Clark Howard’s Deals and Predictions for Prime Day and Black Friday 2020

The retail industry and the shopping experience have been heavily affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The good news is that you can still save money if you shop strategically.

If you're wondering how two big annual retail events — Prime Day and Black Friday — will play out in 2020, this article will fill you in and tell you how to look for deals.

Prime Day and Black Friday 2020: Everything You Need to Know

We enlisted money expert Clark Howard and Managing Editor Charis Brown to share with us what we can expect for Prime Day and Black Friday 2020. They also gave us some advice on how to save money while shopping on those days.

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Prime Day 2020

As you might imagine, Amazon Prime Day is one of the most anticipated days of the year for people looking for online deals. Things will likely be a bit different this year, but Clark says if you’re a savvy shopper, you could reap a windfall of bargains.

When Is Amazon Prime Day 2020?

Prime Day is usually in July, but Charis says, "What we know right now is it will be in the fourth quarter. Whether it will be in October or rolled into holiday sales during the month of November remains to be seen."

What Can You Expect for Prime Day 2020?

Clark says shoppers may need to adjust their expectations if they’re looking for the kinds of items that are usually on sale on Prime Day.

"Prime Day has always been about, 'Wouldn't it be fun to have this gadget or this gizmo?' But this year, because they probably have a lot of excess inventory of things people haven't been buying, I'm expecting Prime Day to offer some really good bargains — better than Amazon has offered in the past."

Charis says Prime Day will be an opportune time to pick up some household supplies, among other things. For example, Amazon is currently offering $15 off a household essentials purchase of $50 or more, but these types of promotions tend to end quickly," she adds.

Charis says Prime Day will likely offer a great opportunity to grab things like:
  • Holiday gifts
  • Amazon devices
  • Household appliances

Will Other Retailers Offer Prime Day Sales?

One thing that usually happens every Prime Day is that Amazon’s rivals roll out their sales to compete for your dollars. Clark says you can expect that this year and more.
“The retailers that will be competing against Amazon will also offer really good deals on the ‘want-to-have’ not ‘must-have’ kind of items,” Clark says. “Nobody’s going to offer you deals on the must-have kind of things, the practical things — because people don’t have to have their arms twisted to buy those things.”

Black Friday 2020

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is traditionally the start of the holiday shopping season. Clark says shoppers are in for a major adjustment in 2020.

"This year the point at which the psychology switches and prices will start going up will be the weekend of December 11," Clark predicts.

How Will Black Friday Be Different This Year?

"Black Friday is over," Clark says. "When Walmart made the decision they were going to close Thanksgiving Day, and now Target's closing Thanksgiving Day."

He says retailers will continue the recent trend of trying to get shoppers to the stores and online much earlier — and trying to get them to stay much longer.

“These retailers recognize that the day really doesn’t matter anymore, that it really is Black Friday month, just one continuous series of rolling sales is really where we’re going to be,” Clark adds.

Will There Be a Lot of Thanksgiving Deals?

Clark says because some big-box retailers are switching to an online-only model for Turkey Day, that’s where all the deals will be.

“On Thanksgiving Day, there will be lots of online deals which will be our new proxy for what we used to have on Black Friday,” he says.

Going forward, Clark says shoppers will have to come to grips with the end of the concept of a three-day sale weekend following Thanksgiving.

“It really was getting there the last two Black Fridays, but coronavirus really put a stake in it: It’s over,” he says.

Best Shopping Tips

Here are some of Clark and Charis’ best shopping tips for Amazon Prime Day and Black Friday.

1. Check the Competitors

On Amazon Prime Day, Charis says you should "Be sure to check out the competitors such as Walmart, eBay, or Best Buy because it's likely they may have better bargains. Last year, I bought a 3.5-qt air fryer for $35 at Walmart. We use it almost every other day!"

2. Buy What You Need

“I would caution people to spend responsibly and don’t shop just because it’s a deal,” Charis says. “Shop if you have the money and you really need or could use or gift something.”

Clark says impulse buying is easy to fall into, especially online. See Clark's #1 tip to avoid impulse shopping online.

3. Order Early

You always want to order early so that you can head off any shipping delays. Speaking of that…

4. Try Curbside Pickup

Clark says if current shipping issues are any indication, you can expect delivery delays from retailers this holiday season.

“We’re going to see stores pushing curbside pickup,” he says. “And I strongly recommend that when people are shopping the last two weeks before Christmas, they avail themselves of curbside pickup.”
He says retailers are getting better at curbside pickup because they want you to take advantage of it because it could help them avoid huge shipping backlogs. 

Final Thoughts

The deals will be plentiful for both Prime Day and Black Friday. In addition to those two days, shoppers will be able to get bargains way before the holidays this year. But Clark has one note of caution:

"Don't exhaust yourselves. It's going to be a marathon," he says. "There will still be some of the best deals happening on Thanksgiving Day and maybe Black Friday, but they'll tend to be on off-brand TVs and things. But as far as how it's really going to play, it's going to be a continuous series of sales, starting around Halloween."

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