Black Friday is no more!
Well, at least in the form that we’ve grown accustomed to seeing it.
Last year, on Black Friday, shoppers spent a whopping $12,000,000,000. (I think I got the right number of zeros in there. Math people, double check me!) It’s supposed to be 12 billion dollars!
That leads us to the question.
How will this year be different?
1. Look for “Black Friday” deals by early November.
Yep! That’s NOW, if you’re paying attention.
If you are already overwhelmed, don’t worry. I know sorting through dozens of websites, trying to find what you want and need can be frustrating. So, I’ve done the work for you. I looked over all the current deals on Amazon and created a special page of all my favorite deals. I’m updating my Amazon Deals page throughout the holiday season.
(Posts on Under the Median contain affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase I will receive a small commission at no additional charge to you. To read our affiliate policy, click here.)
2. You’ll see these deals begin immediately – especially at physical stores.
Merchants are anxious to get you to buy before you are quarantined – again. The best way to keep tabs on your favorite, local, small businesses is to like and follow them on social media. This is where they will post flash sales and great deals.
3. Some deals will still be offered on the traditional Black Friday date.
Yes, the thrill of the hunt will still be available (in some form) the day after Thanksgiving. However, you will also be able to score amazing deals every weekend throughout the entire month of November. So, you need to begin looking now.
Why the changes?
There are a multitude of reasons why retailers are changing their tactics this year. I’ll tell you about them below and then give you my opinion of how it should change how you shop.
1. Massive increases in on-line purchases
COVID means that more of us will now be shopping via our phone and computer screens. Who wants to get stuck in those lines in an ubber crowded store? Not me!
This means that physical stores will be rolling out deals designed to get you to spend money locally, while on-line locations are ramping up their offers early and often. If this makes you feel special, that’s exactly what they are aiming for.
2. Shipping delays
Every business is experiencing problems with transporting goods, as postal and overland delivery options are taxed to the fullest. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the fact that the postal (and UPS) services will be overloaded means that glorious 2-day shipping guarantee may be a thing of the past.
That’s why this year, of all years, it’s important to order early, rather than waiting until the last minute.
3. “The second wave”
Okay, I don’t know exactly what to expect as cold and flu season ramps up (none of us do). But, retailers are banking on getting your bucks long before December first. So, pay attention now and get your gift-giving list ready to go.
Stores are counting on you buying – a lot – maybe overbuying.
There is an actual, psychological phenomenon, which causes us to overbuy in times like these.
Bear with me here, while I geek out.
We have all been through trauma this year. We saw shortages on the grocery store shelves. We couldn’t find items that we needed for any amount of money.
When this happens, our brain goes into something akin to “starvation mode”. We perceive the need to buy items – in case they are not available again in the future. And, because of the way our brain works, we tend to overbuy (and overpay).
So, how should you prepare for Black Friday?
1. Get your Christmas plan made now!
There is going to be a huge tendency to want to overspend this year, to somehow make up to our family how horrible the year 2020 has been. Seriously, no amount of money will change the fact that COVID was largely responsible for making 2020 memorable in some really unhealthy ways.
Trust me, when I tell you that overspending and going into debt for Christmas will make it worse, not better. Don’t spend even a day of 2021 mopping up a guilt-ridden, charge-card-driven, financial disaster. Decide now that you will pay cash for Christmas.
I’m asking my grown sons for their wish lists right now. If you don’t have a gift recipient list, a “wish list” for each person, and a Christmas budget, you’ll wind up buying everything in sight. This is absolutely the year to be proactive in your holiday plans and budget. Waiting until the last minute may mean that you put some IOUs under the tree because your gifts are stuck somewhere between that big red “Buy” button and your front door.
2. Follow Black price-tracking websites.
I like Price Grabber, because it has been around a long time and is very easy to use. However, you can find others with a simple Google search. These sites are designed to help you find the best deals. Overall, they do a great job, even during the holidays when prices tend to change at a fast and furious pace.
3. Install a FREE price-tracker and coupon extension.
This is how I know that I am consistently getting all of the discounts that I can use. Honey is a free browser extension, connected to thousands of on-line merchants. Honey will instantly search for and apply available coupons to any order before you complete your purchase. I love it!
I recently scored a $75 pair of new running shoes for my husband for $32.50 and free shipping when Honey found me a coupon worth an additional 30% off my purchase. Yes!!
Click here to take a look at Honey – That’s my affiliate link.
4. Take a deep breath.
I’m not saying that facetiously. You truly need to take time now to center your emotions. Stay calm.
Christmas 2020 will happen. It may look different than Christmases of the past. Celebrating with family and friends may mean that we fundamentally alter our regular patterns and preconceived ideas of what Christmas looks like.
But, there is always reason to find joy (and peace) during this magical season.
Need more help?
Check out my Debt-Free Christmas Binder. It has everything you need to successfully navigate creating a holiday budget (that actually works), get gifts for everyone on you list (at great prices), entertain (on a dime), and dress like a million bucks (even though you just spent a few dollars) .