Black Friday is just around the corner, so it’s time to start organizing your game plan. It’s the biggest shopping weekend of the year, and all of your favorite stores are likely running some sort of promotion or discount to get you in their doors. With so many advertisements being thrown at you, it can be challenging to weed through them to find the right ones for you.
Which stores and sites do you need to hit to get the hottest gifts at the lowest prices for Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2018?
Black Friday basics
What do you need to know about Black Friday and Cyber Monday to make the best out of the Thanksgiving weekend sales?
- Black Friday is always the day after Thanksgiving. This year, it takes place on November 23, 2018. Cyber Monday is the following Monday, which is November 26.
- Black Friday tends to focus more on actual storefronts, while Cyber Monday has more online deals and discounts. As more businesses are moving online the two have melded into one long weekend of discounts and savings both online and in-store.
- Even Thanksgiving sees some of the action. A lot of retailers, especially big box stores, have started hosting their Black Friday sales the day before on Thanksgiving. This is a method to gain more visibility and get those shoppers in the door before their competitors do.
- Some retailers even host week-long discounts or month-long promotions. Amazon starts their Black Friday deals the first week in November, though usually their best deals still start on Black Friday.
- The most common Black Friday deals are on electronics. From laptops to smart devices to televisions, Black Friday is known as the ultimate score in discount electronics.
So where you can you find some of the best Black Friday deals this 2018?
Amazon always has some of the best promotions in all product categories. From games to books to décor, Amazon continuously ranks as some of the greatest deals in the Black Friday game. We anticipate the deals will be even bigger this year since Amazon has even created a physical storefront presence with Amazon Go, AmazonFresh, and Whole Foods. They also hold promotions throughout the month of November, which means you have endless opportunities to find the gifts on your list at a discount.
Amazon’s Lightning Deals are where you see the most action. These discounts are only available for a set period of time with a specific quantity of goods. This is where you can snag the steepest discounts on some of the hottest trending products before anyone else gets to them.
The problem with Lightning Deals is that you need to consistently monitor them because Amazon won’t release all of the deals ahead of time. We recommend getting the Amazon app, so you can get real-time notifications for a curated list of Lightning Deals when they go up.
Amazon’s biggest promotions are always on their own electronic hardware like Fire, Echo/Alexa, and Kindle. If you’re looking for new Amazon devices, Black Friday is the time to buy.
Amazon Prime members have the best shot with Amazon as well. They have access to free two-day shipping, while non-Prime members typically don’t have any special Black Friday shipping deals. Prime members also get exclusive access to Lightning Deals and discounts ahead of time.
Amazon will likely release their Black Friday deals on November 14, but they’ve said they want to make their announcement after Walmart does. Follow Amazon’s Black Friday deal page here.
Walmart and Amazon always go neck-and-neck for Black Friday deals. They both offer a wide array of discounts on a number of categories, which make them the go-to for all shopping needs.
Walmart tends to beat Amazon in one area: toys. Toys are one of the most popular items for the holiday season, and Walmart has unbeatably low prices.
Outerwear is another common discount at Walmart. You can get your winter coats for a steal during Black Friday (assuming it doesn’t get too freezing outside before then).
Walmart has discounts both online and in-store, so every customer can get in on the bargain hunting action. Keep up to date with Walmart’s Black Friday deals here.
Best Buy is the ultimate Black Friday hot spot for electronics. Last year, their book of deals was 50 pages long, filled to the brim with the hottest gizmos and gadgets for the season. They also offer discounts on Apple products, which is typically unheard of for most stores the rest of the year.
Best Buy usually offers in-store door-busters, meaning you’ll have to wake up bright and early to get the best deals. However, they’re expected to offer more online deals this year to compete with Amazon and Walmart.
Stay updated with Best Buy’s Black Friday deals and Deal of the Day here.
This Black Friday season Target is giving away credit through gift cards. The biggest gift cards will be on baby items, like baby care and nursery furniture. We anticipate that furniture and home décor will be a significant emphasis for Target discounts this year as well.
Target is also known for their “bundled” discounts, so there are a lot of BOGO options and deals on multiple product purchases. Add more items to your receipt, and you’ll save more!
Target will offer both online and in-store discounts, so make sure you sign up for their Black Friday emails to get all their deals delivered right to your inbox.
Kohl’s has some of the strongest Black Friday marketing out there. They attract a large number of customers, even more so than their typical year-round customer. They offer discounts on electronics like smartwatches and fitness trackers, as well as everyday items like clothing and kitchen accessories.
Kohl’s doesn’t offer the steepest discounts, but they offer savings in the form of credit. When you purchase something at Kohl’s, you get a certain amount of credit back in the form of a gift card to use in the future. This is a great option if you know you’ll need to keep purchasing gifts down the line—or if you want to treat yourself as well this holiday season!
6. Shop Small
We’ve listed the big box retailers giving away discounts, but what about the small businesses? There are so many local and e-commerce businesses eager for your interaction, but they often get lost in the shuffle of the corporate slashing and discounting.
That’s why American Express created the Shop Small program. The day after Black Friday has become “Small Business Saturday”. This gives visibility to those small companies who deserve your business but may not have the budget to otherwise compete with the big retailers.
Be sure to watch for your local businesses to see if they’re participating in Small Business Saturday. Many companies will have discounts and deals, as well as cool events that you and your friends can attend! You can follow updates on social media @shopsmall and with the hashtag #ShopSmall. You can also find participating small businesses near you.
Black Friday is the best time of year to save on holiday gifts, winter items, and fun gadgets. We recommend creating a list of all the things you want to purchase, and then doing pre-Thanksgiving comparison shopping to find the best deals ahead of time.
Now it’s your turn to give us the inside scoop. Where do you shop for the best Black Friday deals? Give us your tips and hints in the comments below!