Black Friday Shopping Tips

It’s November, which means it’s almost that time of year again! There’s a chill in the air, lights and holly are around the city, and the stores are stocked full of gifts. The only downside is that the most wonderful time of the year can put a strain on the wallet. That’s why starting getting a head start on shopping with Black Friday has become a holiday staple. Taking on the crowds can be intimidating for newbies. Follow these tips to be a Christmas hero:

  1.     Sign up for emails: Normally, you hate getting these store emails, but on big days like Black Friday, they can actually be a huge time saver. Figure out what stores you’re going to hit, go to their website, and sign up for email coupons. To keep your regular email from getting bombarded, make a separate email account that’s strictly for store emails. You can delete or forget about this email after the holidays.
  2.     Do your research: Start looking for the best deals coming to stores with apps and websites. Go to websites like dealnews.com, blackfriday.info, bfads.net, and raise.com for a jump start on the deals.
  3.     Prioritize your list: On the big day, have a strategy for which stores to visit first. Find what deal is the most important to you. Do you want to go ahead and buy one of the most expensive items on your list? Or is there something that has a limited number in stores? Find those first, so that you don’t have any disappointments on Christmas morning.
  4.     Back-up plan: It’s inevitable—there will be something that you can’t find. Instead of going into a frenzy, have a backup plan. Maybe it wasn’t the first thing on your loved ones list, but you can find something else that they are sure to love.
  5.     Search online to compare prices: While you are walking through the stores, have your smart phone in the other hand. Quickly plug in the item that you are interested in, and see if Google can find the same item at another location for less. Sometimes Amazon or other online sites will give you a better deal than brick and mortar stores.
  6.     Shop Wednesday: Get a head start before the crowds. A number of stores will start to stock shelves with the Black Friday deals on Wednesday. If nothing else, it’s a great time to do your research to see which stores you need to go to first.
  7.     Shop early/shop late: Stores are opening earlier and earlier. A few even open late Thanksgiving Day. Stores want shoppers to get there early, and stay there late. The middle of the day usually isn’t the best time to hit the stores for deals. Wake up early on Friday, take a break for lunch, and maybe even grab a nap to recharge. Then go back out later that afternoon for the evening deals. This also gives the stores a chance to restock their shelves, so if you couldn’t find it in the morning, chances are, it’s there in the evening.
  8.     Shop online: Skip the crowds altogether! Most stores offer Black Friday deals online that are comparable to their in-store deals. Sit in your PJ’s, let the kids sleep in, and rake in the deals.

Black Friday is a marathon—not a sprint. It’s a great opportunity to score big on Christmas gifts if you spend a little bit of time planning. The main thing is to remember to enjoy yourself! Chat with the folks around you, sing the Christmas songs on the radio, and take time for your favorite hot drink. The most difficult part of the day will be finding a place to store all of your finds until Santa arrives! 

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