Black Friday is the kick off the holiday shopping season! I’m sharing some simple tips and tricks to make the most of Black Friday (as well as some Cyber Monday tricks as well!).
Do Your Homework and Make a Plan
When it comes to successful Black Friday shopping, having a game plan can make a huge difference. It’s best to do your research ahead of time of the big items you’re hoping to snag. This way you’ll know which stores are offering the deals on the items you want most. Then, make a game plan of which stores you want to hit and when. Or, maybe you’ll see that the options for the items you want are better on Cyber Monday.
Price check in the store
Always do a quick price check of items before pulling the trigger on a purchase. Retailers may inflate discounts to make things look like a better deal. There are easy ways to price check right from your phone. Either check the price on Amazon or use an app like Google Shopping or ShopSavvy which shows you prices of a single item all around the web. This way you can make sure you’re getting the best price.
Don’t Bother with Price Match
If you do find a better price elsewhere, don’t bother trying to do a price match. Most stores discontinue all price matching policies on Black Friday. If you want the better price you’ll need to visit the store (or website) offering it.
Many stores no longer limit Black Friday shopping to JUST Friday. Many retailers start offering their deals earlier in the week. So, keep an eye out starting as early as Monday online and in stores to see if you can snag some early deals.
When you’re shopping online, I always suggest you use an incognito window or clear your cookies/cache before shopping. The reason is, websites track if you’ve visited their site before. If they have shown you a specific price for an item and then lower the price later, they may still show you the higher price because they know you’ve already seen it at the price point. To ensure you’re always seeing the lowest, current price, you’ll want to clear the cookies on your internet browser first.
Know the return policy
If you’re buying gifts, make sure to know each store’s return policy. While they may have a great return policy, it may only be good for 30 days. This way if you gift something on Christmas, your recipient won’t be able to return it if it’s not the right thing.
Also, don’t forget your gift receipts for anything you buy as a git. It makes it way easier for your recipient to return if they need to and it’s a lot easier for the store.
Remember not everything is really a deal
Not everything on Black Friday is a deal and many times the same item may drop even lower before Christmas rolls around. You want to make sure you always look at the original sticker price on the product. Then, compare it to the discount to see how much of a discount it really is. If it’s only 10%-15% off, you may be able to get a better deal if you wait it out. Retailers know that people will be in the “shopping” mindset so they will offer deep discounts on some things but not on others to try to trick you into buying things even if they aren’t marked down that much. Remember don’t fall for the hype of Black Friday shopping, always look at the discount and remember that not all items will be hugely discounted.
Also, remember some stores will inflate the original price to make the deal look better. So while they say it’s $80 marked down from $150, that $150 sticker price might not be accurate. This is another reason price matching is always a good idea. Check what the original price of the item USUALLY is to make sure you’re getting a good deal.
Check the Fine Print
For any of the big deals stores are running for Black Friday, make sure to check the fine print. Just like with all promotional advertising, it may say “50% off everything” but the fine print will exclude certain departments or brands. You want to know the fine print so you don’t end up making a stop somewhere to get something only to realize the fine print doesn’t allow it.
Leave non-shoppers at home
Black Friday is about SHOPPING. You don’t want to bring someone along that doesn’t enjoy it because they’ll slow you down (and, well, not enjoy it.) So leave small children or shopping-hating husbands at home. This way you can make the most of your time.