Holiday shopping: Skipping ‘Black Friday’
“Black Friday has lost some of its mojo,” said Charisse Jones in USA Today. Last year, the post-Thanksgiving shopping extravaganza known for “long lines, bustling crowds, and fever-tossed shelves” wasn’t even the busiest shopping day of the year. That honor went to “Super Saturday,” the Saturday before Christmas, just as it had in 2014. And with retailers offering bargains earlier and earlier in the season, shoppers have realized they “don’t have to wait for Black Friday to grab a deal.” Amazon, for instance, began offering “Black Friday” sales this year on Nov. 1; Lord & Taylor’s holiday promotions are slated for the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Nearly two-thirds of consumers say they plan to start their holiday shopping before Black Friday, while 29 percent say they will have completed most of it by then.
“Yeah, everyone figured out that getting shoved to the ground over a television isn’t the best way to spend a post-holiday morning,” said Jason Notte in TheStreet.com. Very few items are truly worth braving the crowds on your day off anyway. For large appliances, your best bet for a deal is actually the week before Thanksgiving, when you’ll be able to find laundry units, vacuums, dishwashers, and refrigerators marked down by as much as 35 percent. Be on the lookout for additional coupons and for promotions like free shipping from retailers like Target, Sears, and Home Depot. Don’t bother with Cyber Monday either, said Michal Addady in Fortune.com. “The best time to shop on the web varies based on what you want to buy.” Most online items will be at their lowest price on Thanksgiving Day, according to a study by Adobe Digital Insights. You should be able to find savings of up to 10 percent on jewelry, 14 percent on sporting goods, 18 percent on tablets, and 20 percent on televisions.
You don’t even need to know this year’s deals before putting together your holiday “battle plan,” said Suzanne Kapner in The Wall Street Journal. Say you missed out on sub-$100 Beats headphones or a $99 digital camera last year. Don’t worry: “Chances are those same items will be on sale again this year— for the same price.” The front page of Target’s 2015 Black Friday circular, for example, was almost identical to the front page of its 2014 version, with virtually the same discounts and prices for Beats headphones, Nikon cameras, DVDs, and video games. In fact, 80 percent of the products and 43 percent of the prices promoted on the front pages of the 2015 and 2014 Black Friday circulars for Best Buy, Macy’s, Target, Walmart, Kohl’s, and J.C. Penney were identical.