Black Friday is by far the busiest shopping day of the year, and it continues to get more and more hectic every year. On Black Friday 2017, U.S. consumers racked up a grand total of $682 billion in retail sales in a single day. Also in 2017, almost 175 million Americans went shopping the day after Thanksgiving to take advantage of Black Friday sales.
Once upon a time, stores participating in Black Friday sales used to open their doors by sunrise on Friday morning—usually around 5 or 6 AM. As sales have increased and more consumers are ready to start their shopping as soon as they’ve cleared their plate of turkey, the opening time for many major retailers has crept earlier and earlier in recent years. In fact, many stores open with their Black Friday sales in full swing by 5 PM on Thanksgiving Day. Consumers eagerly shop through Thursday evening and night into Friday morning and afternoon. The crowds of shoppers continue to rise in numbers until 4 PM on Friday, when they finally begin to die down.
On Black Friday, shoppers swarm department stores, electronics stores, jewelry stores, malls, and big-box general merchandise stores like Walmart and Target. Many people intentionally wait to make major purchases—like a new TV—all year in order to take advantage of Black Friday sales in November. If you’re in the market for a new car and are planning to join the hordes of your fellow American consumers shopping the day after Thanksgiving, consider taking the plunge on your next major purchase at a car dealership on Black Friday.
You Hit the Sweet Spot of Sales
The most discounted months of the year for new cars are October, November, and December. Toward the end of the year, dealerships are more willing to lower their prices in order to keep their sales levels high and finish the year strong. Prices of new cars also tend to be lower at the end of the month, when car dealers are scrambling to meet their monthly sales quotas.
Since Black Friday is at the end of the month of November—which is already one of the most discounted months of the year for new cars—you’re almost guaranteed to find lower prices at your local dealership with or without the holiday. That means that, on Black Friday, you can take advantage of the discounts that come with the end of the year and the end of the month on top of whatever deals and reduced prices your local dealerships offer in celebration of the annual shopping holiday. All those discounts can add up to major savings for you.
You Get to Take Advantage of Last Season’s Discounted Models
The majority of new car models are released in September and October every year. That means that—by the end of November—last season’s models are old news. After the new models come out, sales of models from the previous year drop dramatically.
Dealerships are eager to use Black Friday as an excuse to clear their lots of last year’s cars to make more room for their shiny, new models. If you don’t have your heart set on an updated model and are happy to head home with an outgoing model instead, additional discounts on barely out-of-date models can add even more savings to your post-Thanksgiving car purchase.
Most People Are Shopping Somewhere Else
If you’re going to brave the crowds on Black Friday, a car dealership is surprisingly one of the less chaotic places to go that still offers worthwhile discounts. As hectic as Black Friday is, car dealerships actually aren’t the shopping realm of choice for most consumers on the busiest shopping day of the year. Electronics stores, jewelry stores, department stores, and general merchandise retailers are much more popular destinations.
Of course, it’s unlikely that your local dealership lot will be anywhere near a ghost town the day after Thanksgiving. Anywhere you go to shop on Black Friday, you should expect crowds. Even stores that don’t offer discounted items still experience a notable increase in traffic, if only because so many consumers are already out and about and in the mood to shop.
Some easy preparation can help you stay ahead of the crowd of shoppers that might gather at your local dealership on Black Friday. Don’t head to a dealership on the morning after Thanksgiving to wander around browsing through different models. Black Friday is not the right day for leisurely window shopping. If you plan to buy a new car on Black Friday, you should know exactly which model you want to take home before the big day arrives. That way, you’ll be able to beeline toward your desired model and avoid as much interaction as possible with other shoppers. If you’re not quite sure which car is best for you, browse models online and test drive the models you’re seriously considering early in November so that you are able to solidify your decision before Thanksgiving.