Reader Question: I am debating whether or not I should fight the crowds on Black Friday. Is Black Friday really the best day to secure holiday deals?

Answer: Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) has long been hailed the biggest day of deals all year, kicking off the holiday shopping season. However, with more and more competition retailers are offering several days of savings, essentially expanding the holiday shopping season.

Trends Over the Past 5 Years

Recently there was an analysis by Adobe Systems examining price trends over the past five years. They found that online prices will reach their lowest point on Thanksgiving day, averaging a discount of 24%. This discount proves to be the lowest during the holiday season. Whereas discounts will average 20% off the week leading up to Thanksgiving. It was also found, generally speaking, that overall prices in-store and online typically match the prices on Black Friday. The exception comes with specific Black Friday promotions.

Last Years Discounts

However some experts say you will receive your biggest discounts on the Monday prior to Thanksgiving. Last year retailers’ biggest price cuts happened on the Monday before Thanksgiving. According to Adobe, individuals who shopped on Thanksgiving day received the best deals on specific items, rather than broad savings.

It is also important to note that the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving retailers’ offered better deals than the weeks leading up to Christmas.  Additionally if you are shopping on Black Friday, you risk your items being out of stock.

Bottom line, unless you are shopping for specific Black Friday promotions you are better off shopping the week leading up to Thanksgiving. That doesn’t mean Black Friday doesn’t have amazing deals, huge retailers such as Macy’s<p/i.ashx?foid=1048325.1210158&fot=9999&foc=1&” alt=”” border=”0″ /> and Best Buy<p/i.ashx?foid=1048325.1211715&fot=9999&foc=1&” alt=”” border=”0″ /> will be offering their typical doorbuster deals.

With the holiday shopping season expanding each year, there is more opportunity to save.