The Definitive Shopper’s Guide to Online Black Friday Deals

By Kay FleuryUpdated on March 11, 2022

Tech Life Unity independently reviews everything we recommend. When you buy something after clicking on a link to another website, we may earn a commission. Learn More

Black Friday is always such a big deal – but why? This year, sales are starting even sooner than ever! How did the prominence of online shopping turn Black Friday into an event that everyone needs to hop in front of their laptop for? We’re going to answer all of your Black Friday-related questions.

We’ll give you the best tips you need to ensure you’re actually saving money this year, and know the best websites to shop on.

What is covered in this article

Read on to make sure you make the best choices this Black Friday, and don’t get caught up in phony deals and discounts!

What and when is Black Friday, and why do businesses offer discounts?

Interior of a large mall

Black Friday is the day that follows American Thanksgiving each year, during which retailers offer promotional deals and sales, and typically offer longer shopping hours at physical store locations to mark the beginning of the holiday shopping season. Black Friday takes place on November 23rd in 2018.

Because many retailers change their store hours specifically for Black Friday, it can start as early as 12:00 a.m. on the 23rd, and end as late as 2:00 a.m. on Saturday morning.

Woman riding mall escalator with full shopping bags

Depending on the type of business, there are various reasons why a business would offer Black Friday promotions. It helps to convince people to make purchases for their holiday shopping at their store rather than at others, and helps sell off summer/fall inventory before the winter shopping season.

Black Friday deals are also a great way to get customers interested in a retailer’s products before the holidays, as the month of December is often a month within which many consumers spend a lot of their money.

5 tips for getting the best Black Friday deals

If you’re going to put in the work of shopping on Black Friday, you need to know how to get the deals. Here are 5 tips for making sure you actually save money while shopping on Black Friday.

1. Don’t start this process on Black Friday – start earlier.

If you’re waking up that morning and just browsing through sites, you probably won’t come out of Black Friday having saved any money at all. Make a list of the products you know you want to buy, so you don’t get sidetracked when looking through websites. Think of a budget you want to stick to, and what you would be willing to pay for items you want, but don’t really need. daily deals and offerings

2. Use a “deal alert” website as a starting point.

Online deal alert websites such as are great starting points to save you hours of browsing through site after site looking for the perfect deal. These websites will let you search for products, and see if any website is offering a deal on the typical retail price.

3. Know what you want to buy beforehand and check the prices.

You’ll also want to make note of the prices of the items you want most weeks before Black Friday; just because a website advertises something as a deal, it doesn’t mean that it is! You’ll want to know the prices of the main things you’re looking for beforehand, and focus on the key things you want to buy so you don’t end up filling up your online cart with a bunch of things you don’t really need. You’ll also know not to spend more money than you should if the advertised price isn’t really that low.

4. Give yourself time to compare products on multiple websites.

If you have the time, once you find something you like, make sure you check out its price on multiple sites. You don’t want to just buy the first thing you see, because if it’s a popular item this year, it might be offered even cheaper on another website that is trying to be competitive. There’s no harm in quickly searching the price of the same item on multiple sites.

5. Always make sure you are using a secure, encrypted website.

Secure webpage URL prefix

There is no point to saving a ton of money on Black Friday if you get taken for an online scam. Make sure you are using only websites with proper SSL encryption, and don’t give away your personal information to an unsecure source. Make sure you see the “lock” image in the page URL when paying, and that your payment page begins with the prefix: https (the extra “s” means “secure”).

5 sites that always offer amazing Black Friday discounts

These websites are some of the biggest retailers that offer the best Black Friday deals this year in 2017. If you want to find some more of your own, check out websites like this one that show you individual items on sale at specific stores. You can also try Googling “best black Friday deals” to find great sites that list sales for you!

1. Walmart

Walmart logo has a little bit of everything for you and your home, and they are notorious for bringing it during Black Friday. You can get great deals in any department, which is great for anything missing from your home, and for your holiday shopping for any person.

2. Amazon

Amazon logo is one of the biggest online retailers, and offers you everything, as they would say, “from A to Z!” You can find virtually anything, for prices often lower than what you find in retail stores, and discounted even further thanks to Black Friday. Many of Amazon’s biggest alternatives also offer great Black Friday discounts!

3. Best Buy

Best Buy logo sells the best in electronics and home entertainment, and generally goes crazy on Black Friday. They offer amazing deals, and since items there are generally a bit more expensive, it’s great to get a deal.

4. Target

Target logo is another great retailer that offers Black Friday deals and discounts on many household items, including clothing. If you want an amazing deal on everyday items you purchase anyway, check out Target on Black Friday

5. Newegg

Newegg logo

You’re shopping online – that probably means you are tech savvy. If you’re into tech gadgets, is the website for you. It has everything you can think of from Assassins Creed Origins to the Z370 Intel Gaming Computer Motherboard!

5 questions to ask on Black Friday to know if you’re getting a good deal

Before you click that “Buy” button, ask yourself these few questions. You won’t regret how much money you save!

1. What price is listed based on a cursory search?

Once you find something you think is a good deal, do a quick search on other websites for the same item and see what price they are offering. There’s a chance you may be able to find it for an even lower price!

2. What was the price two weeks ago?

If you had the time to look for the items you were interested in before Black Friday, make sure to note the prices. That way, you’ll know for sure if the price the website is advertising is a deal you should jump on.

3. Would you pay this price on a normal day?


Think carefully about this question, because it takes more thought than you might originally think. When a business advertises a sale, and especially when they tell you how much money you’re saving, it can make you think you’re saving more money than you actually are. If you think that’s roughly the same price you’d pay for that item on any other day, then it may not be as amazing of a Black Friday deal as advertised.

4. Are you only getting this deal if you’re buying other things you don’t need?

If the website you’re shopping on requires you to buy multiple items to receive a discount, then chances are you aren’t actually saving money. In fact, you’re probably spending more money than you originally intended.

5. What do you have to pay for shipping?

So you see a good deal, but are you paying more than $10 for shipping? If so, then the website has likely jacked up the price of their shipping fees to compensate for some of the discounts they are giving you. Make sure you’re not being taken for a ride, and know what the shipping costs are going to be before you start browsing the deals.

Other great resources for finding the best prices online

Now you’re a Black Friday pro – and you’re all set to master your shopping this holiday season. If you want some more tips, check out these helpful articles:

19 Bargain Shopping Sites Cheaper than eBay

These 19 sites can get you items cheaper than on eBay. Make sure you’re making use of new sites and apps that can save you a lot more money!

Best 8 Sites like Ebates for Getting Cash Back While Shopping Online

Ebates gives you money just for shopping! You’re doing that anyway – might as well get some cash back while you’re spending it…

The Best of Online Shopping Tips and Tricks

Our collection of articles on everything related to online shopping can help you find new great sites and apps to use, and give you hints on how to save money on all of them!

The Most Convenient Online Stores for Christmas Shopping

These websites will help you find the best presents for everyone on your list. Don’t leave it until the last minute!

The Master List of the Best Shopping Apps

This giant list of shopping apps (sorted into categories) will help you find the perfect place to do your Black Friday shopping, depending on what you need.