In the olden days, Black Friday was the big day for holiday shopping. You got up early, drove to a participating store, and got in line just like everyone else who wanted to get a good price on a new TV, frying pan, or popular kids’ toy of that moment. But as we’ve grown more accustomed to shopping online, the Black Friday ‘one day only’ shopping deals have slowly and steadily expanded.
First we had Cyber Monday, the Monday after Black Friday, for online deals. Free Shipping Day occurs somewhere around December 15. And don’t forget the retailers that offer deals on Boxing Day, whether online or in stores surely staffed by cashiers who lost the scheduling lottery.
Black Friday is no longer a one-day frenzy
If you feel like Black Friday lasts longer than ever before, that’s because it does. According to a new report from ClarkDeals.com, there’s now an 11-day stretch of Black Friday-level deals: November 22 through December 2.
But even though the deals go on for days, shoppers still think they have to get up early on Friday morning to get big discounts. A survey conducted by ClarksDeals found that 59% of shoppers still think Black Friday is the best time to shop.
“There will still be doorbusters,” Charis Brown, managing editor of ClarkDeals.com, said. But retailers know that offering a longer shopping perio for deals, they have a better chance of attracting shoppers who aren’t willing to stand around in line to get those doorbusters at 6 a.m.
How to avoid extended Black Friday madness
So maybe you’re looking at your calendar and wondering how early you need to start paying attention to the deals. Are you going to miss your chance at saving money on all the things on your list?
Trust me, you’re not. Stores are not going to miss this chance to bombard you with daily deals and low, low prices from here until New Year’s Day.
But if you want to avoid the analysis paralysis that may accompany this extended Black Friday deal-a-thon, there are a couple of easy steps you can take to shop with confidence.
Brown shared one tip from her site’s namesake, Clark Howard: If you’re shopping online, put the item you’re eyeing in your cart so you don’t lose track of it. Then, do your comparison shopping through Google Shopping, Rakuten, Amazon or your favourite go-to price checker. Unless the item is limited-quantity or the sale du jour is ending in an hour, you can take your time checking competitors’ prices.
If you already have an idea of what items you’ll want to purchase this holiday season, you can even start checking right now. Price inflation come Black Friday is real, and doing a cursory review of prices can give you an idea of what price tags and accompanying discounts you can expect on those items come late November.
If your secret to skipping the discount dance is buying early and getting retailers to match the price if it gets reduced later, be sure to check the retailer’s price match or price adjustment policy first. Last year, several big stores including Walmart suspended price matching over Thanksgiving weekend.