November begins this week. That means Black Friday is just a couple weeks away, and the deals will start flowing pretty soon. That's why we've created this as a landing page for all your Black Friday questions.

What is Black Friday?

It's the biggest shopping day of the year, and it always happens the day after Thanksgiving in the U.S. Traditionally, Black Friday has kicked off the Christmas shopping season since Thanksgiving is the last major holiday people shop for before Christmas. These days it's an event unto itself and has started to encompass a lot more than just a single Friday in November.

When is Black Friday?

In 2017, Black Friday will be Friday, Nov. 24. While a good majority of the promotions from retailers will specifically be on that day, the Black Friday "event" are already to starting to leak with deals picking up steam in early November. It generally continues throughout the Thanksgiving weekend, culminating with Cyber Monday.

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Black Friday creeps earlier and earlier every year. Many retailers last year started Black Friday deals on Thanksgiving Thursday, with stores opening as early as 6 PM instead of the usual midnight. Every store wants to one-up the other stores, so we might see some open even earlier this year.

Where are all the deals?

Retailers all over the U.S. will be advertising insane amounts of Black Friday deals. Some will be good. Most will be bad. If you want to cut through all the noise and find just the good ones, stick with our team here at Thrifter. We'll be doing the heavy lifting for you and sorting through the crap no one really wants to give you the good stuff you're looking for.

The best online retailer to get deals from on Black Friday will be Amazon. No, they didn't pay us to say that. It's simply the truth. Amazon has one of the most aggressive online teams when it comes to dropping prices, great shipping and good customer service. Many other huge online retailers like Best Buy, Target, and Walmart, will have a lot of the same deals and are always happy to price match something on Amazon if only to take away that one sale. If you have a connection to one of those places, like the Target REDcard, then maybe you should take advantage of these retailers' desire to compete with Amazon for your own benefit.

In-store retailers traditionally have announced Black Friday deals through ads that run in newspapers the week of Thanksgiving. Those ads are almost all online now and tend to "leak" earlier and earlier every year. Call it the Black Friday Creep, but if you want to stay on top of the sales this holiday season you should start paying attention to those ads right now.

Is Black Friday really all that important?

If you're planning on buying Christmas gifts or really anything during December and January, then yes it probably is important to you. For as much as you'll be able to find a few things on sale during Black Friday, you won't find a whole lot in the way of sales during the month of December. In some cases, items will actually increase in price in the days leading up to Christmas as people get desperate.

My advice to you is shop on Black Friday if there's something specific you want to buy. If you really need a new TV or you want to buy your nephew an Xbox, look specifically for deals on that stuff and make the purchase when you find one. You don't want to go into Black Friday with no firm plan and an open wallet.

Online vs. In-store: Should I go outside?

There are very few deals you'll be able to find in-store that you won't be able to find online. I don't just mean that Amazon and Best Buy will be working hard to price match, but other retailers like Target and even Fry's Electronics will be trying to get a piece of the online pie. In fact, you'll be able to find a lot of the "Black Friday" deals online much earlier in the week. Black Friday really sort of starts in early November when the sales start trickling in.

If you want to go to the brick and mortars, there's a couple reasons you might consider that:

  1. Retailers often entice people to come out to stores with "doorbuster" deals and early-bird specials. Look up those deals in advance and plan ahead to get there several hours early if you have the patience for that. Really do your work on analyzing them because they often end up being really mediocre products selling at really low prices. A $100 TV isn't much of a deal if it's $120 most of the time anyway. It just sounds good.

  2. The Social Aspect. Black Friday can be a lot more fun to do with a group of friends, especially if you're not super deal-hungry and just want to people watch. But if that's the case, you can just come hang out with us. We'll be up all night.

Alright, if every retailer on Earth is participating in this and every website on the Internet is covering it, what can Thrifter do for me?

The Thrifter team offers a lot more than just simple coverage of Black Friday.

Think about what it means that every retailer will be doing something for Black Friday. That's thousands and thousands of deals and sales. You won't even see most of the things that go on sale during Black Friday. It's Prime Day on steroids.

Our job isn't just to "cover" Black Friday and the deals surrounding it. Rather, we're going to take in all that information, analyze it, and help you make the best possible decisions with your money during this crazy time. We want you to spend where it matters, so follow us on Twitter, follow our live blog closer to Black Friday, and stay informed on the deals and the news that are most important to you.