The holidays are all about excitement and anticipation. Kids may like to stay up late on Christmas Eve to try to catch a glimpse of Santa, but their parents have an entirely different seasonal staple to be on the lookout for. When October rolls around, that means Black Friday ad leaks are coming soon. Now that we’re in November, the ads are cropping up.
How can you guarantee that you’ll be the first to know about the 2014 Black Friday deals?
Here are five ways to ensure you’ll get your hands on the Black Friday ads from all of your favorite stores as soon as they’re released:
1. Scour the Websites
You can find practically anything on the World Wide Web, and Black Friday ads are no exception. There are numerous websites that are completely dedicated to compiling the season’s must-have deals and jaw-dropping doorbusters.
Ad leak websites will post scans of Black Friday ads as soon as images of the much-anticipated fliers start swirling.
If you’re looking to be able to view ad leaks right when they’re released – plus read reviews of the best deals and how they compare to last year’s – check out NerdWallet’s Black Friday page.
The more time you have to study the ads, the more equipped you’ll be to make informed decisions come shopping time.
2. Try Out Some Apps
Your best ad-spotting ally is not just your laptop or tablet. Your phone can help you out with your shopping homework, too.
There are seemingly countless apps available for both Apple iOS and Android devices that are dedicated to delivering users with Black Friday ad leaks. Some popular ones: Black Friday Shopping, Black Friday by FatWallet and Black Friday by BradsDeals.
Download these apps, and others like them, for digital versions of this year’s 2014 deals. Plus, you can take the ads with you wherever you go.
3. Get a Push: Activate Alerts
Even more convenient than simply downloading an app is enabling the app’s push notification feature – which allows alert messages to be sent to your phone.
Ad-oriented apps such as TGI Black Friday can send you a notification on your phone (similar to a text message) that will let you know when a new ad has been posted. This means you don’t have to keep checking the app to see what’s new.
Last season, retailers got in on the push notification trend, too. Best Buy sent out daily alerts to its subscribers.
Major retailers as a whole sent out 37% more push notifications on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday 2013 than the average daily notifications sent out in the two months before the holiday weekend, according to IBM. Interestingly, more of these notifications popped up on consumers’ phones on Thanksgiving Day than on Black Friday itself – likely since many sales actually began on Thanksgiving.
If the push notification pattern is the same this year, you’ll want to download your favorite store’s official app and turn on push notifications or sign up for text alerts now so you can benefit from the early notice.
4. Sign Up for Store Email Alerts
Maybe browsing through pages of ads or receiving notifications about stores you’ve never heard of isn’t exactly your thing. In that case, email may be the way to go.
If you have a retailer or a select few stores in mind that you want information about, check the store’s website for an email list. Signing up to have Black Friday news delivered to your inbox saves you the trouble of searching on your own.
Plus, many major retailers already have Black Friday pages up on their websites, so you can get going on this approach right away.
Target, for example, is encouraging shoppers to register an email address for notifications about “the biggest shopping event of the year.” Other stores with Black Friday email alerts include Best Buy and .
5. Buy a Newspaper
If you prefer something more traditional, there’s always the old go-to method: subscribing to a local or national newspaper, or picking one up from a newsstand.
Black Friday ads are generally included in the Thanksgiving Day issue of the paper. They may also be printed the Wednesday before the big shopping day or on Black Friday itself.
Although the newspaper method won’t help you find out about the deals as early as the other tactics, it will guarantee that you have a physical copy of the ad in your hand to bring shopping with you. This could be especially useful in the event that there are any in-ad coupons you want to use.
Black Friday image via Shutterstock