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Small Business Saturday started way back in 2010 by American Express as a way to support independent retailers, restaurants, and small businesses. It’s a great method of giving back to local businesses after the mad rush of shopping ends at big retailers like Target and Walmart on Black Friday.
Whether you’re looking for a gift for the man who has everything or just some fun presents under $50, consider shopping small on Nov. 26, 2022. You may be surprised with what you find — and it’s possible to shop Small Business Saturday from the comfort of your couch. Since we’re all about convenience around here … I put together some tips on how to shop Small Business Saturday online.
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1. What is Small Business Saturday?
Small Business Saturday (SBS) is a way for you to give back to locally owned businesses after you’ve shopped at larger big-box retailers the day (or week) before during Black Friday. The annual retail event was started by American Express in 2010 as a way to support small businesses the day after Black Friday.
When is Small Business Saturday 2022?
This year, Small Business Saturday falls on Nov. 26, 2022, one day after Black Friday.
How can my small business participate in Small Business Saturday?
If you own a small business, you can get free marketing materials from American Express to use for advertising in-store or online. Shout out your business through social media, make a special event just for Saturday, or offer special discounts and promotions. American Express and TikTok are even joining forces for Small Business Saturday with a Shop Small soundtrack you can use with your post to gain more exposure.
American Express also offers resources and boot camps for small business owners to have a successful SBS.
2. Shop Amazon’s Small Business listings.
Amazon’s Small Business Gift Guide is a super helpful one-stop shop for finding thousands of products made by small businesses. Browse by region, product type, price range, or owner type (Black-owned, women-owned, etc.). Just because their products are sold on Amazon doesn’t mean they’re coming from Amazon.
Amazon allows each small business to act as a “third party” and list their items on the site while Amazon handles the shipping. Many of these items qualify for Prime 2-day shipping (one of the many perks of Amazon Prime), so you can get your items quickly. If you’re not an Amazon Prime member yet, sign up for a free 30-day trial and enjoy the two-day shipping in the meantime!
TIP: If you reload your Amazon Balance using your bank debit card, you’ll get an extra 2% credited to your account. You can use this balance to purchase items from small businesses.
3. Support local bookstores with Bookshop.org.
Mom-and-pop bookstores are able to compete with Amazon thanks to Bookshop.org, which lets these small businesses sell their inventories online. Plus, Bookshop.org gives a portion of their overall proceeds back to the bookstores.
They’re not always going to beat Amazon’s prices though (although sometimes they do!), but rest assured that your purchase is directly helping small bookstores stay in business.
Plus, they offer free shipping through Cyber Monday (Nov. 28, 2022).
4. Check “Etsy on Sale” before shopping on Small Business Saturday.
Etsy is the online marketplace where small businesses and independent creators sell their handmade, customized, and unique products. It’s a great place to shop and support a small business.
The nonaffiliated website Etsy on Sale combs through Etsy’s site and pulls anything that’s currently on sale.
This means you’re only searching through thousands of items that are actually discounted — instead of millions of full-price items — to find something you like or something to gift.
Related: Here are our favorite ways to save at Etsy without a coupon.
5. Select third-party vendors when you shop at Walmart.com.
Like Amazon, Walmart allows small businesses to list their products on Walmart.com. You can support small businesses when you shop from the Walmart Marketplace at Walmart.com. Here’s how:
- Search for a product you want at Walmart.com or in the Walmart app (iOS / Android).
- Filter your search by Retailer — then check the boxes of small businesses (don’t select Walmart).
- Proceed with your purchase.
TIP: Buy a discounted Walmart gift card from Raise.com and use that on your third-party vendor purchase at Walmart.com.
6. Shop local businesses via Google Shopping.
Similar to how you shop on the Walmart marketplace, just search for the item you want using Google Shopping, select a small business as the vendor, and then proceed to the seller’s website.
Google recently made it free for small businesses to sell via Google Shopping, so all of the money goes directly to the seller.
TIP: Filter by price (including shipping fees) with Google Shopping so you can price-compare for the best deal.
7. Use social media to find small businesses.
I can’t be the only one who scrolls through TikTok to discover someone slicing homemade soap. TikTok is more than just people dancing to trendy songs. I’ve found some gems through my late-night scrolling. You can search #shopsmall on Instagram and TikTok to find small businesses all over the world.
8. Find websites for small businesses using the Shop app and “Shop 1 in 5.”
The Small Biz Shopping Directory at Shop 1 in 5 lets you find small businesses’ websites when you browse by product type.
It’s one of the best directories I’ve seen, and they let you directly connect to these small businesses’ e-commerce sites. You can search by women, men, kids, beauty, home, jewelry, pets, subscription boxes, and more.
9. Find the website for your local Chamber of Commerce.
Thousands of small businesses will be holding special offers and sales on Small Business Saturday, both in store and online. You’ll want to search the internet to find your community’s Chamber of Commerce or local government website.
Chances are, they’ll have a listing of local businesses who are participating in Small Business Saturday promotions.