Best Black Friday Deals: 5 Tips That Save You Money

Make the Most of Black Friday 2016

Best Black Friday Deals are online
Even Santa finds the best Black Friday deals online. Vstock LLC/Getty Images

The best Black Friday deals are, surprisingly, not on Black Friday. Many retailers, including Amazon, offer deals earlier and earlier, upstaging Black Friday itself. The competition this year is so fierce, stores are innovating new ways to get your dollar. 

Research from the past five years proves that the number of deals hit a peak the week before Thanksgiving. For example, the best day to buy toys is the day before Thanksgiving.

The most deals for electronics are offered at the beginning of November. 

The average savings on Black Friday itself averages around 37 percent. It's the same average discount found the day before (Thanksgiving Day) and the day after. 

Online sales are the best on Thanksgiving Day, not Black Friday. The average discount is 24 percent, beating any other day of the holiday season. However, if you miss it, prices are still around 20 percent off the entire week leading up to Thanksgiving. For the most part, online and in-store prices match. (Source: Hadley Malcolm, "Black Friday Doesn't Have the Best Deals," November 13, 2014.)

Make sure you get the best deals by following these five simple steps.

  1. Be aware of Cyber Monday deals (the Monday after Thanksgiving). Don't just focus on the day after Thanksgiving.

  2. Pay attention to deals offered on Green Monday, the last day to shop online and easily get your package before Christmas. 

  1. Many stores, such as Best Buy, Home Depot and Lowe’s, now let managers either match or offer 10 percent below a competitor’s price. Like a used car dealer, they've become desperate to capture your sale rather than let you walk out the door. Don't be afraid to haggle.

  2. Another new trend is name-your-own-price, the same strategy used for hotel reservations. Websites such as Greentoe allow you to do the same for home theater equipment, appliances, and even baby strollers.

  1. Start your Black Friday shopping early. Online prices are very competitive to in-store with access to most door busters (some exclusive to online), better inventory, free shipping and more. Use mobile apps, such as FatWallet, to get alerts on the best deals. You should also go directly to the source, and get mobile alerts from the biggest discounters: AmazonWalmartTargetBest Buy, and Kohl's

Black Friday In Depth