The annual holiday shop-a-thon is officially underway with Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals just right around the corner. Of course, instead of just a few days, deals are spread out throughout the holiday season. This means more deals on items for people who are hard to shop for or just great reasons to splurge on yourself. No matter what you’re looking for, you’ll probably find some type of Black Friday deal on it.
It doesn’t have to stop with your own shopping. If you’re the charitable type, Amazon offers a great way to donate the very items charities are looking for through the site.
When Is Black Friday and Cyber Monday?
Black Friday is November 25th with Cyber Monday following on November 28th.
Things to Know Before You Shop
Whether you’re shopping in store or online, it’s important to remember that many retailers no longer have just a single Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday day. Instead of the 24-hour rush, you often have multiple days or weeks of various deals. This gives you more chances to find those must-have items you’re looking for.
Also, make a list of everything you’d love to find in advance, then use various online tools to help you see which retailers have those items on sale and when.
Discovering Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals
Major retailers often leak their Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals weeks ahead of the big days. This gives you time to plan ahead, especially if you want to shop in-store, as hours vary drastically based on the store.
There are two ways to find early circulars and ads: the retailer’s site and Black Friday/Cyber Monday circular sites. The latter gathers as many ads as possible for you to browse in a single location, which is perfect if you don’t want to jump from site to site.
Some of the best sites for circulars, ads, and deals news include:
- BlackFriday.com – If you don’t use any other resource in this post, use BlackFriday.com. It’s usually one of the first sites to find the latest Black Friday and Cyber Monday ads. You can also sign up with your email address to get notified when anything new is added. You’ll even have deals and news about the holidays’ most wanted items.
- TheBlackFriday.com – Almost as good, but not quite as comprehensive, TheBlackFriday.com features most all Black Friday and Cyber Monday ads as they’re released. The biggest problem is the previous year’s ads are listed before 2022’s deals, so you’ll need to scroll to find what you’re looking for.
- BestBlackFriday – This is a great resource, but it’s usually slower to update than the previous two sites. Most ads for the current season don’t start appearing until November.
- Brad’s Deals – Brad’s Deals is a little slower to find the latest ads, but you can also search for specific items to see whether there are any current or upcoming deals, which makes it a useful resource.
Best Sites for Black Friday Deals
Obviously, everyone’s going to have their own favorite places to shop. However, there are some retailers that go above and beyond to offer the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on a variety of items. If you want to limit how many different retailers you shop with, you’ll find electronics, toys, clothing, appliances, and more at the following sites:
- Amazon – With discounts throughout November and December, it’s hard to beat Amazon as an all-in-one holiday shopping center. The site even had an extra Prime Day event in October. Plus, during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you’ll find daily and even hourly deals. If you want to grab more coveted items, you may want to become a Prime member. Amazon usually offers a 30-day free trial, or you can buy a membership for just a month for $12.99. This gives you early access to deals and some exclusive discounts.
- Walmart – As one of Amazon’s biggest competitors, you can expect Walmart to offer some amazing deals this season. In 2020, the retail giant introduced Deals for Days, which spread out Black Friday and Cyber Monday over several weeks. Some deals were exclusive to physical locations or online, while some were available both ways. To promote the Walmart+ membership, the retailer offers members a seven-hour headstart on all online deals. In 2022, Walmart offers new online deals on Mondays and in-store deals on Wednesdays.
- Target – You can’t list Walmart without also listing Target. Some deals start before Black Friday but usually continue throughout the weekend and even past Cyber Monday. As an added bonus, Target’s offering a price match guarantee. While it only applies to items bought at Target, you’re guaranteed the lowest price. If you shop at Target between October 6th and December 24th and the item’s price drops after your purchase it, you get a refund of the difference. You won’t need to wait for the price to drop later.
- Best Buy – Best Buy is way ahead of the game for Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2022. In fact, the retailer started their deals in October. If electronics, gadgets, computers, TVs, gaming consoles and accessories, fitness equipment, or anything similar are on your wish list, this is the store to check out.
Obviously, these aren’t the only great stores to watch for deals, but they do offer the most variety in their deals. Some other retailers famous for great deals throughout the season include:
- Kohl’s – Clothing, jewelry, toys, home goods
- Macy’s – Clothing, jewelry, furniture, home goods
- Meijer – Clothing, electronics, toys, sporting goods, and more
- Lowe’s – Tools and hardware
- Home Depot – Tools and hardware
- Etsy – Ideal for homemade gifts, but each seller runs their own individual sales
If you’re looking for a specific brand of electronics or gadget, such as a phone, laptop, or tablet, go directly to the source. Often, the manufacturer offers even deeper discounts, including bundles, for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. A few options to check include:
Tip: Want an easy way to get everyone on board with your holiday wish list without getting the same gift twice? Consider putting your list up in Microsoft Lists and inviting your friends and family.
Scan Black Friday Deals With Price Trackers
Since many retailers start Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales in early November and continue even into early December, using a price tracker is a great way to make sure you don’t miss discounts on any items on your holiday list. You’ll get notifications the moment a price drops on an item you want, and many even let you set custom thresholds to find your perfect price.
Some of the best options to use include:
- Honey – This is also a Chrome extension. Add items to your Drop List, and when the price drops, you’ll get notified. Plus, Honey automatically searches for discount codes so that you don’t have to.
- CamelCamelCamel – While it’s just for tracking Amazon price drops, it’s incredibly good at what it does. Add your entire Amazon wish list at one time to get notifications when prices drop. It’s even available as a browser extension. There are also other apps and sites to help you track Amazon price drops.
- CheapShark – Find the best deals on digital games. It’s a unique price tracker, as it only works with digital game sites, but it’s a dream come true for gamers.
- Google Shopping – Let Google track prices for you across numerous retailers. Search for and save the item to your list, then get notifications when the price changes.
- Yahoo Shopping – This is essentially Google Shopping but with Yahoo’s spin on it. Search for items, find discounts, and track price changes.
Consider using these browser extensions to make deal tracking even easier.
Sometimes the best way to find amazing Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals is to rely on the savvy shopping skills of others. Real shoppers report deals and news to let everyone else know where to shop and where to get the best prices on specific items. Think of it as social media – but strictly for finding deals.
Some of the best communities to participate in include:
- Slickdeals – Users report deals they find along with any extras, such as discount codes. Other users vote on the deals, which helps the deal rank higher, helping others find it faster. Of course, you can also search for items, browse by category, check out specific communities (Black Friday 2022), ask for help in forums, and more.
- DealNews – An expert team handles all the searching and price comparisons to help you find the best deals online. Use filters to find the best featured deals or search for specific items. New deals are added all the time.
- GottaDeal – Not only can you find a featured list of great deals, but you can also join the forums to find deals posted by a large community of other shoppers. You can even ask for help in finding deals on certain items or in specific stores.
- Pepper – For international shoppers, Pepper is perfect. Think of it like Slickdeals – but for deals in countries throughout the world.
- TechBargains – Site editors and community members post the best tech deals so that you don’t have to search yourself. You can also browse by store and category or search for items.
Of course, social media is also a great place to find the latest Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. Consider joining Facebook groups or using Reddit. Also, follow your favorite retailers on social media to see the latest deal announcements.
A few Facebook groups you may want to join include:
For an even more active social community, turn to Reddit. Some of the best subreddits include:
Also, search for specific categories, such as games, computers, headphones, etc., to find subreddits for just those items. You can also search for specific stores/retailers.
Tech Deals to Look for During Black Friday
While you’ll find Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on just about anything imaginable, tech items are usually the best sellers and most wanted. However, they’re also the items that tend to sell out the quickest, so if you’re looking for any of the following, start keeping an eye on any pre-Black Friday sales:
- TVs – Smart TVs and those with built-in streaming apps, such as Roku and Amazon Fire Stick, are popular.
- Anything Apple – Apple Watches, MacBooks, iPhones, etc.
- Gaming consoles – Nintendo Switch, PS5, XBox X, Oculus Quest, etc.
- Video games – Including digital-only games
- Tablets – Kindles, iPads, Samsung Galaxy Tab, etc.
- Headphones – Beats, AirPods, Bose QuietComfort, and more
- Smart home devices – Amazon Echo, Google Home, Apple HomeKit, Ring Doorbell, robot vacuums, etc.
Good to Know: It’s easy to concentrate on Black Friday, but many of these products can be offered at even better prices throughout the year. This includes all the Apple Watch, iPhone, iPad, etc..
Since all of these are popular items and categories, you’ll find some of the biggest deals, with many retailers expected to shave as much as $100 or more off regular prices. Some may even offer half off or more.
Tech deals aren’t limited to physical products, though. You can also grab amazing Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on VPNs, antivirus, productivity suites, games, and much more. Developers often offer limited-time deals on annual and lifetime subscriptions around Black Friday, so if there’s something you want, subscribe to their email newsletter to make sure you don’t miss out.
Deals at Make Tech Easier
Not only does Make Tech Easier make using your technology easier, we’re also here to help you score some of the best tech deals. Check back all through Black Friday and Cyber Monday for deep discounts on your favorite tech products.
Picking the Right Time to Shop
When it was just two or three days of deals across all of the major retailers, it was a lot easier to keep track of who had the best prices on the items you wanted. But, now, it’s much harder. What if you grab an early Black Friday deal before Black Friday? Will it be cheaper on Black Friday or Cyber Monday itself?
Use the resources above to check out many deals early. Many retailers are listing several weeks of deals at once. Just pay close attention to sale start dates.
The key is to make a list of what you absolutely want to get. If you see a great sale, go for it. Odds are, most retailers will have similar deals on the same products. Since items may go quickly, waiting could cause you to miss out entirely.
If you still have concerns about shopping online, don’t fret. Follow the Paranoid Buy’s Guide to Shopping Online.
Frequently Asked Questions
How early do Black Friday sales start?
Earlier and earlier every year. Thanks to the chaos of 2020, retailers have started offering Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals as early as mid-October. However, most wait until November and may offer increasingly better deals each week.
Are deals better in-store or online?
Usually, online deals are slightly better – but not always. Plus, some retailers offer in-store-only sales. Check pricing using the tools and resources mentioned to see what works better for you. Also remember that there’s more competition to buy something online, so if you can’t find it online, check local stores. You might try looking for these retro gaming consoles.
Are there any deals after Cyber Monday?
Absolutely! The holiday shopping season is still going strong throughout December. Don’t worry if you missed a deal during Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Retailers sometimes offer even deeper discounts afterward, especially on tech gadgets that are likely to release a new model in the spring or summer.
What about Small Business Saturday?
Don’t forget about local and online small businesses. While the major retailers might have amazing deals, small businesses often have products you can’t find anywhere else. If you’re looking for one-of-a-kind jewelry, personalized products, handmade items or anything similar, shop with small businesses the day after Black Friday.
Are store memberships worth it for better deals?
Yes and no. Mainly, it depends on what you’re looking for. For hard to find items, a membership might give you early access to a deal. Both Amazon and Walmart offer memberships that give you early access and exclusive deals. However, if you don’t need special access, paying extra money may not be worth it, especially if you don’t plan to keep the membership after the holiday rush is over.
Image credit: Unsplash. All screenshots by Crystal Crowder
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