How to Save Even More When Shopping Online for Black Friday Deals

woman at home shopping online
Eva Katalin Kondoros/Getty Images

It’s with a heavy heart that we inform you: Some news outlets are reporting the death of Black Friday.

But we can’t seem to dig up its official death certificate over here at Penny Hoarder HQ.

Maybe because the retail holiday isn’t totally dead; it’s just not as sparkly and exciting as it used to be.

Not as many folks are finding the appeal in camping out in the Best Buy parking lot or tackling some unsuspecting stranger to the ground for that snazzy TV.

This has to do with folks wanting, in part, to shop online while eating leftover turkey on their couch, sans pants. And yes, the digital deals are just as good these days, anyway.

Shopping Black Friday Online Deals? 4 Ways to Save More

That scene I described above… the one with the leftover turkey, the couch and the no pants thing… that’s me.

And, apparently, millions of other Americans, too. The National Retail Federation found that 3 million fewer folks shopped in stores on Thanksgiving weekend last year. Rather, 5 million more people shopped online.

Here are four ways I’m planning to save even more money this Black Friday weekend.

1. Drop It, Drop It Low (The Prices, Duh)

Where will you be shopping online this Black Friday? Think about it for a second.

For me, it’ll likely be Amazon, Nordstrom and Zappos.

OK, now download Drop, an app that automatically grants you points on all qualifying purchases. Let me walk you through how I signed up:

  1. Enter your phone number here. Drop will “drop” you a link via text.
  2. Download the app.
  3. Link your most-used debit or credit cards. This is what will trigger your accumulation of points, so you don’t even have to think about it.
  4. Select your five favorite retailers.

Done. Now say I shop Target online during Black Friday. Drop will automatically give me eight points per dollar spent.

Once I hit 10,000 points, I’ll be able to cash out for a $10 gift card.

2. Earn(y) Cash Back When Prices Fluctuate

Black Friday is supposed to be the day of lowest prices EVER, but we all know that’s a half-truth.

Say I’m planning to try to find some heavily discounted boots. Well, I buy them for $39.99. But a week after Black Friday, I find the price dropped another $5.

Instead of kicking myself, I’ve signed up for Earny. He’ll (err, the robot) will comb my receipts in my inbox and keep an eye on price drops. If… and when… that happens, Earny will contact the retailer and claim the difference for me. So if what I said above happens, I’ll snag $5.

It can find price drops with some big-name retailers like Walmart, Target, Nordstrom, Jet and, yes, Zappos.

3. Hunt Down Promo Codes

You might not have to do a ton of hunting for promo codes on Black Friday. Hopefully your favorite retailers promote those on their homepages.

If not, poke around and see if you can find something.

Try finding “Hot Deals” over at Ebates.

For example, at the time of this writing, I could snag 30% off anything from The Popcorn Factory. Or 10% off $35 at Barnes & Noble. Or try 25% off skincare products at Philosophy.

I prefer to search by store to make it easy (and so I don’t get roped in by other “ooooh shiny” deals).

4. Pocket Cash When Shopping Through Ibotta

At this point, I’ve done all the prep I’m going to do. Now, it’s time to shop.

If I’m buying anything from Amazon, Overstock, Target or Walmart, for example, I open my Ibotta app and shop through it.

Sure, it can be slightly annoying to shop through my mobile phone, but I usually find what I’m looking for on my laptop, then find it again after opening Ibotta.

Recently, I earned $1.14 on a one-item order from Amazon, $3.21 from and $1.49 at Overstock.

Since signing up in May, I’ve earned nearly $85 back on items I’d normally buy. So you betcha I’ll stack even more savings this upcoming Black Friday weekend. (Also because I’m in a race with co-workers to see who can save the most.)

Anyway, those are four of my favorite easy tips to help you save more money while shopping online during Black Friday. If you want even more, check out this post on saving (and making) money while shopping online.

Perhaps next year we’ll be eulogizing Black Friday. But for now, it’s still kickin’.

Carson Kohler (@CarsonKohler) is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder. You can find her powering through a turkey coma to find the best online deals this Black Friday.

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