When it comes to making the most of Black Friday, it all comes down to being aware of the tips and tricks that can lead to getting the best deals available.
In recent years, Black Friday has spread beyond just the Friday after Thanksgiving with some stores running specials before and after the day itself.
For many that take part in the annual shopping frenzy, it has become somewhat of a tradition where people are able to complete holiday shopping and save money in the process.
With stores and shopping malls being swarmed by large crowds, Black Friday success can be found in the details by following specific tips and trips to returning home satisfied and stress-free.
Some of the things listed below might seem simple, but it is important for all potential shoppers to be aware of how to attack Black Friday and the days surrounding the event.
1. Shop using discounted gift cards
There is never a bad time to get a good deal, or even a great deal. Discount cards play a major part in this and with help from Raise.com, discounted gift cards can be purchased for hundreds of retailers. Some of many the retailers include Best Buy, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Target, Walmart and Toys R Us.
2. Sign up for emails
Think about which stores you will be shopping at in advance and visit each store’s website to register for their email list. It will take some time for the emails to begin rolling in so it is important to register at least two weeks prior to Black Friday.
3. Prioritize your shopping list
Make sure your list is organized when you are creating it. Order your list in terms of which items you need the most so that an emphasis can be put on finding those before anything else, which will help increase your chances of getting the item.
4. Have a backup plan
Be prepared for a second option due to the high volume of people that will be at each store you visit. In case the item you want is gone by the time you get to it, have a second item on your list to fall back on.
5. Shop with a friend
Having someone to shop with not only makes the experience more enjoyable, but it can also make the Black Friday hassle easier to manage. Through teamwork, you’ll be able to shop more efficiently and maximize your time to be more successful in getting items you want.
6. Use the searchable database to help
Thanks to a free Black Friday database, shoppers will be able to search for items they are looking for to know where they can be found and how much they will cost at each store. Additional money can be saved through ensuring you are paying the lowest price available for each item.
7. Leave the kids at home
Young ones always want to experience Black Friday, but that could hamper your shopping success. The process will take time and patience, which some children do not have and the last thing you want in the middle of shopping is hearing “I’m bored” and “Can we go home now?”
8. Price check in the store
When in each store, money can be saved through an additional method of price comparison. By looking at the store price and the Amazon price on your phone, you’ll be able to be certain if a deal is as good as it may seem. The Amazon app also allows users to scan the barcodes of items to ensure you’re comparing the same product.
9. Plan your shopping trip
Once your shopping list is complete, map out your plan for which stores you’ll visit first. It can be beneficial to visit stores first that have the items you want the most.
10. Don’t even try to price match
A majority of major stores such as Best Buy, Target and Walmart do not price match on Black Friday. Be aware of this to help save time while shopping.
11. Shop on Wednesday
Black Friday is no longer just on Friday so it is important to keep an eye out for stores that start their sales early. Visit your stores of interest on Wednesday and compare them to the expected prices for Friday in case you can save money in advance
If the prices are close, it might be best to go ahead and make purchases on Wednesday to avoid risking that the hot items are sold out on Friday. Wednesday shopping can also allow you to scope out the store layout to be more prepared for Friday.
12. Score early deals
In addition to Wednesday savings opportunities, some major shopping chains will offer online sales during the week leading up to Black Friday. As the popularity of online shopping continues to grow, so does the amount of stores that capitalize on the opportunity so be on the lookout.
13. Shop for other holidays/events
Just because a majority of people are doing their holiday shopping on Black Friday doesn’t mean you have to. Whether it is for personal purchases or for gifts needed for other upcoming events such as weddings or birthdays, there are plenty of opportunities to save money on other items you’ll need to purchase in the near future.
14. Don’t wear red to Target
Your Black Friday wardrobe isn’t often one of the things shoppers plan ahead for, but for certain stores it is important. If you end up wearing a red shirt to Target, be prepared to receive frequent questions from people confusing you with a store employee.
15. Know where to shop
With so many stores offering so many different deals and discounts, it is important to know which stores are the best to shop for certain items.
Clothes: JCPenney and Kohl’s
Computers: Office Depot/Office Max
Tablets: Best Buy
16. Shop online instead
For those not interested in the large crowds and stress of Black Friday, there are plenty of deals available online that will mirror those being offered in stores. With the use of coupon codes, you’ll have the potential to save even more money from the comfort of your own home.
17. Avoid Walmart (if at all possible)
By offering a number of deals on a number of items, the biggest crowds will be found at Walmart as people search for one-stop shopping. Ever seen viral videos of fights breaking out and rushing of crowds on Black Friday? They have historically occurred here and few people would say that saving a few bucks is worth those risks.
18. Get out early
The earlier you begin your Black Friday shopping experience, the better it will be for you in the end. Do your best to beat the crowds by arriving early to ensure you’re able to get items on your list.
19. Shop late
In addition to doorbuster offers for early-bird shoppers, some stores also offer discounts for those shopping later in the day on Black Friday. By scouring the ads for items that will be discounted later in the day, you’ll save yourself from battling crowds.
20. Follow your budget (and use cash)
Prior to creating a shopping list, it is important to set a strict budget. Be prepared to leave the credit cards at home and bring only the cash you’ll need for your list. This will remove any possibility of overspending and making impulse purchases since you won’t have the money for it.
21. Know that doorbusters are few and far between.
Doorbusters are a way for stores to attract shoppers and often times bait them into spending money. Be sure to read the ads closely as many of the doorbusters are extremely limited, so unless you are one of the first in line, you won’t reap the doorbuster benefits.
22. Remember not everything is really a deal
Just because an item is listed as being on sale doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting a good deal. It has been found that some retailers don’t offer the lowest price on certain products until closer to Christmas. By being aware of what is a good price and what costs may be inflated, shoppers can save between 30% and 40% on items if they wait closer to December 25.
23. Know the return policy (and get gift receipts)
This is an important detail to know prior to making any purchases on or around Black Friday. Certain stores adjust their return policy for items purchased during the holiday season by limiting it to a 30-day window. Be aware of the return policy and provide the gift receipt when giving gifts to remove the possibility for any issues.
24. Use shopping bags instead of a cart
This might sound difficult, but once you’ll never look back once you try it. Maneuvering through large crowds is a tall task in itself, but attempting to do so with a bulky cart is even more of a hassle. Bring a couple of recyclable shopping bags with you as a cart alternative to make it much easier to work your way through packed stores.
25. Talk to people in line
Making friends will make your Black Friday experience better and can have benefits as well. See a unique item that you’d like to know the location of? Strike up conversations with those around you. Some people will even let you retain your place in line if you briefly leave to grab another item.