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Your Guide to Black Friday Shopping

Black Friday is the most exciting shopping day of the year. After polishing off a delicious Thanksgiving dinner, Americans across the nation head out in the late night and stay up until the crack of dawn shopping for the best deals they can find. Figuring out where and when to shop can be overwhelming, so here’s your guide to shopping on Black Friday.

Where to go first

If you’re looking for big ticket items, Target or Best Buy are the best places to start your adventure. Best Buy opens at 5:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving day, whereas Target opens at 6:00 p.m. So if you plan things right and go to a Best Buy near a Target, you can hit up both stores close to the time they open. Technology products usually offer the biggest savings, so if you’re looking for some new electronics, you’ll want to go to one of these two stores first.

CDs and DVDs will be selling for pretty low prices at Target, along with toys if you’re planning on getting some holiday shopping done. Clothing will be on sale as well, but the discounts aren’t typically anything astounding. Save money for smaller, less crowded stores later on.

Walmart also has some big sales, but it gets too crowded to be worth it. However, if you’re willing to brave the crowds, Walmart will open at 6:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving.


Department stores

Department stores are great places to stop on Black Friday because of the wide variety of items they stock, but beware – they tend to attract many people for this reason. Try to pick just one or two of your favorite department stores to shop at so you won’t spend all of your day waiting in line.

Kohl’s is a good bet for clothing and home goods. Their stores open at 5:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving. This year, their jewelry and kitchen appliances are a bargain. You can get a regularly $40 panini maker for $10 (who doesn’t love paninis?).

JCPenney is another good department store to check out, and it opens at 2:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving. Yes, that’s pretty early, but they’re giving away some exciting coupons while supplies last, so if you’re really dedicated, it might benefit you to take a pre-dinner trip to JCPenney.

One department store you should skip is Macy’s. Often, their Black Friday “deal” items are priced the same as they were before Black Friday. It’s not worth the crowds for items you could have gotten for the same price earlier in the week.

After hitting up the big stores, head to specialty stores, which are typically less crowded.


For makeup

Ulta opens at 6:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving. Makeup can be really expensive, so this is a great time to update your stash or get some products you’ve wanted for awhile that were a out of budget. The sales for the most part aren’t huge, but there are some buy one, get one free items, and every little bit of savings helps. A lot of items are 50% off, so just make sure to dig around for the best deals and check out their Black Friday ad ahead of time so you know what to look for.

Sephora has yet to publish their Black Friday ad, but based off last year’s ad, they’re sure to have some great sales on makeup as well.


For crafts

Head to A.C. Moore and Michaels for sales on crafting supplies. A.C. Moore opens at 5:00 a.m. on November 24, with lots of sales and the offer for 40% any regularly priced purchase, so you can take your pick for savings.

Michaels opens at 6:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving. They’re offering 30% off your entire purchase, including sale items! Their ad is pretty small, so you’ll just have to see what deals are being offered when you get there.


For clothes

Old Navy, which opens at 4:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving, usually has some great sales on clothing, though you won’t know exactly what’s available until you get there. They’re offering 50% off your entire purchase and $1 cozy socks! American Eagle, Levi’s and J. Crew have not published ads yet but all had good sales last year.

If you’re still looking for warm clothes for the impending Ithaca winter, check out some outdoors or sporting goods stores. Columbia will be offering Black Friday deals, along with Land’s End and Dick’s Sporting Goods, though specific details on sales have yet to be released.


For pet lovers

If you don’t want to stay out late on Thanksgiving but think your pets deserve some special treats, PetSmart is a great place to check out. It opens at 7:00 a.m. on November 24. Dog beds, which can be pretty expensive, are a good buy during this sale. In addition, stock up on pet food; it’s always good to get a deal on a necessity.

Petco also opens at 7:00 a.m. on November 24, and if you have a cat or dog you have to go, because they’re giving out a free pair of antlers for your pet with any purchase. Your pet will thank you for his or her newest accessory!

There are plenty more stores offering huge savings, so be sure to go online and see if your favorite store has any Black Friday sales. In addition, don’t forget to search out some online deals for Cyber Monday (though some stores, like Amazon, are also having large online Black Friday sales).


Now you’re ready to conquer Black Friday!


Asian Studies major who enjoys horseback riding, crochet, singing, and musical theater. Passionate about public service and addressing economic inequality and women's, LGBTQ+ and minority rights.
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