Full disclosure: I got most of these tips from reading The Simple Dollar, one of my most favorite blogs on the Web.
- Black Friday deals are not really the best the day after Thanksgiving.. Best deals start on Thanksgiving day (The new norm for stores opening early on Turkey Day!), or weeks before Black Friday.. Amazon, Target, Walmart, Kohls is a key example of this
- So when should you start shopping? USA Today says that Early November is when you should look for deals! So Black Friday now has so many pre-sales that, you don’t even have to wait till Black Friday to get the best deals!
- Did you know Staples starts their Black Friday sales in Mid November (November 16th!)???
Did you know that for the past few days, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, have pretty much melted together? Oh don’t get me wrong.. You can still get great deals on Cyber Monday, but.. buyer beware.. if you buy stuff on Cyber Monday, your delivery times WILL NOT be guaranteed!
Bottom line friends.. Deals can be had all year round. I’ve seen deals that will beat Black Friday deals starting in October.. That’s how fierce the competition is.
In my frugal mind, each month can be considered to be Black Friday.. as each month will find you the best deals as noted by Consumer Reports table that I excerpted below:
When to Buy
What to Buy
|January||Bedding/linens, Toys, Exercise equipment, TVs, Winter clothing|
|February||Humidifiers, Indoor furniture, Exercise equipment|
|March||Digital cameras, Humidifiers, Small consumer electronics,
TVs, Winter sports gear
|April||Computers, Digital cameras, Lawn mowers, Spring clothing|
|May||Athletic apparel/shoes, Camping/outdoor gear, Carpeting, Cordless phones, Lawn mowers, Mattresses, Small consumer electronics|
|June||Camcorders, Carpeting, Computers, Indoor furniture, Pots, pans, and dishware, Small consumer electronics, Summer sports gear, Swimwear|
|July||Camcorders, Indoor furniture, Outdoor furniture, Swimwear|
|August||Air conditioners, Backpacks, Dehumidifiers, Outdoor furniture, Snow blowers|
|September||Bikes, Digital cameras, Gas grills, Lawn mowers, Shrubs, trees, and perennials, Small consumer electronics, Snow blowers|
|October||Bikes, Computers, Digital cameras, Gas grills, Lawn mowers, Winter coats|
|November||Baby products, Bikes
Camcorders, Gas grills, GPS navigators, Toys, TVs
|December||Bikes, Camcorders, Gas grills, GPS navigators, Home appliances (large and small), Small consumer electronics, Toys, TVs|
Personally, Dad doesn’t even bother going out on Black Friday to get his deals.. I just watch my emails and use my iPhone with my Black Friday Apps to send me alerts on deals that allow me to beat the crowds!
How about using price trackers? Below are some that I checked out and found to be worth the click.
- CamelCamelCamel – Amazon Exclusive
- Slick Deals – My favorite as it gets me a deal across so many stores that offer in-store pickup and my favorite —> Free Shipping!
- Price Zombie – This site put’s browser Add-on’s compatible with Safari, Chrome, and Firefox
- BFAds – All major retailers as soon as they are leaked or published.
What I’ve learned over the past few years… It’s not when you buy, but how and the amount of effort it take to get the bargain. The last time I got up early in the morning as I painfully remember from my personal experience from a few years ago.. when my car’s battery died in the cold as I was amongst thousand’s of shoppers lined up at Best Buy waiting to get in at 5AM on Black Friday.. I said after that experience.. I’ve never stepped away from my keyboard to get the best deals!
If you have any Tips for shopping for Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals, I welcome your insights, after all, a good deal is what makes bargain hunting even more fun!