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How to navigate the biggest shopping event of the year

If your holiday traditions include presents, then 2020 is definitely the year to have a shopping plan. Holiday spending reportedly hovers around $1,000 for the average American. In a year in dire need of joy, giving thoughtful gifts is one way to do that. What’s more, this is probably the one time of year that malls are guaranteed to be packed, which counteracts with the worsening pandemic at hand. However, we can be smart and safe, ensuring the health of both our bodies and bank accounts.

With Black Friday approaching and Cyber Monday following in its footsteps, we can make use of online shopping, curbside pickup and the year’s greatest deals. If you decide to attend in-person, consider your community’s local COVID-19 levels, act with precaution and try to shop when crowds are likely to be smaller. There is no reason to put lives in jeopardy when you can also be a saving superstar from your home.  

Black Friday: Finding deals from major retailers

Laptops: our most powerful shopping tools!


The sale is on! November 22 through November 28, Target will have deals both in store and online. Your favorite place to peruse for items you don’t need (with iced coffee in hand!) will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, but opens at 7 a.m. on Black Friday. Kitchen items, headphones (yes, even Beats!), video games, and toys are up to 50 percent off. TVs, boots and sweaters are 30 percent off, just in time for cozy season. Some exciting selects: Dyson’s Slim Ball Animal Upright Vacuum runs for $199.99 (regularly $349.99) and a Jetson Sphere Hoverboard comes in at $89.99 (regularly $149.99). Round out your winter meal needs with a Crock-Pot for just $10! 


Though the tech giant will mark down prices on several of its products, you’re likely to get a better deal from another retailer. However, Apple’s four-day shopping event, which starts Friday, offers buyers up to a $150 Apple with purchase of eligible products. To boil it down: the bigger the purchase, the more money on your gift card. For example, with an Apple Watch Series 3 purchase, you’ll receive a $25 gift card versus $150 for a Macbook Pro. Apple is also offering no-contact delivery and free personal engraving. 

Best Buy

Your go-to brick and mortar store for electronics has had deals all month long. Almost all of Best Buy’s Black Friday deals became available yesterday, though new offers will kick in on its website on Thanksgiving Day. It will have limited in-store capacity come November 27 and opens at 5 a.m. after being closed all day for the holiday. “Cyber Deals” begins on Saturday, November 28. Looking to invest in a virtual companion? The Amazon Echo Dot (AKA Alexa) is now available for just $18.99. Other highlights include Samsung’s 70-inch 4K smart TV for $529 (a $229 savings) and Beats wireless earphones for $159.

Bed Bath and Beyond

Following in line with many retailers this year, Bed Bath and Beyond will be closed on Thanksgiving and opens on Black Friday at 6 a.m. It currently offers free shipping on order over $19 and up to 40 percent off on select items. Some items fare better than others (forgo their Amazon Echo Dot Deal for Best Buy’s), but this is a good time to consider buying the appliances you’ve been eyeing all year. Is it finally time to upgrade your coffee maker with being home so much? Consider their Nespresso (complete with a milk frother) for $153.99, a $66 savings. To change things up even more in the kitchen, there are two types of air fryers from Ninja available for $169.99. For better sleep during a particularly anxiety-ladden year, the 12-pound Therapedic weighted cooling blanket is currently $20 off for $99.99. 


Your go-to delivery site kicked off its deals this week. Get ready for surprises because Amazon releases new deals every hour. It’s a fine line decision: do you wait for possibly a better sale price or do you buy before the item runs out? As of Monday night, Bose noise-cancelling headphones with Alexa voice control are retailing for $199— a $100 savings. You can also snag Sennheiser’s noise cancelling headphones for under $200. A variety of Amazon devices are running for up to 47 percent off, including televisions and Fire Sticks. 


When you think of typical Black Friday chaos, it’s hard not to imagine the numerous videos of shoppers stampeding Walmart. Maybe this year we change that tradition? The retail behemoth, known for its discounted prices, has had different rounds of savings throughout November, with the final sale running November 25 through 27. Stores will be closed Thanksgiving, but open on Black Friday at 5 a.m. Top deals include Apple AirPods for $169 ($80 saving), Oculus Quest 2 headset for $299, PlayStation 5 console for $499, TVs starting at $88, Shark Rocket Pro Cordless Stick Vacuum for $149 ($100 savings) and a Nintendo Switch bundle with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe at $299 (same price as just the console).

Small Business Saturday 

As our economy reels from the impact of the pandemic, supporting small businesses has a weighty importance this gift-giving season. As we score deals from retail titans, Small Business Saturday is a good of time as ever to consider putting funds toward the United States’ 32 million independent businesses. You can peruse local retailers who are operating in-person with proper COVID-19 protocols or you can search American Express’ portal to find small businesses in your area. Lots of artists and local sellers also operate on Instagram and Etsy. If you’re not spending big bucks this year, you can always support by liking or commenting on a social media post, telling a friend about your favorite small businesses or writing a review on Yelp or Google.  Now is also a good time to support your favorite bands, artists and local music venues by buying merchandise they would have otherwise had the opportunity to sell while on tour.  

Giving Tuesday

When the shopping frenzy has settled, Giving Tuesday arrives on December 1. Since 2012, the global movement has aimed to inspire people to give, collaborate, volunteer and celebrate generosity. Just in 2019, Giving Tuesday raised $511 million online in the U.S., contributing to a total of $1.97 billion worldwide on and offline. We can carry Thanksgiving’s spirit of gratitude by finding local organizations in need of support, contributing to mutual aid fundraisers on sites like GoFundMe and encouraging others to participate via social media. Learn about more Giving Tuesday communities in the U.S. here. 

Haley Bosselmanhttps://haleybosselman.wordpress.com/
Haley Bosselman is the former editor-in-chief of Culturas. She holds degrees in journalism from Arizona State University and the University of Southern California. Based in Los Angeles, she writes about arts, entertainment and culture.
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