I like spending money, but I hate paying full price for things. With Black Friday just around the corner – and “Black Friday Week” starting in just a few days – it’s my favorite time of the year. As Black Friday and holiday sales continue to become a bigger part of our culture, it’s easy to get swept up into the hype and spend money on things you shouldn’t buy, just because there’s a good deal. (Or spend more than two weeks waiting outside a Best Buy to save some money on a TV.)
Lucky for all of us, there are plenty of great online tools you can use to get the most out of Black Friday. Best of all, you won’t get stressed out or miss out on great bargains. Sit back, relax and let everyone else fight for deals in physical stores. Here’s how to get the best deals during Black Friday week.
Know What’s On Sale – And Where
Many Black Friday circulars are already online – either through leaks or planned releases. Head over to a site like BFAds.net and get a sense of what’s out there. Whether you’re looking for electronics, clothes or something else altogether, the circular you’re looking for is probably available for you to plan your shopping.
It’s important to keep in mind that these circulars (especially the leaked ones) may not be 100 percent accurate. They’re close enough, though, and every store will release official circulars before their sales start. This is just step one. Plan everything out.
Use Price Trackers
Sites like CamelCamelCamel and Blu-ray.com are helpful all year long – and especially on Black Friday. Both sites let you keep a list of things you want to buy and how much you want to spend. If one of those items hits your target price, you get an email. Easy peasy.
Camel lets you track just about everything on Amazon. Some things (like Kindle books) don’t work, but just about everything else is fair game. What’s cool about Camel is that you can also track third-party vendors, too, and set different prices. Willing to pay Amazon $30 for something but only want to pay a private vendor $20? No problem! You can totally do that. There is a downside to Camel, though: Amazon’s Lightning Deals aren’t factored in, and that’s a big part of Black Friday week (more on that later).
Blu-ray.com is more helpful than its name would lead you to believe. Sure, it’s a great place (and maybe the best place) to track pricing for Blu-rays and DVDs on Amazon (and sometimes on Best Buy), but it’s also a great tracker for video games and iTunes products. It’s sleeker and better put together than Camel, but more limited in its scope.
Know When Sales Start
Every retailer starts their sales at different times. Know when those sales start and plan accordingly. Amazon and Walmart are having an entire Black Friday week (but the best sales will still be on Thanksgiving and Black Friday). Best Buy is giving its Elite and Elite Plus members early access to most non-doorbuster deals on Monday, November 24. Other stores may have “Black Wednesday” deals.
Then don’t forget about Cyber Monday! But you’ll be a pro by then, and ready to finish out your week of deals and steals in style.