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Tricks to save big on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

  • Black Friday is losing its luster as online shopping gains steam, but there are still deals to be had.
  • Here's how to make the most of the shopping holiday.

Forget getting up at dawn, or even skipping out on the pumpkin pie so you can queue up at Best Buy — this year, the deals are just as good online.

This is also the first year that holiday shoppers will do the majority of their spending online, according to a recent study by Deloitte. E-commerce sales could peak at $114 billion, the consulting firm said.

But as a result, fewer shoppers are banking on Black Friday, according to a separate report by WalletHub. Shoppers are reeling in their spending on the day after Thanksgiving, the personal finance site found, with only 33 percent planning to spend more than $500. Last year, 37 percent of shoppers planned to spend that much.

For deal hunters, however, skipping Black Friday and Cyber Monday could be a costly mistake.

"The prices are a little more predictable and a little more moderate," said Lindsay Sakraida, director of content marketing for shopping site DealNews. But the deals, she said, are "easier to take advantage of."

People rush into Macy's department store as they open at midnight (0500 GMT) on November 23, 2012 in New York to start the stores' 'Black Friday' shopping weekend.
Stan Honda | AFP | Getty Images
People rush into Macy's department store as they open at midnight (0500 GMT) on November 23, 2012 in New York to start the stores' 'Black Friday' shopping weekend.

Sakraida's best picks for this year include two deals from Wal-Mart: a $300 gift card with the purchase of an iPhone X and a curved Samsung Smart TV for $847.99 (that's $650 off retail). Both are available online beginning on Thanksgiving Day.

Promotions will kick off as early as the previous Sunday, Sakraida said. Do your research ahead of time so you know which markdowns are worth jumping on.

Here's how to make the most of the shopping holiday:

  • Expect to find the deepest deals on fall clothing, small devices, like headphones and cameras, small appliances, such as food processors and espresso machines as well as TVs and electronics, said Trae Bodge, the Smart Shopping Expert for GiftCardGranny.com.
  • Don't be distracted by "filler deals," Sakraida said, which aren't as aggressively discounted as doorbusters and may be not be worth buying. Track price histories on a site like camelcamelcamel, she suggested, to determine when prices are truly at their lowest.
  • Use an app to track the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday ads and deals as they are released. Bodge's pick: Slickdeals, which has interactive ads and deals that are vetted by users.

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