Does Black Friday Matter Anymore?

As a singular day, not so much, but as a holiday season with abundant savings? Absolutely.
woman looks at question mark on forehead

The so-called "Black Friday creep" is definitely real, as the season has been growing longer and longer for several years now. But it accelerated starting in 2020 during the pandemic, with special events popping up as early as October. Because of that, many consumers are wondering, "Does Black Friday matter anymore?"

Read on to get the answer to that question and our reasoning behind it, plus our advice for planning ahead.

Does Black Friday Matter?

Sales Start Earlier Every Year

While we don't see many deals with the "Black Friday" label before November, the savings landscape isn't devoid of offers until then. In 2020, for example, Amazon held its Prime Day event in October due to pandemic-related issues; then in 2021, the retailer held another big sale that month. Now rumors are swirling about Amazon hosting yet another Prime Day event in October 2022.

Also consider how stores like Walmart and Sam's Club have held multiple events in the lead-up to Black Friday the past couple of years, and you can understand why we expect plenty of deals will pop up in October.

Good Deals Are Available All Season Long

When the Black Friday season started to stretch a couple of years ago — and even before then — many shoppers wondered if early deals would be good, or if it was better to hold off shopping until around Black Friday itself. While it used to be true that the offers leading up to the holiday functioned more for hype and less for savings, that's not the case anymore.

Black Friday preview deals show up days or even weeks before the holiday itself now. And then when Thanksgiving rolls around, we often see those same deals return.

These days, we see Black Friday preview deals days or even weeks before the holiday itself. And then when Thanksgiving rolls around, we see some of those same exact deals return. As long as the savings were notable to begin with, that means the good deals retailers were promising were great right from the start. There's no reason to think this year will be any different either — when the offers start popping up, it's worth your time to check them out right away.

You Don't Have to Wait Until Black Friday to Shop

Given the longer Black Friday season and the noteworthy deals showing up right from the start, you don't have to wait until Black Friday itself to do your shopping.

You can expect a lot of other folks to get an early start, too. The National Retail Federation and Adobe noted last year how consumers were shopping earlier in the season, taking advantage of early holiday promotions going on before Thanksgiving, and not waiting for the discounts happening on major shopping days like Black Friday.

Our own DealNews poll from early November last year demonstrated this trend. Out of the 856 respondents, 25% said they started their 2021 Black Friday shopping before November, and 50% said they would start their shopping in November, before Black Friday.

SEE ALSO: Is Black Friday Worth It? Here's How You're Doing Black Friday Wrong

But you should plan ahead even for early shopping. And if you haven't started yet, now's a good time to prepare. It's best to create a list of items you're going to be shopping for during the Black Friday season. That list could go on paper or a shared spreadsheet, or be in some other format that works for you. Note what you're hoping to buy and where, and what price you're hoping to pay.

If you want to be very judicious about your planning, you can also research the items you're interested in now to see what prices are like. Then, when the deals are being released, it'll be easier to quickly determine if the offer you're seeing is real or a dud.

So, Does Black Friday Matter Anymore?

As a season, yes, Black Friday absolutely still matters. As a singular day of shopping, though? We here at DealNews think it's safe to say that no, the day itself doesn't matter anymore.

Not only do great deals show up long before the holiday itself now, but retailers provide online access to snag these savings. It goes to show how Black Friday has changed immensely from where it was even a decade ago.

Julie Ramhold
Senior Staff Writer/Consumer Analyst

Julie's work has been featured on CNBC, GoBankingRates, Kiplinger, Marketwatch, Money, The New York Times, Real Simple, US News, WaPo, WSJ, Yahoo!, and more. She's extolled the virtues of DealNews in interviews with Cheddar TV, GMA, various podcasts, and affiliates across the United States, plus one in Canada.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).


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