Black Friday requires a lot of brawn (see: survival tips here) and a whole lot of brain — the latter is where strategy and selectivity come into play. To do right by the sales, which admittedly come a dime a dozen this time of year, you need to employ self-restraint, know where to shop, and know what stores aren't even worth your time.
But where’s the fun in doing all the legwork yourself? Below, a list of Black Friday sales you should actually care about.
For the Gadget-Loving Set
Go to Target, full stop. According to its Doorbuster Deals sneak peek, the retailer will kick off its holiday sales at 8 PM on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28, making this quite an early start time. Aim high: the 16GB Apple iPad Air — which currently retails for $499 — will be marked down to $479, plus they’re throwing in a free $100 gift card with any iPad purchase. That means this shiny, new toy will clock in at $379 after everything is said and done. Another steal? This 50” Element TV is selling for $600 right now, but come Thursday evening, it will be priced at $229. All markdowns are applicable through Nov. 30, or until supplies run out. Chances are, they won’t make it ’til closing time on Black Friday.
For the Décor Enthusiast
Head to your local Anthropologie and direct your attention to the sale items. The retailer will be offering an extra 50 percent off already red-lined merchandise from 6 AM to 11 AM (valid in-store and online). After 11 AM, Anthropologie will reduce the markdown to an extra 25 percent off already red-lined products. Either way, this is the time to snag an awesome serving platter for next to nothing.
For the Label-Conscious
Whether there's no limit to your designer label consumption or you've been side-eyeing that Kenzo sweatshirt all season long, these Opening Ceremony 40 percent off markdowns on select merchandise are less likely to burn as big of a hole in your pocket.
For the Fast-Fashion Addict
Although H&M has yet to post its 2013 Black Friday ads, it's safe to assume the markdowns will be just as insane as last year's. To jog your memory, dresses were priced at $5 to $10, sweaters were $5, and outerwear was $20. If you're looking to snag some cute wintry accessories and a few extra layers, you probably won't even have to break out a Benjamin.
For the Flash Sale Fashionista
Make sure your account info is up-to-date on Rue La La. Why? Because the flash sale website is practically giving away its designer stock via 24 "Today's Fix" sales, held throughout Black Friday weekend. Need more convincing? Let's just say a zig-zag Missoni scarf could go for $80.
For Anyone Who Loves Cashmere
Ann Taylor's cashmere collectible sweaters will be 50 percent off, both in-store and online. But as Black Friday nears ever closer, the retailer promises even more surprise specials. Stay tuned.
For the Department Store Shopper
It's a tie between Macy’s and Kohl’s. Both retailers promise great discounts, so here's what to expect. Macy's opens its doors (and honors its doorbuster deals) beginning at 8 PM on Thanksgiving Day, and for those who shop early will receive an extra 20 percent off on all merchandise, which, for the record, will already be marked down up to 60 percent. Meanwhile, Kohl's will roll out at least 500 deals on Black Friday, giving you $15 cash for every $50 you spend. Is this real life?
For “Everything But the Kitchen Sink” Shoppers
You shouldn't be surprised to learn that Walmart has a stronghold on some of the most competitive pricing across all categories this holiday season. Sure, Target is giving them a run on iPad orders, but as for everything else? I hate to admit it, but Walmart is your best bet, starting with this Keurig Elite Brewing System, which will price out at $88. Their Black Friday showdown actually starts at 6 PM (?!) on Thanksgiving Day, so plan accordingly.
For Amazon Fiends
You're in for some serious steals. The thing is, Amazon doesn't reveal its Black Friday deals until go-time. If waiting outside in line at the crack of dawn doesn't appeal to you whatsoever, then have your mouse/track pad hand ready: Amazon’s Lightning Deals will take care of everyone on your list — but you have to move at the speed of light.
Stay tuned for the next wave of holiday retail wisdom: Cyber Monday steals.