By Martha C. White
November 1, 2018
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If you start Christmas shopping on Black Friday, you’re late to the party: Big retailers like Target and Walmart are kicking off major holiday sales today, with great deals and low prices available right now.

To better compete with Amazon holiday sales, they also are rolling out new technology and making it easier to get free shipping to take the hassle out of holiday shopping.

Walmart Holiday Deals Available Now

Walmart is rolling out new deals on a daily basis, and these price drops are serious — like Apple AirPods for just $144.98, cheaper than even Apple’s own website!

Courtesy of Walmart

Shoppers also can score the popular Madden NFL 19 video game for Xbox One for just $29, gorgeous quarter-carat diamond earrings for $79.99, or the super-popular L.O.L. Surprise! Bling Series dolls for just $9.88.

Courtesy of Walmart

Although it built its brand on rock-bottom prices, Walmart has upgraded its offerings in a major way to include more high-end labels and big brand names: kitchen appliance manufacturer DeLonghi; dozens of high-end fashion name brands from Lord & Taylor like Calvin Klein, Ray-Ban and Steve Madden; Bose audio equipment and, later this month, Sony XBR high-performance TVs.

Walmart is doubling down on technology that makes it easier for customers to shop, and upping the ante with expanded free shipping offers. This week, Walmart announced that millions of items sold by its third-party marketplace sellers will be eligible for free, two-day shipping (there’s still a $35 purchase minimum). It’s also streamlining the process of both online and in-store returns of those items.

For in-store shopping, Walmart is eliminating the dreaded checkout line with its new Check Out With Me feature — you can just check out with an associate via his or her handheld scanner — and new, super-precise in-store maps on its app to make it easier to find exactly what you’re looking for quickly.

Target Holiday Deals Available Now

Walmart big-box rival Target’s new assortment of more than 1,400 curated gifts (most under $15) is perfect for white-elephant gift exchanges or an unexpected gift-giving event. And today only, Target’s hot deals include Beats Solo3 wireless headphones for just $179.99, as well as the beloved Instant Pot DUO60 for just $69.95; the Instant Pot deal is even sweeter because you get a $10 gift card with purchase.

Courtesy of Target

Target also is offering free two-day shipping, although it has no purchase minimum on “hundreds of thousands of items,” the company says. The retailer also has same-day delivery in many markets around the U.S. and drive-up service at nearly 1,000 stores.

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