We are now in the midst of Black Friday week (not day), during a topsy-turvy pandemic year when everything is upside down.
So should you shop Wednesday night, Thanksgiving, or Friday, the traditional big shopping day in malls?
It all depends on what you are looking for, and where you prefer to shop.
The big sale day will look very different this year, with almost all major retailers closed Thanksgiving night. No more day-long lines to grab a 65-inch TV at half price.
But that makes timing Black Friday tough. So we scanned the ads to find some of the key times for deals.
So you should browse their ads and sites early and often.
Wednesday night deals
At Walmart, the key time to start shopping is Wednesday at 7 pm, the night before Thanksgiving.
That's when Walmart's hottest deals go online, such as 70-inch TVs for below $500.
Note that its electronics deals are online only this year, not in-store.
Thanksgiving Day deals
At Kohl's, they will launch a virtual Black Friday sale at 11 pm Wednesday that will run all day Thursday.
While Kohl's may not always have the lowest price, its bonus Kohl's Cash often makes their deal better than anyone else's on similar items.
Best Buy started its sale last Sunday, but promises more items popping up Thursday.
Black Friday traditionalists will still want to shop Friday, either in store or online.
If you want kitchen gadgets, like blenders, air fryers, and the new Instant Pot Duo, Thursday and Friday will bring the biggest sales.
Plus, on Friday you will be able to shop in store at Macy's, JC Penney, Target, Kohl's and more for home goods (though note that stores will be limiting crowds, so you may have to wait in the parking lot).
Buy this the moment you find it
But from the doesn't that stink file, there are two items you should buy the instant you find it, never mind that it's not on sale.
We're talking Microsoft's new XBox Series S and Sony's new PlayStation 5, which have sold out instantly
The PS5 is now selling for as much as $1,600 on eBay.
The XBox is going for $800 to well over $1,000. Doesn't that stink?
If you see one at the list price of $499 at a store website, grab it.
Walmart promises to put them online in limited batches starting Wednesday at 7 pm, while Gamestop promises a few in each store early Friday morning.
You can wait for clothing and toys
Finally, if you are shopping for clothing or toys, don't worry. Prices usually drop around December 15th, so you have plenty of time.
That way, you don't waste your money.
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