Thanksgiving is less than 2 weeks away. For retailers and customers alike, that means one thing: Black Friday is just around the corner!
Whether you’re shopping in-store, online or both, we are here to help you survive the Black Friday madness. We’ve pulled together the most essential shopping tips and advice to ensure you make the wisest buying decisions this buying season.
1. Make a List and Check it Twice
One of the worst things you can do on Black Friday is purchase items blindly without a shopping list. Shopping without a specific list usually causes you to spend more and purchase items that you don’t need. Whether you use a scrap of paper or a detailed spreadsheet, make sure to list all of the items you need to buy in advance of your shopping trip.
2. Create a Budget and Stick to It
If you followed our first tip, then you should have a shopping list. Now, figure out how much you’re willing to spend on each item and stick to it. This might be easier said than done because Black Friday deals are so attractive, impulse shopping comes easy. 80% off something sounds too good to pass up but that’s only true if 1. It is something you planned on buying in the first place and 2. If that discount brings it under the price you’re interested in paying, otherwise, it’s still a bad purchase, despite the “Black Friday Sale”.
3. Start Shopping Early
Black Friday is no longer a one-day event. It’s more like “Black Week” or “Black Month” as the deals start earlier and run longer. As a matter of fact, some of the best sales aren’t even released on Black Friday; they’re actually unveiled throughout Thanksgiving week. So we suggest you start your shopping early, to increase your chances of finding the items you want on sale and in stock.
4. Know Code, Coupon, Gift Card and Credit Card Rewards Program in Advance
Each retailer has its own Black Friday promotion plan. Keep an eye out for retailers’ Black Friday deals, sometimes they offer many discount codes/coupons, gift cards in advance. And don’t forget that many credit card company features a rewards program. Such as offering 1.5% cashback on all purchase, 3% back at restaurants. You can also buy gift cards at a discounted rate from big box stores to compound your savings.
5. Compare Prices
Before you buy anything on Black Friday, use a price-comparison engine/site such as Google Shopping or Price Grabber to make sure you’re getting the best price. And compare the “options” included with the product.
6. Check the Return Policy
Returns matter regardless of whether you’re buying for yourself or as a gift. “Final Sale” products tend to have the strictest policies, check the return and exchange policies for Black Friday sales to make sure that the store won’t charge a restocking fee for any item you bring back. Also, be sure to ask for and save your receipts. You never know when you may need them.
After all the Black Friday shopping tips we’ve pulled together, do you have a go-to strategy for the big day? Tell us in the comments below.
(All the images are from Shutterstock)