It’s with a heavy heart that we inform you: Some news outlets are reporting the death of Black Friday.
But we can’t seem to dig up its official death certificate over here at Penny Hoarder HQ.
Maybe because the retail holiday isn’t totally dead; it’s just not as sparkly and exciting as it used to be.
Not as many folks are finding the appeal in camping out in the Best Buy parking lot or tackling some unsuspecting stranger to the ground for that snazzy TV.
This has to do with folks wanting, in part, to shop online while eating leftover turkey on their couch, sans pants. And yes, the digital deals are just as good these days, anyway.
Shopping Black Friday Online Deals? 4 Ways to Save More
That scene I described above… the one with the leftover turkey, the couch and the no pants thing… that’s me.
And, apparently, millions of other Americans, too. The National Retail Federation found that 51.6 million folks shopped in stores verses the 58.4 million who shopped online over Thanksgiving weekend last year. Rather, 6.8 million more people shopped online.
Here are four ways I’m planning to save even more money this Black Friday weekend.
1. Drop It, Drop It Low (The Prices, Duh)
The best kind of savings are the kind where you don’t have to do a thing. That’s what makes the Drop app so appealing.
What’s special about Drop is all you have to do is link your credit and debit cards (no coupon clipping or hoarding receipts!). When you make a Drop-qualified purchase, you’ll automatically earn points, whether you’re grocery shopping at Walmart, hailing an Uber or ordering a pizza.
The points will add up, and you can exchange them for gift cards in the app to popular retailers like Amazon and Starbucks.
2. Earn Cash Back When Prices Fluctuate
Black Friday is supposed to be the day of lowest prices EVER, but we all know that’s a half-truth.
Say I’m planning to try to find some heavily discounted boots. Well, I buy them for $39.99. But a week after Black Friday, I find the price dropped another $5.
Instead of kicking myself, I’ll try to get some money back.
One of my secret weapons is called Paribus — a tool that gets you money back for your online purchases. It’s free to sign up, and once you do, it will scan your email for any receipts. If it discovers you’ve purchased something from one of its monitored retailers, it will track the item’s price and help you get a refund when there’s a price drop.
Plus, if your guaranteed shipment shows up late, Paribus will help you get compensated.
3. Hunt Down Promo Codes
You might not have to do a ton of hunting for promo codes on Black Friday. Hopefully your favorite retailers promote those on their homepages.
If not, poke around and see if you can find something.
Try finding “Hot Deals” over at Ebates. It aggregates some of the internet’s best deals and offers cash back.
For example, when I wrote this, Lucky Brand was offering 45% off everything plus 1% cash back, Gymboree was offering 15% off purchases plus 1% cash back, and Under Armour was offering 30% off fleece plus 6% cash back.
I prefer to search by store to make it easy (and so I don’t get roped in by other “ooooh shiny” deals).
4. Pocket Cash When Shopping Through Ibotta
At this point, I’ve done all the prep I’m going to do. Now, it’s time to shop.
If I’m buying anything from Amazon, Overstock, Target or Walmart, for example, I open my Ibotta app and shop through it.
Sure, it can be slightly annoying to shop through my mobile phone, but I usually find what I’m looking for on my laptop, then find it again after opening Ibotta.
I once earned $1.14 on a one-item order from Amazon, $3.21 from Target.com and $1.49 at Overstock.
Since signing up in May 2017, I’ve earned nearly $160 back on items I’d normally buy. So you betcha I’ll stack even more savings this upcoming Black Friday weekend. (Also because I’m in a race with co-workers to see who can save the most.)
Anyway, those are four of my favorite easy tips to help you save more money while shopping online during Black Friday. If you want even more, check out this post on saving (and making) money while shopping online.
Perhaps next year we’ll be eulogizing Black Friday. But for now, it’s still kickin’.
Carson Kohler (@CarsonKohler) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. You can find her powering through a turkey coma to find the best online deals.
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