Although Black Friday and Cyber Monday are known for offering the best deals, a new crop of shopping days are presenting even better discounts. Here's when you should shop to get the best bargains of the season.
According to DealNews, "National Deal Week" is something to look out for this year. It begins on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and runs through the Wednesday after Cyber Monday. What does it mean for your wallet? Well, during this time you'll find competitive online sales from major retailers like Toys "R" Us and NewEgg.com, just to name a few.
And while most of us will be spending Thanksgiving with our families and loved ones, you might want to dip out of dinner a little early. This season, Thanksgiving is predicted to be a huge day for discounts, topping Black Friday in terms of holiday sales.
Brick-and-mortar retailers like Macy's and JC Penney will be opening their doors for the first time ever on the holiday to get in on the retail action. However, if you prefer to stay with the family and shop online, look for Amazon, Best Buy and Kohl's to feature some of their best deals of the year on Thanksgiving. You'll be able to cash in on savings without leaving the comfort of home.
If you'd rather wait a little longer to shop for the holidays, look out for Green Monday in December. According to eBay, this second Monday of December has posted the best online sales day of the month with retailers like Target and Sears offering up to 90 percent off the most popular gift items.
That's some serious savings. So, once you're ready to shop, keep these dates in mind to get in on all of the deals you can before the holidays.
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Black Friday is an excellent time to buy a new TV, as we predict a variety of size categories will hit their lowest price points. But don't expect the best deals to be tagged with name brands. Typically, the rock-bottom prices apply to third-tier manufacturers; brand-name TVs tend to see their best price of the year in late December as manufacturers look to clear stock before revealing 2014 models.
There's no shortage of digital camera deals around Black Friday, but premium current-generation cameras are just a few months away from being replaced by a new line of 2014 models. If you're eyeing a brand new digital SLR, we recommend waiting until after CES and into February for 2013 cameras to become "old," and thus receive aggressive discounts from retailers.
For those of you looking to get a leg up on any fitness New Year's resolutions, you should resolve to wait to buy any fitness equipment. During Black Friday weekend 2012, we listed just two Editors' Choice fitness deals, while December and January each saw more than five times that amount on a variety of gear including heart rate monitors, ab machines, ellipticals, and yoga equipment.
While we don't know anyone who doesn't appreciate a seasonal throw blanket, we don't recommend giving them as gifts this year unless you've got a stock of them in the closet from last season. Not only does holiday decor get cheaper after the holiday in question, but bedding and blankets fall to their lowest prices of the year come January and February during "White Sales," which have been a colorful tradition since the 1950s.
Perhaps better received than throw blankets, gift baskets and wine subscriptions are especially popular during the holidays. But as the giver, you'll get a better deal on specialty foods (i.e. Omaha Steak gift bundles, fruit baskets, and assorted baked goods) if you wait until December; last year we saw twice as many Editors' Choice deals close to Christmas than around Thanksgiving.
If you have your sights set on a trip to California or Florida, by all means purchase airfare around Black Friday and even closer to Christmas; last year we saw up to 50 percent off coupons from Frontier, JetBlue, and Virgin America. However, if it's an international getaway you're after, we advise you to hold off on booking your flight until the new year. Last year, we saw zero Editors' Choice airfare deals between Thanksgiving and New Year's. But in the first two months of the year, Air Canada offered the lowest base rate we'd seen for flights to Toronto; JetBlue took 80 percent off select flights to the Caribbean; and Lufthansa offered roundtrip fares to Europe for $471.