Black Friday is the day many will point to and there will be deals then... just not always the best deals.
Retailers are being forced to up their game.
Tamara Gaffney is with Adobe, a leader in Internet marketing and transactions. She says retailers are scrambling because there are six fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Gaffney told us, "That could translate to as much as $1.5 billion lost sales for retailers online, so they are going to be anxious to get you out the door and shopping on Thanksgiving Day."
And that's in part why Thanksgiving Thursday is becoming the new Black Friday.
Mark Lacastro is with Dealnews and says Black Friday is really more of a time period than an actual day. He told us, "Black Friday is the Friday after Thanksgiving, but Black Friday sales happen pretty much all week long. We analyze Black Friday sales for Q4, October, November, December for 2011-2012, and we kind of average the quality of the deals."
And what they find are deals that are better before and after Black Friday.
"The best deals happen on Thanksgiving. The second best day is the Sunday before Cyber Monday," said Lacastro.
And for Thanksgiving Thursday, sales are looking up. Adobe is predicting online sales to increase by 25 percent and often those online shopping moments will take place when we are standing in a store.
"If you think back to the last time we had such a short season, which was 2002, we had flip-phones, we were on AOL, we were using a Netscape browser, it was a very different world. Today we have the bargain hunters' weapon of choice our mobile phone," said Gaffney.
So we will be multi-tasking and looking not just at prices, but at availability. Even sales people will use phones to help shoppers.
"They also may get personalized deals sent directly to their phone while they are in the stores. So it is going to be completely different than anything you have ever seen before," said Gaffney.
So the real secret to getting the best deals this year is to know what you want before Black Friday week. Sign up for email alerts and read websites for sales. Then grab the deals as they pop up.
Here are some resources to help you with your holiday shopping:
Checkout our Black Friday Resource page here.