The holiday shopping season is in full swing, and Black Friday—the Friday after Thanksgiving—remains one of the most anticipated shopping holidays of the year.
But is it worth the hype?
The answer depends. Here are a few tips for navigating the Black Friday shopping rush, whether you’re browsing in-store or online.
- Don’t wait until Black Friday to score deals.
Many stores begin offering their best prices of the year on Thanksgiving Day; others start even earlier in October. You can also look ahead at which deals are coming by searching online in advance. Planning ahead can take the guesswork out of holiday shopping and help you stay within your budget.
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- Skip the store for most deals.
Unless you cherish the ritual of waking up early and waiting in line at the store, you no longer need to stand in the cold to snag the best Black Friday discounts.
With the exception of some special doorbusters that might require an in-person purchase, nearly all Black Friday deals are available online. By shopping online, you also avoid the headache of arriving to the store to discover that your must-have items are sold out.
- Look into price matching.
More retailers than ever have adopted price-matching policies to keep customers from shopping with competitors for better prices.
If you’re nervous about making a big-ticket purchase—after all, the price might go down on Cyber Monday—check out the store’s price match policy. Target, for example, offers price adjustments if an item you purchase after Oct. 6, 2022 goes on sale for a lower price before Dec. 24, 2022.
Many retailers also share lists of competitors whose prices they are willing to match if you find a better deal at another store.
- Buy now or wait until Cyber Monday?
Cyber Monday arrives a few days after Black Friday with the promise of deep discounts. So should you sit tight and wait until Monday for lower prices?
Probably not. Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals tend to be about the same, although experts point out that Cyber Monday can sometimes come with better deals on clothing.
If you do purchase an item earlier in the season and you find a lower price on Cyber Monday, see if the retailer will offer a price adjustment.