Black Friday is (almost) here, with Cyber Monday right on its heels — and we are pretty pumped about it.
Does “The Cyber Five” ring a bell? It’s what people in the know (hey, that’s us) call the five-day span of madness from Black Friday to Cyber Monday. While Black Friday *used* to be the one big savings day (back in the ancient days when people actually, you know, went to the store to shop), there is now nearly a week of savings: Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. (If you’re wondering what to do on Sunday, check out Shop For Good Sunday.)
And the deals seem to start earlier every year.
Cue the heavy breathing, creepily sitting in a dark room alone with your laptop, and frantically scrolling through each of your favorite retailer’s deals sections to make sure you don’t miss anything.
Or you could just stick with us. We’ll let you know where the best deals will be, where to go for updates, what apps to sign up for, and even how to be automatically alerted when a price drops. This Black Friday, you can actually enjoy online shopping instead of treating it like the internet version of World War Z.
Read on for tips and tricks on how to save the most money during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Before the official start date of Black Friday (which is now more like 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving because no one has any chill), it’d be wise to make a list ahead of time of items you’ll be making a beeline for.
Our master Black Friday ad scan list will be extra handy with this. With the the help of our friends at BlackFriday.com, we’ve been able to hunt down Black Friday 2018 ads from all of your favorite retailers (Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Macy’s and Kohl’s, to name a few) making it easy for you to see exactly what will be on sale so that you’re locked and loaded when prices drop. This will save you from wasting time trying skim websites on your own, and can prevent getting frantically overwhelmed.
When all else fails, just check out our ongoing coverage:
Not all heroes wear capes. (It’s us. We’re the heroes.) Mashable’s Black Friday page is your one-stop shop to pretty much every Black Friday sale you can imagine, with links to all of our deals coverage — whether that be stories on single deals on really big items, item category roundups like Best Black Friday laptop deals, or retailer-specific roundups — as well as a selection of holiday gift guides to give you all the info you need.
We’ll also have a master deals post that has all of that info in one place, organized similarly so that you can compare and shop in whichever way raises your blood pressure the least.
Just think of it as the Black Friday police scanner (but for sale prices across the internet instead of um, crimes). We’ll have all hands on deck and will be updating it as new deals come in, so it’s basically the closest thing to live coverage for the week — you sit back and relax, and we’ll do the work.
On the go and shopping from your phone? It’d be smart to download mobile apps from your favorite stores — Walmart, Target, and Amazon are three biggies that will be clutch. They’ll obviously be plastering their biggest deals across the screen, making things organized and easy to navigate even on a bumpy commute or at a loud relative’s house.
The store maps on both Target and Walmart’s apps will switch over to a Black Friday map version and will show you where to find the physical location of an item in the store, which will be helpful if something has sold out online. Each app also features a barcode scan feature, so if you’re shopping in the store and come across something that’s too big to take home, sold out in the size you want, or that needs to be shipped elsewhere as a gift, just scan the tag and you’ll be taken to the listing online.
The Amazon app even has an “Upcoming” tab, where you can see deals 24 hours before they go live. This will be extra handy for avid Prime members as Amazon doesn’t release an official Black Friday ad scan like most retailers do.
The only assistant you’ll need for the Cyber Five is Amazon Assistant (no, not a human assistant), which you’ll want if you’ll be shopping on your computer instead of your phone. It’s basically the computer version of smartphone notifications, helping you watch Amazon deals like a hawk and make sure you’re not missing out on anything important — especially handy because Amazon doesn’t release a big ad scan to announce deals ahead of time.
It’s also likely that many retailers will have the same items on sale: Big ticket tech items like smart TVs, laptops, or the infamous Instant Pots are a few you can probably count on. If you’re shopping elsewhere and have clicked on a product that Amazon also carries, an Amazon Assistant banner will come across the top to let you know the price of that product on Amazon. It’s way easier than switching tabs to compare, and helps you be extra certain that you’re getting the lowest price.
Once you’ve placed an order, you can also track your orders on Amazon Assistant (because we all know the feeling of checking the shipping status 20 times a day). Add the Amazon Assistant extension to your browser here.
We’ll be tweeting live updates of new deals and providing links to our deal or retailer roundups for big product categories and whatever else comes up. This will make the weekend go way more smoothly and help you stay organized so that you don’t have to refresh each of your tabs or our master post every 30 seconds.
If you’re really feeling ambitious, you could also turn on mobile notifications to make sure you see every time we tweet out a deal or a new roundup of deals — you know, if you’re not one of those people who refreshes Twitter religiously like we are. You can also like the Mashable Deals page on Facebook if you’d rather get your updates on there.
This is ace for people who don’t use or check social media regularly but who still want updates for Black Friday and links to our roundups.
We’ll send one out an emails with the following schedule:
Thursday (Thanksgiving): early deals that have already gone live as well as everything we know that will be going on sale on Friday
Black Friday: any updates, new deals that waited until Friday to drop, and deals we know about for the weekend
Cyber Monday: this will have all of the deals we know about for Monday through the rest of the week.
Checking our Twitter or Facebook will keep you a bit more in the know as those will be updated live, but this is a way more toned-down place to start.
Our newsletter is also just a clutch thing to get in general: Okay, we’re slightly biased, but we really think this is one email you won’t be annoyed with every time it pops up in your inbox. Each week, we’ll give you the rundown on the best deals we found (like Amazon’s daily lightning deals or Macy’s one-day sales) as well as link you to some other stories you’ll wanna read (like gift guides and where to find the best laptops for under $500).