Please help me optimize Black Friday shopping
October 23, 2013 3:04 PM   Subscribe

So... Black Friday is coming up in a few weeks. Can you teach me how to figure out where the best deals will be, in advance?

I generally use that day/weekend for enjoying some leftover apple pie and putting up the twinkly lights, and do my shopping a few days later when the dust has settled. I am hopelessly inexperienced at shopping over the holiday weekend.

This year I want to get (myself!) some expensive items - a tablet and possibly a new smartphone. I would love to save myself a bit of cash, if only I knew how to shop smartly.

I'll be doing my shopping online - I'm not built for the 4:30am mania - but I feel like in years past, even for online shopping I always manage to discover the good deals when they are already sold out.

So, can the experienced MeFi shoppers in the house help me figure out in advance where the best deals are? Help me put together a game plan, as it were? Do I have to sign up for all of the email spam? Do I have to be ready to type in my CC number at 12:01am?
posted by vignettist to Shopping (10 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
Reddit has a whole community devoted to this.
posted by roger ackroyd at 3:20 PM on October 23, 2013

FatWallet also collects leaked Black Friday ads. You can search them, sign up for alerts, and/or download an app.
posted by payoto at 3:22 PM on October 23, 2013

Slick Deals and Fishing For Deals also have Black Friday sections.

My general strategy in years past has been to start looking at sales ads about a week ahead of time. Also sign up for all the store email ads. Use a throwaway address if you want.

Me aware that some cyber sales start early. For example, they may advertise a starting time of midnight but the sale prices might go live at 9 pm.

Also, if there's a really killer sale don't be surprised the website is slow as snot or only working intermittently.

And make sure you have a choice of browsers. Sometimes sites don't support every browser.
posted by MadMadam at 3:43 PM on October 23, 2013

posted by mlis at 4:19 PM on October 23, 2013

The last few years big box stores have been having cyber Mondays( which IMO should be in place for the whole weekend).
posted by brujita at 4:37 PM on October 23, 2013

Go to the sites that have the Black Friday ads. Don't aim for the crazy deals unless you want to spend Thanksgiving in line.

Go for the good deals that aren't super popular.

We get up and out the door at around ten am.

We have no problem getting sewing machines, thumb drives, printers, household stuff, etc.

I did go for a TV, and I got one at a really fair price, with a gift card! So you never know!

I go with a plan. Big box stores first. Target/Wal-Mart. Then the mall, although I'm not really into the mall crap any more. Read the CVS ad. You have to really study it, but shopping there for the holidays is amazing. Last year the did a "buy $100 in gift cards, get a $30 CVS card." It was great. Also, if you buy stuff in a certain combination, you can get a ten dollar gift card. Save your coupons, you can make a killing!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 4:57 PM on October 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

Create a new email address that will only be used for spam email type things. Sign up for every mailing list or store club that you can, using the new email address. Once the weekend is over, you can unsubscribe, or just go in there once every month or so to delete everything, so it's ready for next year.
posted by CathyG at 7:39 AM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

Do you have any specific models in mind? Some manufacturers (like Apple) are pretty hardline about their pricing.
posted by evoque at 10:14 AM on October 24, 2013

Fat Wallet has a Black Friday app for iPhone or Android. Also you can sign up for email alerts.
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 3:10 PM on October 24, 2013

Response by poster: All good answers, thank you everyone!
posted by vignettist at 9:27 PM on October 24, 2013

« Older Since I can't read that cassette...   |   Roadtrippin' to a New Life Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.