Black Friday is coming up fast so it is essential that you have a plan to get the items that you want at the lowest prices. There is always a lot of hype surrounding Black Friday, and if you are not careful retailers can dupe you. You may end up actually paying more for the items that you require. Something dressed up as an amazing bargain may not be in reality.
We don’t want you to be disappointed with Black Friday and fall foul of retail tricks. So we have compiled 5 Black Friday shopping strategies for you to follow so that you save money. They will also help you to minimize the frustration that can occur.
Start Preparing Right Now
Things have changed with Black Friday events. A few years ago you could check circulars before the vent to discover the best deals from your favorite retailers. Now Black Friday has expanded and deals are usually available for 3-4 weeks both in store and online.
- You need a plan for Black Friday– spend time prior to the event tracking deals offered by retailers. All of the major retailers have websites with details of the deals. There will also be print media available as well
- Know store layouts – if you are going to fight it out in retail stores then know the layouts so that you can get to the items that you want fast. Wandering around stores on Black Friday is not a good idea
- Check Retailers Websites– visit the websites of the major stores such as Walmart, Costco, Best Buy, Target, BJ’s and Dell and scope out the best deals on offer
- Sign up for alerts at Black Friday websites– com, blackfriday.gottadeal.com, bfads.net, theblackfriday.com and dealnews.com
Have a Budget Ready
You might think that this is strange and unnecessary but you need to remember that the retail stores want you to buy other items once you are there. All of the best deals will be severely limited and you will be in a buying mood so the temptation to spend money on other things will be strong.
- How much do you want to spend on Black Friday shopping?
- Take out cash to cover the purchase of these items and leave your credit cards at home
- If you must use a credit card pay the balance immediately so that you do not have to pay interest
- If you can’t get an item that you want then don’t buy something else instead for the same amount
- Don’t buy accessories in the store as they are likely to be overpriced
- Create a spreadsheet for each item that you want with the price that you are prepared to pay
- Stick to your budget and fight off impulse spending
Most retailers will only have a few really good deals. Their aim is to make money from Black Friday and not lose money. They know that most people will buy on impulse so do not fall into this trap.
Make use of Price Tools and Coupons
On Black Friday there may be several retailers offering the same or similar items at different prices. The last thing you want to be doing is trudging around different stores trying to compare prices. There are websites that you can visit for price comparisons such as:
You can also get apps to use on your smartphone so that you can scan QR codes or barcodes and compare prices, obtain discounts and even find available coupons. Some of the most popular apps for this are:
All of the above apps are available for the iPhone and Android phones so just search for them online and download them. Some of the popular Black Friday websites that we have mentioned have their own apps as well. The largest retailers also have their own apps. Amazon also has an app where you can scan items and compare prices with them.
Be aware that retailers have a few tricks up their sleeve to prevent comparison shopping. They will create fantastic deals around products not displayed in the store prior to Black Friday. They will also create deals around products that are not available in other stores.
Be the First to know
There are a number of ways that you can find out where the real bargains will be ahead of time:
Shopping alerts – sign up for as many shopping alert services as you can
Store loyalty programs – join store loyalty programs for news of bargains ahead of time. In some cases, you will earn reward points for purchasing discounted items
Other alert services – use alert services that tell you if items are in stock and whether you can buy them online and pick them up at the store
Social media – a lot of major retailers will announce their special deals early using their Facebook and Twitter profiles. Make sure that you tap into these feeds.
Always put Safety first
Every Black Friday has a history of altercations and arguments and also thefts. If you spend hours camping outside a store for the Black Friday special and then have items stolen you will not have saved any money. Your personal safety is paramount too so here are some good tips to stay safe and hang on to your belongings:
Keep your purchases hidden – there have been many instances of people storing their bargain items in their cars in full view, only to find later that they have had a window smashed and the items were stolen. Put all of your purchases in the trunk of your car away from prying eyes. If someone is willing to stay in the car and keep guard then all the better
Take good care of your valuables – this doesn’t just apply to Black Friday but anytime you are in a crowded store. Unfortunately, there are a few people out to steal your stuff so keep everything really close and check on your valuables often
Don’t fight to be first in – many people will believe that they need to be first into the store as soon as the doors open to get the bargains they want. If you have planned your Black Friday then this is not necessary. Fighting to get in first can lead to personal injuries
Avoid fighting over that last item in stock – your safety is a lot more important than getting that last item at a knockdown price. Don’t be someone who will “fight to the death” over the last item. Just forget it because life is too short
There is no doubt that there are some real bargains available on Black Friday. You will have a much better chance of getting the items that you want and saving money if you plan ahead. If you approach Black Friday without a plan you are heading for stress and frustration so follow these strategies for the best results. Your overall goal is to shop smarter so you will want a fantastic shopping experience.
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