Brace yourself: Black Friday 2019 is coming.
It’s the Super Bowl of the Christmas shopping season, and retailers are trying to get you hyped up earlier and earlier every year. They want you to start spending NOW, but resist the hype.
The best holiday shopping deals come to those who wait.
Check out our Hack the Holidays page to stay up to date on how to save money this holiday season!
1. Do your shopping between Nov. 15-Dec. 14.
I bet you’re wondering why we’re telling you to wait to shop the deals.
Every year retailers try to extend the holiday shopping window earlier and earlier. (It’s why we see holiday decor out before Halloween — they want you shopping early and often.)
While there are lots of decent deals and even some hot ones, if you really want to do the Christmas shopping season without blowing your budget, we suggest you restrict all your holiday shopping to a 30-day window.
We’ve studied data from the past three years and found that the best deals almost always happen within about thirty days from mid-November through mid-December. The shopping timeframe ends on Free Shipping Day, December 14 this year.
2. Shop the day before Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday for the very best deals.
In 2019, Black Friday is no longer just the Friday after Thanksgiving. We’ve identified the six key days to focus the bulk of your shopping in order to make the most of your Black Friday 2019 shopping experience.
The one exception to this rule is Kohl’s, which begins offering Black Friday 2019 deals online the Monday before. So, this year plan to shop Kohl’s on Monday, November 25.
Day 1: Wednesday before Thanksgiving
- In 2018, we saw Old Navy inching out ahead of the pack with online Black Friday deals beginning at 12:01 a.m. EST on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.
Day 2: Thanksgiving Thursday
- Shop online Thanksgiving morning or evening to get online doorbusters at stores like Kohl’s and Target. Unless you’re concerned something might sell out online, there’s no reason to go in-store on Thanksgiving Day. For example, Target’s deals started at 1:00 a.m. EST in 2018, and basically all the same doorbusters were available online and in-store.
Go deeper and find out exactly what deals to look for at Kohl’s on Black Friday 2019.
Day 3: Black Friday
- Only go into the store if you’re eyeing an in-store-only doorbuster at a retailer like Walmart or Macy’s or drugstores like CVS, which allow coupon stacking on Black Friday. Then do any other shopping online or in specialty stores (like Jo-Ann Fabrics, The Children’s Place or PetCo).
Day 4 & 5: Small Business Saturday & Sunday
- Shop local small businesses on Small Business Saturday. For every dollar you spend at a small business, $0.67 of it stays right there in your community. Search social media for the hashtag #SmallBizSat and #ShopSmall to find out who’s participating near you.
Day 6: Cyber Monday
- Cyber Monday is kind of a victim of hype. Sure, there will be deals online, but realize the best online deals happen on Thursday evening. Don’t wait for Monday to shop. Most sales start at 12 a.m. Monday morning. Be sure to double-check time zones!
TIP: “Travel Tuesday” is the day after Cyber Monday (December 3 in 2019). Since most people have purchased their holiday flights by the time Thanksgiving rolls around, airlines are trying to entice procrastinators to buy their Christmas flights. But hey, why not use that day to instead buy your tickets for summer vacations?!
3. Shop between 12:01 a.m. the day before Thanksgiving, to 3:00 p.m. on Black Friday for the best online deals.
Again, with the exception of Kohl’s, which you can shop online starting November 25.
Make a list beforehand of what you want to shop online for and where it’ll be on sale (and, of course, download the KCL app for the latest Black Friday 2019 deals).
Then plan the sweet spot between the day before Thanksgiving at 12:01 a.m. and Black Friday at 3:00 p.m. to shop the smartest.
Remember, the only reason you should shop in-store instead of online is for a doorbuster you can’t miss. And if you’re planning to brave the in-store shopping arena, remember that the selection of doorbuster deals will dwindle the later you go in.
Plan to get to the store right when it opens or a little sooner to get in line.
1:01 a.m. Monday, November 25: Shop Kohl’s online — they offer the same doorbusters online and in-store.
12:01 a.m. Wednesday before Thanksgiving: Shop Old Navy online.
1:01 a.m. Thanksgiving Thursday: Shop online doorbusters and Black Friday 2019 deals. Like Kohl’s,Target offers the same doorbusters online and in-store.
Online deals start:
- Victoria’s Secret: 12:00 a.m. EST
- Walmart: 12:01 a.m EST
- Target: 1:00 a.m EST
- JCPenney: 1:00 a.m EST
- Best Buy: 1:00 a.m EST
- Amazon: 3:00 a.m EST
- Macy’s: 3:00 a.m EST
- ULTA: 6:00 p.m. EST
3:00 p.m. Thanksgiving Thursday – 12:00 a.m Black Friday: Shop online and only go in-store for “in-store only” doorbusters. If you’re serious about in-store doorbusters, get in line early.
- JCPenney: 3:00 p.m.
- Old Navy: 4:00 p.m
- Macy’s: 5:00 p.m
- Best Buy: 5:00 p.m
- Victoria’s Secret: 5:00 p.m.
- Walmart: 6:00 p.m
- Target: 6:00 p.m
- Kohl’s: 6:00 p.m
- ULTA: 6:00 p.m.
12:00 a.m – 3:00 p.m Black Friday: Shop online and in-store for doorbusters, most of which end at 3 p.m. Black Friday afternoon.
Resources & Links Mentioned