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19 Things to Know About Target's Black Friday Sales

Ensure that you're getting the best bang for your buck with these genius shopping tips.

If there's one thing that savvy shoppers can agree on, it's that Target is the ne plus ultra of discount stores. Thanks to their Dollar Spot deals, heavily discounted clearance items, and cheap but high-quality in-house brands, the retail giant has managed to earn the admiration of fashionistas and bargain-hunters alike.

And though Target has clearance racks and discounts that span the entire year, perhaps no day brings more foot traffic to the store than Black Friday, the shopping holiday that puts most other sales to shame. On Black Friday 2017 alone, the company more than doubled its number of mobile app users, had nearly 30 million website visitors, and held its spot as one of the three top-grossing retail chains during the shopping holiday. So, if you plan on hitting up the Target Black Friday sale this year, first read up on these tips and tricks that will save you money and keep you from buying into some bad deals.

You can start shopping on Thanksgiving Day.

Target Cashiers {Target Black Friday}

Though Black Friday doesn't officially begin until the Friday after Thanksgiving, you can get in some of your shopping early at Target. Target stores across the country will open their doors to Black Friday customers at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, close for a bit just after midnight, and re-open at 7 a.m. on Friday.

Some of the store's deals are already live online.

older woman on computer {Target Black Friday}

If you can't wait until Friday or even Thursday for those Target Black Friday deals, you can go on the store's website right now to score discounts on everything from furniture to kids' toys. Of course, most of the deals now aren't as steep as they will be on Black Friday, but there's still plenty of discounted merchandise worth picking up.

REDcard holders get early access.

Target credit card REDcard {Target Black Friday}
Image via Flickr/Mike Mozart

REDcard holders, you're in luck. On Wednesday, November 21, your exclusive credit card will grant you one-day access to select Target Black Friday deals before they go live for everyone else. And if you have your eye on a deal at Target that you're worried is going to sell out, then fret not: You still have time to apply for a REDcard either online or in store and receive early access, too.

Some items come with complimentary gift cards.

Holiday Target Gift Card {Target Black Friday}

Not only is Target offering great deals on some of their most beloved products, but the store is also throwing in gift cards with select purchases. For instance, if you're in the market for the Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 6 qt. pressure cooker, then you can score $30 off of the product's $99.95 price tag and get a $10 gift card, and any Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 camera (discounted to just $60) comes with a $15 gift card.

The store's "rain check" policy doesn't apply on Black Friday.

empty shelves in a store

Fans of Target are likely familiar with the store's "rain check" policy, which allows you to purchase an out-of-stock item at its sale price for up to 45 days. But while the store is normally happy to accommodate any rain check requests, Target employees are unable to do so on Black Friday, the holiday being one of the chain's few exceptions to the rule.

You don't have to worry about shipping blowing your Black Friday budget.

Woman Online Shopping on the Computer {Target Black Friday}

Because on Black Friday, Target is offering free shipping for all customers, regardless of how much they spend. This might not seem like a big deal, but seeing as competitors like Walmart are only offering free shipping on orders that are $35 or more, Target's free shipping can make all the difference when it comes to scoring small but significant Black Friday deals online.

Some deals are only available in store.

inside a target store {Target Black Friday}

Though Target will be offering Black Friday discounts both in stores and online, not all of the sale prices offered in the stores will be reflected on the website. For instance, one of the store's doorbuster deals is $180 off of a $380 Element 55" Smart UHD TV, but you can only get this deal if you do your shopping at a brick-and-mortar shop.

And some of the products being discounted are Target exclusives.

target bullseye shopping carts {Target Black Friday}

While some of the Target Black Friday deals aren't necessarily the best ones out there—iPhone, we're looking at you—plenty of Target toys will not only be deeply discounted, but impossible to find elsewhere. In the children's department especially, there are countless Target exclusives—so if you see a great toy on sale, check to see if it's only available at Target before wasting your time trying to price compare with other stores. Luckily, stickers on the toy's packaging will tell you if Target's the only place you can find it.

REDcard holders receive savings on top of savings.

Target REDcard {Target Black Friday}
Image via MasterCard

Here's yet another reason to sign up for a REDcard if you don't have one already: On Black Friday (and every other day of the year), using your card will score you an additional five percent off your entire purchase. While that may not seem like a huge savings, for big-ticket items, it can really add up—on a $1,000 purchase, that's $50 back in your pocket.

If you spend enough money, your purchase might come with coupons for future trips.

woman in grocery store looking at collection of coupons {Target Black Friday}

If you play your cards right, then Black Friday could be just the beginning of several discounted Target trips. When you spend $50 at the store on the Friday after Thanksgiving, you leave not only with all of your sweet scores, but also a coupon for 20 percent off a future shopping any time between Nov. 27 and Dec. 8.

Some of the best deals are in Christmas decor.

Decorating a Christmas Tree {Target Black Friday}

The holiday decor aisle is the place to be on Black Friday if you're eager to get the most bang for your buck. Not only are many of the store's popular products discounted, but Target is offering a $25 discount when you spend at least $75 on lights, ornaments, stockings, gift wrap, trees, and other Christmas items. However, this offer only applies on Saturday and Sunday, so any shoppers who can't wait until after Black Friday to do their shopping are out of luck.

Target doesn't necessarily have the best deals.

holiday sales {Target Black Friday}

Believe it or not, the Target Black Friday deals are actually some of the worst, at least from a percentage standpoint. When the editors over at The Krazy Coupon Lady calculated the average savings on Black Friday at all the major retailers in 2016, they found that Target's average discount was just 38 percent, whereas JCPenney's was 58 percent and Macy's offered an average of 56 percent off.

Black Friday isn't a one-day event.

woman shopping {Target Black Friday}

Though Black Friday shopping typically happens on, well, Friday, Target's advertised sales will be available and valid starting on Thanksgiving Day. Better yet, the sales will continue into the Saturday after Black Friday while quantities last.

The Target app features maps of every store across the country.

woman on phone

Between the hordes of people and the confusing signs everywhere, Target Black Fridays tend to get pretty chaotic. If you want to get ahead of the craziness that's bound to unfold before your eyes come Friday, then download the Target app. It's equipped with maps of every Target store in the United States, helping you better navigate the angry mobs. And not only that, these maps will even show you where all the Black Friday deals are located!

Using coupons will make your purchases even cheaper.

Pile of Coupons {Target Black Friday}

Before you go to Target to do all your Black Friday shopping, make sure to scour both the Target app and the Cartwheel app for any relevant coupons. The corporate giant is constantly uploading new deals onto their apps, and doing a quick search for a few extra coupons could end up saving you tons of money on top of the money you're already saving.

There is no price matching on Black Friday.

Mad at a Cashier {Target Black Friday}

As many a discount-seeking shopper knows, Target is generally happy to match another store's price if it's lower than their own. However, this policy does not apply when Black Friday deals are live, so don't bother wasting your time trying to get another store's sale price until the Thanksgiving weekend is over.

New items are on sale too.

Sale Sign {Target Black Friday}

While other stores will trot out last year's merchandise hoping for a quick sale on Black Friday, at Target, much of the heavily-discounted inventory has only recently hit shelves. For instance, amongst Target's many Black Friday offerings are a Series 3 Apple Watch for $200, a Canon Rebel T6 for $400, and the brand new Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 PS4 game for $15 off.

Many of Target's doorbuster deals are available online.

Woman typing on computer

Though it sounds contradictory, Target will be offering several of their wonderful doorbuster deals online for people who prefer to shop from the comfort of a warm bed. Most stores only offer their doorbuster deals in store, so if you plan on doing your Black Friday shopping online, then you should definitely put Target toward the top of your list to score those soon-to-be-gone deals.

Be on the lookout for in-store freebies.

Target sign

On the days leading up to Black Friday, Target loves to have fun with special in-store events. Last year, the store hosted a LEGO scavenger hunt on the Saturday before Black Friday, and kids who matched LEGO Star Wars characters to their ships left the store with a free poster and a coupon.

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