Black Friday is probably the most hyped shopping day of the year. But with the coronavirus pandemic and the variants on the loose it can be hard to predict how the holiday season for shopping will be affected.
Add to that supply chain concerns about delays in global shipping and scarcity of goods, combined with retailers’ need to drum up sustainable hype to cope with these issues, we’re likely in for an early and lengthy Black Friday season in 2021.
It’s likely that major retailers will be closed again on Thanksgiving day in 2021. Many folks got used to getting their holiday shopping started on Thanksgiving night over the past decade. But thanks to Covid-19, in 2020 that tradition was rolled back.
Now, in 2021, it looks like the old tradition of shutting down on Thanksgiving is likely holding strong for a second year, with retailers citing safety concerns with crowded stores.
However keep your eye out on local shops and guidance to see if there’s any exception in your area based on Covid-19 protocols such as wearing a face mask, limits on the number of patrons allowed in the store in order to maintain social distance, and vaccination status.
All that said, more and more though people are wondering, how good are the sales on that day, really? Is Black Friday a scam? And is it really the best day of the year to shop?
Is Black Friday the best day of the year to shop for deals?
According to experts, yes there are great deals to be had on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but, no, it’s not actually the best day of the year to shop for deals, that honor used to go to Thanksgiving day.
Per Lindsay Sakraida, the director of content marketing for Dealnews who spoke to CNBC: “Technically, as a single day, Thanksgiving is better than Black Friday.” But that was prior to the pandemic. This year, black Friday and coronavirus are causing trends to shift.
Now, more and more retailers are rolling out sales early to compete with each other and manage the ongoing global supply chain issue. It is suggested to start looking for deals as much as a few weeks before Thanksgiving.
Sakraida points to Cyber Monday as another great sale day (and one you can participate in from the comfort of your couch). In fact, 62% of holiday shoppers will buy mostly online this season. This number is down from 71% in 2020 but an increase of 51% in 2019
How retailers try to “get” shoppers on Black Friday
Per The Motley Fool, the real “scam” of Black Friday is the way that retailers use deals to lure shoppers into their stores in order to inspire them to spend.
Per the website: “The goal of a typical Black Friday retailer is to attract customers by offering a few key products at a so-called discount. Then, once those ‘deals’ run out, the retailers have still got you in their hooks because you’re already in their stores or on their sites, at which point you’re more likely to buy something else — even if it’s not specific Black Friday sales.”
It’s a key point to keep in mind as you head out to shop: If you aren’t able to score what you had planned to, don’t fall into the trap retailers want you to fall into, which is buying something else. One way to avoid this tactic is to arrange for curbside pickup in order to score the specific Black Friday deals you are after rather than the impulse buys.
What should you buy on Black Friday and what shouldn’t you?
Per RetailMeNot, all categories are not created equal on Black Friday, either, some things are better to shop, and some things are best left on the shelf.
Electronics, appliances, gear, and sneakers made the cut for what you should scoop up on Black Friday. Furniture, the latest gaming consoles, and toys, meanwhile are best left on the shelf, according to their analysis.
Want to know what the best days to shop in 2021 are? Check out our 2021 Holiday Shopping Calendar.