Perhaps you’ll snag major deals on Black Friday, but don't let that stop you from finding deals any time of year. Depending on what you're looking for, Black Friday might not be the cheapest day to shop.
Websites BlackFriday.com and Rather Be Shopping looked at historical data and announced sales to determine the best dates to score deals from now until the Holiday.
And if you're looking to avoid crowds, cross that information, which follows below, with intelligence from Foursquare on the days of the week and times when stores are the least busy, broken down by product category. Generally speaking, Monday, Thursday and Friday are the best days to shop, based on foot-traffic data from the app's users.
Mondays are good for buying cosmetics (around noon, to be precise), clothing, jewelry and candy. And Monday evenings are ideal for purchasing booze.
Thursdays are great for books, beer and building supplies.
Shopping for kids? Friday is the best day to hit up big box stores like Target, Walmart and Big Lots. It's not just about good deals, but accessibility. Friday evenings are the slowest at stores, especially supermarkets where grocery aisles are the easiest to navigate.
Sundays are the best for buying gifts at department stores, craft stores and electronics merchants. Again, evenings have the fewest crowds.
Shopping by Product Category
What many retail shoppers and online shoppers don’t realize is there are optimal times during November and December to be buying certain products. Again, based on data, consider the following:
Dec. 4-25 – Jewelry and Wedding Bands
December is the most popular time of year to get engaged, according to wedding resource The Knot. Baubles also make great holiday gifts.
Jewelry promotions are in heavy rotation from Dec. 4 through Christmas Day, according to BlackFriday.com.
Dec. 9-11 – Name Brand HDTVs
Electronics are Black Friday favorites, but that doesn't end after Cyber Monday.
Prices stabilize a bit following Cyber Week, but there is renewed promotional activity the second weekend in December.
Look for deals of 30-40% off on big brands including Samsung, Sony, Vizio and Panasonic, according to Rather Be Shopping.
Dec. 10 – Fitness Gear and Equipment
Dec. 12 – Stocking Stuffers and Small Gifts
Dec. 13 – Laptops
For the past three years, Dec. 13 has yielded online coupons from Dell.com and HP.com including $500 off a top of the line unit and budget models for less than $250, according to Rather Be Shopping.
Look for more of the same this year.
Dec. 14-17 – PlayStation and Xbox Consoles
Video games and consoles are big sellers in December and these are the best days to get a discount, according to BlackFriday.com
Dec. 14 – Tools and Hardware
Home improvement stores aren't to be left out of the holiday sales rush and Home Depot, Lowe's, Ace Hardware and Harbor Freight will have offers of up to 30% off.
Still, Father's Day brings better deals, so for those self-gifting tools and supplies, it pays to wait until Spring.
Dec. 15 – Toys
Both BlackFriday.com and coupon site Rather Be Shopping agree that this is the absolute best day to buy toys this month at big retailers such as Toys R Us, Target, Amazon and Walmart.
This is when retailers reach crunch time for toy sales and the incentives are aplenty in order to cash in on those “semi” last minute shoppers.
Dec. 16 – Apparel, Shoes, Accessories, Winter Clothing and Kitchen Gear
The absolute best prices on these goods before Christmas is Cyber Monday, but the next best opportunity is the Friday otherwise known as 'Free Shipping Day.'
This is traditionally the day when retailers offer guaranteed delivery by Christmas Eve, for free.
A large majority of online sites like Gap.com, Lands’ End.com, American Eagle, Macy’s and Old Navy will have fantastic coupon codes to go along with their free shipping offer.
It's also a great day for kitchen and home goods.
Dec. 21-24 – Big Ticket Items
Retailers begin panic discounting on gift items the closer we get to Christmas, but they also begin clearing out the year's models on appliances and furniture, but the deals get even better the day after Christmas.
Additional Ways To Save
Online shoppers would be silly not to take advantage of EBates.com. No tricks, no gimmicks, no forms to fill out. Ebates makes earning cash back easy!
Here’s how it works:
1. Shop First, start your search for the retailer where you wish to shop at eBates.com. They are partnered with hundreds of thousands of retailers, it would be extremely rare that whatever you want is not there. Then, be sure to click on any Ebates link to the store you’ll shop with before you make your purchase.
2. Validate When you click an Ebates link, you’ll see a pop-up confirmation letting you know you’re ready to shop and earn Cash Back at that store.
3. Purchase Complete your purchase as you normally would. This will also complete your Shopping Trip.
That’s all you have to do. And every quarter you get a check in the mail.
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