Tips for shopping on Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday

We’ve been getting a lot of notice that Black Friday is now more than the day after Thanksgiving. The holiday shopping season started very early this year, when Amazon led the way with a round of deals more than a month before the “traditional” Black Friday with its Prime Early Access Sale. (opens in a new tab) in October. This second Amazon Prime Day of the year turned out to be the opening shot of Christmas shopping.

Others followed, including Best Buy, house depositY walmart. Plus, there were plenty of deals that made Cyber ​​Monday jealous, with even Apple loosening up and slashing prices and moving on to retailers like Target. which now has built-in Apple Stores.

But there will still be plenty of Black Friday shopping (except in foreign REI provider (opens in a new tab)) and Cyber ​​Monday tech deals to consider, and retailers are optimistic about holiday sales general. To that end, we offer a guide to smart shopping both days and during peak retail seasons. They have on it.

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Black Friday deals will continue to exist

Despite the early launch of Black Friday deals, retailers know that traditions are hard to stick to. Shoppers will still be up early on November 25 and hunting for deals as they begin (or continue!) their holiday shopping: Many retailers will maintain early Black Friday hours of operation. (opens in a new tab). And shopping savvy still points to Cyber ​​Monday for good tech deals.

“You’ll be able to find deals in all categories, but the categories to really look at are technology, like laptops, TVs, and video game bundles; small appliances, such as robotic vacuum cleaners and countertop appliances; beauty products and fall clothing and footwear,” says savvy shopping expert Trae Bodge of

Deal Expert Andrea Woroch he delves further into the Black Friday deals, advising shoppers to keep an eye out for free gift cards and extra rewards on Black Friday. Target, for example, offers a $10 gift card for every $50 spent on Legos.

“You can also find deeper discounts on gift cards from restaurants and retailers like Amazon, which offer cash discounts or an added bonus card with purchase that ends up being like two gifts in one,” says Woroch.

Beyond that, “look for deals on personal devices, game consoles, smart home devices, big-screen TVs, and small kitchen gadgets,” says Woroch. “You can even find innovative products on select garments like a PJ set, a sweater or slippers.”

You better compare prices

It’s a given to know prices when going in on a bargain hunt, but in the excitement of the chase, people sometimes forget.

“You’ll want to shop around for a couple of reasons,” says Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst at OfferNews. “First, to make sure you’re getting the best price, obviously, but also to see if other retailers offer extra perks with their deals. For example, many may be offering a product at the same price, but you may be able to save more with coupons, rebates, or store credit, which would push one retailer ahead of others and ensure you save even more. .”

Smart shoppers have a backup plan

Weather overstocks have been a problem for retailers this year, out-of-stock could still be a problem for shoppers, especially on popular items (gaming controllers on Cyber ​​Monday, for example). Warnings in 2021 of massive shortages due to supply chain disruptions (remember those?) didn’t pan out, but it’s still a good idea to carry a backup plan for your holiday shopping.

“Whether you’re worried that items will sell out or discounts aren’t what you need, it’s good to have a backup plan,” says Ramhold. “That way, you have something in mind to buy if your first choice doesn’t work out for whatever reason, and you don’t have to worry about panic buying the great deals and possibly buying something you later regret. ”

Panic buying could force you to buy something you really didn’t want to buy or force you out of your financial comfort zone. Or both.

Use cash back apps and browser extensions

Honing your cyber shopping skills can save you money.

Ramhold says, “With inflation hitting prices, using cash-back apps and browser extensions is one way to ensure you save at least some on your purchases. Even if the fees are low, if you use the apps and extensions enough, the cash back will add up over time and you may be in for a significant check at the end of the season.”

Woroch notes that retailers can inflate an original price to make an offer seem like a better value “so equip yourself with the knowledge and do some homework,” she says.

Here is your guide:

Review price histories wearing to see what an item has sold for before the sale, up to 120 days in advance. Compare competitive prices using the PriceBlink tool so you don’t miss out on better deals, even from sites you wouldn’t have thought to check out. Beware of spin-offs: No-brand electronics or models made for Black Friday may be missing key components and features or made from cheap stuff to keep prices down. Research potential purchases (by model number, even) to find out if they’ve been offered all year. Reviews on trusted sites can help make sure you get what you want. Compare black friday coupons In a place using a deal aggregator I like it Beware of cash-back promotions: if you’re giving a gift, for example, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to claim it back if you have to do something like cut a barcode off the product’s packaging. Instead, opt for a lower discount from a retailer that offers instant savings and earn cash back using a cash back app like Get rewards it gives you free gift cards to take pictures of your receipts. Set sale alerts wearing Paypal Honey Dropdown List (opens in a new tab) or SlickDeals and track price drops even after purchase using paribús (opens in a new tab)as you may be eligible for a price adjustment through the store or credit card you purchased it with.Skip store credit card offers — have high interest rates and expensive fees, low credit limits rarely exceed the rewards offered, which are usually tied to just that retailer. It is better to use a general use reimbursement card that can earn you more over the entire holiday season than any amount you would save in a single transaction.

What to skip on Black Friday

Not everything is a good buy on Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday, of course. We’ve already given you some tools to find out if a seemingly good buy is really a good buy. Here are some more things to skip on Black Friday and/or Cyber ​​Monday:

Avoid buying clothes, beauty and shoes on Black Friday. These are the best to shop on Cyber ​​Monday “with lots of sales all over the site (look for coupon codes to save more through text alerts, email newsletters, or coupon sites),” says Woroch.

And then there are items to fully expect. “Toys will be even lower the last two weeks of December and winter clothing is cheapest the last few days before Christmas and immediately after.” Avoid shopping for linens and bedding on Black Friday or Cyber ​​Monday, says Woroch. The best deals will arrive next year, during the “white sales” in January.

Malls and malls have been the typical destinations for early-morning shoppers during Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday.

But Bodge says to think outside of that box and head to the big box store as well.

“If you belong to Costco, Sam’s Club or BJ’s, take a look at their promotional circulars to see what they have on cyber weekend,” says Bodge. “They often have deep discounts on technology and clothing. They also have giant Christmas gift baskets that can be divided into smaller gifts.”

We have regularly updated our list of The best things to buy at dollar stores.and savvy shoppers should make them their go-to for Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday shopping.

“If you haven’t been to one lately, you’ll be surprised to find a plethora of holiday-themed gifts, no matter the wrapping paper, gift bags, bows and decorations,” says Bodge. “They probably won’t have Black Friday deals, but their prices are so low it won’t matter.”

Cyber ​​Monday is the second of two big holiday shopping launch days. It took its name, courtesy of the National Retail Federation, in 2005, and has been a centerpiece of the holiday season ever since.

But it can also be a risky shopping dive if you’re new to it, don’t know your prices, or perhaps overly cautious about buying tech online. Here are some Woroch Cyber ​​Monday shopping strategies:

Save payment and shipping information on the sites (possibly by creating an account) ahead of time, you can take advantage of best-selling items that might run out.Set sale alerts using Honey’s DropList for items that will go on sale at different times of the day. Install browser tools I like it Centily that automatically add coupons and cash back. Avoid delivery delays and potential order cancellations by opting for buy online and pick up in store. Many retailers, including Walmart and Goalthey are building areas on the store property dedicated specifically for BOPIS (buy online, pick up in store) shoppers. Find out if your credit card offers cash back bonus or extra points for selected stores. Beware of free minimum shipping designed to get you to buy more. Shop at stores that offer free shipping with no minimum. Review return policies to avoid restocking fees and return shipping fees. Keep your data safe! Shop on a secure network, only buy from reputable retailers you’re familiar with, and don’t click on links in unfamiliar emails.Online Order Tracking to prevent package theft. Oftentimes, retailers will provide tracking numbers that you can use on the sites of major delivery companies. You can also use the delivery app.