It’s Thanksgiving, which means shopping is near. In the past, Black Friday was a one-and-done kind of shopping holiday, but today it’s a whole weekend with different discounts on different days. To get the best deals, that requires a bit more strategic planning on your end.
What should you buy when? What times do stores open? Is that deal better online than in the store? We worked with DealNews to help you come up with a plan for this year’s shopping holiday.
If it’s electronics you want, Thanksgiving is likely your best day. According to DealNews, Thanksgiving day 2016 had the most Editors’ Choice deals for televisions. Check when stores are open and make a plan.
If you don’t want to give up time with family or friends at the dinner table — and I don’t blame you if you don’t — there will be plenty of other deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday for TVs as well.
Tablets, video games and other electronics are also on sale on Thanksgiving Day. Tablets tend to be doorbuster sales, with inventory getting snatched up very quickly. Last year, DealNews saw one sale — Best Buy was selling iPad Air 2s — that started at 3 am.
If it’s video games you want, many of the games, consoles and accessories will be on sale on Turkey Day too. These are deals you won’t want to wait on; they tend to end very quickly. “The true bargains definitely happen in the lead-up to Black Friday,” wrote DealNews in an email.
Black Friday is the day for phones and toys. If you’re looking for a new Android or an iPhone, this is your time to shop. Deals on phones will last throughout December, but they start now.
Toys, like the LittleBits Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit, which lets you build your own R2D2 droid unit, will be on heaviest discount on Black Friday. Plan for an early morning if toys are high on your list. Some hot toys will sell out, and some stores will offer morning-only discounts.
Take Saturday and Sunday to recover from the turkey sandwiches and the shopping overdose so you can be ready for Cyber Monday. You’ll see deals you might not expect. There are the normal deals, like laptops and clothes, but you’ll also see deals on hotels and small kitchen appliances.
While laptops go on sale on Black Friday, Cyber Monday tends to be slightly better for bargain-hunters. This is especially true if you want a customized machine. Black Friday tends to be better for bargain-build laptops rather than higher-end models.
When it comes to traveling, Black Friday last year had more deals overall, but Cyber Monday had better deals. This is particularly true for booking hotel stays, vacation packages and flights. “Last year, about 48% of the deals on Cyber Monday were for hotels and vacation packages and 20% were for airfare,” DealNews said. “Shoppers could save up to 30% off in many cases, and even 50% off in a few deals as well.”
Clothing and shoes will be on sale on Cyber Monday as well. Plan ahead: Go to the stores early this week and try on the clothes you want. Then you can find them online or go back first thing Monday morning to get the best deal. You will find deals throughout the holiday season as well, but the inventory might not be there.