When thinking about shopping for the holidays you can’t help but notice advertisers and their many, many, many advertisements concerning their Black Friday deals. You hear of dream like prices and bargains of yesteryear from your friends, but the idea of facing crazy, competitive shoppers and crowds of people at hours of the day in which you are normally sleeping may seem overwhelming, especially if you have just spent the day before cooking and enjoying a fun and exhausting day with family and friends for Thanksgiving. However, taking advantage of Black Friday bargains does not have to be overwhelming or complicated if you take a few simple steps and keep a few simple rules in mind.
6 Tips for Black Friday Shopping
1. Set up a Google Alert to track chatter about Black Friday deals. Google Alerts are email updates of the latest information that pops up on a Google search of a topic that interests you. Setting up a Google Alert titled “Black Friday” most easily helps you track news as it relates to Black Friday. I find it easier to follow my Google Alerts in the month before Black Friday than by going to the many, many sites that summarize Black Friday for you.
2. Do not be dependent on Black Friday focused websites that promise previews of Black Friday advertisements. A lot of time these advertisements are not accurate. Always double-check what you are reading with the official advertisements later.
2. Know what you are looking for and what price is a good price. When perusing the advertisements for discounts you won’t know a good discount unless you’ve done your research about what a good bargain actually looks like.
3. Make a list of what you are going to buy and stick to it. People tend to overspend and get caught up in the excitement of bargain shopping on Black Friday. However if you have a list and promise yourself to stick to it, you will not get sidetracked. This will help you will more easily stick to your spending goals.
4. Make a shopping schedule. Back in the day all of the stores may have opened one or two hours earlier than normal, but they all opened at the same time. Now different stores are opening at different times, some as early as midnight. By creating a schedule you can most efficiently move from store to store and be finished with your shopping more quickly than you originally thought.
5. Gather recruits to help you shop. Many stores open at the same time, and the best deals can disappear within minutes. Gather your friends and family to help you, and together you can divide and conquer. Be careful of purchasing limits, however. Often times you are limited to a certain amount of certain items. If you and your partner both want the same item, this could be a problem requiring more recruits.
6. Look to see if stores offer the same deals online. Most stores these day offer the same deals online that they do in the stores, and sometimes those deals pop up earlier. Last year there was one particular item I wanted, and I searched online Thanksgiving day using my smart phone while road tripping to my cousin’s house for dinner. By the time my husband got us to our destination I had made my Black Friday purchases all before having a single bite of turkey. Be careful as shipping charges can sometimes destroy the bargain you are getting on Black Friday.
Black Friday shopping does not have to be complicated or overwhelming. With a little organization, and the few tips I’ve provide above it can be a rewarding experience that can be completed in just a couple of hours. Good luck!
Do you have any advice about Black Friday shopping that I may have missed? I’d love to hear from you.