How to Prepare for Black Friday Like a Shopping Pro

With a little homework, you can buy almost anything at its lowest price of the year.

How to Prepare for Black Friday Like a Shopping Pro Photo by Antonio Guillem /

I’ve been preparing for Black Friday season for maybe two months now.

I don’t just buy Christmas gifts at this time of the year: Instead, I know I can buy almost anything at its lowest price if I do some homework.

From pet food to shaving cream to light bulbs — you name it, and I’ll be buying as much as a year’s worth of it over the next couple of weeks.

The number of Black Friday sales and deals out there — and the hype that retailers shroud them in — can be overwhelming. But preparing for Black Friday like a savvy shopper isn’t rocket science. You can do your homework right now, in just a few minutes.

Start by scoping out Black Friday ads and webpages now and comparing prices to ensure the deals you fancy are true bargains. That’s the most time-consuming and important task, but you can make it as much or as little work as you want.

Perhaps limit yourself to just a few retailers. Below you’ll find the Black Friday details for some of the largest retailers that have made special announcements about their Black Friday plans.

If you plan to shop online, go ahead and make an online account at the retailers where you expect to shop. This will save you time when you’re in a rush to make sure you nab a particular deal before it’s gone.

Another tip is to review “7 Ways to Guard Your Wallet — and Identity — When Shopping Online.” After all, saving money is not a bargain if you also accidentally give up your identity in the process.

If you plan to shop in stores, call nearby locations now to confirm their Thanksgiving and Black Friday hours.


  • Special webpage: Black Friday Deals Week
  • Thanksgiving hours: While Black Friday deals are already underway, Amazon says most of these deals will be available starting at midnight PT Wednesday.
  • Black Friday hours: Deals will continue through Black Friday.

Sam’s Club

  • Special webpage: Black Friday catalog
  • Thanksgiving hours: Stores are closed. Black Friday specials start online at 12:01 a.m. ET on Thanksgiving.
  • Black Friday hours: Stores open at 7 a.m.


  • Special webpage: Target Black Friday Homepage
  • Thanksgiving hours: Stores open from 6 p.m. to midnight. You can shop deals online starting “early Thanksgiving morning,” Target says.
  • Black Friday hours: Stores open at 6 a.m. But note that if you spend $50 in stores or online Friday, you’ll get a coupon for 20 percent off a purchase between Nov. 28 and Dec. 10.


  • Special webpage: Walmart Black Friday 2017 AD Deals
  • Thanksgiving hours: Stores will be open all day, with Black Friday deals starting at 6 p.m. Black Friday deals start online at 12:01 a.m. ET.
  • Black Friday hours: Deals continue in stores and online.

If you’re interested in the Black Friday sale of another retailer, just visit its website. By now, information about Black Friday deals and hours should be easy to find.

For more news on this Black Friday season as well as great gift ideas, monitor our 2017 holiday shopping season webpage.

What deals are you most interested in this week? Tell us about them below or over on our Facebook page.

Karla Bowsher
Karla Bowsher
I’m a freelance journalist and former newspaper reporter who has covered both personal and public finance. I've worked for a top 50 major metro daily and a community newspaper as well as ... More

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