Everything You Need To Know About Black Friday 2021: Dates, Times, & Deals

Black Friday 2021

The countdown to Black Friday 2021 is on — and there will be many chances to save. While Black Friday is always the day after Thanksgiving, this year it falls pretty late in November: Friday, November 26, to be exact. From now until then, we’re covering everything, and we mean everything, you need to know to snag the best items for every person on your shopping list. As more Black Friday deals launch, we’ll be curating the best ones here, so keep checking back, and bookmark this page so you can stay on top of the latest news about all of the best Black Friday deals.

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Everything You Need To Know About Black Friday 2021

When is Black Friday?

Black Friday 2021 will take place on Friday, November 26, the day after Thanksgiving. But, since last year many of the Black Friday sales started well before the actual day, you can count on this year’s deals starting earlier too.

What time does Black Friday start?

While Black Friday has historically kicked off in the early morning hours on the Friday following Thanksgiving Day, this year the shopping spree is starting much, much earlier — especially with online retailers. Thanksgiving falls fairly late in the month, making the holiday season even more condensed, and with supply chain issues, shoppers are looking to get their holiday lists checked off sooner (to avoid that must-have toy not making it under the tree at all). Thus, Black Friday deals are heating up already and it promises to be a holiday shopping season like no other.

In fact, some retailers and websites have already launched promotions, like Walmart's Deals For Days event that's taking place online and in-store like it did last year (although with new early-access perks for Walmart+ members). Amazon is also kicking off the festivities with its shockingly good Early Deals, which will continue offering major discounts throughout the season.

As for when Black Friday Deals end, there’s not really a hard stop because Cyber Monday 2021 begins just three days later. Many industry experts predict that these two days will start to merge into a continuous shopping spree that culminates the week after Thanksgiving.

When do Black Friday ads come out?

Several major retailers have already started to release ads and/or dedicated websites for Black Friday deals in October, such as Best Buy, Target, Macy’s, and more. However, it's likely that many more ads will be coming out throughout the month of November. And as mentioned above, Amazon, the mega e-retailer, will be gearing up with early holiday sales leading up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

What are the best things to buy on Black Friday?

Usually, the best things to buy are the pricier items that are not as steeply discounted at any other time of the year. That means anything from name-brand kitchen appliances and smart home devices to video gaming consoles, smartphones, laptops, and fitness trackers. Even Apple products tend to be discounted.

Of course, beyond all of the big-ticket tech products, there are also plenty of fantastic deals on clothing and home goods, beauty products, the season’s hot toys, car seats, strollers, and other big-ticket baby items.

But for Black Friday 2021 — which, of course, is taking place as shoppers continue to contend with the COVID-19 pandemic — you might want to stock up on things that'll fuel your loved one’s newfound hobbies. Whether that’s home decor to top off a newly renovated home office or more puzzles, because your partner is now a complete jigsaw fan, there are sure to be deals to delight this season.

Where are the best places to shop on Black Friday?

Amazon is always a great place to focus your shopping attention online, thanks to the speedy shipping and great — sometimes even jaw-droppingly great — prices. And just like Amazon Prime Day, the key to being successful is by staying on top of the deals as they go live because many of them are limited time (even more so when they are part of a lightning deal) and limited quantity.

(Note: If you aren't an Amazon Prime Member, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial and make your holiday shopping easier than ever.)

If you’re looking for toys or other popular gifts for kids, Walmart and Target tend to run very similar deals. Besides LEGO, Nerf, Paw Patrol, Marvel, Disney, LeapFrog, Barbie, and all of the other biggest name brands, you can also expect to find decent discounts on gadgets, electronics and gaming devices, including Nintendo Switch, Apple products, and smartphones.

Of course, if tech gadgets are the very top of your list this year, you may want to consider shopping at Best Buy where there will be a heavy focus on TVs, laptops, Samsung Galaxy phones, iPhones, headphones, and video games, and gaming consoles.

If it’s beauty, makeup, and/or skincare products you’re after, you can check out Sephora and Ulta for great stocking stuffers for your loved ones (and maybe yourself too). And for clothes, you can visit Nordstrom's online store, which is known for having killer deals around the holidays that everyone will appreciate.

Is it better to shop online or in-store on Black Friday?

Many of the Black Friday sales will be available both in-store and online — especially this year. Many brick-and-mortar stores are expected to amp up their virtual sales so shoppers can stock up on holiday essentials from the comforts of their living rooms. However, there will definitely be in-person sales taking place, and you'll have to decide what feels right for you.

Cyber Monday, on the other hand, is known for its over-the-top virtual sales. So if you're loving the cozy at-home shopping, rest assured more will be featured just a few days later — and you can order them without giving a second thought to things like crowds or inclement weather.

Online shopping and Thanksgiving leftovers for days sounds pretty great, doesn't it?

How to get the best deals on Black Friday?

In order to get the best deals on Black Friday, the key is to go in knowing what’s on your list. Prioritize the must-have items at the top and be prepared to do some price comparisons. Have multiple tabs open in your Web browser for lightning-fast price checks across big-box retailers. Many stores will be offering up good deals, but it’s always thrilling to find a deal that is truly too good to believe. Consider loading up your online cart ahead of time (if the store will let you) or creating a wishlist so you can easily check out in a matter of minutes.

This would also be a great backup plan for in-store shoppers who may have missed out on a doorbuster — use your phone to locate the same (or a similar) product online or at another retailer altogether.