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Top 10 Black Friday shopping tips for 2020
Stay safe, sane and rake in savings in stores or online.
Updated . What changed?
Black Friday is the ultimate shopping day — no matter if the deals are mostly online this year due to the pandemic. Whether you plan on braving the stores or shopping deals online, keep a few pointers in mind for a smooth, seamless shopping experience. And, most importantly, to stretch your holiday bucks.
Check out our short video where we break down how big retailers are changing Black Friday this year in response to COVID-19.
1. Come prepared with PPE.
Black Friday will look a lot different in 2020 than in years past, as many stores will remain closed on Thanksgiving Day and implement new safety and social distancing measures. If you plan to head out to physical stores this Black Friday, don’t forget to bring along a face mask and hand sanitizer to help reduce the spread of germs and ensure that you’re able to enter the store and snag the deals you’ve been eyeing. You can find N95, cloth and surgical mask options, among more stylish picks, from our Mask Finder.
2. Shop early online.
Black Friday is going to look a lot different this year. Stores like JCPenny, Macy’s and Target will be closed on Thanksgiving Day to limit the amount of shoppers cramming into stores.
In turn, we’ve seen even bigger online deals available online since October. Target is offering Black Friday sales all month long, with new deals each week. Best Buy has rolled out pre-Black Friday deals, starting as early as November 12. And Macy’s launched an early preview Black Friday sale on November 16, with discounts on everything from home to clothing.
Keep your eyes peeled for even more bonus online sales that often start well before Black Friday officially kicks off and extend into Cyber Monday. Check out our Black Friday savings tips page for more details about how to maximize savings in 2020.
3. Know your measurements.
When you’re shopping online, it’s important to have a handle on your sizes so you can be spared a delivery day heartache. Here are a few hacks for getting your order just right:
- Take your own measurements! Yes, it’s a little tedious, but you’ll get the most accurate sizing that way. Be sure to use a cloth measuring tape instead of a metal one and measure by wrapping the tape over your bare skin, not your clothes. Also, don’t suck in your stomach or stand straighter than you normally would – that can mess with the numbers.
- Already own a pair of jeans or shirt that fits you just right? Backtrack to the store you purchased from and check the online sizing guide. Those numbers can be helpful when you’re shopping at other retailers.
- When searching for the perfect petite or tall pants, be sure to get your inseam measurements just right. Once you nail down your correct inseam number, you’ll find bottoms that actually fit properly.
4. Know where to find the best Black Friday deals.
Do your homework before surfing the web or leaving home on Black Friday. Check out the latest Black Friday ads and compare deals and prices from different stores so you know you’re getting the absolute best offers around.
And if you see a better price advertised by a competitor, see if the retailer will price match on Black Friday.
5. Make a list and check it twice.
Black Friday isn’t necessarily the best time to mosey through the store and browse for any old item that catches your eye. However, it is the best time of year to buy lots of big-ticket items like TVs, computers, mattresses and so much more — as long as you have a game plan for what you want to purchase. Come prepared with a list of your must-haves and check those off before browsing for hidden gems.
6. Check big-box stores for big discounts.
The major retail players tend to dole out deals on items like appliances, clothing and electronics during the big seasonal sale. Keep these stores bookmarked so you can keep an eye on the latest deals they’re offering.
7. Use or open a rewards credit card.
Black Friday is the perfect opportunity to reap plenty of reward points or cash back on those big purchases. And if you were thinking of opening up a new rewards card account, the month leading up to the Black Friday blitz is the time to do it – put your purchases on your new card to make obtaining that juicy welcome offer that much easier.
Compare reward credit cards to find one that lines up with your favorite spending categories.
8. Team up with friends.
Not only is shopping with friends more fun than going it alone, but including a pal or two could also help you score extra perks — particularly online. While several online shops offer free shipping during Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, some still have a minimum purchase amount that you’ll have to reach before your items will ship for free.
If you’re not quite there yet, see if a friend or family member wants in on the order so you can both get free shipping without spending any more than you’d planned.
Take advantage of referral offers too. If you know a friend or family member is interested in shopping on the same site, send them a referral link so you can both run away with a deal.
9. Check your connection.
It may seem basic, but a dropped connection could derail your shopping plans. If you’re shopping online, make sure all’s well with your Internet connection or data on your smartphone before the big day. You don’t want to miss out on the deal of the year because of a shoddy Wi-Fi signal. And if you’re new online shopping, take a look at our guide on how to shop securely online.
10. Set a budget and stick to it.
Find a number you’re comfortable spending and commit to not exceed that amount. Having a budget can prevent you from making impulse buys. Pick and choose items offered at truly unbeatable prices and which ones you could do without — or catch for less another time of year. At the end of the day, you’ll get the items on your list, and you’ll be happy you didn’t max out on stuff you didn’t need just because it was on sale.
Frequently asked questions about Black Friday
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