Turkey Day is tomorrow and it’s time to think about the day that traditionally marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season … Black Friday.
This time of year can be fun and full of spirit for some, but frustrating and stressful for others. Now that retailers are ready to take over your wallets, it’s best to know how to work this annual shopping day so you can get the best deals possible. Follow these 8 tips so you’re better prepared and not lost in the sauce when game day arrives.
No. 1: Plan Early
Black Friday ads usually come out Thanksgiving Day, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait until then to start planning. Head online to sites like black-Friday.net and bfads.com for a sneak peek at this year’s ads. Then, write out a list of your must-have items. While you’re checking out the Black Friday sites, also be sure to sign up for e-updates. This will ensure that you receive notification when new store ads or coupons are added to the site.
No. 2: Check out the merchandise
Once you have your shopping list, it’s time to start planning your attack. Head to the store to peek at the items that your interested in. Check the quality of the items, look at the product features and compare each item to similar models to be sure that you’ll really be getting a bargain if you decide to buy.
No. 3: Compare Prices
Just because it’s on sale doesn’t mean it’s a great deal. Use a price comparison website like pricegrabber.com to compare prices at competing retailers before you buy. Also, ask for a price match. Stores often say they’re suspending price-match guarantees during the Black Friday weekend, but you should ask for one anyway. After all, these are supposed to be “the lowest prices of the year!”
No. 4: Check the store’s return policies first
You may be familiar with your favorite store’s return policies, but double check to see if anything changed for Black Friday. Sometimes Black Friday sales are “final sales” and can’t be returned, or the item may have a shorter return date or exchange policy where you can’t get your money back, only a store credit.
No. 5: Only shop the deals
Focus your energy on shopping for the bargains, and leave the rest of your Christmas shopping for another day.
No. 6: Check online for coupons
Before you head to the stores, be sure to check online for printable coupons that can be used in store. Some retailers add coupons to their website as late as Thanksgiving Day, so it’s worth a last-minute check before you head out the door. Another great strategy: Sign up to receive e-mail newsletters from all of the stores that you plan to shop at. Newsletter subscribers frequently receive extra savings.
No. 7: Shop online first
Why brave a sea of people swarming store aisles if a retailer is offering the same or an even better deal online? You could luck up with retailers that offer online exclusives often combined with low- or no-cost shipping deals.
No. 8: Re-evaluate your purchases
Getting swept up in the excitement of Black Friday can often lead to impulse buys and overspending. Let that bargain shoppping buzz wear off; then, return any items that you don’t feel great about.