New York Daily NewsThese days retailers want you to think earlier and earlier about Black Friday shopping. The folks at Dealnews.com think about this stuff all the time. Last year they saw the first Black Friday ad leak in September.
"So the season is nearly upon us. And as many savvy shoppers have probably observed, retailers are keen on releasing special sales and promotions in the lead up to one of the biggest shopping weekends of the year."
Are these pre-Black Friday sales as good as those on Black Friday itself? When are the best days to shop for deals during the Black Friday season? Dealnews.com looked at their Editors' Choice deals from the past two years to find out when exactly retailers release their best discounts — and the results may be surprising.
Thanksgiving Day Has Better Deals Than Black Friday
For each day during October through December in 2011 and 2012, Dealnews.com noted what percentage of deals were marked Editors' Choice; this label indicates an exceptional deal, either deemed as such because it is the best of the year, an all-time low price, or a rare discount. (Editors' Choice offers are the filet mignon of deals, if you will.)
"We then matched the percentage values from 2011 and 2012 based on the day of the week, rather than numerical date, and averaged them." (The results were then plotted in the chart that accompanies this story.)
Deals throughout Q4 pale compared to those found during National Deal Week, which starts on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and ends on the following Wednesday of Cyber Monday. While the percentage of Editors' Choice deals inches up throughout early November, on the whole, this time frame doesn't see a significantly higher number of deals than October. This all changes starting on Thanksgiving.
"Thanksgiving Day in both 2011 and 2012 saw the highest percentage of Editors' Choice deals throughout the season, with a combined average of 36%. Thanksgiving Day even beat out Black Friday itself, which clocked in at 32.5% Editors' Choice. Perhaps more surprising though is that even the Sunday before Cyber Monday topped Black Friday, albeit by a very small margin: 33% of all deals were Editors' Choice. That Sunday also thoroughly crushed Cyber Monday, the latter of which saw the lowest percentage of Editors' Choice deals of the four days, coming in at 27.5%."
Stores Release Black Friday Deals Early
The days preceding Black Friday and Cyber Monday are better for sheer volume of top-shelf deals. This is likely due to the fact that retailers are releasing Black Friday deals early in an attempt to trump the competition.
"Some of the deals we've listed on Thanksgiving, for example, have been offers that were originally advertised as Black Friday deals in retailer ads, and for whatever reason, were released a day in advance. Considering the fact that we've seen Amazon seemingly poach discounts from such leaked ads, then lower their own prices accordingly, it's not surprising that stores would open their doors early to keep customers from going elsewhere."
Deal Week Is Not All About Thanksgiving
You might take from this that the only day worth shopping on is Thanksgiving. If all you care about is getting a hands-down fantastic price on anything, then Thursday is your target shopping day. Since most shoppers enter the season with some specific purchases in mind, you should carefully observe deals throughout the season in order to find the best price; just because there are more Editors' Choice deals on Thanksgiving doesn't mean they're necessarily the ones that you specifically want.