How to thrive on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Last Updated August 2020

With so many companies participating in Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the markdowns. But don’t start panicking just yet.

We know how stressful this time of year can get, which is why we’re sharing our favorite tips and tricks for  shopping success this holiday season.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday may be the two of the most hectic shopping days of the year, but if you follow these seven guidelines, we promise your holiday shopping season will be easy. 


There are certain tips and tricks you should know for conquering Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

1. Get wishlists early

Shopping for loved ones can be stressful, especially when you don’t know what’s on their wishlist. We suggest reaching out to everyone on your list well ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This way you’ll be sure to get them something they love and you don’t have to worry about what to get them later in the season. And just in case, don’t forget to get gift receipts.

2. Give your shopping list a digital makeover

A paper shopping list can be a liability this time of year. If you don’t lose it, you may leave it on the kitchen counter where prying loved ones can sneak a peek. Online checklists like, Google Keep, or the Notes application on your iPhone can be convenient places to store your holiday shopping list. Some applications even offer a feature that draws a line through completed items. For tech savvy families, start a shared Google Keep list where everyone writes down their wishlist items, that way everyone knows what to get one another.

3. Start shopping the night before

While it’s called Black “Friday”, the truth is, a lot of sales start the night before, usually around 9 p.m. (or earlier). So if you can stay up late, you’ll save a lot of early-bird stress (and snatch up hot buys before they run out).

4. Shop online

Why even leave your warm, quiet home to venture out into the masses of people, traffic, and tired clerks? Almost all major retailers offer the same deals online, with an option for fast, often free, shipping to your home, or free pickup in store within a few days of placing your order (hint: Pick up your orders on Saturday morning before all the weary Black Friday shoppers are up and moving).

5. Check CamelCamelCamel before you buy

There are a lot of amazing deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but not every markdown is as stellar as it appears. Before making a big purchase we suggest visiting a site like CamelCamelCamel. These sites tracks the price of items at e-commerce stores like Amazon and help consumers find the lowest prices. And don’t forget, you can always consult to see our picks.

6. Make a wish list (and stick to it)

The online retailers with the best sales (Amazon, Target, Best Buy, etc.) offer a list feature that allows you to save all the products you want to buy. A couple days before the sales hit, go to the site, add gifts to your cart, and you’re done. When you return to the site you can see if an item is on sale and how much the price dropped. This trick should also help you stick to your list, as least for your  first round of shopping.

7. Realize you still have plenty of time and opportunity to shop

You can’t possibly nab every great deal, and chances are something you want either won’t be marked down enough to warrant purchase, or it’ll go out of stock. Relax – you still have a couple weeks. Sales will continue and, when all is said and done, the best gifts aren’t bought in stores. If it’s too stressful, save the shopping for another day. Your loved ones will understand.