With the holiday season quickly approaching, so is the year’s largest shopping day: Black Friday. When I think of Black Friday my mind immediately turns to the four-in-the-morning battles over holiday discounts. However, a person can get his/her money’s worth without all the constant scrambling. We all know that Black Friday can be seen as chaotic and overwhelming, but here are some insider secrets on how to score stellar deals with less stress.
1. Start ahead of time. Many major retailers launch their Black Friday deals before the official day, so be on the lookout. Gap once offered “Bright Friday” markdowns of up to sixty percent starting the day before Thanksgiving.
2. Do your research. Several websites start posting Black Friday deals as soon as they become available. Here are some sites that are great for checking the latest deals.
Another thing most people do not think of doing is comparing prices. Here is a great site for doing so.
3. Snag bonus discounts. If you enjoy the early morning thrill, there are many early bird rewards containing extra discounts. For example, one year H&M gave the first one-hundred people in line tickets for up to $300 in store credit.
4. Shop safely and with a budget. When it comes to safety, carrying a purse that closes securely and that you can keep in front of you at all times is very beneficial. Carrying cash is a great way to stay on top of your budget, but it is easier to lose. Another alternative would be to use your debit card. However, fraud protection is weaker when using debit cards. Credit cards are the safest when shopping but make it easy to blow your budget. Preparing a list of what you are looking for and the dollar amount that you wish to spend is also a good idea. Once you have reached your budget, it is time to go home.
5. Bring a friend. Shopping with friends can make Black Friday more enjoyable. Also, having an extra pair of eyes can help you score even more deals. Together you can cover more ground and improve your chances of checking everything off your list.
6. Bring snacks. You do not want to be hungry, especially while dealing with all the Black Friday chaos. Make sure you pack snacks that contain complex carbs for energy and protein for power. Also remember to bring something a little sweet to sustain your blood sugar.
7. Ask about the return policy before paying. Return policies have grown to great complexities over the years. For this reason you really want to make sure you know the policy before you hand over the money.
8. Create a game plan. Everyone knows that Black Friday is a hardcore shopping experience. Making a plan will prevent getting lost in the shuffle. Have an idea of what stores you would like to hit and what they have to offer. Also, keep in mind that high-demand purchases may be limited, so buying those first is always smart. Overall, have an idea of what is most important and tackle those purchases first.
If you are just not up for the experience, online shopping at home is another option. Oftentimes, you can find even better prices online than in stores. Here are some tips for those of you who prefer shopping online.
1. Take advantage of free shipping. Shipping can be very expensive at times, so look for sites offering free shipping. Also, try to bundle purchases at one store to take advantage of price-cut opportunities.
2. Remember Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday is a term created by retailers for the Monday following Black Friday. It was invented to convince the public to shop online. That way if you do not complete your entire list on Black Friday, you are covered.
3. Look for online sales ahead of time. Many retailers post online specials starting as early as Thursday. However, remember to be patient. A lot of people will be on the web site throughout the weekend, so the sites may be slow.
Remember, Black Friday shopping can be enjoyable if you know what to do. It is an overall great time to get all of your holiday shopping out of the way. Happy Shopping!