Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping days of the year. The Friday after Thanksgiving is filled with some of the best deals and lowest prices of the holiday season.
With a bit of careful Black Friday planning, using these shopping tips, you can have a successful day and good head start on your Christmas shopping.
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These Black Friday shopping tips can help you prepare for your holiday shopping trip:
- Take note of the people you have to buy gifts for. Look through the Black Friday ads and decide which gifts you’d like to purchase for each one.
- Start researching now! In order to recognize a good deal, you need to know what the prices are regularly. Download a free budget template and start using it early in the year so you have the ability to buy something immediately if you see a good deal.
- Study the ads; even for stores you may not usually shop. Make a list of items you want to buy from each store and mark the sales paper.
- Plan which stores you need to go to first. You obviously won’t be able to get to each store as it opens since many will open at the same time. Be sure you get to the store with the most items on sale that you want. Also, be sure to note any doorbusters or limited time only sales.
- Check online sales first! After your Thanksgiving meal, get a head start by going online to see if websites have the same items available as in the stores. You may even be able to find some sales not available in physical stores. Purchasing sales items from a website will also enable you to get the items you want from the comfort of your own home, without having to drive through traffic or dealing with sales-crazed shoppers.
- Bring along large reusable shopping bags! Carts are not only in limited supply on Black Friday, but can also be cumbersome to push through large crowds. Head into the store ready to shop with a bag on your arm.
- Set a budget and stick to it. Once you know which sales you want to go to first and what you want to purchase, decide which things are within your budget. The sales during Black Friday may be great, but you don’t want to be paying for that new TV until next Christmas or longer.
- Compare prices for products on sale. You may be able to find some unadvertised sales not too far from the boxes of new stereos, televisions or game systems. In fact, after you’ve found the items you can from your list, you might want to look around to see what other sales are available.
Depending upon what type of cell phone and service you have, you may be able to compare prices in different stores to see if one store has the same or similar item for a better price. You might as well save as much money as you can and avoid some running around.
Also, make sure you’ve signed up for retailer’s newsletters to receive additional coupons and/or rewards, plus download store apps.
Here are other tips you can do to stay consumer aware and safe while shopping:
- Be sure to take along the sales papers from each store you plan to go to. Some stores will match their competitor’s sales prices, but you won’t get the price if the store isn’t aware of the other store’s price. Be aware, read each store’s Price Match Guarantee carefully if you plan on using them! Of course, not all stores will match prices, but it’s worth a try.
- Protect yourself while you’re out and about. Take only your driver’s license and the debit or credit cards you know you’ll use. You may also want to carry cash if you don’t use plastic and carry it in a front pocket rather than a purse. Cover the panel when inputting your PIN and put the cards away as soon as you’re done.
- Pay attention to or ask about a store’s return policy on Black Friday sale items. You’ll also want to be sure to get (and save) a receipt for every item you buy. Don’t forget to grab those gift receipts as well! You definitely won’t be able to return an item without a receipt. Familiarize yourself with the store’s Final Sale policy before buying — especially any big-ticket items.
These Black Friday shopping tips may help you be more successful than if you don’t have a plan at all. Remember to be careful both in the store and in traffic.
If you can, share the day with a friend or family to make the day more enjoyable. Don’t forget to pass along these Black Friday shopping tips as well!