It’s almost here. One of the most chaotic (and rewarding) days of the year.
But as you might have guessed, things are going to be a little bit different for Black Friday 2021. Just like everything else in 2021.
For example, a lot of brands are offering deals earlier in the month instead of cramming them all into one weekend. Like Walmart’s “Black Friday Deals for Days” program, which is unrolling three events throughout the month of November.
There’s a whole world of deals out there. Which is awesome. But at the same time, it can be tough to figure out which ones are truly the best option.
I’m here to help with that.
This article has loads of tips, tools, and hacks to help you save even bigger on your Black Friday shopping.
Let’s get in the holiday spirit.
- 1. Start Looking Right Now
- 2. Follow Your Favorite Brands on Social Media
- 3. Sign Up for Newsletters and Updates
- 4. Keep a Black Friday Shopping List
- 5. Check Out Black Friday Websites
- 6. Use Mobile Apps to Compare Deals
- 7. Research Pre-Black-Friday Prices
- 8. Buy Boring Stuff Too
- 9. Go Old School and Check the Newspaper
- 10. Strategically “Abandon” Your Online Shopping Cart
- 11. Check Store Policies in Advance
- 12. Don’t Get Sucked In!
- 13. Beware of “Doorbusters”
- Go Forth and Conquer Black Friday 2021
- Want to Learn More?
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1. Start Looking Right Now
Like I mentioned earlier, Black Friday 2021 is adapting to meet the needs of consumers. Part of that is starting the sales earlier and having a heavier focus on Black Friday online shopping than the traditional in-store shopping.
This makes sense, especially because stores all over the world will be implementing social distancing and other safety precautions to make sure everyone stays healthy.
If you’ve seen any of those viral videos of Black Friday stampedes, you know that this will be quite a challenge.
So rev your engines and start digging into your research now.
All you need to do is head over to Google and type in a search like “early Black Friday deals.” If you have a specific item in mind, try typing that in too.
Big retailers have already started, with many more following suit. The earlier you get into it, the better chances you have of finding the best Black Friday deals online.
2. Follow Your Favorite Brands on Social Media
Black Friday specials will be trickling in from all over the place. If you have a favorite store or brand, follow them on social media now. You’ll see that virtually all of them will post deals on channels like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
For example, I just went to Target’s Twitter and found that they posted their first Black Friday deals on October 30.
In addition to deals all November, Target is also offering a “Deal of the Day” on the company’s website every day through November.
And if you already spend a lot of time scrolling your feeds for entertainment, this is a great way to get some low-key shopping in.
3. Sign Up for Newsletters and Updates
Instead of scouring the internet for the best Black Friday deals online, why not have the deals come to you?
Sign up for email updates from your favorite brands to stay on top of deals as they’re announced. You might also get special “early bird” perks that Black Friday stores only offer to VIP customers and newsletter members.
A lot of companies are promoting their email list for this reason. For example, Ulta has a special Black Friday signup page. The company even gives you the option to get text message updates as new deals pop up.
4. Keep a Black Friday Shopping List
If you’re easily distracted like me, keeping a Black Friday shopping list can be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made. Trust me.
The list goes like this:
- Write down everything you like. Label each item as a “need” versus a “want.” This will help you stop yourself from going crazy and blowing all your money.
- Jot down the prices you see for each item as you’re looking for Black Friday deals. If your list is digital, paste in the URL so you can come back to it later.
- If you see the same item at a different store, write that down too if you think it’s worth keeping an eye on.
- Keep totals of all the items so you can stay in your budget. Even if you don’t have a strict budget, this will help keep things organized and affordable.
5. Check Out Black Friday Websites
There are loads of Black Friday guides out there that aggregate deals, all in one convenient place. This option can save you loads of time if you don’t have specific things you’re looking for.
Offers.com is a good one.
You can filter your search by category, like kids’ toys or electronics. Or you can search by store, like Verizon or Foot locker.
What’s extra cool is that when you search a specific store, Offers.com gives you a summary of their Black Friday specials.
Here are a few more Black Friday websites to bookmark:
6. Use Mobile Apps to Compare Deals
You can start racking up the Black Friday deals now if you’re heading to the store to grab your groceries or do some light shopping.
There are lots of handy smartphone apps that can help you find the best deals on items that you see. All you need to do is scan the UPC barcode on the item, and the app will show you available discounts and store coupons.
Some apps even help you earn rewards points that you can redeem later.
These apps are available all year, but they’re especially helpful now when you’re figuring out what to buy on Black Friday and where to buy them.
Here are a few apps you can download and keep using all year:
7. Research Pre-Black-Friday Prices
It’s a sad thing, but a lot of the incredible Black Friday deals we see aren’t as good as they look.
In some cases, stores will raise prices right before their Black Friday sale, then slash them dramatically to look like you’re getting huge savings.
But in reality, the savings aren’t actually so big. And you might even be able to save more money at another store or during another sale at a different time of the year.
Beware of the “Original Price” stickers that you see, because they might be misleading.
This is why it can really come in handy to use price comparison apps like the ones in my previous Black Friday tip. Tools like these apps can help to give you a more well-rounded look at the deals you’re seeing, to make sure that you’re truly getting a good value instead of getting tricked.
8. Buy Boring Stuff Too
The best Black Friday tips and tricks tell you how to score cool stuff like the latest tech and holiday gifts for your loved ones.
But these tips often leave out a savvy detail: shop for the boring household items that you use throughout the whole year (but don’t spoil).
For example, if you find an amazing deal on your favorite brand of toilet paper or detergent, stock up. When you can buy these staples in bulk at a lower cost, you’re saving extra in the long run.
Black Friday specials are made to save you some cash, so don’t get “shiny object syndrome” and spend all your time looking at big purchases. There are plenty of other other opportunities that you can take advantage of.
9. Go Old School and Check the Newspaper
I know… who reads a newspaper anymore?
The answer: a lot of people!
The weekly paper is a great place to find the best Black Friday deals. As Black Friday approaches, the newspaper will be stuffed to the brim with coupons and store flyers.
If you have a friend or family member who gets the paper, ask them for it when they’re done. You can also buy your own copy from a local shop.
10. Strategically “Abandon” Your Online Shopping Cart
If you have your own ecommerce store, you know the power of an abandoned cart email.
Here’s how it works. When a customer loads up their online shopping cart, then leaves the website for a few days, the merchant will send an email (or a few) with an extra discount to get them to purchase.
These emails are an effective way to sweeten the deal and get the visitor to convert.
So if you’re doing some early Black Friday shopping and you’re not in a rush to get any specific item before it might sell out, give this a shot. Load up your cart, then close out of the browser and continue on your merry way for a few days.
If you’re a member of the website, make sure you’re logged in so that the store knows it’s you and can easily email you with a deal.
And if you don’t get anything special, no sweat. You’ll still have that initial deal if the item is still available.
11. Check Store Policies in Advance
What’s the return policy on gifts? What about a price-matching policy in case the price changes?
It’s a good idea to understand these questions before you start your Black Friday shopping. Otherwise, you might get stuck with some unwanted surprises.
You might also get some nice surprises.
For example, some stores choose not to offer any sort of price matching guarantee. You get what you get.
But for Black Friday last year, Target matched the price you paid for an item if the price gets even lower in their store before December 25. Food for thought.
When it comes to return policies, check how much time you have to return it, and whether there are any special rules.
12. Don’t Get Sucked In!
You know the deal: set a budget and stick to it. This rule applies to pretty much everything in life, especially shopping.
And it’s hard enough to do when you’re not surrounded by incredible deals.
But they lure you in with a great doorbuster. Then you see one of those smart watches you’ve always wanted. Then you remember that you need some new dinner plates. Then it’s all downhill from there.
To avoid getting sucked into the Black Friday deals and spending hundreds (or thousands) more dollars than you planned, be hyper-aware of your budget and your Black Friday shopping list.
Make sure you understand your needs versus your wants. Get a friend or family member to be an accountability buddy to make sure you don’t go crazy.
13. Beware of “Doorbusters”
If you’re not familiar, doorbusters are those super awesome Black Friday specials that are usually offered to the first customers who show up at the store on Black Friday.
It’s usually a limited number like 100 (the number can vary drastically depending on the store and the item that’s offered).
While the doorbuster can be the best deal of the weekend, it can also cause trouble in a couple of ways.
For starters, the quality of the item may not be worth the value. Say it’s an eye-popping price for a 50-inch smart TV. But when you look a little closer, it’s a no-name brand. Look even closer, and you might find that the TV gets a lot of bad reviews and complaints from customers who said it broke after six months.
Of course, this isn’t always the case, but make sure you do your research to make sure the value is as good as it looks.
Another way the doorbuster gets you is my previous point: it can totally suck you in. You might get drawn into the store to snag the doorbuster, then find yourself buying waaaay more than you came for.
Go Forth and Conquer Black Friday 2021
If there’s any big takeaway for Black Friday 2021 in comparison to previous Black Friday tips, it’s to get started now.
Black Friday stores are taking advantage of the fact that many people are spending a lot of extra time on the internet right now, and many are more interested in getting awesome deals.
Check out your favorite stores, sign up for some newsletters, and download a mobile app or two to help with your search.
Black Friday 2021 is going to be awesome – jump right in because it’s already in action.