Black Friday Shopping Tips
Thanksgiving is always on the fourth Thursday of November, and it’s filled with family, delicious food, and plenty of naps. And the next day…well, that’s Black Friday. It’s filled with crowds, great deals, and it kicks off the start of the holiday shopping season.
This year, if you’re going to do some Black Friday shopping, you want to be prepared. Yes, that may mean some extra coffee before you head out the door, but there are some additional things you should do, too. Here are some tips to help you manage the craziness of Black Friday.
- Spend some time doing research before you shop – If you’re shopping for big-ticket items, such as televisions or large appliances, do your research ahead of time. Know exactly what you want, read reviews, and check Consumer Reports to make sure you’re buying quality items.
- Be sure to check the ads and your apps – You definitely want to check the ads – both online and in your local newspapers. And, make sure you’ve downloaded the apps of your favorite stores as many of them load their sales on the apps, too. Scope out what you’re looking for and know where you need to go to get it.
- Check prices carefully – Many stores carry the same or similar items, but you may still see a difference in prices. Be sure to check prices carefully and make sure you are comparing apples to apples when looking at similar products.
- Are there any early-bird sales? – Lots of stores offer early-bird sales. If you’re willing to sacrifice a little sleep and wait in line, you might score some amazing deals. But also know that there is usually a limited quantity of these items – so, you may miss out if you’re not there early enough.
- Shop online if you can – Many of the same sales that are offered in-store are also offered online. Check and see if that’s the case with the important items you want. You may be able to order online and avoid the crowds altogether.
- Map your route – This may seem silly, but you want to map your shopping route. If there are some must-buy items on your list, make sure you’re hitting those stores first. Also, try to plan your shopping so that you are going to the stores that are closest to each other. You want to avoid doubling back during the day if possible.
- Bring your ads with you – There’s nothing worse than going to check out, and the sale price doesn’t come up at the register. Bring your ads with you to show the clerk the listed sale price and, hopefully, save yourself some time.
- Check on the stores’ return/exchange policies – Make sure you know each store’s return policy. You don’t want friends or family to be stuck with gifts they may not like and not have the ability to return them.
- Use your gift cards – Do you have gift cards just sitting in your wallet? Then why not use them to buy some holiday gifts for others? It’s a great way to save some money and use up gift cards that are collecting dust.
- Stay within your budget – It’s easy to get a little carried away with Black Friday sales but resist the urge. Stay within your budget so that you’re not maxing out your credit cards or spending cash you just don’t have.
- Leave the kids at home, if possible – If at all possible, leave the kids at home. It’s not going to be a fun shopping experience for anyone if you’re trying to wrangle kids and find exactly what you need.
- Be patient – Above all, have patience. This is a busy day for everyone – shoppers and store personnel. Be ready to spend some time waiting in lines – but try to do it with a smile on your face.
If you love Black Friday shopping, hopefully, these tips will help you make it a successful one. Get ready to put on those running shoes and get ready to shop ‘til you drop!