Is it time to start thinking about Black Friday? Believe it or not: yes. As always, the event promises major deals on TVs, smart-home gear, phones, games and other hot holiday gifts. And as always, it's the day after Thanksgiving, in this case Friday, Nov. 29. Then comes Cyber Monday three days later. Of course, the trend now is that "Black Friday sales" have become less about a single day -- or weekend -- and more about massive sales that kick off in early November. Occasionally even late October.
It's no surprise, then, that retailers will likely start (or at least announce) their sales much earlier than Black Friday proper. You can expect big discounts both online and in-store from the likes of Best Buy, Walmart, Amazon, Target, GameStop, Kohl's, Sam's Club and pretty much every other business that sells things. Yes, some old-school retailers still only offer the biggest discounts as in-store "doorbusters," which means you'll have to fight crowds to get them. (Here are .) But more and more deals have migrated to the online realm, so you can still get plenty of great discounts while you're shopping from your phone in your pajamas.
Yes, it's still early to be thinking about all this, but there's nothing wrong with a little advance planning. Here's a quick overview of what to expect on (and how to plan for) Black Friday 2019.
What date is Black Friday 2019?
Black Friday always falls on the day after Thanksgiving. This year, it takes place on Friday, Nov. 29.
When is Cyber Monday 2019?
It falls the Monday after Black Friday -- in this case, Monday, Dec. 2.
When will Black Friday sales actually start?
It varies from store to store, but expect to see plenty of sales that kick off well before Thanksgiving. Indeed, some stores unveil "Black November" sales that span the entire month, while others will kick-start their Black Friday events early. We'll post all the details as we get them.
Why is it called 'Black Friday'?
Black Friday dates back to the early 1950s, when stores would kick off the Christmas shopping season with big sales. So big, in fact, that annual store profits would often tip into "the black" (meaning no longer "in the red," which is accounting parlance for losing money) once all the receipts were tallied.
Shoppers came in droves because the day after Thanksgiving was typically a day off, making it the perfect day to shop -- in stores, that is. Remember, this event predates the internet by decades.
How to find 'leaked' Black Friday ads
In years past, a variety of Black Friday sites have dedicated themselves to revealing leaked newspaper circulars in the days and weeks ahead of the big Thanksgiving sales. Those are all still around, but many of the big stores have chosen to "leak" the ads on their own sites, revealing the contents of what will be on sale for bargain hunters who like to plan ahead.
Last year, some stores shared these ads as early as late October, and there's no reason to think this year will be any different. As always, we'll be keeping a close eye on Black Friday ads, sharing them as we find them, so bookmark this post and check CNET proper for all the relevant ad info.
Where can I find great deals in the meantime?
So glad you asked! Here are some CNET deal resources you should bookmark:
- The Cheapskate, a daily, curated, sometimes exclusive collection of the web's best deals from Rick "The Cheapskate" Broida (that's me) and CNET's growing team of bargain-hunters.
- CNET Deals, a categorical listing of every single deal we can lay our hands on.
- , which was updated a few months back for Prime Day purposes, but nearly all the advice applies to November's big sales.
Tamara Palmer contributed to this story, which was first published last year and has been updated with new information.