Black Friday 2021: Tips on Finding the Best Deal From Home

Black Friday is used to fall on one day of the year. Shoppers camp outside the stores, eagerly waiting for the moment to break down some doors and save a ton of money. Times have changed. The past two years have not been normal. Stores are offering more deals than ever online, and we don’t have to be reminded of that anymore thanks to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, you should avoid unnecessary trips to the store. The same pandemic contributed to the supply chain barriers explained shop early for holiday gifts is the key.

Black Friday has entered a full month of sales that are growing and flowing. Everything can be stressful. How do you know if a deal is worth your time and money? When will the sale start and end? Do you really need that gadget? We are here to help with a useful FAQ.

Updated November 2021: We’ve refreshed this guide with new advice for this Black Friday.

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What does Black Friday look like in the pandemic?

The purchasing events in 2020 and 2021 are largely the same; Stock is limited, and orders are placed mostly online. Many types of products are facing shortcomings this year, so we don’t expect the price of things like gaming consoles and laptops to drop; however, finding them in stock and not price-gouged is kind of a bit of a miracle in itself. Early Black Friday deals, for now, is decent, but the inventory is a little hard. The WIRED Gear team will look for deals that are really good, and you can follow the advice listed below to make a more informed decision.

Wait, when is Black Friday?

This year, Black Friday falls on November 26. That tight-fitting the most recent being that Black Friday may fall in a calendar year, which means there is less time between Black Friday and Christmas than in previous years. You have little time to complete your purchase.

When will the Black Friday sale start?

Early deals usually start a week or two before Black Friday arrives. This year, thanks to all the shipping delays, they have already started.

Most official sales start on Thanksgiving, though some specific deals and doorbusters may start on Friday, usually at midnight. Some of the stores detail the exact start times, while others only provide a planned day. I (Louryn) have been Black Friday shopping for over 16 years, and I recommend staying the night before Thanksgiving to check online sales starting at midnight in Eastern Time on Wednesday, November 24. Thanksgiving day.

Can you get Black Friday deals online?

You can — and should. We have exclusively covered online deals here at WIRED because most Black Friday deals are available on the web. The best deals don’t last long, so it’s a good idea to pay attention to the sales pages of your favorite store (and our coverage).

Making a list of what you want to buy first will help you keep a clear head when it’s time to start shopping. And, to repeat, you don’t have to shop in stores right now unless it’s essential. You also don’t have to buy things just to buy them. Everyone is on a tighter budget these days; the sale will happen again. Delivery times will eventually return to normal. Take a deep breath and don’t get sucked into the hassle of shopping.

Which vendors have Black Friday deals?

Almost all of them. There are obvious stores, like Walmart and Best Buy, but chances are every retailer has some kind of sale even if they offer clothes, shoes, books, health and beauty items, specialty items of health, or so on. There may be promotions going on at your favorite coffee shop or restaurant. If in doubt, visit a retailer’s website. Often, Black Friday sales are promoted loudly and proudly on the homepage.

Here are some Black Friday sales pages from major retailers:

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