It is called Black Friday because it is the day retailers usually go from the red to black.
Contrary to popular belief, Black Friday is not the busiest shopping day of the year. According to statistics published by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), that distinction usually belongs to the Saturday before Christmas.
Black Friday is "one of the busiest days in terms of traffic but not in sales," said Pam Rucker, spokesperson for the National Retail Federation.
This year, many stores are opening even earlier. Target has said it's opening at midnight.
Here are some websites to give you a preview of the deals:
BlackFriday.info: This site has an alphabetical list of stores that you can use to search for coupons, and lets you also create a Black Friday shopping list. They will be posting sale information along with Black Friday ad scans. You can subscirbe to the site, and receive emails updating the newest sales.
Bfads.net: Updated daily with the latest Black Friday advertisements and news.
TheBlackFriday.com: Here you can see the latest and top deals.
BlackFriday.GottaDeal.com: Gottadeal.com is devoting a whole section of their website to Black Friday. Their website offers email updates and postings of the latest black Friday deals.
Black-Friday.net: This site also lets you to search for the latest online deals and has a list of the most popular products.It also has the latest Black Friday news.
Thanksgivingblackfridayads.com: Search through a long list of the latest Black Friday sale ads organized by type of gift, and also peep the better than Black Friday deals.
The Monday after Black Friday is often referred to as Cyber Monday. Whereas Black Friday refers to "brick and mortar stores," Cyber Monday refers to the start of the holiday shopping season for online retailers. Each year, hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on Cyber Monday.
One theory as to why this is the case is that people go online on Monday to buy items they couldn't or didn't get at the mall the previous weekend. Another theory is that people wait to make online purchases until they are at work, with faster Internet connections. The phrase "Cyber Monday" was coined in 2005.
'Cyber Monday' links:
CyberMonday.com lists the best deals from online retailers on Cyber Monday and throughout the year. Shop by category and register for e-mail shopping alerts. Cyber-Monday gives users access to ads, discounts, and Cyber Monday coupons. The site also has store specific ads for Walmart, Best Buy and Target.
BestCyberMondaySales.com lets you sign up for a newsletter and has many links to help you track down deals. In addition, their site lists the top deals, and organizes deals by brands and categories.
CyberMonday.fm has a Twitter feed and information on specific products you may be looking for during the holidays. The site also has a Black Friday section.
Black Friday apps
There are a number of smart phone applications that can also help you save on Black Friday.
The Shopkick application gives you rewards and offers for simply walking into stores, scanning products, and signing up friends. You can collect "kickbucks" at millions of stores and restaurants in America.
With Groupon aps, you can buy deals, access your purchased groupons, find the ones that are nearby and redeem them electronically.
The TGI Black Friday app allows you to search Black Friday deals from every major retail store. You can create a personal shopping list to help your shopping effectiveness on Black Friday.
Dealnews Black Friday app leaks and discloses the latest confirmed Black Friday deals so that your ahead of the curve.
DealDroid is an app that continuously watches for new deals on one-deal-at-a-time sites like Tramdock, Whiskey Militia, BonkTown, Brociety, ChainLove, Steep and Cheap, Woot, ThingFling, and SlickDeals. DealDroid notifies a subscriber when a new deal is posted.
Shop Savvy Barcode Scanner lets its users scan a barcode with the phones camera and receive of all the prices for that product on the Internet, and in nearby local stores.
The Google Shopper helps identify products by voice, barcode scanning, cover art, and text search. Once doing this, you can find local and online prices, reviews, specs, and much more. You can also share products with friends through the app.
Leo Wolfson contributed to this article.
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