Black Friday is held up as the ultimate shopping day, but Thanksgiving actually offers more awesome deals. Of course, there are great sales to be found throughout the Black Friday season, with Cyber Monday deals adding their fair share of savings to the mix. However, if you're looking for a specific type of product, it's hard to know whether Thanksgiving, Black Friday, or Cyber Monday will give you the best chance to score that bargain.
Because most shoppers will be looking for deals on these three days specifically, we gathered data from the past three years of Thanksgivings, Black Fridays, and Cyber Mondays to determine which days offered the best sales on a given product category. From TVs to toys to tablets, we've got the skinny on when you're most likely to find a killer price low. But before we get to the results, let's discuss the amorphous blob of time that Black Friday has become.
Black Friday is a Season
Around this time of year, DealNews often refers to the "Black Friday season," but it's not mere marketing hype (at least, not entirely). We've been tracking the expansion of Black Friday for years, and can say with some certainty that these sales will last for nearly two weeks. Thanksgiving sales can start as early as the Monday before, Black Friday sales almost universally start on Thanksgiving, and we'll begin seeing Cyber Monday sales on Saturday. In fact, Cyber Monday has become Cyber Week, with excellent offers still appearing as late as the Friday after Black Friday.
So as you're reading the guide below, keep in mind that we're discussing trends as opposed to hard and fast rules. The savvy shopper will keep an eye out for discounts throughout Black Friday week — no matter what the calendar says.
That said, on to the findings!
Ditch the Turkey, Get the Deals
If you can only shop on one day this year, go shopping on Thanksgiving. Almost every product category we examined showed a higher concentration of deals on Turkey Day. This is especially true in the electronics and entertainment categories, where everything from hard drives to Blu-rays see steep discounts. In fact, about 51% of all the deals we listed on Thanksgiving last year were hot enough to be marked Editors' Choice.
Of course, these Thanksgiving deals are really just early Black Friday deals. With many stores choosing to start Black Friday sales on Thursday, there's little wonder that this holiday has become a shopper's dream. If you'd rather linger over your pumpkin pie, rest assured that many of these sales will be live on Black Friday — even if the doorbusters are gone.
So what's your Black Friday game plan? Will you concentrate your savings on a single day? Share your strategies in the comments below! And if you're excited for Black Friday deals, consider subscribing to the DealNews Select Newsletter to get a daily recap of all our deals; you never know when a Black Friday price will be released! You can also download the DealNews app, check out the latest Black Friday ads, or read more buying advice.