10 Tips to Help You Get the Best Black Friday Deals

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Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping events of the year. Use these Black Friday tips to shop smart this season

Start Black Friday Shopping Early

Since deals tend to sell out quickly, our first Black Friday tip is to plan ahead. To score a Black Friday deal in the past, you had to arrive in-person on Thanksgiving and wait in line for hours.

Luckily, things have changed. Now, Black Friday is less like a one-day sale and more like a month-long event. Your favorite stores will likely start to post deals weeks before Black Friday. Chances are, many will offer in-store and online discounts days, and sometimes even weeks, before Black Friday arrives. You can shop for Black Friday deals online all month long.

Sign Up For Black Friday Tips

Much like following stores on social media and turning on app notifications, signing up for newsletters will bring Black Friday tips straight to your inbox. Besides getting the first word on discounts and coupons, you may also snag a coupon for your first post-signup purchase. And if your Black Friday shopping destinations offer a loyalty or rewards program, be sure to enroll. Being a member typically means perks, which may include early access, extra savings and free shipping.

Use Store Apps With Notifications

Once you identify the stores you would like to browse, download their apps. It will help you save time and money on Black Friday. Some stores offer sneak previews for app users, and if you create an account, most apps have a wish list feature. By saving the items you want, you can browse your personal list to see discount prices. Turn on app notifications to stay up to date on the latest deals and releases.

Check Social Media for Black Friday Tips

Be sure to follow your favorite retailers on their social channels. Many reward Twitter, Facebook and Instagram followers with additional discounts. You’ll also be the first to know about last-minute flash sales, as well as special followers-only offers and discount codes. Once you know the sales you’re after, it’s time to think of gift ideas that are perfect for DIYers.

Browse Black Friday Deal Consolidators

As you start to track pricing in the days and weeks leading up to Black Friday, of course you’ll want to check as many store ads as possible to compare pricing. You can go paperless and still find traditional newspaper-style ads online. Websites such as Bestblackfriday.com and Blackfriday.com aggregate scans of the latest ads for dozens of stores. They also offer email alerts, so you can be notified as soon as a new discount is added.

Identify the Best Black Friday Deals

When everything is on sale, it can be difficult to decide which deals are worth the hype. Not every Black Friday deal really is the lowest price. Retailers like Amazon and Target now offer other big savings events throughout the year, such as Prime Day, which means Black Friday might not be the best time to buy.

Learn the average prices for the things on your shopping list so you can identify a deal when you see one. And don’t be afraid to wait! Some items will have bigger discounts on Cyber Monday or later.

Choose Electronics Over Clothes

Electronics tend to have the best Black Friday deals. TVs, laptops, tablets, video game consoles and other tech items will all be on sale. It’s a good time to buy gifts for tech-savvy family members or to upgrade your home theater.

Clothing stores, on the other hand, tend to have worse deals. Winter clothing is in high demand before Christmas, so stores don’t have much incentive to slash prices. You’ll save more if you wait until February or early March — if you can wait, that is. If you can’t, just check in advance to see if the deals are really worth your Black Friday buying time.

Pick One Doorbuster

Doorbusters are available in limited quantities, so you’ll want to be among the first shoppers inside the store to snag one. That usually means waiting in a long, pre-dawn line, possibly for hours.

Since you can’t be everywhere at once, your best bet is to focus on scoring just one that you’ve taken the time to verify is a truly good deal. One victory is better than rushing between stores with little success. If you’re shopping online, you’ll want to check out before the doorbusters sell out. So pick your item, add it to your cart and finish the process before continuing to shop.

Don’t Black Friday Shop Alone

Bring a friend along for your Black Friday shopping trip. You can make a game plan, then split up in the store to grab everything you need in half the time. For long waits at the register, have one friend get in line while the other friend finishes up the shopping list. Plus, shopping with a pal is always more fun.

Many people look forward to Black Friday all year. But if you usually spend the day spent shopping with friends, 2020’s mainly-online event may be disappointing. You can still have fun and save money together. Try video calling with your shopping buddy while browsing deals from the safety of your computer.

And enjoy Black Friday alternatives while you shop to enhance the online experience. Another option is to declutter on Black Friday and shop from your friends’ unwanted items.

Plan Ahead for Pickup

This year, curbside pickup is bigger than ever. Many stores will offer the feature on Black Friday, meaning you don’t have to enter the store to enjoy its savings. Find out which stores in your area will offer curbside pickup before you begin Black Friday shopping.

If you will shop inside the store, look for ways to cut down on time. Some major retailers, like Walmart and Target, provide store maps identifying where to find specific Black Friday deals inside the store, available on their websites and/or apps. Use these maps to plan your exact shopping route before the big day arrives. You’ll save time in-store, leaving you with more deal-hunting time elsewhere.

Erica Young
Erica Young is a freelance writer and content creator, specializing in home and lifestyle pieces. She loves writing about home decor, organization, relationships, and pop culture. She holds a bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication.