Where to Shop for the Best Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals
No days are more important to retailers than Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In fact, many businesses do not realize a profit for the year until they hit this major sales cycle, and a full 30 percent of all sales happen between Black Friday and Christmas. Because this is such a promoted season, shoppers can find deeper discounts during these weeks than at any other time of the year, and many people take advantage of these low prices to complete their holiday shopping. Still, some businesses offer better deals than others, and it's important to know where to shop for the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.
There are a few things that you need to know before you jump into Black Friday shopping. First, there is a growing trend to start deals on Thanksgiving Day, so keep your eye on your favorite stores to see if they are opening early. Also, while Black Friday still rules the day for in-store purchases, online shops usually offer deals from the day after Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday. Finally, families are increasingly aware of the burden of credit card debt and aren't spending as much as they have in the past.
No matter what your budget is and how you plan to shop, some retailers stand out with the best Black Friday deals available at both their in-store and online platforms. Keep in mind that the actual deals that each retailer offers are usually not made public until late October or early November, but you can look at past trends and sales to get an idea of what to expect.
This retailer has huge discounts both online and in store. If past years are any indication, expect physical locations to open their doors on the afternoon of Thanksgiving Day. JC Penney usually breaks up the weekend with specific deals for Thursday, Friday and Monday, and you may find different time-sensitive specials instore and online, so check out both platforms to see all the available deals.
This store also offers other shopper perks like double reward points on specific items or categories and coupons for a percent off a total purchase. For online sales, free shipping is available when you make a qualifying purchase. For 2016, this threshold was $99 for orders shipped to your home and $25 if you picked up your purchase at a retail location.
For the 2016 holiday season, Target opened its retail stores at 6 P.M. on Thanksgiving Day, but deals actually started on Wednesday, making this is an excellent choice for people who are enthusiastic about snagging early bird specials. In the past, Target has led their Black Friday advertising with a heavy focus on discounted electronics and toys, including several Lego sets.
While most items are available either online or instore, some are only available on one platform or the other, so read the ads carefully. Also, keep your eye out for toys that are only available at Target, including Melissa & Doug, Cars 3 and Nerf products. You may also see a return of Target's Ten Days of Deals with a different product category discounted from the Saturday before Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday.
Best Buy's Black Friday and Cyber Monday strategy has traditionally focused on offering similar deals across a broad spectrum of price ranges, so you will likely see several different types of discounted televisions, for example, from budget to luxury models. In addition, Best Buy partners with Amazon and often includes Amazon Fire products in their Black Friday ad. This electronic giant is also closely allied with Samsung, so expect deep discounts on both phones and electronics under this brand.
Best Buy will likely follow past trends and open retail locations on Thursday and roll out Cyber Monday deals on the Sunday prior. For online shoppers, some deals may only be available when using Visa Checkout. Also, don't expect deep discounts on cameras or toys as Best Buy generally brings a lackluster showing in these product categories.
For sheer variety, Walmart is a favorite when it comes to Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping. This retail giant has already released a list of their hottest holiday toys for 2017, including Hatchimals, Star Wars and Barbie products, some of which may appear as Black Friday or Cyber Monday specials. In addition, the holiday layaway program is open from Sept. 1 through Dec. 11, 2017.
Walmart is another retailer that is moving toward starting the shopping season on Thanksgiving and will probably be open around 6 P.M. if previous schedules remain the same. You might see the return of specials on iPhones, video game systems, televisions, clothing and toys. Walmart usually offers free shipping on online orders of $50 or more and free delivery if you pick up instore, and this will likely be similar for 2017.
One of the main draws for holiday shoppers at this retailer is the ever-popular Kohl's cash program, and 2016 customers were met with $15 in Kohl's cash for every $50 spent which this store will probably match for 2017. Previous doorbusters boasted a wide variety of products including Fitbits, jewelry, video games, toys and electronics. This retailer has traditionally held Cyber Monday specials back until after the weekend, and most discounted items are excluded from other specials or coupons. Still, while other businesses seem to be tightening up their Thanksgiving weekend sales, Kohl's continues to offer selected items for up to 90 percent off the retail price while still offering significant shopping perks.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are days that both businesses and shoppers look forward to every year and for a good reason. While you can find bargains worth showing up for all throughout the holiday season, this weekend is the hands-down best time to shop if you want to stretch your gift-giving dollars to the max, and these retailers offer some of the best deals out there.
K2 images / Shutterstock.com