We Compiled The Deals for the Last 4 Black Fridays So You Know What Sales to Expect This Year

previous black friday deals

Let’s pretend that life is a movie for just a second, and you need to prepare yourself for the madness that is the most anticipated and heavily trafficked (in person and digital) shopping event of the year: Black Friday.

Consider this your training montage.

Just like a four-star general wouldn’t go to battle without a clear strategy, several back-up plans, and a thorough knowledge of the terrain and the enemy, we’re not going to let you wake up, blearily unlock your phone, and charge in blind on the 29th. Every year, retailers compete to have the most enticing deals and sales. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the deluge and panic-buy a bunch of stuff you don’t really need (or click on what looks like a good deal but isn’t).

The best way to weather Black Friday and emerge victorious is to have a clear goal (what you want) and a little insight into your opponent.

That’s where we come in.

We’ve been tracking Black Friday sales since the early days of Primer. And we’ve noticed that most retailers tend to pick a deal structure and stick with it. Companies plan out their Black Friday sales months in advance, and they’re probably not going to offer 35% off of full-price items one year and then 60% off clearance the next.

For example, Banana Republic has done some variation of “50% off” for the last 3 years.

We’re giving you the tactical advantage with our Black Friday comparison chart compiled from the deals we featured from 2015-2018, which should help you gauge what you can reasonably expect from your favorite brands.

How to Actually Get a Good Deal on Black Friday

Let's start with the number one, most important buying tip that always applies: Buying something you don't need just because it's on sale isn't a good deal.

Unlike a lot of sales throughout the year that come up unannounced, unless you follow retail industry trends, we know the year's best discounts are coming on the day after Thanksgiving. Knowing that, and armed with the information in the table below, you now have a full week to think about what you actually need so you can buy it for the cheapest price all year.

This is when many companies have deals without exclusions. So if there’s a large-ticket item that you know you’ll need in the next few months (like a suit), or there's a splurge purchase like a leather jacket, which are excluded from normal sales, jump on it now rather than paying more at a later date.

If you're like me, when you start poking around the Primer Black Friday gift guide that morning, you probably aren't mentally prepared to drop $250 on a leather jacket, so instead you buy a bunch of $10 pocket tees and a pair of jeans for 50% off.

But with a little bit of thinking ahead of time, it may make sense to finally pull the trigger on that suede trucker jacket if it's at an all-time low price.

How to Shop Tactically

Since Black Friday is one of the few annual promotions that retailers offer their highest discount or have no exclusions, that makes it the smart time to look at:

  • Higher quality brands / material compositions than you can normally afford
  • Outerwear
  • Sweaters
  • Leather
  • Suits
  • Higher quality secondary buys like premium underwear, socks, and ties
  • Nicer brands like Taylor Stitch that rarely do sales outside of BF

So think about what you need or have been wanting and use Black Friday to buy it at a cheaper price, or to buy a better version at a price you can afford.

If there’s one retailer that’s known for its dizzying array of special sales and pricing, it’s Amazon. We do a round-up every year, and can say the safe bet is you should think about upgrading accessories like watches and belts, as well as sneakers and outerwear. Of course, Amazon devices are going to be featured, and popular home gadgets like Sous vide machines, air fryers, Instapots, etc., frequently get industry-leading discounts.

Be sure to check back with us next week for our deals post–

We’ll keep you updated with the best sales and prices on tech, apparel, home goods, and more. You can head to Primer's homepage Black Friday morning for the full guide, or better yet, subscribe to our newsletter to get first dibs. Forewarned is forearmed!

This chart is based on the deals we tracked in the previous years. Cells with a “/” are missing because we chose not to feature that retailer in a particular year. Many sites have already started Black Friday promotions, but we've found the best deals still start on the day after Thanksgiving.

The Last 4 Years of Black Friday Promotions

Retailer Black Friday 2018 Black Friday 2017 Black Friday 2016 Black Friday 2015
Abercrombie & Fitch 50% off everything + free shipping up to 50% off / /
Aldo 50% off sale items / 50% off full price styles 20% off full price styles
Alpha Industries / Up to 50% off / /
Allen Edmonds Extra 20% off with code CYBER20 Select models $199 + $50 off select boots 50% off Black Friday styles 50% off Black Friday styles
Allsaints 30% off everything / / /
Amazon $25 Watches, $21 New Balances, $12 Flannels, $32 Levi’s 511 + Devices & More Up to 60% off (11/21-11/24) Extra 30% off select shoes, watches, and clothing 30% off clothing, watches, jewelry and more
American Eagle / / 40% off + Free Shipping / All sweaters and flannels $25 40% off holiday collection plus free blanket with purchase of $75
ASOS 25% off everything with code EPIC25 30% off everything / /
Banana Republic 50% off everything + free shipping 50% off regular and sale items 50% Off 5 Items / no exclusions Half off sweaters and 40% off the rest of your purchase – code: BRFRIDAY
Banana Republic Factory / / 50-70% off 50-70% off
Best Made Co. 25% off sitewide with code 25×24 / /
Birchbox / / 10% Off for everyone: 10FORALL / 15% off for subscribers: 15FORSUBS 25% off order of $35 or more – code: BIGDEAL
Bonobos 35% off everything with code MONDAY 25% off of an order of $150+ or 30% off of an order of $250+ in store and online Up to 30% off sitewide: TGIBF Up to 30% off sitewide
Brooklinen 10% off $250+, 15% off $350+, 20% off $450+ Spend $150 and get a free $35 scented candle of your choice. / /
Brooks Brothers 4 select shirts for $199 4 select shirts for $199 4 shirts for $199 4 for $199 dress shirts + 30% off sweaters
Clarks 30% off select styles with code CYBER / / /
Club Monaco 40% off sale with code CMCYBERMONDAY18, plus 25% off $150+, 30% off $250+, 35% off $400+ 25% off $150, 30% off $250, 35% off $400 with code SHOPFRIDAY 25% off $150, 30% off $250, 35% off $400 with code THANKS 25% off $150, 30% off $250, 35% off $400 with code THANKFUL
Cole Haan 50% off everything, plus extra 10% off with code CYBER 30% to 50% off select styles 50% certain styles 50% certain styles, 30% off everything else
Daniel Wellington free strap with any watch + 50% off Dapper collection + 20% off sets / / /
Dockers / / Up to 50% off sitewide Up to 60% off sitewide
DSTLD 25% off storewide with code BLACKFRIDAY / / /
East Dane 15% off $200+, 20% off $500+, 25% off $800+ with code MORE18 Up to 70% off sale items and 30% off full-price items 15% off $200+, 20% off $500+, 25% off $800+ with code GOBIG16 15% off $250+, 20% off $500+, 25% off $1000 with code GOBIG15
Eddie Bauer 50% off your purchase with code CYBER50 / / /
Express 50% off everything + free shipping 50% off everything + free shipping 50% off everything + free shipping 50% off everything
Fjallraven 20% off select styles / / /
Florsheim 50% off select styles with code CYBM 25% Off site-wide 25% off sitewide – code: TGIVING16 20% off sitewide – code: TGIVING15.
Frank and Oak 50% off bestsellers, 30% off everything else with code CYBERMONDAY30 30% off for Black Friday; 35% off for Cyber Monday / 250+ styles 60% off
Finish Line 20% off online orders + free shipping with code CYBER20 / / /
Fossil Up to 70% off sale styles for online orders only, 30% off full-priced styles with code CYBER30 / / /
Gap 50% off everything with code CYBER + extra 10% plus free shipping with code YOURS 50% off everything with code BLKFRIDAY + extra 10% off with code JUST4YOU 50% off with TGIF50 50% off everything with code: EARLY
Gap Factory / / 50-70% off 50-70% off everything
Grant Stone B Grades and Discontinued items up to 50% off retail. / / /
Grayers / 30% off site wide / /
Greats 25% off with code HOLIDAZE / / /
H&M 30% off everything + free shipping Up to 30% off 20% off with Free Shipping / $3 deals up to 70% OFF: Code 5188 Deals from $4.99 and 20% off with code: 3231
Huckberry Up to 50% Off + free shipping 20-55% Off Exclusive Deals on 2017 Best Sellers Black Friday events / Select sale items Armogan Spirit of St. Louise 20% off
Indochino Up to 70% off with code CYBMON Save up to 70% site-wide and in stores. Up to 70% off: BLKFRI Save up to 70% – Code: BLKFRI
Jay Butler 50% off Naples driving loafers and handbags (JBCM18) 20% of Cromwell & Shipley loafers, belts, wallets, duffels, ties, and more (JBBF18) 10% off all Millbank loafers (BFbits18) / / /
J.Crew 60% off sale styles + 50% off everything else with code CYBER (online only) 40% off most regular prices items + 40%-50% off sale items with code THANKU 40% off + free shipping over $150 or $5 flat rate 30% off purchase, 40% off sales – Code: HOLIDAY
J.Crew Factory 60% off original prices* online only with code ADD2CART 50% – 60% off your purchase + extra 50% clearance with code FRIYAY plus extra 20% off $100 with code GIFTFACTORY 50-60% off everything 50% off everything + 60% select styles
Jachs 60% off sitewide with code BLKFRIDAY + up to 90% off Cyber Monday styles / /
John Varvatos Extra 40% off sale with code CYBER40 / / /
Jos A. Bank Up to 70% off throughout the site + extra 20% off your entire purchase of $125 or more with code CYBER18 / / /
Land's End 50% off full price: code PECAN pin: 4462 50% off everything (sale items included) with code FRIDAY pin 2565 40% off everything: TURKEY50 PIN: 1062 40% off outewear, 50% off everything else – Code: black pin:2727
Leesa / / $75 off + $50 Amazon gift card /
Levi's 40% off everything use code CYBER 40% off side-wide and in stores, free shipping on online orders. 40% off everything and free shipping HOLIDAY40 Up to 40% off and free shipping on all orders
Life After Denim 40% off sitewide with CYBER40 40% off sitewide / /
Linjer Up to 50% off + extended returns / / /
LL Bean 20% off clothing and outerwear with code THANKS20, 25% Wicked Good slippers with code WICKED25 25% off with FRIDAY25 20% off when you spend $50: THANKS20 /
Macy's / 20% off site-wide 60% off outerwear, $15 fleece, sweaters, and shirts, $180 suits Web buster deals + 20% off with thanks and free shipping over $50 – code: thanks
MeUndies / 20 percent off site wide / /
The Motley / Get 15% off orders under $75 and 20% off orders between $75-$150. Orders over $150 will get 20% off plus a mystery kit valued at $40+. 15-20% off sitewide 20% off $150 plus free mystery dopp kit
Mott & Bow 25% off site wide, 30% off orders of $200, 35% off $300+with code CYBERMONDAY18 / / /
Mr. Porter 30% off selected items / /
MVMT Watches Up to 25% off Up to 20% off Up to 20% off 15% off all watches
Neiman Marcus Up to 25% off sale items, including designer items / / /
Neiman Marcus Last Call Extra 40-80% off everything / / 40-80% off
New Republic by Mark McNairy Up to 65% off select styles / / /
Nike Extra 25% off selected styles with code CYBER / / /
Nordstrom Up to 60% off select items Take an additional 20% off select sale items Black Friday deals + 20% off select items Extra 25% off starting Friday
Old Navy 50% off everything 50% off in stores and online 50% off everything 60% off hundreds of styles, 50% off even more, 40% off everything else
Orient Watches Up to 40% off sitewide + extra 15% off with HOLIDAY18 50% off with code BF2017 50% off with code BF2016 50% off order with free shipping – code: BF2015
Orvis Up to 50% off / / /
Reebok 50% off sitewide with code CYBER / / /
Rogue Territory 30% off select styles with code RGTBLKFRI2018 / 30% off RGTBLKFRI2016 /
Saks Fifth Avenue Up to 40% off designer sale + free shipping with code FREESHIP / / /
Saks Off 5th Extra 60% off cold weather styles with code COLD60 + free shipping with code CYBERMON / / /
Sierra Trading Post / / / Up to 70% off
Spier and Mackay 20% off sitewide with code CM2018 20% off sitewide with code BF2017 20% off sitewide with code BLACKFRIDAY /
Target BOGO 60% off + extra 15% off clothing, shoes, and accessories (online only) / 30% off 40% off clothing
Taylor Stitch 30% off sitewide 20% off sitewide / /
Tani Save 30% off automatically sitewide / /
The Tie Bar Free holiday socks with orders of $30 + free shipping on any order Free socks with a purchase of at least $40 with code FESTIVE. Free standard shipping on orders $30+ Free socks with $40 order – code: STRIPE40 Free socks with $60 order – code: GETFESTIVE
Theory 25% off select styles with code CYBER / / /
Ties.com 40% off everything with code YOUVEGOTSALE / 35% / 45% off purchase of $150 Free US Shipping FAVORITEFRIDAY 35% off no minium, 45% $150 or more, free shipping – code: BLKFRIDAY
Timberland Up to 50% off select clothing, accessories, and footwear 30% off almost everything / /
Todd Snyder 25% off select styles + free shipping with code CYBERMONDAY 30% off Todd Snyder and Todd Snyder + Champion 50% off Todd Snyder and Todd Snyder + Champion collections with code HOLIDAY30 /
Tommy John 20% off everything + free shipping / / /
Topman Up to 50% off selected lines + free worldwide shipping / / /
Unionmade 25% off sitewide with code CYBERMONDAY / / /
Uniqlo Up to 50% off + free shipping Extra fine Merino wool sweaters $10 off Black Friday select discounts / $15 off $150 / Free Shipping Everything in store under $50 except some outerwear, free shipping
Urban Outfitters $50 off purchases $150+, $25 off purchases $100+, $10 off purchases $50+ / Buy 1 get 1 50% off everything 30% off all sale items
Vineyard Vines 40% off sale items, and 25% off everything else use code HOLIDAY18 / / /
Will Leather Goods 25% off with code HOLIDAY18 / / /
Wilson Leather 60% off Sitewide + free shipping with code CYBERFS / / /
Wolf & Shepherd $100 off shoes and boots with code HUNDO / / /

If you found this helpful, please share! And check back on Black Friday for our best deal picks guide!

This post may contain affiliate links, read about our editorial promise

Ali grew up in New York and currently lives in Philadelphia, where she works as a copywriter. She enjoys cooking, playing the guitar, and powerlifting, and has a brown belt in Krav Maga. You can find her collected articles on health, fitness, and other lifestyle topics at https://alibzagat.contently.com/ Instagram: @alibzagat