Black Friday is almost here, and shoppers are scrambling to get the best deals. Of course, any event with consumers spending $205 billion in such a short time is attractive for a reason.
But if you’re planning to make the most out of this day, and the deals on offer, then you need to prepare properly.
If you budgeted and planned for the shopping that you are doing on Black Friday, then you are good to go! For many people, this is a chance to get things they really need at a price they can afford. Also, if you celebrate the holidays by giving gifts, this can be a fantastic opportunity to get the people you love the things they want.
This can also be a time to stock up on things you may need, like clothing, winter gear, or baby stuff, BUT it’s not worth it to buy the things you MAY need if you have to borrow money on a credit card to do so.
Don’t forget that stores have put lots and lots of effort into making you think you need something you don’t and into thinking you can afford things that you really can’t afford.
They want you to believe that the deals are amazing- but remember: a deal is only a deal if you can afford it!
Jonathan Merry, the CEO of BanklessTimes.com, has some tips on making the most out of your upcoming shopping spree.
1. Learn How To Recognize Fake Discounts
Some retailers don’t give real discounts. Instead, they keep the same prices but advertise great deals. With some stores, you might even pay more during Black Friday, even though the item you’re interested in is on sale.
The best way to find out how good a deal is is to keep an eye on prices leading up to Black Friday. Use a tool like the Wayback Machine and look at a product’s page on different days of the year, or track it a couple of weeks or months in advance.
2. Have a Plan Ready
Black Friday can be overwhelming, both financially and logistically. You expect to get the best deals for everything you want in the shortest amount of time possible. The last thing you need is to go to a store only to find out that what you wanted is already sold out.
The best way to avoid this is by having a plan of action. Have a very clear idea of what you want, which stores have it, and where these items are located. This way, you aren’t going to be wasting time just browsing (which will be impossible anyway, thanks to the crowds). The sooner you get to the right retailer and the right aisle, the greater the odds of not missing out.
Having a list of products in advance will also save you from impulse buying.
3. Make a Budget, and Stick To It
Black Friday is very tempting, and something people wait for all year. There is an unlimited number of shopping opportunities and discounts. And going over budget is very common in all of the excitement.
Therefore, making a budget is just as important as having a plan ready. You do not want to end up with an overcharged credit card because you bought things you don’t really need. A set budget is an important self-imposed limit that can stop you from making some poor decisions.
4. Compare Prices and Offers
Black Friday is all about getting the best deals possible. However, too many people just latch onto the first deal they see. The most cost-effective decision is to make a proper price comparison for the products you are interested in.
First, always look for hidden fees and charges. Don’t just look at the sticker price, but actually, check if there are any additional costs (like shipping costs). You might get a product for the same price at one store but get none of the extra charges in another.
Then, do your homework. Don’t just stick to one retailer. Rather, compare prices between multiple stores and websites. See if some places offer special deals, coupons, bonuses, or extra discounts.
This approach can also help you make the most out of stores that have a price-matching policy in place.
5. Go Online
Don’t limit yourself to just brick-and-mortar stores – take advantage of online sales as well.
Many retailers offer exclusive online deals on Black Friday, which can be even better than what’s available in stores. They might have preorders available, special online coupons and discounts, as well as an inventory larger than what you might see displayed at the stores themselves.
And best of all, you get to shop from the comfort of your own home, have more payment options, and avoid the inevitable crowds.
5. Sign Up for Loyalty Programs and Emails
There are several reasons why you should set up an online account with a specific retailer. First, you get to create a wishlist, making shopping a bit simpler. Second, you will have a little bit of extra information about the product you might be interested in.
However, the main purpose of setting these up is to get some extra information sooner. Namely, most stores will keep you better informed through your account, sending you notifications and newsletters about special deals and discounts you might otherwise miss.
Signing up for loyalty programs can also get you discount codes and points that you can use for items that you really need.
Have fun shopping!