It’s widely accepted that the biggest shopping day of the year- Black Friday- officially starts on Thursday. In order to secure the best deals, getting in line before midnight is crucial. For some stores, the sales begin even before Thanksgiving dinner is served. Save your spot and the sales that come with it by getting your Black Friday plans in order weeks before the big day.
Your choice in Black Friday shopping partner can make or break your shopping trip. Whether you’re a speed demon or you prefer to browse at a slower pace, you’ll need to make sure that your shopping buddy matches your pace. Pick a friend or family member that shares your Black Friday style for the best shopping scenario.
Price Match to Perfection
As you prepare to face the Black Friday crowds, be prepared to barter for a better deal. The simplest way to get the best deals is to check online for current sales. If you find that an item is priced higher in-store than online, you can ask for a price match to snag the deal.
Scour the Sites
Even before Cyber Monday rolls around, many online retailers offer an abundance of online deals on Black Friday. Some of these sales can be easily missed among the margins of the mailers, so be sure to keep an eye out for them. This awareness can give you a head start on navigating the uncertain waters of Cyber Monday.
Dare to Compare
If you’ve got your eye on a particular item this Black Friday, it’s worth your time to run some price comparisons ahead of time. The same item can vary greatly in price depending on which retailer is selling it, and you’ll need to do some research ahead of time to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible.
Smartphones are a must have when it comes to getting the most out of Black Friday. A number of retailers have moved to a model that combines the convenience of same-day in-store shopping with the ease of online ordering. Take advantage of store apps on your phone with features such as curbside pickup or same-day delivery.
Read the Fine Print
There are times when a deal on a big-ticket item is simply too good to be true. Retailers have a way of hiding stipulations within their sales, such as a minimum purchase or “free gifts” that aren’t actually free. Be sure to read the fine print involved with any deal, especially if it seems like it’s giving you unrealistic savings.
Venture Away From Home
If you call the big city home, chances are Black Friday traffic and crowds will be nightmarish. In this case, it may be worth taking a journey to a more sparsely populated area for your shopping adventure. Suburbs tend to offer more space for the busiest shopping day of the year, which means that even a chaotic event like Black Friday can be a bit less stressful when you have room to stretch.
One aspect of Black Friday many tend to overlook is a store’s return policy. Return policies have become more stringent in recent years, and can be even worse on Black Friday. Some stores may provide a limited window for which you can return an item for a refund. And even worse? They may charge you a fee for restocking.
Again, it’s always important to read the fine print when searching for deals on Black Friday. It could make all the difference for returning, or exchanging, that must-have chair cover or pillow cover for ones that better match your outdoor decor.
One Word: Plastics
If there’s one time in the year to break out your credit cards, it’s Black Friday. When shopping for all your holiday gifts, consider using credit cards to cover your purchases. The rewards offered by your credit card company, be they cash back or airline miles, will more than make up for the money spent. Just make sure to pay your bill in full and on time- or better yet, earlier than it’s due.
Don’t Shop Hungry
When you’re out and about this Black Friday, remember to stay satiated and hydrated. Nothing will drain the energy of a holiday shopper faster than an empty stomach. Consider stopping by a Mom and Pop cafe or diner to get your food and caffeine fix while helping to support a local business. When the day is done and you can return home, pull off the fire pit covers and chair covers for a relaxing homemade meal enjoyed fireside.