Black Friday 2021 - Buy Guide

Black Friday does not come knocking until the day after Thanksgiving. But, early sales start in full swing early on. The social media-obsessed generation of today may not be aware of the concept and how it all began.

Where does the name come from?

Black Friday was a one-day event. However, over time, it came to be more of a shopping period. What started in the US today has global resonance. 

The term can be dated back to the early 1960s. It was the Philadelphia police officers that began using ‘Black Friday’ as a euphemism to describe the chaos caused by the pulsating sea of suburban tourists that took to the town for holiday shopping. The crowd created havoc as the police officers were dealing with traffic jams, accidents and shoplifting.

The 1980s changeup

In a few years, the term Black Friday took its roots in Philadelphia. City merchants tried putting a prettier face by calling it ‘Big Friday’. From here on, the phrase ‘Black Friday’ signified a positive boost in retail sales. This turn took place by the late 1980s. Black Friday marked the day when stores began to turn a profit for the year. It, then, came to be regarded as the biggest shopping day in the United States. 

Back to the 2020s’ - Top Shopping Tips

First up, note that not every store is worth the time and energy. So scour the marketplace carefully for doing right by Black Friday shopping. When doing so, study the bigger players in the eCommerce space to know the top categories. Take Target as an example. The best-selling product categories are Clothing, Toys, iPhones, Apple Gift Cards and Televisions. This goes to show that this option is ideal for families with kids who use Apple products. Let’s look at Amazon as another. The top categories are Home & garden items, Electronics, Computers, Gaming & toy items, and Amazon devices. Now, this one has a more extensive range of top-rated categories. So, study your most preferred eCommerce marketplaces and make a note of the best deal available in each product type.

Give preference to online shopping

While there are quite a few in-store promotions this year, retailers will be putting up their in-store promotions online. Recent times have seen the rise of curbside pickup. What this does is that it allows customers to place their purchases orders online and have them collected at a local store. When ready, customers can park their vehicles at a designated area near the store. A store associate will then bring the pickup order to the car. 

Make use of websites and applications

Judging the merits of the deals requires you to track the prices leading up to Black Friday. No longer are you to go retailer by retailer for price comparisons. Online platforms such as the Consumer Reports website can collate a list of all the current prices at various outlets for the products. There is a multitude of other options that you can try. These are Google Shopping, PriceGrabber and Shopzilla. For mobile shoppers, there are smartphone applications that come to the fore. These are BuyVia, Shopkick and ShopSavvy, to name a few. Simply scan the barcodes or QR codes, and you get everything at your platter - prices, discounts and coupons.

Leverage the power of loyalty programs

If you have registered for loyalty programs, this is the best time to take advantage. It is the Holy Grail for your shopping needs. It is like an early bird ticket for members. Use your position of privilege to access all the coupons, sales and promotions. You get to earn rewards on your purchases. Also, do not forget to sign up for the Black Friday shopping alerts. 

Subscribe to tools and extensions

You set the parameters, and the deals come to you!

The tool tracks the price of every product sold on the Amazon marketplace. Subscribe to this, and you will receive alerts when the prices fall to the desired levels. What this means is you can set the price bands for the products of interest. So, once the price reaches the desired level or lower, you receive an email notification regarding the same. Note that this tracker is only suited for Amazon. But, you need not fret! The browser extension, Camelizer, is compatible with Google Chrome, Opera and Microsoft Edge. 

Honey is another browser extension that tracks the prices of your items of interest. Also, it alerts you once it strikes a chord with a deal. A standout aspect is that it scours each website visited for offer codes that apply to your checkout total. Its purpose is to help you save even more money. You can also find out the historical price trends of the products. The browser extension is compatible with Amazon and other retailers. Using this, you can add items to your ‘Drop List’. In this case, your drop list serves the duality of a wishlist and a price tracker. As an add-on feature, you can also avail of ‘Smart Drop List’. 

Slickdeal is yet another tool that comes in handy to help you in your shopping spree. It is an aggregator of the best deals across the internet. Using this, you can create deal alerts based on keywords. You can type a product name or that of a retail brand. What you can also do is set alerts to anything that relates to your keyword. Think of this as your DIY dealmaker. 

Parting Words

Act fast, act now. The online space will culminate towards the final wave of deals by the weekend. So, get acquainted with some of the tools, websites and extensions mentioned above. Do that, and your experience will be the G.O.A.T at the end. All you got to do then is sit back and let the best deals approach you.