I used to love Black Friday shopping back when it started at 4 or 5am. I didn’t often get there first thing but usually about an hour or two after the store opened. Sometimes I had to work and would go after I got out. My dad and I loved to find Christmas decor and less popular electronic items or movies. Then Black Friday shopping changed. Places started opening at midnight then 6pm on Thanksgiving Day. In my state, things still do not open until 12:01am but that’s still not something I will do.
As someone who likes to stretch a dollar as far as possible, I was upset that I could no longer get my Black Friday shopping on anymore. Then I discovered something. Many stores began offering deals on their store website on Thanksgiving! No more fighting crowds or just giving up on the deals together.
Now, this story took place a number of years ago now but I still do Black Friday shopping online. Some years I purchase more than others but I always find a couple things that are amazing deals. I have found some tricks over the years that help to maximize Black Friday shopping without ever leaving home.
Cash back websites
I always go through cash back websites before placing an order online. The same is true for Black Friday shopping. Ebates is one of the most well-known ones but TopCashback is becoming more popular. I love how when you choose the Amazon gift card payout instead of Paypal or direct deposit, you actually earn a 3% bonus. For example, instead of $2.98 cashback you’d get $3.06 on an Amazon gift card.
Swagbucks also offers cashback in the form of Swagbucks that you can then use for gift cards or a payout. Most of those websites will offer something like double cash back during Thanksgiving weekend. Yes, that money comes back to you later not immediately off the order, but it’s still worth it.
If you want money off right away, be sure to check out coupon codes. Retail Me Not is a great place to find these. Honey is a browser extension that looks for them for you. I have personally found Honey to be great sometimes and not others. Those times it doesn’t find much, I just go to Retail Me Not and look for codes on my own.
The only problem that might arise is that sometimes the cash back sites don’t approve of some coupon codes. I have only had it happen rarely but it does happen. Personally, the coupon code usually saves me more than the cashback so I don’t stress if they don’t work well together.
So many places are starting to offer free shipping more often as a standard practice. However, even the places that aren’t doing that, often do during Black Friday sales. Or they lower the minimum order to get free shipping during that weekend. With free shipping, it’s just as cheap as buying in store as you aren’t paying that $7-12 to have it shipped to you.
If you can’t find free shipping offered or find a free shipping code, check for an option to have your items shipped to the store for free. As long as the store is a reasonable distance, this can be a money saver.
No Black Friday shopping from home tip list would be complete without a mention of Amazon Prime. Even without Prime, Amazon has great deals that weekend, just not quite as good. Amazon has hourly lightning deals that open early for Prime members. Sometimes the deals go so quickly, they never get offered to the non-Prime member as they sell out! Obviously, with Prime, you already have free shipping. There are also sales or items that are offered exclusively only to Prime members. (Amazon does offer a 30-day free trial of Prime. If you haven’t done it yet, Black Friday is a perfect time!)
Not only can you maximize your Black Friday shopping by doing it online (you can totally save more than in store because of cashback sites and coupon codes) but it’s also super convenient! Shop from your couch or even from bed. Shop from your computer, tablet, or phone. No need to deal with crowds or shopping in the middle of the night or feeling bad for shopping on Thanksgiving if you live where that is done. Save more money and all that headache just by switching to Black Friday shopping online.