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Are Black Friday Deals The Best Out There on Thanksgiving Weekend?

November 6, 2013
Black Friday, Shopping
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We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.

In Black Friday ads this year, you’ve probably noticed deals specifically offered on Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. This can be confusing to the Black Friday deals hunter – why are stores doing this? Before proceeding, let’s trace the three shopping holidays.

Three November Shopping Days: A Brief History

Since the 1960s, we’ve had the term “Black Friday” and the corresponding shopping extravaganza. Since 2005, we’ve had the Monday after Black Friday for shopping, officially calling it “Cyber Monday” after the growing trend for people to shop online that day. Now in the last year, we’ve had yet another shopping holiday concentrated at the end of November, Thanksgiving Day itself, when major retailers such as Walmart, Target, Toys “R” Us, Macy’s, and others opened its doors for Black Friday specials earlier than ever before, like 8pm Thanksgiving. Now let’s go over the differences between the deals offered on those three days.

Thanksgiving Deals

The best deals overall among these three days are likely to be on Thanksgiving, November 28. This is a relatively new trend. According to Dealnews, the “largest percentage of discounts was offered on Thanksgiving last year, topping Black Friday sales. In general, look for better deals on everything on Thanksgiving, but remember that specific items for many stores are offered on different days to spread out the deals. Check each store’s website and elsewhere for Black Friday ads to know which deals are relevant to you.

Black Friday Deals

Black Friday is after all the traditional start day to the Christmas shopping season, and you’ll find that many early-bird or doorbuster deals apply to both Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Macy’s recent Black Friday ad leak, for instance, reveals that shoppers can get great deals until 1pm Black Friday. (Hint: check the clothing discounts. They’re awesome.) In other news, Kohl’s cashmere sweaters are projected to be the lowest this year and one of J.C. Penney’s top offer so far is its free Snow Globe. As we get closer to the dates, more of course will be revealed.

Cyber Monday Deals

As you can probably tell, Cyber Monday, which is December 2 this year, is all online. However, make sure you get email updates and coupon codes on Cybermonday2013 to get the most out of the day’s deals. Macy’s will be offering up to 60% off on certain brands of bedding sets. WalMart will see to some deep price cuts on electronics and accessories. Target has emphasized its great deals on toys including Furby. For unusual, one-of-a-kind gifts, you might find some discounts on Etsy.com too. But check the Black Friday ads for any dominant features, like free shipping at Walmart.

Wait, Wait, Small Business Saturday?

Additionally, as you are looking for deals, don’t forget that many small businesses will be offering discounts on their official shopping day, Small Business Saturday. This little-known day, sponsored by American Express, began in 2010 and a large network of small businesses are participating in the program this year. Check out ShiftYourShopping and ShopSmall to see if any local businesses in your area are listed.

Final Note

The general trend is the earlier deals tend to be the most drastic and doorbuster-filled, but the deals are spread out among the days for a reason. Anticipate stores that will hold the suspense up to the last-minute to draw interest. Keep in mind that ad leaks are part of the marketing strategy and most retailers are using Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to communicate their offers too. Whatever day or days you choose, here’s a one-word bit of advice: Prepare!

Black Friday-Cyber Monday image courtesy of Flickr.