What We Know About Black Friday 2023, Plus Expert-Backed Shopping Strategies

black friday deals 2023

The holiday season is approaching, along with the biggest shopping days and unbeatable sales of the year. Black Friday 2023 has started earlier than ever, with major retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Target, Kate Spade, and Best Buy launching early Black Friday deals weeks in advance and shaping the term 'Black November' to describe the extended shopping frenzy that spans from a few days to over a month.

The holiday shopping weekend in 2022 was the 'biggest ever' for top retailers, with customers worldwide purchasing hundreds of millions of products between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday," says e-commerce expert Phil Massiello from Maryland to Yahoo Life. This year's Black Friday is expected to be even bigger, thanks to the extended discount season.

When planning your holiday shopping, it's essential to develop a smart strategy to maximize your savings. Here's how to make the most of Black Friday.

Black Friday Shopping Strategies:

1. Do Your Research: Julie Ramhold, a consumer analyst at DealNews.com, advises creating a list of items you want to purchase and noting their current prices at the retailers you plan to shop with. This way, you can quickly identify a great Black Friday deal when you see one. "The most important thing is to know exactly what you want," says Kristin McGrath, a shopping expert at RetailMeNot. "What are the specifications you want in a TV or laptop, or what headphones do you desire? Consumers shouldn't assume that the discounted price is the best price ever. I recommend checking the product with one or two other retailers to compare the regular price with the potential 'sale' price to ensure you're truly getting the best deal," confirms Kristin Gall, a retail and shopping expert at Rakuten.

2. Stay Informed About Advertisements: Be attentive when Black Friday ads start appearing, advises Ramhold. "It may be useful to follow your favorite retailers on social media and subscribe to their email newsletters as they may announce the ad release this way, along with other important details like the start of sales." Gall refers to these ads as the 'Black Friday deals roadmap.'

3. Check Holiday Price Guarantees: Do you have a few favorite retailers? "Check to see if they offer any kind of price matching or guarantee for Black Friday," suggests Ramhold. The idea is to know if you can request your preferred retailer to match a competitor's price during the Black Friday event or if you'll need to shop with the competitor instead. "If there's a price guarantee, it's good to know that if you buy something early and its price drops later, you'll be able to get a price adjustment for the difference."

4. Try Cashback: Gall says, "In addition to comparing prices, you can ensure you're getting the absolute best price by stacking deals to maximize savings. Cashback services like Rakuten allow you to earn cashback on top of sale prices. For additional savings, plan to apply promotional codes or digital coupons and use a rewards credit card to earn extra points or cashback.

Top Black Friday 2023 Deals to Look For:

Now let's move to the crucial details: Gall believes that the categories with excess inventory at retailers will be the biggest indicator of Black Friday gold. This includes "home goods, gardening, and furniture that they may not have cleared out during the Labor Day weekend sales.

Laptops: Ramhold describes them as "one of the perfect Black Friday items" and says, "Watch for price drops of up to $90 on things like basic Chromebooks, while general laptops can go as low as $229 or see discounts up to $229." Save $800.

Smartphones: Ramhold expects major retailers to offer the latest Android and iPhone devices with gift cards worth hundreds, "which can be used for future purchases and enhance the value of these deals."

Televisions: MacGrath advises looking at major retailers and studying their Black Friday ads to snag the TV you want before it's gone. She says, "Stocks move quickly on the best-priced sets, and there are always a few headline-grabbing deals that generate a lot of buzz and sell out in minutes." "Focus on the 4K TV you desire, get some backups, and be ready to shop as soon as Black Friday discounts start."

Cameras: Ramhold expects deals on everything from Instax cameras to DSLRs.

Apple Products: Look for great deals on AirPods, especially AirPods Pro, which "still remain highly popular and are likely to see lower prices from retailers like Walmart, Amazon, Target, and Best Buy this year," as recommended by MacGrath. Be prepared to grab the new Apple Watch Series 9.

Gaming: Historically, the best game sales happen in December, according to Ramhold, but "Black Friday game deals should be very significant." She expects discounts of up to 85% at major stores.

Kitchen Appliances: MacGrath suggests keeping an eye on KitchenAid mixers. These are usually expensive, but Black Friday deals bring the price down to a reasonable level for many shoppers. However, last year we saw KitchenAid mixer deals sell out quickly, so be prepared to jump on a good deal when you see one.

What do you expect from your favorite retailers on Black Friday? As always, retailers will compete with each other for your business on Black Friday. Despite the overlap, some retailers specialize in specific types of products.

"Check out Amazon, Walmart, Target, and Best Buy for technology. Wayfair and Overstock always offer amazing deals on home goods," says MacGrath.

"Gap, Old Navy, and Target dominate when it comes to clothing deals. Walmart is always strong on Black Friday in the gaming department. Home Depot and Lowe's may not have stunning sales like some major competitors, but they offer great values on high-priced home items, smart home devices, home security bundles, grills, toolsets, power tools," says MacGrath. "They are also among the best sources for appliance bundle deals. And don't forget Kohl's, which often gives extra Kohl's Cash when you make a purchase. Often, they'll have the same price that competitors offer on things like small appliances and smartwatches, but they also offer some Kohl's Cash to make the deal even better.

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