We’ve said previously that it’s not always best to shop Black Friday sales. Holiday sales are starting earlier and extending through the season, so Black Friday savings aren’t as jaw-dropping as they once were.
But like it or not, Black Friday is an American tradition; retailers will deliver door busters to those who don’t mind standing outside in the cold Thanksgiving night.
If you’re up for the frenzy, have a game plan. Here’s what retail and shopping insiders think you should know about that other big day in November.
Should I do my holiday shopping on
Many shopping experts are saying no. Jody Rohlena of ShopSmart Magazine said holiday savings began on Columbus Day. But ritual drives the Black Friday frenzy: “It’s the kickoff for the holiday season,” said Craig LaRosa, a retail consultant at Continuum. “It’s social currency for a lot of people. Getting the best deal is something to brag about.” Walmart, Kmart, Target and Best Buy are all opening Thanksgiving night before midnight. Many stores, including Kohl’s and the Disney Store, are starting their sales a few days before Thanksgiving. Because retailers have started the holiday sales, we don’t recommend limiting yourself to Black Friday. Read our earlier article about the benefits of shopping now.
Well, I’m going to shop on Black Friday anyway. How do I prepare?
Rohlena recommends familiarizing yourself with the store layout before Black Friday. “If you’re looking to buy a door buster, know where it’s going to be in the store,” Rohlena said. “Ask the manager whether the side door will be open.” Know the times that the stores open, and be prepared to wait in long lines. Getting a door buster has never been an easy task, and experts are expecting high turnout again this year.
Are there Web sites I should visit?
Most retailers released previews of their Black Friday circulars early this month. Visit stores to get their Black Friday ads, or check out some of our favorite comparison sites: Pricegrabber.com, Blackfriday.com, Fatwallet.com/Black-Friday, Bradsdeals.com. Follow @BlackFriday on Twitter. “Make sure you’re following retailers on social media,” LaRosa said. “Many retailers are announcing their deals there.” And sign up for e-mail alerts from your favorite retailers. You can always unsubscribe after the holidays.
What should I buy on Black Friday?
I’m going to be there, so should I buy other stuff I need, too?
“They’re counting on you doing that,” said Michael O’Hara, chief executive of online shopping platform Yumani. “They’re selling these door busters at cost. They’re not making money on the limited items, so they’re planning you on doing your other shopping.” At one-stop shops, retailers will make their money off the other goods you throw in the cart if you don’t get a door buster, which means there’s no such thing as trickle-down deals. If bananas are on sale at Target or Walmart on Black Friday, they’ll probably be on sale the day after, too.