(Updated 11/19/19) The days of standing in line for hours in the freezing cold with the unwashed, turkey stuffed masses, are officially over. Unless of course you claim to be the King of Black Friday, in which case, you better get your tent and space heater out of the attic now. But for the rest of us sane & savvy shoppers, below are some highly clever tips and hacks that you can use this year to score an amazing deal and not have to venture into the Black Friday madness.
Here’s how really savvy shoppers avoid the Black Friday craziness and still score a MAJOR deal.
1. Know the Better Dates to Shop Closer to Christmas
Here at Rather-Be-Shopping we add hundreds of coupons and deals to our database every week.
We can then search and analyze all the deals and figure out exactly when in December we get the best deals for specific shopping categories.
Below are the dates for 2019. Shop on the right day and get deals and coupons that usually beat Black Friday pricing.
Christmas Toys: Thursday, December 12th.
Stocking Stuffers: Monday, December 9th.
Apparel and Shoes: Saturday, December 14th. (Free Shipping Day)
HDTV’s: Weekend of December 6 – 8th.
Tools & Hardware: Friday, December 13th.
Laptops/ChromeBooks: Thursday, December 12th.
PS4 and Xbox: December 12th-15th.
Winter Apparel: Saturday, December 14th.
Jewelry/Wedding Bands: December 4 – 25th.
Fitness Gear: Monday, December 9th.
Kitchen Stuff: Saturday, December 14th.
Shop on these days and laugh your way to some serious savings.
2. Know the Right Day of the Week to Shop
One of the best ways that savvy shoppers buy gifts “on the cheap” is by finding them via clearance deals.
The simplest way to do this is to shop on the day, or day after, stores do their clearance markdowns.
In other words, get first dibs on the best deals. In recent years I’ve had store employees fill me in on when stores do their markdowns.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Anthropologie: Shop on a Tuesday.
- Babies R Us: Shop on a Thursday.
- Best Buy: Shop on a Wednesday.
- CVS Drugstores: Shop on a Monday or Tuesday.
- Gap: Shop on a Monday.
- JCPenney: Shop on the 1st and 3rd Friday of every month.
- Joann Fabrics: Shop on a Sunday.
- Kohl’s: Shop on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month.
- Macy’s: Shop on a Tuesday or Wednesday.
- Old Navy: Shop on a Monday or Tuesday.
- Pier 1 Imports: Shop on a Monday.
- Ross: Shop on a Monday.
- Target: Markdowns depend on the day of the week at Target.
- Monday – Electronics, Accessories, Kids Clothing, Books, Baby and Stationery
- Tuesday — Domestics, Women’s Clothing, Pets and Market (food items)
- Wednesday — Men’s Clothing, Health and Beauty, Diapers, Lawn & Garden items and Furniture
- Thursday — Housewares, Lingerie, Shoes, Toys, Sporting Goods, Decor & Luggage
- Friday — Auto, Cosmetics, Hardware, & Jewelry
Shop on the right day of the week and become a savings ninja.
3. Know How to Find a Coupon When One Doesn’t Seem to Exist
This trick is a 2-pronged strategy. Let’s break it down…
Hit Up Live Chat
The first thing smart online shoppers do is hit up a retailer’s live chat feature when they can’t find a coupon anywhere else.
A majority of chat operators have coupons for free shipping, or a percent-off, available for those who politely ask.
This is especially true around Black Friday and Cyber Monday as retailers desperately want you to complete your purchase. They’ll happily throw you a bone so you do just that.
Abandon Your Virtual Cart
A more passive aggressive way to save money on Black Friday is to add items to your virtual cart, then log out and abandon it.
I discovered 17 online retailers who’ll email you a coupon to entice you to come back and complete your purchase.
This works great for high-priced items like HDTVs, laptops, and even major appliances.
4. Sleep-In on Black Friday…Then Shop eBay
The crazy folks who camp out on Black Friday morning are doing so they can snatch up as many doorbuster deals as they can get their frozen little hands on.
To turn a quick profit, they’ll post their loot on eBay. Because of this smart shoppers should check out eBay on the Saturday and Sunday following Black Friday.
You can essentially shop the Black Friday ads, and in many cases, you’ll only pay slightly more than if you had stood in line for hours.
5. Use Your Credit Card to Get Black Friday Pricing
Smart shoppers use a credit card that offers price protection on all your purchases.
According to this Reddit thread, you can buy a product before Black Friday, then when you find a lower price on Black Friday you file a price protection claim.
Check to see if your credit card(s) qualify and start saving some money this year without fighting the madness. To help, here is a list of credit cards that currently offer price protection.
6. Shop Online…Starting Wednesday Night
As we recently documented, many retailers, like it or not, will open their doors on Thanksgiving.
But savvy shoppers never leave their home on Thanksgiving and still score deals. They do it by shopping online.
The key for success is to shop early, not on Thanksgiving, but actually on Wednesday evening. The last couple years, retailers starting rolling out online deals starting at 8 or 9 pm EST on Wednesday.
Also, don’t just shop the Amazons and Walmarts of the world, check out the smaller sites too as they’ll have great online deals as well.
7. Shop Before Black Friday & STILL Save
In recent years, retailers have started offering “Black Friday teasers” starting on the Monday or Tuesday of Thanksgiving week.
Smart shoppers take advantage of these early deals at stores like Walmart, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Target, and even Kohl’s.
Many of the deals will be exactly the same as those found on Black Friday. So shop early, avoid the crowd, and still save money.
Ask the Reader: What tips do you have that allow you to stay home on Black Friday and still score a sweet deal?
By Kyle James
Photo credit to Erwin Bernal.