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Yep, it’s true!
Unless the ad or fine print explicitly says so, you can find many of the same advertised deals online — some even listed at a better price than in the retail store.
If you're skeptical, you're not alone. I used to actually enjoy my own laissez faire approach to Black Friday shopping, where I would steal away after the Thanksgiving meal and pour over all the ads with pen and paper at hand.
But now, the hustle and bustle of crowded malls just aren’t worth the hassle anymore.
Not because I don’t want a great deal. Far from it! But if I can score a rock-bottom price from the convenience of my laptop, snuggled in my cozy PJ’s, you bet I’m staying in!
- Shopping online allows you to easily compare prices within minutes. When you finally decide which discounted goodies to grab, all you have to do is purchase it with the click of a button.
- Although deals still sometimes sell out, everyone has an equal opportunity to snag it depending on how fast they are with a keyboard and mouse. This levels the playing field for everyone and gives you a better chance at purchasing the items you actually want.
But … you still have to be smart about what you buy, and these 5 shopping strategies can help you navigate Black Friday online like a pro. Say goodbye to long checkout lines and irritable customers, and hello to sweet bargains. The best part is, it’s all from the comfort of your own home!
1. Keep an Eye on Retailer Social Media Accounts
All the major Black Friday retailers – Amazon, Target, Walmart, and Best Buy – have deals listed on their websites and various social media channels throughout the day, which means you will want to keep an eye on them for any flash sales that might pop up.
Some have been known to throw in a surprise deal or two!
You can also take your organizing skills a bit further and create a special Interest List on Facebook (See how to do this HERE). This allows you to quickly browse through your selections, or just bookmark your favorite retailers' websites for easy access during the day of the sale.
Since time is often the deciding factor on Black Friday (especially on HOT deals), it’s a good idea to sign up for a free account with each of the retailers you plan to buy from. This assures that you check in and out as quickly as possible and don’t have to waste precious seconds filling in all those address forms.
2. Follow 2-3 of Your Favorite Deal Bloggers
While it’s good to check retailer websites and social media accounts throughout the day, don’t forget to bookmark a few of your favorite deal bloggers too.
Some even have extra staff dedicated to finding and sharing the best deals on Black Friday, which means less work on your end to find them yourself!
Here’s a list of my go-to sites, along with more (good-to-know) info:
- BlackFriday.com already has all the 2019 Black Friday ads compiled on one convenient page, so you can peek (and plan!) ahead!
- CNet created a Black Friday Cheat Sheet with a list of the hottest (mostly techie) deals and prices!
- And of course, be sure to keep tabs on Money Saving Mom to make sure you don’t miss anything else.
These sites update constantly throughout the day, so check in regularly for the latest Black Friday happenings!
3. Take Advantage of Online Coupons
While some stores offer additional coupons on Black Friday, you can also find coupons for just about any retailer online. Don’t click that submit button without checking all of these sites first! It could be the difference between a few dollars, or $20.
- Retail Me Not’s online database lists thousands of coupon codes you can search for via retailer. They also have a special Black Friday section on their website for even more savings.
- Rakuten (formerly Ebates) earns you a percentage of cash back on almost every purchase, and if you download the special alert toolbar, you’ll never miss another deal.
- Honey is an online shopping app that you install as browser extension. It tests hundreds of coupon codes in less than 30 seconds so you can complete the checkout process knowing you've gotten the best deal! Note: you cannot use Honey & Rakuten at the same time, so run Honey first and then compare to the cashback you could earn with Rakuten.
4. Sign Up for Amazon Prime
It’s hard to ignore Amazon on Black Friday, especially since they’re one of the most popular online retailers known for competitive pricing. So if you haven’t already (or if you did, but it was a long time ago), I’d encourage you to sign up for an Amazon Prime 30-day Free Trial just to take advantage of the Black Friday deals.
Here’s why: Although I can’t confirm this quite yet, it’s rumored that Prime members will get first dibs on their Deal of the Day and Lightning Deals, so secure your Prime status right away if you don't want to miss out.
And hey, you’ll get 2-day shipping as a bonus, which is always nice! Just be sure to put a reminder on your calendar to cancel if you don’t want to pay the annual subscription.
Related: 12 Hidden Perks of Amazon Prime
By the way, if you use your Discover card anytime between October 1 – December 31, you can get a 5% Cashback Bonus® (up to $1,500 in combined purchases) at Walmart.com, Target.com, and Amazon.com. That's a pretty sweet deal considering you're most likely to buy items from these stores anyway, especially during this time of year!
5. Wait until Cyber Monday
Cyber Monday might not beat out Black Friday in the electronics and kitchen gadgets department, but it does offer some fairly deep discounts on soft goods, like clothes, shoes, and beauty products.
Here are the stores to keep an eye on during Cyber Monday:
Plus, since this online event is still pretty huge (it’s even caused Best Buy and HP’s websites to crash!), most retailers offer free shipping. But even if they don’t, check with some of the websites I mentioned in Point #3, and you might just find a coupon code that gives you free shipping anyway.
Now which would you pick: a day lounging in your cozy PJ’s enjoying Thanksgiving leftovers and a great deal online? OR fighting for a 50” TV after standing 8 hours in the cold?
I’m all about the cozy PJ’s and an extra helping of apple pie, thank you very much. What about you?
Do You Brave the Crowds or Stay at Home on Black Friday?
Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. Read my full disclosure policy here.