Best Buy (BBY 0.53%) has been one of the most popular holiday shopping destinations for years. Since many shoppers have electronics, computers, and even appliances as the big-ticket items on their wish lists, the retailer's sales and deals draw a huge audience in stores and online.

For 2018, Best Buy kicked off its holiday season early with dozens of deals that began on Nov. 11 and run through the end of the Thanksgiving weekend. These deals, which are available in-store and online, include $100 off select iPads, up to 40% off Dyson products, and multiple television deals.

However, those are just the appetizers. The main course kicks off online throughout Thanksgiving Day and in stores, when Best Buy opens on Turkey Day at 5 p.m. (except for stores in Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island due to local laws).

The exterior of a Best Buy store

Most Best Buy locations will open on Thanksgiving. Image source: Best Buy.

What is Best Buy doing?

The chain's Black Friday sale actually starts online on Thanksgiving Day. Best Buy offers a very wide array of sales and deals. Stores will be packed with piles of TVs and other sale items. As a consumer, this has its pluses and minuses. It makes it harder for you to know what's a good deal, what's a great one, and when you should pass.

Still, the chain does make many of its offers public ahead of time, and that gives you a chance to figure out which offers are worth going after. You'll have to comparison-shop. Select Apple products go on sale, for example, but will Best Buy's offers be better than the ones the manufacturer itself offers?

Here's just a sampling of the deals the retailer will have starting on Thanksgiving. The "savings" numbers are Best Buy's calculations.

  • Samsung 65-inch 4K UHD Smart TV with HDR for $599.99 (save $200).
  • Save $150 on iPad Mini 4.
  • Save $200 on MacBook Air.
  • Save $300 on Samsung Galaxy Note9, S9 or S9+ with qualified activation.
  • Xbox One X Gold Rush Special Edition Battlefield V Bundle with 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray for $429.99 (save $70).
  • Save $50 on Facebook Portal with Alexa (sale price: $149.99).
  • Google Home Hub Smart Speaker with Google Assistant for $99.99 (save $49).
  • 50% off select small appliances.

Stores open at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving and stay open until 1 a.m. Black Friday store hours are 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday hours are 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday's hours will be 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. There will "doorbuster" deals on both Thursday and Friday. Best Buy is also offering free shipping through Christmas with no minimum order.

Be a smart shopper

Even if you find what seems like a great deal, remember to stop and think about whether you need what you're going to buy. A smart TV that can tell you when you need to buy milk is cool, but is it something your budget can accommodate? Have a plan, make a budget, and don't get swept up in the mania of the season.