. We also are not seeing many record low prices for televisions and laptops. After Prime Day, Amazon appears to be on a mission though. While we believe they will deliver that 32″ HDTV for $70 that we have been hoping for, we still remain pessimistic since the rest of the competition did not really force their hand.