If you’re seeking great deals, now is the time to shop. You can find items at rock-bottom prices and stock up on necessities for the upcoming year. There’s nothing quite like Black Friday. However, there are a few do’s and don’ts you must be aware of if you want to get the most bang for your buck. Not every item is really a deal, so you’ll need to do your research so you can decide if venturing outside after your holiday meal is really worth the effort. Here are a few tips for holding on to more of your cash.
You don’t have wait until Friday
Black Friday is starting earlier and earlier each year. Many stores are now holding pre-Black-Friday sales—some almost two weeks before the big day. These deals are just as good as the ones you’ll find on Black Friday. Early birds can snag great perks such as free shipping (if you choose to shop online) and two-for-one deals. Other retailers, such as Staples, are holding their Black Friday sales throughout the entire month of November. The key to finding a good deal is to do your research well in advance of Black Friday.
“If you want to get the most out of your shopping on Black Friday, it is critical to maximize your research efforts in the days beforehand…Just as elite athletes spend large amounts of time preparing for events that just last seconds, you must take the time to formulate your plan of action for that one day, Black Friday,” said shopping expert Kiki Ryan in The Ultimate Guide to Shopping on Black Friday.
There are some items you may not want to buy
You may not want to purchase items such as furniture, gift cards, and winter clothing during Black Friday sales events. According to Deal News, these categories are often not marked down very much during this time. Furniture tends to go on sale during the warmer months of July and August, while you’ll see the best deals on gift cards and winter clothing in December and January, respectively.
Use shopping apps
There are several apps designed just for helping you find the perfect Black Friday deal. These apps allow you to monitor price changes and stay up-to-date on the latest deals. One helpful app is Black Friday, which makes it easier for shoppers to compare prices across different store ads.
Create a list
If you choose to do your Black Friday shopping in the store instead of online, you’ll benefit from carrying a list. This way you’ll stay within your budget and avoid spending more time in the store than you have to. In Black Friday Book, author Frances P. Robinson suggests making your list as detailed as possible. Robinson advises breaking down your shopping list by store. She also goes a step further and advises creating a schedule with the time of day you plan to visit each store so you can get all of your shopping done within a reasonable time. Your list should also include a column showing the total amount spent.
You may be better off staying home
Retailers will be having sales both in stores and online. If you want to avoid the crowds and let your Thanksgiving dinner settle, you may want to stay at home and just grab deals from the comfort of your home. Adobe’s 2015 Holiday Online Shopping Predictions survey predicts mobile purchases will drive 51% of shopping traffic this holiday. Shopping expert Juliana Yates says shopping online will not only save cash but also help you have a calmer holiday:
“Shopping online during the holiday season is not only the best way to get more ‘bang for your financial buck,’ but also the best way to save your sanity. There are no crowded parking lots, crazed shoppers, or checkout lines that will leave you feeling faint before you even reach for your credit card.”