The once-classic occasion that kicked off the holiday shopping season was the Black Friday and Cyber Monday giant sales! But this year it is advisable to sit out Black Friday due to a culmination of factors, all accelerated by COVID-19. The desire to avoid crowds given extreme health concerns and increased adoption of online alternatives is going to make your Thanksgiving shopping spree look a little different this year. Black Friday during a pandemic could definitely use a few tips and tricks.

A number of popular retail outlets are also shifting away from the traditional “doorbuster” shopping model and are instead adopting a less chaotic and more socially distanced approach. Consumer shopping behavior has fundamentally changed and brands have certainly had to adapt.

Retailers have to now balance out sales, encouraging people to buy, instill trust, and promote spending — but also promote it in a way that shows they care for their customers’ well-being.

Nevertheless, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have always been great ways to get a jumpstart on your Christmas and holiday shopping! And with these shopping secrets, you will be making the most of Black Friday and Cyber Monday this season!

Related: Your Cyber Monday Guide To Money Saving!

1. Make a plan!

Start early and do your homework. Research ahead for the deals, and discover the primary items you want to snag! And keep in mind this is a Black Friday during a pandemic that you’re shopping for.

2. Shop incognito

This is by far one of our favorite Black Friday shopping tips. Make sure you’re shopping with incognito mode or clear your cache and cookies when you’re shopping. Websites put cookies on your computer so they know if you’ve visited the site before and viewed the item at a certain price. So even if they drop the price on a certain item, they may not show you that lowered price. Yes, they are sneaky like that so you just gotta play smarter!

3. Make sure you view the best deals!

Not everything is always a great deal just because the retailer is making it look like it is. Often retailers will inflate the price of things to make the discount look better. A price checker thus comes in handy because you can check what the average price of the item usually is, a tip we really recommend implementing on Black Friday, pandemic or not.

4. Wait it out

Also, remember that Black Friday is not always going to bring the best discount on an item. Lots of times retailers continue to mark things down leading up to Christmas, because they’re trying to get as many sales as possible before the holidays are over, so checking the original price with the sale price to see how much of a discount you’re getting is a good idea. For example, if they are only offering 10-20% off, you might wanna hold off for you may be able to get the item for even cheaper.

5. Look out for return policies

Make sure you know the brand/store return policies ahead of time. Some brands have fairly generous return policies lasting up to easy 30 days. But if you are buying on Black Friday and hoping to gift it on Christmas, you’re not really giving your recipient a chance to return/exchange the item.

I mean, we ain’t questioning your gifting caliber, but it’s a good idea to keep an eye out!

6. Read the fine print

Promotional advertising has certain things that will look like a better deal than they really are. They could be promising you 50% off of everything, but when you read the fine print, it could be excluding a ton of different brands and styles.

7. Shop for the entire day

What a blissful sentence to write.

Now, this one’s primarily regarding Cyber Monday. You could check for deals throughout the day, because unlike Black Friday wherein the great deals are available in the morning and taper off eventually, a lot of retailers will offer different deals throughout the day – updating them every single hour for Cyber Monday. Nowadays, retailers don’t want to wait for just Black Friday to offer deals. Lots of them start releasing deals before Black Friday even hits.

Get ready to prep for an entire day marathon for finding good deals!

Shopping on the day after Thanksgiving is a tradition. However, with social distancing the norm, there’s no disputing the fact that it won’t be a traditional experience. It’s best to see this as an opportunity to spend even more time with your family and friends and begin the holiday season in great spirits and health!

Related: Unnecessary Things You Think You Need To Buy | Part 1

D’you know what else Roomi does outside of helping its readers with the best Black Friday tips and tricks? With our ever-increasing lists of rooms and roommates across the world, we help you find your perfect match! Download the app here and hop on the easiest ride home, ever!