While I love the thrill of getting a great deal on Black Friday, I don't love being out in the crowds to get those good deals.
Did you know that you can order almost all the Black Friday deals from the comfort of your own home? Most of the Black Friday deals are also available online, often before they even go on sale in-store!
However, just like in the stores, there are limited quantities at Black Friday prices, even online, so follow these tips to order the best Black Friday deals online:
Make a List
Just like you have a gift list before you buy, you need to make a list of which Black Friday deals you want to try to get as well as the retailer. You can check out these previews of the Black Friday ads for most retailers to create your list. Be sure to prioritize which items are most important to you, so you can focus on those items first (in case you can't get to every item before they're sold out).
Stick to your Budget
Be sure to create a budget for your Black Friday/Holiday shopping and stick to it. You don't want to have debt when the holidays are over.
Check the Amazon Lightning Deals the Week of Thanksgiving
Did you know that Amazon often matches many of the Black Friday Doorbuster Deals as Lightning Deals during the week of Thanksgiving/Black Friday? Each morning, check the list of Amazon Lightning Deals to see if any of the items on your list are upcoming Lightning Deals. They won't list prices until the sale goes live, but they do often match Black Friday prices. Be ready to buy the second the deal goes live, since the most popular deals sell out in seconds.
Write Down When the Black Friday Sales Start Online
Many retailers start their Black Friday sales online Thanksgiving morning, and some even list when the sale goes live online on their Black Friday ad. I've listed the expected start times along with links to the ad scans.
Join Loyalty Programs
More and more, retailers are offering a chance to shop the Black Friday deals early when you are a member of their Loyalty Program (which is usually free to join). For example, Target has done an early shopping event for RedCard holders in the past, and Best Buy often has early deals available for its My Best Buy members (free to join).
Add Wish List Items to Your Shopping Cart
This doesn't always work, but one way to save time is to find all the items you're hoping to buy at Black Friday prices and add them to your online shopping cart ahead of time (while you're logged in). Often, your cart will show the most current price, and you'll be able to quickly check out on all your wish list items at once when the prices flip for the Black Friday sale. You can also have each item pulled up in your browser already, so you can quickly add it to your cart when the sale goes live.
Update Your Accounts
Make sure you already have an online account with each retailer where you plan to shop and make sure your shipping information is correct so that you can quickly place your order before it goes out of stock. Have your payment method ready to go, so you can enter it quickly.
Be Prepared to Stay Up Late
For the biggest Black Friday Doorbusters, they will sell out quickly, so you need to be sitting at your computer as soon as the sale goes live. Since many of the sales start at 12:01 am Thanksgiving, you could be in for a late night, depending on your time zone and the time zone the sale goes live. Sometimes, the sale goes live later than expected or the website crashes due to the heavy traffic, so you do need to be patient.
Use Coupon Codes
Research FREE Shipping Policies
Some retailers, like Amazon, Target and Best Buy , have FREE shipping on all orders (with no order minimums) through the holidays. Others, like Walmart and Kohl's, have FREE in-store pickup. Others have a minimum purchase amount. You'll want to know the policy so you know if you can quickly place individual orders or if you need to combine items into the same order to qualify for FREE shipping.
Have a Back-Up Plan
Not everyone is going to get the deal they want at the price they want. So, have a plan for what you'll do if the item you really want is sold out. Is there another retailer that has a good price on the item? Can you shop in-store to get the deal instead? Also, some deals are listed as in-store only in the Black Friday ads, so they're not available online anyway.