Black Friday is the name given to the day after Thanksgiving. In the United States, Black Friday has long been considered the unofficial beginning of the holiday shopping season and, as a result, Black Friday sales are legendary for their rock-bottom prices, often drawing long lines of holiday shoppers eager to get the lowest price on everything from smart TVs to housewares.
The term Black Friday was first used to describe the day after Thanksgiving sometime in the 1960s, but back then it was in reference to the nightmarish, post-holiday traffic conditions. Contrary to popular belief, the term has little to do with stores getting “in the black”. Check out our article about the history of Black Friday to learn more!
Once upon a time, getting the best Black Friday deals meant standing in long lines, often overnight. But these days, you can avoid the crowds and find just as good—if not better—Black Friday deals if you shop online!
Of course, whether you choose to shop in-store or take advantage of online sales, the secret to getting the best deal is to plan your Black Friday shopping in advance. Many stores and websites will tease their Black Friday ads weeks beforehand, giving shoppers plenty of time to look around for the lowest price before the big Friday rush.
Generally speaking, there’s no right or wrong time to shop on Black Friday. One of the benefits of being able to shop Black Friday sales online is that holiday shoppers can simply roll out of bed and save money without leaving home.
However, shopping as early as possible (which could mean at the stroke of midnight) might be the difference between getting a great deal and being left disappointed. Those hoping to find a great price on a trendy item—say a Nintendo Switch or smart home device, for example—should snag the deal as soon as it becomes available, since these popular gifts are likely to sell out fast.
While Black Friday prices were once limited to just one day, more and more companies are extending the holiday throughout the weekend. Online retailers, in particular, often favor saving their best deals or the following Monday—also known as Cyber Monday.
But while Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the big-name shopping days, more and more companies keep the holiday shopping momentum going by spacing out their deals across the entire 4-day stretch. So shoppers should be sure to keep their eyes out for great deals on Saturday and Sunday too!