2021 Black Friday dealsTop Black Friday shopping tips for 2021

The Friday after Thanksgiving, otherwise known as Black Friday, is one of the biggest shopping days of the year that offers significant discounts on a wide range of goods and services. However, this year, shoppers will face some obstacles related to product shortages and longer delivery times due to the pandemic and higher consumer demand. Whether you're shopping for holiday gifts or you're just buying some things for yourself, these six tips can help you score the best Black Friday deals:

1. Check ads and apps early

Many stores start circulating their Black Friday ads weeks before the actual shopping day, which allows you to start shopping for the best deals ahead of time. Checking out the ads early will help you to take advantage of early sales. You can also follow your favorite stores on social media or sign up for email alerts to keep track of their offers as they announce them. Make sure always to compare prices to ensure you're getting the best price.

2. Do your research in advance

As you figure out which items you want to buy, research reviews of different brands along with their original prices. This will allow you to focus on getting high-quality items with significant markdowns. Remember that prices will be higher this holiday season because of inflation and higher demand, especially electronics. You should also research the return and exchange policies for each store you're shopping with — if you're shopping online, figure out if you can return items via email or if you'll need to go to the physical store.

3. Shop around for early bird discounts

You can take advantage of sales way before Black Friday. Many stores offer early-bird discounts that enable you to get all your holiday shopping done before Thanksgiving. Keep a lookout for different deals that are advertised throughout November. Deals might be limited to a specific day and time.

4. Plan out your Black Friday day

No matter if you're shopping online or plan to go to stores in-person, mapping out your day will help you make the most of Black Friday. If you're looking to score the season's hottest items, then consider buying them first. Check the store's website or app to find out in advance if a specific item is available.

5. Take advantage of price matching policies

Many stores offer price matching, which means they'll lower their price to match a competitor's. Look up each store's price matching policy ahead of time so you know which of your favorite stores offer price matching and which don't. When you're asking for a price match, you'll typically have to show proof that you can get a lower price on the item, such as a screenshot of the competitor's pricing.

6. Request gift receipts

When holiday shopping during Black Friday, be sure to always request gift receipts. Why? Gift receipts make it easier for others to return or exchange a gift. You can request a gift receipt online or in person at a store, so your friends and family can return items hassle-free.

Bottom line: start early this year to score the best deals

Because of shortages, inflation, and increased delivery times due to the pandemic, you should start your holiday shopping earlier this year to take advantage of all that Black Friday has to offer. This means browsing ads frequently, signing up for alerts, and mapping out where to shop. With some planning and research, you'll be able to snag some fantastic deals this holiday season.

References

  1. "Tips for Getting the Most out of Black Friday," The Balance, November 9, 2021.
  2. "Top 27 Black Friday Shopping Tips to Snag the Best Deals," Money Crashers, November 20, 2020.

shopping | holidays