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Black Friday deals online were made for those of us who get anxiety even thinking about joining an enormous crowd of shoppers at a retailer like Walmart. The good news seems to be that the pandemic changed Black Friday forever. Now that we’ve had two years in a row of killer Black Friday deals online, will stores ever offer specific deals you can only get in person again? We hope not, but we’ll let you know the minute we hear buzz about Black Friday 2022.

In the meantime, it’s crucial to have a game plan that includes mastering Black Friday deal online so you can get steals on gifts for your people. Here are 28 tips to getting the best Black Friday deals online.

Check out our Black Friday Deals page and download the KCL app so you’re poised to strike as soon as the deals are hot.

 

1. Shop on Thanksgiving for earlier access to Black Friday deals online.

A autumn candle centerpiece on a table with gourds next to someone using a laptop.

In 2021, Kohl’s, JCPenney, Sam’s Club, Staples, Walmart, Target, Macy’s, were some of the best places to shop online for Black Friday because they offered all the same deals online that were available in the store.

Typically, the deals went live online on Thanksgiving (stores were closed), and then when the doors opened on Black Friday morning, you could access the same deals in person. Speaking of shopping early…

 

2. Start shopping Black Friday deals online around Halloween this year, or even sooner.

Woman pushing a Target shopping cart with a TV in it through the Halloween Section inside Target.

Every year, more retailers release online deals sooner. This began with Amazon offering Lightning Deals starting mid-November years ago, and soon Kohl’s followed suit, offering deals a whole week before Black Friday. The year after that, we saw Target jump on the bandwagon. Then the pandemic happened in 2020, pushing early Black Friday into October.

In 2021, Target Deal Days ran from October 10 – 12. We saw deals on TVs, video games, kitchen appliances and more.

And of course, Amazon was in on the October action in 2021 again. They released early Black Friday deals including discounts on Apple AirPods, TVs, and tablets.

 

3. Be the first one to shop the Black Friday best deals online.

A person sitting on a couch, using a laptop that is displaying a page of smart watches on the Target website.

In-store shoppers only have to compete with locals for deals. However, when you shop online, you’re competing on a nationwide level. So you’re gonna have to step up your game.

Setting your alarm 10 minutes before a sale begins is a solid start. And hey, if that 12 a.m. wake-up makes you cringe, just remember you can shop the best deals right from your bed—no pants needed!

 

4. Bookmark product pages ahead of time.

A close-up on a web browser's bookmark bar with a drop-down list of several different stores that have been bookmarked.

One of the best tips for shopping online Black Friday is to get first dibs on items by bookmarking web pages. Then, as soon as the sale begins, head to that page with just one click.

 

 

5. Or, use different browser tabs for each store.

The Krazy Coupon Lady website and other store website tabs open on a computer screen.

Toggle between the best store deals like a boss. Set up store browser tabs beforehand and just refresh when the deals start.

 

6. Clear your cookies and go incognito to avoid markups on websites you shop.

A screenshot of an Google Chrome Incognito browser window.

Have you ever heard the term “dynamic pricing”? In theory, it’s the idea that pricing is based on market ebbs and flows. For example, airline prices are based on dynamic pricing and they change frequently.

Unfortunately, retailers also use it on consumers who frequent their websites, assuming someone who buys a lot from them will buy no matter the price. Which means you could get punished for being a loyal customer.

Just clear your cookies, and next, open an incognito window (Cmmd + shift + N on a Mac) to do your shopping. This should make it so the retailer thinks you’re a first-time buyer and will offer you better prices.

 

7. Use Google Shopping to compare Black Friday deals online across retailers.

A screenshot of iPad Pro search results on Google Shopping

Use Google Shopping to help you compare prices across the internet on pretty much any product within seconds. Make sure you go incognito for these as well, so you’re not seeing inflated pricing.

Checking prices can also help you determine how much of a discount you’re actually getting. If a Black Friday sale price isn’t that much different from the regular cost of an item, save your dollars for a better deal.

 

8. Keep an Amazon tab on your browser solely for checking reviews.

A person sitting on a couch, looking at an Amazon reviews page on a laptop.

You probably already know that Amazon is a jungle packed with products—it has pretty much everything. But do you know how to use this fact to your advantage? Use it to look up reviews, specs, and related deals on items you’re shopping at other sites.

If you were in-store you could simply scan products with the Amazon app, but from home you’ll have to look up the item manually.

 

 

9. And then bookmark Fakespot.com to make sure Amazon reviews are honest.

A person holding their phone displaying the Fakespot app download screen next to a winter hat on a table.

Amazon reviews are definitely helpful, but did you know that some of them are considered “deceptive,” meaning the person reviewing was compensated for a review? Or maybe it was a bot that “wrote” the review—not a real person?

Fakespot cuts through all of that and gives each Amazon URL a “grade”—”A” through “F”. Reliable reviews from actual people get an “A”, on down to “F” for completely unreliable reviews.

Just copy and paste the URL for your Amazon item into Fakespot and away you go!

 

10. Start an Amazon Prime free trial around November 20th.

A pile of Amazon boxes stacked on a front porch.

This will give you ample time to shop all the Amazon Lightning Deals (deeply discounted items that Prime members get early access to). Lightning Deals are only available for a very limited time or until sold out, and they feature heavily during Black Friday week. This way you can take advantage of all the Amazon Black Friday deals, along with Prime’s free two-day shipping until a few days before Christmas.

Sign up for a 30-day free Amazon trial now.

 

11. Use an online inventory tracker to be the first to know when an item is back in stock.

A person holding an iPad displaying the Zoolert inventory tracker webpage.

Inventory trackers like zooLert allow you to track inventory by product or by store. Let’s say you’re looking for the season’s hottest toy, but it’s sold out everywhere. Just check the box indicating you want to hear an alarm for this item, and leave that window open on your computer. zooLert updates every minute, and when one comes back in stock, you’ll hear an alert.

If you want to search by store, you’ll need the DCPI number, but many websites, like Target, show that number online when you look at the details for the item. Enter that number and you’ll see whether the store has the item in stock.

 

12. Check CamelCamelCamel.com to find out if Amazon prices are lower than average.

The CamelCamelCamel.com website's Amazon tracker page displayed on a laptop computer.

CamelCamelCamel.com monitors the price of millions of products on Amazon. Use the price history it provides to help you determine whether that Black Friday deal you’ve been eyeing is actually a good deal or if it’s best to wait for a better price later.

For example, say you see an awesome deal on a Nintendo Switch Bundle this Black Friday. Drop the Amazon link on CamelCamelCamel.com, and it’ll pull up the price history, revealing when Amazon sold its cheapest, highest, and current price. Based on that info, wait…or go for it.

 

13. Don’t ever pay for shipping! Use free store or curbside pickup instead.

A woman sitting in her vehicle in the curbside Drive Up parking spot outside of Target, holding her phone out to be scanned by a Target employee.

Today in 2022, most retailers have innovated enough to offer in-store pickup at least, and many offer curbside pickup. Even better? Top Black Friday stores like Target, Walmart, Kohl’s, and more offer contactless curbside pickup where you don’t even have to get out of your car.

If you’re not spending enough to meet the store’s minimum amount for free shipping (usually $25 – $75, depending on the retailer), opt for free store pickup. Sure, you’ll have to leave the house but if you plan to pick up your items while you’re already out, it’s worth it to avoid paying for shipping.

 

14. Prevent stolen packages by signing up for UPS My Choice and Amazon shipment updates via text.

A person's hand holding their phone displaying the Amazon shipment updates they received via text, with two packages stacked on their porch in the background.

Get Amazon updates sent directly to your phone every time your Amazon package leaves the warehouse and again as soon as it’s delivered.

Or, sign up for UPS My Choice, a free service that lets you control how you want packages delivered. With My Choice, they will alert you when something is about to be delivered via UPS, but you’ll also be able to customize “leave at” instructions for the delivery person. You’ll be given the option to have your package delivered to a pickup location versus a home address as well.

 

15. Put online Black Friday deals in your online shopping cart a week before sales start.

A person using a laptop, holding their credit card.

Of course, this works for any store, and I’d do it for every store I plan to shop at if I were you.

Study your stores’ leaked ads, and add items you know will go on sale to your online shopping cart. While you’re at it, make sure your shipping address is up to date, and if you feel comfortable, add your payment information.

Then, abandon your cart, and when deals go live, head back to the retailer and you should see updated sale prices. From there, all you have to do is complete your transaction.

 

 

16. Don’t go into the store at all if the deals are the same online.

A woman sitting on a couch, looking at a laptop with a cup of tea in her hand.

Thanks to the pandemic, most stores offer their Black Friday deals online and in the store. So, if stores like Kohl’s, Target, Walmart, Macy’s, or JCPenney are on your list (and they should be!), just shop online without a second thought to venturing out.

 

17. Create a separate Facebook or Instagram account just for following retailers.

A close-up on an iPhone being held up, displaying the login page on the Facebook mobile app.

If you don’t want your regular newsfeed cluttered with consumer updates, consider creating a separate social media account, and follow all your favorite retailers, airlines, brands, and deal sites (HINT: follow The Krazy Coupon Lady) for sale updates and exclusive promo codes.

 

18. Sign up for free store loyalty programs in advance.

A person's hand holding out their cell phone displaying the Yes2You Kohl's Rewards barcode for her account.

If you’re not already a member of free store loyalty programs, sign up for them immediately. You’ll get exclusive savings and early bird alerts just for signing up.

One of my faves is Kohl’s Rewards. Get 5% Kohl’s Rewards on every purchase you make. Once your earnings reach $5, you’ll receive a $5 Kohl’s Cash certificate.

For the past handful of years, rewards members have received $15 in Kohl’s Cash for every $50 spent Monday—Saturday the week of Thanksgiving. You seriously cannot beat that.

 

19. Shop sites that always have free shipping—and free returns.

A person picking up a box from two stacked on the front porch.

Speaking of free shipping, shop retailers that will send you your purchase for free, no matter how little you spend.

Make sure you check on return policies, though. A lot of stores may charge you a restocking fee or postage for returned items. Avoid those retailers.

These stores always offer free shipping and free returns. You may have to join a free store loyalty program to qualify:

 

20. Purchase most-wanted items individually if a site offers free shipping.

A woman opening an Amazon box with a knife, surrounded by more Amazon boxes with products.

On free-shipping websites, complete orders for the items you want first, and then continue browsing for items you’re just thinking about. Do this and you won’t have to worry about your product selling out while you’re shopping for other deals.

 

21. Stack on even more savings with discounted e-gift cards.

A person holding a cell phone with the Raise app in front of a wall display of physical gift cards.

Buy discounted e-gift cards way in advance of Black Friday (like, right now is a great idea). This way, all you have to worry about is finding deals and completing online orders. That’s the easy and fun part.

Sites like Raise, Gift Card Granny, and CardBear buy legit, unwanted gift cards from consumers and businesses and sell them back to shoppers at a discounted rate. For instance, you might find a Gap e-gift card worth its face value of $100 for just $90.

Here are the savings you may get at popular retailers when you use a discounted gift card to make your purchase:

 

22. Create your own deal with flat percentage-off or dollar-off coupon codes.

A person sitting on a couch, looking at some Kohl's coupons and an ad.

Retailers like Kohl’s, Gap, Old Navy, Carter’s, Express, and Rue21 like to discount everything in their stores on Black Friday. To save even more during these sales, search for coupon codes that offer flat percentage-off (like “an extra 20% off with ___ code”) or dollar-off (like “$10 off your order with ___”) offers, and stack sale savings with coupons!

Also look for offers like these at Macy’s, JCPenney, and other apparel/shoe stores like Puma and ALDO. Often retailers will include discount codes on paper in-store coupons you can use on the internet, so keep your eyes peeled even when you’re offline.

 

23. Shop Target’s Black Friday sale 2022 with your RedCard for an extra 5% off.

A Target RedCard being held next to a cell phone with the Target Circle app open on the screen.

Don’t worry, it’s not a credit card. RedCard is connected to your checking account and can make purchases in store or on Target.com.

If you like free shipping, extended return windows, and an extra 5% off purchases, then seriously consider getting a RedCard—you get these perks all year long—not just on Black Friday.

 

 

24. Book flights for next year’s family vacation on Cyber Monday.

A Southwest airline ticket and envelope being held up while people are standing in line for TSA.

With air travel operating domestically and lessened restrictions for overseas travel, flights may be a good buy this Black Friday. In 2021, we found Alaska Airlines offering $29 flights on Cyber Monday and Travel Tuesday. Southwest offered $39 flights a week or so earlier in November.

Check these airlines’ social media pages for pop-up sales Thanksgiving week through Travel Tuesday, and make reservations quickly before they sell out!

 

25. Start shopping for video games before Black Friday.

A person's hand holding up a Nintendo Switch next to an Amazon box with three Switch games below it.

As we get closer to Black Friday and the year-end, popular games that were released in the beginning of the year end up being dropped to half their price during Black Friday. These price drops sometimes appear as early as the beginning of November — well before Black Friday.

Video game consoles are slightly different. Nintendo Switch, for example, will release a new version just before Black Friday if there’s a new version coming out. You’ll want to check back for deals on Black Friday for this hot ticket item.

In 2021, Target, Walmart, Best Buy, and Amazon were all stocked up on PS5 and X-Box Series X because the new Call of Duty Vanguard game came out on November 5, 2021.

Set a KCL deal alert inside the KCL app for Nintendo and PlayStation. This way you’ll be the first to know when we see a hot deal.

 

26. Have a game plan for Bath & Body Works.

A person's hand taking a bottle of pump hand soap out of a box of more hand soaps from Bath & Body Works.

For the past two years, the Bath & Body Works Black Friday sale has started the Monday before Thanksgiving day. In 2020 the early start was in-store only. In 2021, the sale began both in-store and online.

Gift boxes became available on Wednesday and in 2021, a 20% off stackable coupon code became available on Thursday. A shopper could take advantage of all three promotions on one transaction, which created some truly krazy deals.

Here are a few tips for shopping Bath & Body Works during Black Friday week:

  • Have coupons available when you shop online.
  • Know what scents you want ahead of time. Usually, they have an online tote or box as their major sale. Join their Rewards Program ahead of time.

 

27. Look for more deals online on December 14th: Free Shipping Day.

A calendar for December with "Free shipping day" written and circled on the 14th.

Cyber Monday isn’t the last big day before Christmas to score great online deals.

That would be December, 14—a.k.a. Free Shipping Day. That’s when hundreds of online retailers (especially apparel and shoe retailers) offer deep discounts and coupon codes hoping to capture all the last-minute shoppers who need packages delivered by Christmas.

 

28. Shop through Rakuten to earn cash back on every online purchase.

A person holding an iPhone displaying the Rakuten app home screen.

When you shop through Rakuten, they’ll share a portion of their commission with you. It’s an incredibly easy way to add an extra layer of savings!

While cash back amounts can fluctuate from time to time, you can earn up to 10% back shopping online anywhere from Groupon to Walmart.

Look for Double Cash Back offers that appear every so often, and consider installing the Google Chrome browser extension so you can get reminders and notifications when you’re shopping online. It will also display coupon codes, if available, and any cash back amount offers.

28 Tips to Get the Best Black Friday Deals Online