It's only October, but that did not stop the Black Friday hype machine from getting going. This year's big day: November 23rd.
If you're new to this United States, a brief explanation: Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, traditionally the unofficial start to the Christmas season. Today it is better known as the day retail stores are desperately trying to remind people there are still retail stores.
As CNET's Residentit's up to me to give you a Black Friday primer to share the secrets of this great day while avoiding the hype. With that in mind, here are five things you should know about Black Friday.
. 1 Every day is Black Friday
I'm writing the Cheapskate blog for 11 years this month, and if I've learned anything, then every day is Black Friday. Some current examples: Thea the or – one of my recent favorites – a . (Many of them have sold out or expired, I use them only to clarify my point of view.)
Granted, Black Friday brings a lot more deals, but the deals themselves do not always beat what I share every day. And if so, it's often just a few dollars.
Bottom line: Try to avoid being caught in the Friday rage. If you want to buy something and see a lot before BF, take it. If you missed a lot on BF, do not go away: Chances are, you'll see it soon. Trust me; I speak from experience.
. 2 It's worth doing your homework
Suppose you're in the market for a new TV. You've heard that Black Friday routinely does good business with them, which is true. So, when the big day strikes, how do you decide if it's worth standing in line at 4am in front of a big-box store?
Do your homework. And a great place to start is price tag site Camelcamelcamel, which shows you the ups and downs sold for almost every Amazon product. If you're looking for price tracking data for other stores, I recommend Honey's browser plug-in, which works with Amazon, Best Buy, Target and Walmart, among others. It also has a cashback component, a great way to save even more money on Black Friday (and every other day) – see # 5 below.
The more you know about the price history of a product, the better prepared you are & # 39; I'm on black Friday. (For example, if a TV had a lower price in the past for a low price, then chances are it will work.) Keep in mind that these stories do not always contain reclaimed items that often turn out to be even better Deals. Speaking of what …
3. Do not miss the remains
Black Friday is almost always about new products. Not new in the market, but new condition. And that distracts people from potentially better deals in the form of renovated items.
Apple products are a great example. Black Friday is often the one day of the year when Apple reveals Macs, iPads and the like, even though you often see very good deals from Best Buy and Walmart.
But even these deals do not often match what you can get from refurbished Apple stuff. I'm not saying that you should always decide to go overhauled, except that you should not overlook the former if you look at discounts on the latter.
. 4 Look for "leaked" store ads
One reason why I'm upset on Black Friday is that it's no fun anymore. In recent years, just about every store (both online and retail) has "leaked" its Black Friday ad ahead of time – sometimes weeks in advance. Actually, this is a good thing for the bargain hunter as it helps you to plan ahead and to fulfill article 2 above. It just means there will be no surprises on November 23rd.
If you want to narrow the ads, visit sites like BFAds.net and BlackFriday.com. Be sure not to miss Newegg's "Black November", which is little more than the company's usual daily or weekly offerings, or the "one days only" acquisitions of other stores appearing in the coming weeks. It's all hype, people! (See No. 1)
5. Do not Forget Your Cashback Apps
Psst! There's a way to save even more on Black Friday (and Cyber Monday and every other shopping day of the year): use a cash back service.
BeFrugal, Dosh, Ebates, Honey and TopCashback are just a few of the services that will provide you with additional discounts in many, if not most, stores – mostly online stores, but also some retailers. In particular, Dosh is a good choice for the latter, but the Ebates mobile app also supports shopping in the store.
Originally posted on Nov. 1, 2016.
Update, September 4: New information for 2018 added.