Yep. It’s that time of year again. Black Friday mania is hitting warp speed. Mega-deals and super-sales are flaunting their price savings around every corner. This year, many super sales are starting earlier than ever, some even this weekend! What’s a savvy shopper to do?
Start shopping of course! However, successfully navigating through all those hot Black Friday deals can be intimidating to many a shopper, me included. Here are nine favorite Black Friday shopping survival tips to help you arrive back home, bags of deals in hand, and a semblance of your sanity still intact.
1. Create A Black Friday Shopping Wish List
A Black Friday shopping wish list is key to a successful Black Friday mega-shopping day. A well organized shopping list not only keeps your eye on the prize, it can also help prevent overspending. Your list should include Doorbuster deals and the times they are available as well as where to find them. It should also include all other sale items you want to purchase. Know before you go what you want to buy.
2. Be Aware of What NOT To Buy on Black Friday
Just because it’s Black Friday doesn’t mean everything will be offered at a great sale price. You might want to hold off purchasing the following items, unless of course you stumble upon a fab Doorbuster deal. These items tend to drop in price later in the season.
- Holiday decorations
- Winter clothes and boots
- Most toys
- Hot/Trending Electronics
- Fitness Equipment
- Bedding and Blankets
When to Buy Tip: Start looking for deals later in December and well into January, when many of these items will be available at some serious discounts.
3. Comparison Shop In The Days Before Black Friday
Comparison price shopping before Black Friday is your best bet for finding the best deals. Get online and check prices of the items on your shopping list. Identify which retailers have your sought-after items at the lowest prices. Then check prices again Thanksgiving day. It’s a crazy shopping time, and prices are in flux. A little price knowledge goes a long way in ensuring you nail the best deals.
Price Comparison Tip: Load your mobile phone with your favorite shopping apps for on-the-go price comparisons. Here’s my favorite Black Friday shopping apps – Your Best Black Friday Shopping Apps Roundup.
4. Arm Yourself With A Black Friday Shopping Strategy
Create a shopping strategy based around your must-have Black Friday sales. A well-executed shopping strategy can save not only money, but time too. Malls are crowded, parking lots difficult to navigate, Doorbuster deals and Early Bird specials hard to score. Knowing in advance where you need to be, and when, could save on headaches and your sanity too! It’s also very helpful if your plan includes Doorbusters at multiple stores.
Shopping Strategy Tip: Your shopping strategy should include a prioritized list of highest priority sale items, the retailers selling them, and when to be there to nab the deals.
Doorbuster Shopping Tip: Doorbusters are typically limited inventory and sell out fast. Split up Doorbuster shopping with a friend. You go to one Doorbuster deal, and she goes to the other. Cha-ching! You both win.
Finding Store Hours Tip: Check Brad’s Black Friday’s Black Friday 2014 Store Hours for a very comprehensive list of major store Black Friday hours.
5. Load Your Mobile Device With Key Shopping Apps
Arm your mobile device with a few favorite shopping apps before heading out for Black Friday shopping. The right apps can help you find the best prices, get to the right stores, get the best deal in hand, and get out, with your sanity still intact. Apps are also great for online searches of coveted items already sold out at the store.
Shopping Apps Tip: Find a list of my favorite apps at Your Best Black Friday Shopping Apps Roundup. I also load my local mall app to help me navigate through the crowds.
6. Shop Black Friday Sales Online
Many retailers release Black Friday deals at their online stores before they are available at their brick and mortar stores. Sometimes, the online deals are even better than the deals in the stores! So take your time and enjoy Thanksgiving with family and friends. Then once that football game is playing, slip online and score some Black Friday deals.
Online Shopping Tip: Online shopping is a great way to avoid the crowds! Just know your prices and be aware of shipping fees before placing your order.
7. Ask For A Price Match
Found the item you want, but there’s a better price at the retailer down the road? Pull up that lower price on your handy mobile shopping app, show the retailer, and ask for a price match! You never know. You might just get that lower price. Read more about how to successfully request a price match at The Art of The Price Match.
Price Matching Tip: Save your receipts and do a price check of bigger ticket items in the next 7-10 days. If the price went down, ask the retailer for the equivalent price reduction.
8. Know Store Return Policies
Whether shopping online, or shopping at the mall, it’s always good to know the store’s return policy. Especially if you get caught up in a frenzied shopper’s moment and purchase something that you just don’t remember why you purchased it! Or if somebody else scored the same deal and gifts that item to you, leaving you with double the deal.
Returning Items Tip: Make note of the last day to return the items on the sales receipt, then tuck the receipts away in a safe place just in case you need to make a return.
9. Shop With Friends!
Most of all, make this a fun day! Shop with friends or family, have fun and don’t get caught up in all that Black Friday drama. Enjoy the day! If you aren’t having fun, then why do it?
Shopping With Friends Tip: When shopping multiple deals in crowded stores, split up! She snags deals from one side of the store, you get the deals on the other side. Meet up after checkout and savor the savings.
What’s Your Black Friday Shopping Strategy?
So many sales, so many ads, and who’s got the best deal? Is that price available only during Early Bird or Doorbuster hours? Gaaaa! It’s enough to drive a shopper insane! Do you have a Black Friday shopping strategy?
Do you have a Black Friday shopping tip to maintain your sanity? Or do you just avoid the day altogether and stay home enjoying all those Thanksgiving meal leftovers? Do share!