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How Not to Go Broke on Black Friday: Use Apps, Planning, and Ingenuity to Prepare for the Busiest U.S. Shopping Day of the Year

With Black Friday around the corner, retailers are already getting a jump on luring in customers with attractive deals. Officially, the Friday after Thanksgiving marks the actual Black Friday, and it kicks off the year’s busiest shopping season. Retail stores see 30 percent of all sales occurring from Black Friday through Christmas. But Black Friday is no longer a one-day event, and Black Friday sales begin earlier and earlier each year. Still, you can count on stores to be crowded on Nov. 26.

Black Friday
Photo by Tim Douglas from Pexels

The average adult plans to spend $400 on Black Friday sales, according to Spendmenot.com.

Whatever amount you plan to spend, a little planning will help you stay on the Black Friday budget. Here are five tips.

1. Do research beforehand: Before jumping headfirst into Black Friday, doing some research on which products you are interested in buying can go a long way. Waiting until Black Friday sales begin is a recipe for disaster, so create a strategy ahead of time to ensure you do not miss out on a deal or go overboard shopping.

Research to see that products get the most markdown on Black Friday. The best deals tend to be on electronics. The week before Thanksgiving, the average discount is around 20 percent. After Thanksgiving, the average Black Friday discounts increase to 37 percent, found Spendmenot.com research.

While Black Friday ads haven’t come out yet, you can start by identifying stores you want to shop at and products you want, deciding on your ideal price and the maximum you are willing to pay.

2. Use apps to compare prices: With so many deals, it can often be challenging to find the right store to buy the products you have in mind. Rakuten (formerly Ebates), ShopSavvy, ShopBrain, and store-specific apps are great ways to compare prices between stores, get coupons and monitor how prices fluctuate leading up to Black Friday. Some stores even offer a price-match system, so do your research ahead of time and be prepared with Black Friday ads ready.

3. Start shopping early: Every year, Black Friday seems to start earlier and earlier with doorbuster deals; earlier beginning hours, sometimes even days, before. To make sure you can buy all the products you have your eyes on, get a head start by shopping early — especially since there are expected shipping delays and supply issues this year.

4. Sign up for email lists now: One of the best ways to get early access to coupons, sales and promotions is to sign up for Black Friday shopping alerts. Also, sign up for store loyalty programs to shop regularly to get deals and rewards only available to members. Social media is also a great way to find out about exclusive deals and promotions, so be sure to check out Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for updates. ​

5. Act fast: The early bird really does get the worm when it comes to Black Friday. Typically, the best deals are only available for a limited time and in small quantities and if the discount is deep, supplies won’t last. If you see a good deal on a product you want, jump on it.

Here are a few of the regular outlets to keep an eye on for Black Friday deals:

  • Amazon: Famous for its Black Friday deals, Amazon is known for starting its discounts early. To help you save big for the holidays, their Black Friday sales have in the past included daily discounts, lightning deals and more.
  • Walmart: From clothing to home goods, Walmart is known for its deep discounts on Black Friday.
  • Best Buy: Best Buy is a popular Black Friday stop and always has great deals on electronics.
  • Target: In the days leading up to Black Friday, Target consistently has doorbuster deals. Use these tips and you will be prepared to take advantage of the busiest shopping day of the year — without breaking the bank.

Here are 10 Black-owned businesses to support on Black Friday. Check websites for Black Friday specials.

  1. Mented Cosmetics. Every year this popular brand offers discounts on Black Friday online sales. Founded by KJ Miller and Amanda E. Johnson in 2017, it offers vegan, nontoxic lipsticks as wells as foundations, eye shadow palette, and nail polishes formulated especially for women of color. The brand was listed on Oprah’s Favorite Things in 2020.
  2. Golde, launched by Trinity Mouzon Wofford and her partner Issey Kobori in 2017, is a wellness company that features a variety of wellness products, from natural face masks to organic drink mixes.
  3. The Honey Pot Company products are now found in Target and major drug stores. The Black-owned brand also offers discounts on its website on Black Friday. Bea Dixon, founder of The Honey Pot Company, has crafted a complete line of plant-based feminine care products.
  4. Little Likes Kids has brought diversity to toys, so Black kids can see themselves reflected. The company sells educational toys that are specifically for children 6 and under.
  5. Launched in 2009, Society6 highlights art work by Black artists. Shoppers will find Black Friday deals on prints, home decor, and other items.
  6. Love Cork Screw offers its signature wine selections at discounted online prices for Black Friday.
  7. Crunchy Boutique offers products for families committed to a natural parenting lifestyle. Among other items it offers sustainable cloth diapers nicknamed “West Coast Dipes.”
  8. Noah is a menswear brand founded by Brandon Babenzien and his wife Estelle Bailey-Babenzien. Noah features a wide range of prices — from affordable T-shirts and totes to luxury wool hoodies costing more than $1,000. The good thing is the brand offers Black Friday discounts annually.
  9. NYC-based Peace & Riot is a boutique and home goods store whose products are inspired by African and Caribbean heritages. They offers in-store and online sales on Black Friday.
  10. Founded by twin brothers Byron and Dexter Peart, Goodee is a marketplace for housewares and lifestyle goods that are sustainably and ethically sourced. Lots of gift-worthy items, from home decor and furniture to kids items and bath and body goodies.
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