Can you believe that it’s almost Thanksgiving? After that comes Christmas, then New Year! With the holiday season fast approaching, you can’t help but think about the people for whom you will shop gifts.
Thankfully, this is also the time for great deals which are really taken advantage of by shoppers. Number one on the last is Black Friday. Aside from the US, Black Friday is a shopping holiday observed in Canada, the United Kingdom and Latin America.
In the US, Black Friday is followed by Cyber Monday and Boxing Day, although it is the biggest of the three. The term comes from the expression ‘being in the black’, which means that this is the point when retailers start to earn a profit. It’s the opposite of being in the read, which means that they are operating at a financial loss.
For the past few decades, retailers have gone all-out in promoting their Big Friday deals. There was a time when shops opened their doors at 6 in the morning. When lines of people started appearing at the door of retailers just so that they can get the best deals, some stores opened as early as 5 am, 4 am, while some eventually kept their stores open the whole night for Black Friday.
Top 10 Tips for Saving Money on Black Friday Shopping
If you’re willing to brave the crowds, you will definitely save a lot of money by taking advantage of buyers’ deals during Black Friday.
However, you also need to have a game plan. If you will simply grab whatever you want that’s on sale, for example, you can easily blow your budget and find out that you are still paying for your Black Friday purchases until the middle of next year. Also, there are retailers who will sneak in what buyers think are great prices, when in fact, they are just a little bit lower than what they would usually charge for the product.
So how can you avoid these traps? Take a look at our top ten tips on how you can save money when going shopping this upcoming Black Friday:
1. Know which stores offer the best deals
Again, if you are willing to brave the crowds, it is best to know which stores offer the best Black Friday deals. The catch is that even if some stores advertise that they offer 50% to 70% off their regular rates, there are usually a limited number of stocks. Once these stocks are sold, the sticker prices would usually go back to normal.
To be a wise shopper, you have to know what the usual selling prices are in the first place so that you can decide if you are really getting the best deal.
Now, here is a quick list of some brick-and-mortar and online stores which offer great deals during Black Friday:
- Best Buy
- Bed, Bath & Beyond
- Fred Meyer
- Sam’s Club
- Tiger Direct
If you’re shopping at an actual store, do your research about which items they specialize in. For example, Navy Exchange is perfect for when you’re looking for a holiday gift for your mom, wife, sister-in-law, or that special woman in your life.
NewEgg sells gadgets, computer hardware, and consumer electronics. Of course, there are also the usual suspects like Amazon where you can take advantage of great online deals, Walmart, Best Buy, and Bed, Bath & Beyond.
2. Check out the online Black Friday offers
Amazon is probably the most visited website during the holiday season, especially Black Friday because of the amazing deals that they offer. If you haven’t tried it out yet, you might want to sign up for their Amazon Prime deal where you can take advantage of free shipping and more freebies after reaching a certain amount as your minimum purchase.
Other online stores also offer great Black Friday deals. Again, to make sure that you are getting the best rates, it pays to do a price comparison – which is easier when you are shopping online.
Expert shoppers recommend that you not click on the Buy or Purchase button until you’ve searched for a coupon or discount code online. There are 10% off coupon codes that you can get along with buy one, get one free offers, or free shipping deals.
3. Make a list of the items that you need
One of the biggest traps that shoppers fall into during the holiday shopping season is being an impulse buyer. They usually buy into the hype of purchasing a hot ticket item, simply because it’s on sale. But what if it’s something that you don’t really need?
Instead of spending the better part of next year paying your credit card bill because of the overshopping that you did during the Black Friday sale season, it’s better to know your limit and make a list of the items that you need.
To make yourself feel better, allot a certain amount which you can use as a gift for yourself. This item can serve as your gift for yourself, and it could be something really fancy or indulgent.
4. Do your research
While you are making that list, number the items according to priority. Let’s say that you would really like to buy the fanciest flat screen TV because the small one that you have at home looks so dated. You can give this as a gift to yourself, but you should still do your research. Compare product reviews and look for a suitable brand.
Learn about which store offers the best deal for that TV brand and model, and call in advance to make sure that you can shop for what you need on Black Friday at the earliest time possible – so you can have the item that you want without spending too much.
5. Shop only using cash
You’ve probably heard this too many times but it is better to shop during Black Friday using only cash. If you will bring along your credit card, you are most likely to overspend. Decide how much money you can spend on Black Friday shopping and bring just enough cash with you.
6. Set a spending limit
If you really must use your credit card, make sure to set a spending limit. Write the amount down in big, bold letters and paste it on your wallet or in front of the card. Just because there are plenty of great deals out there does not mean that you have the license to overspend.
7. Download Black Friday apps
On your iOS or Android phone, you can download apps which are specifically designed to help you get the best deals during Black Friday.
For example, the Black Friday App lets you go through ‘leaked’ ads from more than 60 major retailers. This will give you an easier time at going comparison shopping whether you are buying items online or from brick-and-mortar stores.
If you’re an Amazon loyalist, you can visit the website from the beginning of November and check on their Black Friday deals section to get the best deals possible not just from Black Friday but up to Cyber Monday.
8. Bring the ad with you
If you’re hoping to buy consumer electronics at great bargains, there would be a lot of models, colors, and brands to choose from. If you see a particularly good deal with the brand and model that you like, save the ad on your phone or cut the coupon off a magazine or a newspaper. This will make it easier for the staff at the store to get you exactly what you want, and tell you whether they still have it on stock.
If you have a loyalty card, a credit card, an online coupon or a discount voucher, bring that as well so that you can lower the price even ore.
9. Steer clear of expensive add-ons
To make up for the extremely low price, most retailers will be offering pricey accessories or extended warranties for the supposedly cheap items that you just bought. No matter how persistent the sales clerk is, say no to the extended warranty offer. These are almost always superfluous because you are bound to still be using the appliance or electronic gadget long after the warranty has expired.
10. Still make a price comparison
Finally, just because it’s Black Friday does not mean that everything you see on sale is actually priced lower than usual. You should still be vigilant enough to do your research to determine if there really is a percentage of the price offered as a discount.
If you are not willing to brave the crowds during Black Friday, there’s always Cyber Monday to look forward to, where you can shop at the comfort of your own home or office. It also pays to know exactly when the Black Friday deals start at certain stores, because some establishments begin earlier – prior to the actual holiday shopping rush.
Whether it’s a big ticket item or just small Christmas presents that you are looking forward to buy, the upcoming Black Friday shopping holiday is the best time to purchase them at your favorite online or brick-and-mortar stores.
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