Black November & Savings Gone Wild

‘Tis the giving season!

I love a good deal, and I know you do too!

Who doesn’t?

(Hold on... before reading more... be sure to check out the audio version of this blog.)

I interviewed a prior interviewee (the last interview was about raising a family as an educator), Christine Potts, from the Facebook group, Bargain Buddies, about finding the best deals on Black Friday, and Cyber Monday.

Let’s imagine what Black Friday in the days gone by would look like: a long line of people wrapped up tight against the cold waiting for the special gift they wanted to purchase. Now you have the choice of shopping online.

Personally, I drew the line when it became “Black middle of the night Friday”. I also never liked the idea of standing in line.

However, Christine says things have changed.

Let’s see how much!

What does Black Friday look like today?

Christine told me that Black Friday has morphed over the last couple of years into an entire month of deals. Now it’s “Black November”. The new challenge for businesses is to win your dollars.

Everywhere you turn there are sales and discounts. Every day brings a new deal. Christine thinks of it as a firework show that goes all month, then we have the finale (Black Friday).

What kind of deals are out there?



Gift cards

Home goods

Annual passes

Look for the first signs of the great deals to come!

Get Your Game Plan On

Make a list and be sure to check it twice…

That’s because what interested your children a few months ago may change before you go shopping! Christine’s game plan is to start buying for her children in November.

It’s a win-win, because their interests will still be current, and you can find a good deal at the same time!

Christine admires the people who plan ahead and shop early. However, she was cringing when she told me about all the lost deals. She was quick to point out that a lot of prices drop in November, and there might be additional discounts by Black Friday or Cyber Monday.

That’s especially true if the product has been out for a while. She said your best bet is to compare prices. When most items are considered “seasoned”, meaning they’ve been out for a few years, you’ll see the prices drop.

The exception is the toys. There aren’t as many price drops around the holidays. Those typically occur in the summer.

Does your child have a summer birthday?

You’ll be in luck for a good deal at that time!

Online Shopping

Can you find better deals online?

Will the merchandise I want to buy be available?

Believe it or not...some people like the experience of hands-on shopping, complete with standing in line. Then there are people like myself, who would rather order online.

It’s a pick your poison kind of deal:

Real traffic or virtual traffic

Wait in line or wait at home

Christine confirms that anything you want to buy in a store can be found online. You might even come out with a better deal. There are even deals on shipping. That adds to the savings!

Cyber Monday

First, it was Black Friday, now it’s Cyber Monday.

Which one has better deals? What online tools should you use for better online savings?

True to the concept of cyber, Cyber Monday, has a better variety of vendors. There is another difference.

It’s relatively common for free shipping to be an incentive at Amazon or Target.

However, other vendors jump into the fray on Cyber Monday (sometimes with no minimum). Places like Shutterfly.

Christine couldn’t give me a definitive answer on which shopping day was better. She has found great deals on both Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

She calls it “Black Friday” and “Black Friday the Sequel”.

She explains that everything doesn’t go on sale Black Friday. There is actually more opportunity for things to go on sale on Cyber Monday.

What tools are there for better savings?

  • Look for free shipping

  • Rewards programs

  • Cashback options

  • Discount codes

  • Promos

There are some ways to combine these, such as look for a store deal, and combine it with a discount code.

Here’s a little secret that Christine shared, it’s something fun that Amazon does: lightning deals. They are random online specials throughout the day. There are a lot of those on Cyber Monday.

Just keep in mind that if you have something in your cart, Amazon won’t alert you when a lightning event is happening.

Christine’s List

What deals are on the top of Christine’s list?

I wanted to know what she plans to buy during “Black November”!

She explained that her excitement comes from seeing discounts on gift cards. It’s a good deal when you're buying a gift card for less money than the gift card is worth. What would a gift card deal look like?

You pay $40 for a $50 dollar gift. You can even make it a better deal and save even more by going into that store to use the card alongside a coupon or during a sale in the store.

You might see this type of deal in stores--or those Amazon lightning deals that we mentioned!

There are also annual passes to Legoland, she specifically mentioned that for several years Costco offers an annual pass for $115 (an entire year), plus they had a coupon which dropped it down to $95 for a whole year (for both the regular park and the water park).

Christine mentioned that she books the LegoLand hotel on Cyber Monday, and she got a great deal. She also finds wonderful saving for Great Wolf Lodge.

She said her local waterpark had deals in November, so you might look into your own local water parks and zoos.

Do you see the trend here?

We’ve given you a road map to savings in Black November.

We would love to hear your thoughts on your Black November shopping experiences. Be sure

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