The secret to getting Black Friday-caliber deals before the big day

Julie Tremaine
·6 min read
Simferopol, Russia - July 9, 2014: eBay the American company that provides services in the areas of online auctions, online shopping, instant payments.
When you shop refurbished home goods, appliances and electronics from retailers like eBay, you’re tapping into massive savings, even outside of holiday shopping sales. (Photo: Getty)

November and December are, by far, the biggest shopping months of the year. People are searching for the perfect holiday gifts, but they’re also trying to stretch their dollars and save as much money as possible on the best gifts they can give. SpendMeNot.com reports that 30 percent of all retails sales happen between Thanksgiving and Christmas, with over $730 billion spent in the 2019 holiday season, according to the National Retail Federation.

The common thinking is that Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is the best day of the year to save big on holiday purchases. Retailers offer enormous discounts on limited quantities of popular gifts in the hopes of snagging the most holiday spending.

But Black Friday is also one of the busiest — if not the busiest — shopping day of the year. As BlackFriday.com describes, “Black Friday is a long day, with many retailers opening up the afternoon of Thanksgiving to hordes of people waiting anxiously outside the windows.”

What if there were a way to get those premium discounts on desirable gifts and not have to be a part of the holiday rush? There is one. When you shop refurbished home goods, appliances and electronics, you’re tapping into massive savings, even outside of holiday shopping sales.

Refurbished items have been purchased and returned, so they can no longer be sold as new. As The Penny Hoarder notes, not every reason for return is due to malfunction: “An item could have been returned due to a faulty or missing part — or it could have just been that a customer realized they couldn’t afford the item.” The site recommends ensuring you’re getting the highest-possible quality for your refurbished items by buying them from the manufacturer or from trusted sellers with good return policies and consumer protections in place, and reading reviews of those refurbished products on the site you’re considering purchasing from.

“There's no reason to be put off just by the label ‘refurbished,’” according to Lifehacker. “Buying refurbished can land you an incredible deal. Just buy it from the manufacturer or reputable dealer and with a long warranty to cover any problems—and enjoy your savings.”

Here are 10 in-demand, refurbished electronics and small appliances that are offered at huge — you might even say Black Friday-level — discounts.

KitchenAid stand mixers are widely regarded as being the kind of quality that can last for decades — but buying one new can be a big investment. This model comes with three attachments: a wire whip, a flat beater and a spiral dough hook. This mixer is certified refurbished by either the manufacturer or a manufacturer-approved vendor, and is offered at $299.99, which is 33 percent off the MSRP.

Robotic vacuums are hot items and they make for excellent gifts too. This ECOVACS Deebot vacuum cleaner features many bells and whistles that’ll appeal to tech lovers, including its ability to scan and map your entire living space, several cleaning modes, compatibility with Smart Home Systems, smartphone app, Alexa and Google Home, as well as, returning to the charger when battery low. Shop this smart vacuum for $259.99, 35 percent off the MSRP.

A smart tablet can be an inexpensive way to stay connected. This Dell Venue 11 Pro Tablet has a large 10.8-inch display and a quad-core processor, and runs on Windows 8. It’s offered at $149 with a 30-day return or replacement policy.

This Apple smart watch seems like it can do it all — it’s cellular, WiFi and Bluetooth-enabled and comes with a heart monitor and a 64-bit dual core processor. It’s also water resistant up to 50 meters. This Apple Watch is covered by a one-year limited warranty. At $519, it’s $180 less than the $699 MSRP.

This lightweight bagless vacuum by Bissell is a godsend for pet owners. It works on both carpet and hardwood floors, using a swivel system to maneuver around with ease. It’s dual brush system helps to catch loose hairs and debris via it’s 10-foot hose, and the multi-level filtration and dump and go cup seal the deal on this $163.41 vacuum cleaner.

In today’s work-and-learn-from-home world, it’s essential to have great technology to be as connected as possible. This manufacturer-refurbished MacBook Air has a 13.3-inch display, a 1.1GHz dual core Intel Core i3 processor and ultra-clear retina display. Apple offers a one-year limited warranty and a two-week return window. At $849, it’s $150 less than the $999 MSRP.

One of the great things about KitchenAid stand mixers is the variety of colors you can choose from to match your kitchen. This Pro 600 is in Cinnamon Red, and has 10 mixing speeds. It’s protected by a two-year warranty, and at $349, is 50 percent off the MSRP of $699.

See who’s at your door any time, whether you’re home or not, with a video doorbell system. This Ring Pro video doorbell has a two-way talk system and motion sensors and infrared camera that even work in the dark, and will send footage to your phone. At $119.99, it’s $60 off MSRP, and covered by the seller’s return policy.

This affordable PC laptop comes directly from Dell’s refurbished program and has been reconditioned and certified grade A by the manufacturer. The Latitude 3380 has a 13.3-inch display, 4GB of RAM, and 500GB of hard drive memory. It’s offered by Dell at $569, and has a less expensive grade B option at $519.

The Nintendo Switch is a home video game console system that can “switch” between an at-home console and one that can be played on the go, with up to two players. At home, it sits in a dock that connects to your tv, and on the go, it’s a handheld system. This refurbished model from GameStop is $279, $20 off the MSRP, and is covered by a 30-day return policy.

The Vitamix is a big investment, but that’s because it takes the place of several kitchen appliances, like a blender, smoothie maker, and food processor. This Vitamix G-Series is certified refurbished from the manufacturer and comes with a standard five-year warranty, and is offered at $439.95.

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