Lots of so-called experts put out lists of the "Top Gifts This Season," but DealNews has what puts everyone in the holiday spirit: cold, hard, quantitative data.
Since an overwhelming number of people start their holiday shopping during Black Friday — 84% to be exact — we took a close look at our traffic statistics during that time frame to see what you, our loyal users, were searching for the most, as well as which deals were the hottest (ie, received the most clicks) throughout that time frame.
From this data, we were able to see what items were the most highly sought after. The results have a lot of predictable entries, but a few surprises as well. Read on to see DealNews' picks for the hottest gifts this holiday season.
The iPad might have earned a permanent spot on this list. Predictable? Sure. But there's a reason that these intuitive, light, fun-yet-productive devices are in demand year after year. Newer models almost always add better screens, faster processors, lighter weight, and desirable new features, but even older models retain a lot of their appeal, making refurbs a great way to go.
One word of caution: We thought most people don't need to pay extra for the iPad mini 3.
Xbox One & PlayStation 4
Both of these consoles have now been out for a year, so finding them in stock will not be the Herculean task it was in the 2013 holiday shopping season. We've even seen some great deals on these current-gen systems; the prices have dropped to $329, although you can more easily score value through bundles that include some of the hottest game titles currently out.
These near-omnipresent cans from Dr. Dre are coveted by trendsters and music lovers all over the world. While many audiophiles feel other brands provide comparable sound for a better price, that hasn't slowed Beats' progress. If cost is a concern, we saw some amazing deals on Beats over Black Friday, and hope to see more before the holiday season is over.
Bose Headphones and Speakers
Similar to Beats, Bose often takes flak from audiophiles for being overpriced and overhyped. But website Audioholics argues that the company is still a pioneer in consumer hi-fi equipment and is, at worst, "ordinary" compared to the "revolutionary" image they've given themselves, but they are still a big step up from the no-name earbuds you'd grab off the clearance shelf at Walmart. If you see a deal on Bose, act fast; we saw only one or two in December in years past, and rarely from Bose itself.
The North Face Jackets
Polar vortex, anyone? No one is taking chances this year, and The North Face coats and apparel will keep you warm and stylish, whether you're braving K2 or just your morning commute. Even though we said January is a better time to buy winter apparel, some things just can't wait.
Okay, let's put aside Frozen for a second and talk about the other thing all kids want this year — LEGO sets! No, seriously, DealNews readers were searching for and snatching up these things like crazy. Of course, LEGOs are the gift that keep on giving, as sets become building blocks for whatever your imagination can dream up. And now there's new minifigs representing women in STEM fields! But not Frozen; at least not until next month.
Amazon Fire TV Stick
In Amazon's continuing plot to sell everything, they introduced the Fire TV Stick last month. While the original Fire TV took aim at set-top boxes like the Roku and Apple TV, the Stick was a clear jab at the Chromecast, Google's popular and affordable streaming dongle. CNET calls it "a streaming hot bargain," and it sounds particularly good for those who are already invested in the Amazon ecosystem.
Don't already have a subscription to Amazon Instant? The Chromecast is still a tried-and-true option. Over Black Friday week, we saw deals and bundles drop the price even lower than it's $35 MSRP, which is itself a bargain.
Readers, what are you on the hunt for this holiday season? Sound off in the comments below, and consider subscribing to the DealNews Select Newsletter to keep an eye on the best gift deals.
This article originally appeared in DealNews.