Which DNA test kit should you purchase during Black Friday? Should you buy now or wait until Black Friday or later?
Updated 5:00 am CST, Tuesday, November 21st
If you are planning on purchasing a DNA test kit for yourself, as a gift, several tests for family members, or have a specific testing need, here is the best strategy as you navigate all the Black Friday offers on DNA:
Which DNA Test Kit Companies are the Best?
While this might be a matter up for discussion, keep in mind that there are many “fly by night” or disreputable companies jumping on the bandwagon. You don’t want to spend good money on a test and not get results useful for genealogical research. The short list below are our recommended vendors in alphabetical order (not ranked otherwise):
- 23andMe – current price $49 (must purchase 2 kits)
- AncestryDNA – current price $79 plus B3G1 – buy 3 get 1 FREE
- Family Tree DNA – current price $59 (Family Finder test only)
- Living DNA – current price $99
- MyHeritage DNA – current price $49 plus FREE EXPEDITED SHIPPING
These vendors, for the most part, work with the genealogy community and listen to their research needs. Their test data can be downloaded and in most cases uploaded to other DNA sites. These vendors also, for the most part, offer matching with other customers who have tested their DNA.
WARNING: Do not pay more than $99 USD for a basic autosomal DNA test. Do not work with vendors who offer severely discounted tests such as $29. Beware that some DNA tests are “basic” and then charge you for results interpretation.
Should I Buy Before Black Friday, on Black Friday, or After Black Friday?
Now let’s deal with the timing issue. The information for this article was gathered on Monday, November 13th, updated on Tuesday, November 21st, and will be updated throughout the holiday shopping season. Black Friday is Friday, November 24th and Cyber Monday is Monday, November 27th. The holiday shopping season runs through December 24th, 2017, but there may also be “after Christmas” or “New Year’s” sales running through January 1st, 2018 and beyond.
Recommendations on When to Buy Your DNA Test
- Don’t purchase AncestryDNA before Black Friday. The current price is $79 with a special GIFT PACK option: buy 3 Ancestry DNA test kits and get 1 FREE – that’s a $79 savings. But there’s a catch . . . the FREESHIPDNA coupon won’t work on the Gift Pack; however it will still work when you buy 1 test kit. It is likely that AncestryDNA’s price will drop to $59 on Black Friday, but they will void the free shipping code, making the price essentially $69. Keep in mind that AncestryDNA is the best-selling test and the “big muscle” in the DNA genealogy industry. They can even make a killing during the holiday shopping season with a $69 base price. Click HERE to purchase AncestryDNA.
- Purchase Family Tree DNA tests at any time. The Holiday Sale at Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) is running through December 31st, 2017. Unless there is limited inventory OR unless you need to get results back quickly, you don’t need to buy a FTDNA test right away. While it is unlikely that Family Tree DNA will make extra price cuts, based on past holiday sale performance, it could happen. And if so, it will happen on or after Black Friday and may be in the form of a one day “flash sale. Click HERE to purchase Family Tree DNA.
- 23andMe – purchase 23and Me Ancestry test now, but wait for 23andMe Ancestry Service + Health test. Right now 23andMe is offering the lowest price available among the big vendors for a basic autosomal test: $49 each when you purchase two tests. Don’t expect this price to get much lower. Currently the Ancestry Service + Health test is still $199 and this is the test that will likely be on sale for 50% off either on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Remember that 23andme offered both their tests at half-price via Amazon on July 11th, 2017 which was Amazon Prime Day. They may repeat using Amazon as their preferred sale platform for a sale on 23andMe Ancestry Service + Health test. Click HERE to purchase 23andMe.
- Purchase MyHeritage DNA test kit now. The current Black Friday/Cyber Monday price for MyHeritage DNA’s basic autosomal test is just $49. Get FREE EXPEDITED SHIPPING when you purchase 3 or more test kits; get FREE REGULAR SHIPPING when you purchase 2 or more kits. Click HERE to purchase MyHeritage DNA.
- Amazon Prime Members get FREE SHIPPING. If you have an Amazon Prime Membership, many of the sale prices above are also available on Amazon. It might be a better deal to use Amazon since you can even get FREE ONE DAY SHIPPING in some areas. Click HERE to shop for DNA test kits on Amazon.
Which is the Best DNA Test Kit to Purchase during Black Friday?
Again, each person has specific needs when it comes to DNA testing and there are many factors to consider. Here is the recommended strategy for different types of consumers:
- Anyone interested in family history should purchase an Ancestry DNA test. With over 6 million users available for matching, Ancestry is the best-selling DNA test kit. More importantly, you cannot upload DNA test data from other programs to Ancestry so you will need to use their site for matching. You can, however, download the AncestryDNA test data and upload it to other sites such as MyHeritage, Family Tree DNA and Living DNA.
- Purchase advanced tests at Family Tree DNA. This is a “no brainer” since FTDNA really is the only vendor selling specific types of tests for multiple markers. Remember to check your testing needs! Some of the tests such as Y-37, Y-67 and Y-111 are intended for male testing subjects ONLY – make sure you don’t waste your money om a test you can’t use!
- Family Tree DNA and MyHeritage use the same lab – which to choose? Both tests are currently priced at $59 and they do, in fact, get processed at the same lab. Family Tree DNA and MyHeritage DNA provide basic matching services to DNA testers. Family Tree DNA currently charges a $19 USD fee to get added features (including Chromosome Browser, myOrigins, and ancientOrigins) if you want to upload DNA test data from another vendor. MyHeritage does not charge to upload outside DNA test results. MyHeritage is a better choice if your ethnic background is euro-centric since many of its users are based in Europe and you will find better matches at MyHeritage.
- If you are testing older relatives, go with a swab test not a spit test. Your best bet is to avoid Ancestry DNA which uses a spit test since many older people have trouble producing enough saliva for the test. Use Family Tree DNA as well as MyHeritage DNA which require two swab samples, and keeps one on file for future use.
- If you have British ancestry, you should purchase Living DNA. Currently on sale for $99 USD and £99 GBP, Living DNA is the only DNA test vendor showing a detailed breakdown of British heritage. Note: Living DNA does not currently provide a “matching” list with other users, but they have stated this feature will be added in the future. Click HERE to purchase Living DNA (US) and click HERE to purchase Living DNA (UK).
- If you are purchasing in bulk, use MyHeritage. With a price of just $49 when purchasing two or more tests, 23andMe is perfect for family reunions and get-togethers. However, keep in mind that MyHeritage at $49 currently has a free shipping incentive . . . if you purchase three or more MyHeritage DNA tests, there is FREE EXPEDITED SHIPPING on the entire order. The current free shipping promo code at AncestryDNA (FREESHIPDNA) does not apply to the Gift Pack Buy 3 Get 1 Free offer.
Remember to do your homework this Black Friday shopping season when it comes to shopping smart and getting the most value out of a DNA test kit for genealogy and family history research. ALWAYS visit DNA Bargains at http://dnabargains.com for the latest deals BEFORE you click that checkout button!
PLEASE NOTE: The post content above contains affiliate links. This means I make a percentage of sales via these links. This does not INCREASE the price you pay as a consumer. It simply supplements my income so I can continue providing as much free genealogy content as possible through my “abundance model.”
Disclaimer: All prices and offers are subject to change. Some items may be sold out and have limited inventory. Also check to see if you have automated purchase settings enabled, such as Amazon Buy with 1-Click: it is your responsibility to make sure you are getting the correct price for an item before you check out and finalize the transaction.
Disclosure statement: I have material connections with various vendors and organizations. To review the material connections I have in the genealogy industry, please see Disclosure Statement.
Content and Images: All content including images have been used by permission from each vendor.
©2017, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved