How to Hack Black Friday and Keep Holiday Shopping Stress-Free

Bottom line: Black Friday starts now.

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October 27, 2021

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Photo by: Burak Karademir/Getty Images

Burak Karademir/Getty Images

In recent years, Black Friday — and Cyber Week in general — have basically become their own holiday. Slashed prices and doorbuster sales have turned holiday shopping into a sport, and people have actually sustained serious injuries trying to get their hands on a fancy television. But thanks to this year's supply chain disruptions due to 18 months of increased online shopping, Cyber Week is looking more like Cyber Month.

Instead of sales starting at 5 a.m. on Black Friday, we anticipate online and in-store discounts to start as soon as November 1 and continue throughout the month. And rather than waiting out these deals to see if a better one comes along, we recommend buying now to avoid regret later on. After covering sales all year long, here's what we know about snagging the best products for the lowest prices this holiday season.

Make a List of Priority Products.

Starting now (yes, like, right now), make a list of the items you absolutely must buy for the VIPs on your gifting list. Due to supply chain disruptions, products may not be in stock by the time Black Friday rolls around, so if you can find an item on sale before Thanksgiving, it's the time to buy. Your list of priority products should also include big-ticket items like air fryers, smart products and anything TikTok-inspired for teens. Finally, keep an eye on large appliances like dishwashers and refrigerators. These items have been on backorder since the start of 2020, which means if they're in stock and on sale, they're bound to sell out fast.

Don't Wait for a Better Deal.

We've watched prices on all kitchen tools skyrocket this year — again, due to supply chain disruptions. Any deal that's more than 15% off an item is a good one, as retailers are looking to make up for lost revenue that may be due to low or missing inventory. We know of some independent brands and major retailers starting Black Friday deals on November 1, so stay informed by bookmarking our list of the best Black Friday deals starting now. You'll never miss an opportunity.

Shop Online — Early.

Many retailers may continue to have doorbusters and in-store deals on Thanksgiving, but the shelves may be sparce compared to years past, making a trip to the store a wash. Shopping online from the comfort of your couch not only gives you the ability to sleep in, but it also lets you see a retailer's larger inventory and shop around to find the best deal.

Use Wish Lists.

Retailers like Amazon, Macy's, Nordstrom and others make it easy to sign in and build out wish lists for every occassion. Build out a holiday wish list for a one-stop resource that lets you keep track of what's on sale and worth adding to your cart (in your preferred size and color) in a matter of seconds. If you can, set up notifications for when your wish list items go on sale, so you never miss out.

Start Early.

The 2021 calendar is jam-packed with holidays back-to-back. Hanukkah starts the Sunday after Thanksgiving and Christmas falls on a Saturday, giving you one less weekend to shop. Give yourself a break the Friday after Thanksgiving by starting your shopping before Turkey Day. We know, it might feel like you're rushing through yet another Thanksgiving holiday, but product will be in short supply this year, so there's no time like the present (wink! wink!) to shop.

Stick To Your Budget.

This may feel more challenging this year with rising prices, but it's important to know your financial limit. It's really easy to get caught up in all the steep discounts during the hoilday season, but if it's a product that's not a priority for you, and not something you can see yourself using immediately, it's probably not worth buying. Give yourself a budget for how much you're willing to spend this year, then sign off once you hit that number!

Follow Along With Us.

Not sure where to start when it comes to picking out products? We've got you covered. The whole month of November we'll be rolling out the best pre-Black Friday sales at various retailers. And starting Monday, November 23, we'll be updating you with the best Black Friday and Cyber Week deals daily.

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