Get Black Friday prices without the crowds

We're coming up on Black Friday, the most hyped shopping day of the year.

But why do people still line up at stores for hours Thanksgiving night? Nowadays, it may just be for the thrill of the chase. That's because you can get almost all Black Friday deals without the crowds.

More and more shoppers realize that, and are staying home on Black Friday, and doing their holiday shopping on different days, or online.

Deals going online days early

Let's say you love Kohl's for their clothing and small appliances but the last thing you want to do Thanksgiving night is stand in a line in the parking lot, waiting for the doors to open, or deal with register crowds once you are inside.

The good news is you don't have to do that. Kohl's, and many other stores, now offer most of those deals online, and often the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving.

Megan Fenno is a shopping blogger who also runs a mobile fashion boutique. She says most stores now start their online deals the night before Thanksgiving.

"JC Penney has online-only deals effective Wednesday evening, through black Friday, and a lot of stores, like Macy's, have online-only deals," she said.

Amazon has already begun its "countdown to Black Friday " sale, with huge markdowns on Amazon-branded products like Kindles and Echos.

And Best Buy is running a preview sale this weekend.

So why go out Thanksgiving night? Electronics.

What you will find Thursday night

Deal News.com says physical stores will still have the lowest TV prices, such as 65-inch sets below $350.

For instance, Walmart is featuring a 50-inch Roku Smart TV for just $148 in stores on Thanksgiving night. It's a limited-quantity doorbuster, designed to get you in the store.

Thursday night can also get you $200 bonus gift cards on iPhone 11's at several stores, including Target and Walmart.

You will also find Xbox Ones and Sony PS4s as low as $179 (though many of those deals will be offered online).

But Deal News says you will find lower prices on Cyber Monday on toys, clothing, and beauty products. (But don't look for stores to advertise Cyber Monday before Black Friday, so as not to hurt Friday sales.)

Of course, plenty of people will shop Thursday night and Friday morning just for the thrill of the hunt. Like ancient hunters, there is something about bagging a deal (and then heading off to Waffle House to celebrate) that you can't imitate online. But fewer and fewer shoppers are doing that each year.

Megan Fenno's final tip for that online shopping: Download a price-alert helper like Honey or CamelCamelCamel.

It will alert you to lower prices on the items you put in your cart, so you don't waste your money.

"Honey is a site you can download an extension onto your computer. And whenever you are checking out, it can tell you if there are coupon codes available specific to what you are purchasing."

That way you can do your Black Friday shopping on your living room couch, and you don't waste your money.

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This story was originally published by WCPO'S John Matarese.

Don't Waste Your Money" is a registered trademark of Scripps Media, Inc. ("Scripps").

For more consumer news and money saving advice, click here.

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