Black Friday is more than the day after Thanksgiving; it’s a national holiday in its own right. Hordes of turkey-weary shoppers line up outside their favorite stores in the wee morning hours hoping to make the most out of the savings extravaganza.
For some, it’s like a combat mission, but for others, it remains a mystery. Exactly how do some shoppers manage to snag carts full of the best merchandise for pennies on the dollar?
As retailers go toe to toe to lure shoppers with rock bottom deals on the season’s must-haves, the key to success is knowing which stores regularly lay out the red carpet for Black Friday shoppers and how to tell a deal from a dud.
Be a savings superstar this holiday season with these top tips for getting the ultimate deals at the best Black Friday retailers.
Best Black Friday Retailers
These legendary online and brick and mortar retailers are tops for cream-of-the-crop deals. They tend to open early and have door crasher sales. Just be careful of actual doorcrashers out there.
- 1. Best Buy - Amazon is the king of small electronics, but Best Buy remains a Black Friday leader in sales of everything from laptops and big screen televisions to the season’s hottest music and entertainment. Stores are well-stocked and information-hungry shoppers can rub elbows with the world-famous Geek Squad staff. The action at Best Buy starts online Thanksgiving Day.
- 2. Kohl’s - Kohl’s offers the season’s best brand name clothing, accessories and home goods. Look for doorbusters starting at midnight on sought-after merchandise from special partners like the Food Network. Stack savings by taking advantage of coupons and earning Kohl’s Cash for last-minutes gifts.
- 3. Amazon - Shoppers who want to skip the lines can wrap up their holiday savings in their pajamas. Amazon-branded electronics and home merchandise are always top sellers, but the real appeal lies in the endless of selection of choices that makes it one-stop shopping for many. Look for heavy markdowns from Thanksgiving Day through the following Cyber Monday.
- 4. Wal-Mart - Wal-Mart is a favorite for both gift shopping and collecting year-round essentials at the lowest prices of the year. In addition to hot sellers in toys and electronics, look for deep savings on household goods like towels, pillows and small appliances. Be sure to download the sales flyer in advance and get a store map online. Merchandise is scattered throughout the store, making it a true treasure hunt.
- 5. Macy’s - Macy’s is synonymous with Thanksgiving and the magic continues on Black Friday with deep discounts for everyone from the budget to the luxury shopper. Revel in the fun with special demos throughout the store and get season-best deals on high-end cookware, linens, winter wear and accessories.
Tips for Finding Great Deals
It may not always seem simple to get a good deal. To find the best Black Friday Deals, try these expert tips:
- Websites like BlackFriday.com have all the best ads in one place, as well as early ad leaks and comparison tools that help shoppers find the best prices.
- Shop early. Quantities of top-selling items are often limited.
- Organize coupons and other offers in advance. Run the figures and see where stacking saving makes a difference.
- Make a list and visit stores where the total savings are the greatest first.
- Take advantage of Thanksgiving Day sales while other are still getting over the pumpkin pie.
- Don’t wait for the big day to sign up for loyalty cards. Store traffic will be heavy, so check out special financing offers and deals in advance.
- Sign up with retail partners like Retailmenot.com for value-added coupons and cash-back offers at major retailers.
- Learn about items and comparison shop before heading to the store. Many shoppers will be vying for the same items and the shelves empty quickly.
Tips for Finding Online Deals
Most major retailers have both stores and websites, so the difference between the two is blurry, but these tips are critical for success.
- Know when sales go live. Millions may be shopping the same deals and sellouts happen quickly.
- Compare prices in advance to avoid falling for a dud. Not every discount is a true bargain.
- Don’t depend on buying online for store pickup. Some big box stores suspend this option for Black Friday.
- Online sale prices and store prices can be different. Read the fine print and follow the savings.
- Shipping costs add up. Look for promotional codes online before the big day, and watch for spending thresholds that may qualify for free or reduced-cost shipping.
- Sign up for Amazon Prime before Black Friday for the lowest prices, two-day shipping and member-only discounts. Cancel later if needed.
- Find two websites offering low prices on priority items. If one site sells out, there’s a back-up.
- Cyber Monday was online retailers’ response to Black Friday, but as competition heats up, great deals can be had online from Thanksgiving Day through the following Monday. Check back often for new discounts and flash sales.
There’s a method to the Black Friday madness — plan ahead, make a list, start early and shop methodically. The best deals of the year are waiting for the well-prepared.