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Black Friday FAQ
What is Black Friday?
Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving (November 28th this year) when most retailers traditionally have their biggest sales of the year, although you probably already knew that by now considering you found the site. For a more detailed history of Black Friday, see below.
Where are the sale ads?
The sale ads that we have will appear on the main Black Friday @ GottaDeal.com web site available at http://blackfriday.gottadeal.com. This site will provide lists of the ad items including links to the item pages on store web sites when available.
Where are the actual scanned ads?
Scanned versions of ads we've obtained in PDF format are available exclusively on our forum. If you don't already have one, you should register for an account on the forum to access these very popular scanned versions of the Black Friday ads. You can also view the full pages here on the main site.
When do the rumored ads start appearing?
We expect the first rumored ads to appear on the site in mid October. Although ads have started appearing earlier for the past few years, so anytime in October is fair game. If you or someone you know has access to the ads early, please contact us. If you can give us an exclusive look at the ad early, there is a good chance you'll be rewarded for your help.
When do the ads come in the newspaper?
Traditionally, the actual printed ads come with your newspaper on Thanksgiving Day, however in some areas they will be in the paper on Wednesday or on Black Friday itself. Check with your local newspaper if you need to know the exact date. Some retailers occasionally distribute their ads sooner, either with the newspaper or in the mail. Some stores have the ads at the actual stores days in advance of Black Friday as well.
How can I find out when new ads are posted?
Well, you can continue coming to the site every day to check, or we'll make it easy on you - just enter your e-mail address on this page. We will then e-mail you instantly every time we post a new ad on the site. You can also use our RSS feed (see the link at the bottom of the page) to follow the latest site news and updates. Finally, you can follow us on Twitter for the latest updates.
I saw an ad for a store a few days ago and now it's gone. What happened?
Every year a few retailers (or their lawyers), obviously void of any holiday spirit, may contact us and demand that their ad be removed from the site. In most cases, we comply with these requests (we'd rather run this site than deal with lawyers all day), and the ad will re-appear on the site a few days before Black Friday, if not sooner. The frequency of these legal threats has unfortunately increased recently.
I represent a store and I don't like your site posting our ad. What can I do?
We'd suggest that you first consider the free advertising this site is providing your store, as well as the potential bad press that would result from demanding that your ad is removed. However, if you'd still like to chat with us, please use the contact form on the site to drop us a line. If we're not too busy, we'll get back to you ;)
I represent a store and I'd love for your site to post our ad. What can I do?
Ah, we like you already :) If you represent a legitimate brick & mortar (offline) retailer, feel free to use the contact form on the site to send us information about your Black Friday plans. Please be sure to let us know you are the actual retailer and give us contact information should we have any questions. Of course we reserve the right to reject any ad for any reason.
Do retailers allow price matching or returning & rebuying for BF items?
Good question, however there is no set answer for this. Each retailer makes their own decisions and policies, and those can even change from year to year. Your best bet is to contact the retailer directly to get their price matching policy. Some stores that allow it during the year won't allow it during Black Friday. Different stores in different areas might have different policies as well. Our forum is a good place to find updated information on this issue because of the wealth of information we get from our members across the country.
What about price matching and layaway?
In the vast majority of cases, each store will set it's own policy regarding pricematching and layaway as it relates to Black Friday. Many times the stores' policies change year to year, so posting a new thread will not likely get you a confirmed answer. Therefore we suggest you contact your individual store to see what their policy will be, and then let us know what they say by posting on the forum.
When will my favorite store's Black Friday ad come out?
We have no idea when each ad will be leaked or released. Rest assured, as soon as it's available we'll post it and you'll know about it. OK, actually, we have all the ads in our possession right now. We just release them one at a time to build drama. So if you contact us asking when your favorite store's ad will be out, we'll move it to the end of the list. And yes, that was a joke :P
I might have access to an ad early. How do I share it with you?
We like you too :) If you or someone you know can get either the actual ad or a list of items, please submit that information using the submit ad form. You can either be completely anonymous, or let us know who you are for a possible reward.
Can I get these deals online?
Again, this varies on a store-by-store, and item-by-item basis. There is no way to know when or if a particular item will be available online at the BF price. As Black Friday gets closer, we will have a big page listing every single item we find that is available at the BF price or cheaper. We will make sure you are aware of this, so as long as you keep coming back to the site, you won't miss anything. Many of the items become available online beginning Thanksgiving Day.
Can you tell me more about a certain item?
If we don't have the scanned ad posted and the item is not linked to the store's web site, some good places to search for info are Google.com, PriceGrabber.com, and Amazon.com. Or check the forum - we have thousands of helpful members who might be able to give you some info about a certain item.
How can I help support the site?
We're glad you asked :) We don't want your money, we don't accept donations, we don't have annoying pop-up ads. If you appreciate what we are doing with the Black Friday site, the best thing you can do is just spread the word. Tell your family, friends and co-workers about it, post a link on other sites (without spamming) - anything to let others know about the site. Purchasing items online through links on the site also helps cover our costs.
Any other questions?
If you have any other questions, comments or suggestions about the site, use the contact form and we'll get back to you as soon as we can. Much more information is available on the forum. The forum is an invaluable source for the latest news, ads and discussion about all things Black Friday, so if you haven't registered yet, what are you waiting for?
A Brief History of Black Friday
The day after Thanksgiving is frequently referred to as "Black Friday". One of the major U.S. holiday shopping days, it is the day many U.S. consumers begin Christmas shopping. The day is heavily promoted by retailers. The origin of Black Friday comes from the shift to profitability during the holiday season. Black Friday was when retailers went from being unprofitable, or "in the red," to being profitable, or "in the black" - at a time when accounting records were kept by hand and red indicated loss and black profit. The day is not important just for traditional retailers. Black Friday is also a huge day for internet retailers. Last year online retailers saw a huge spike in sales as customers jumped online instead of into their cars. The numbers increased significantly in the last few years, and this year figures to be just as lucrative.
To make the most of Black Friday, your best bet is to use this web site, Black Friday @ GottaDeal.com, which provides a complete Black Friday web site every year. We have complete lists of the items rumored to be available, links to those items that are available online, customized shopping lists, and a very active message board on our forum dedicated just to Black Friday shopping. We are without a doubt the #1 source for Black Friday information each year, and 2014 should be even better with the great new features added to the site. The types of deals found on Black Friday vary from year to year. The past few years have seen the biggest discounts on electronics and computer items. Deals such as Blu-ray players for $49, home theater systems for $69 and laptop computers for well under $300 are very common on Black Friday. Holiday-specific items, such as trees and decorations are also available with big discounts on Black Friday. The first rumors of Black Friday items typically appear in early to middle October, and continue to roll in throughout October and November.
During the weeks prior to Black Friday, a few web sites receive advance copies of the ads (usually from store employees, or their friends and relatives. In the past, retailers have attempted to prevent the ad information from being leaked, but the vast majority of retailers have no problem and appreciate the free advertising given to them by these sites. The official Black Friday sale ads typically appear in most newspapers on Thanksgiving Day. Some retailers choose to release their ads earlier, either through the newspaper, direct mail or in-store distribution. Although Black Friday is typically the busiest shopping day of the year in terms of customer traffic, it is not typically the day with the highest sales volume. That is usually either the last Saturday before Christmas and/or December 23.
There are several tips for getting the best deals on Black Friday. First, the easiest strategy is to order items online in the days before Black Friday. We'll provide that information to you. Next, get to your desired stores early in the morning and take a list of what Black Friday items you are interested in. If possible, use a buddy system with friends or relatives so that some people take certain stores and others take the rest. Plan out your items so that you can get in and out of the store quickly. The sooner you get to the register, the better. Especially if you go when the stores open. Make sure to keep track of the timing of promotions as many deals are so-called "early birds" that may only be available for a few hours. Another great tip is to use the store's pricematching policy to your advantage. Find a store that will match a competitor's price, and save a trip to another store. Finally, another possible option is to purchase the item before Black Friday and then go back to the store to attempt to get a refund. This is now discouraged at most stores, but you may find some stores that will allow it.