Can you believe it? I feel as though I was just posting Black Friday deals last year and here it is again, only mere weeks away. Black Friday is the biggest shopping weekend of the year and retailers are well aware of consumers buying habits. They know what deals are good enough to lure customers in and what time they think is the best time to open. It’s getting crazier every year with more and more stores opening on Thanksgiving!
Last year, the National Retail Federation (NRF) estimated that shoppers spent $52 billion at both retail stores and online over the Black Friday weekend. The NRF’s latest study predicts the average shopper will spend $749.50 on gifts and other holiday-related goods this year. With such heavy expenses expected, shoppers need to be proactive in finding ways to save money when Black Friday arrives. It’s up to us to execute a strategic plan of attack before the biggest shopping day of the year, so we don’t end up over-buying and spending way more than we need. [National Retail Federation information is from NRF.com]
With that said, here’s several tips to help you combat Black Friday and get the best deals for your time and money:
- Start researching the sales by checking out the Black Friday ads on Thanksgiving Day or even earlier. Sites such as BlackFriday.com already have a lot of the ads available.
- Any savvy shopper can appreciate a good deal, but it’s the shoppers who plan their Black Friday escapade in advance that walk away with exactly what they wanted; nothing more and with hundreds of dollars saved. Identify what you want to buy, which stores have the best Black Friday sales on those particular items and lastly, what time stores open.
- Timing is everything: Arrange what stores you will be visiting first by opening times from earliest to latest.
- Another good idea: bring a snack. It beats standing in line at an over-crowded food court!
- Know where your items will be located in the store.
- To learn what each retailer has to offer, subscribe to their Black Friday e-mail feed. Most popular retailers, like Target, Amazon, and Walmart, provide an e-mail subscription service, so consumers can be first in line to see this year’s deals.
- Power of numbers: Go with a team and attack different stores, or different departments of the same store. Designate a meeting place to regroup.
Read the Fine Print
Be wary of Black Friday doorbusters with quantity limits. If a store only has ten items or less at a ridiculously low price, plan that you probably aren’t going to snag that deal, unless you start standing in line hours and hours ahead of time.
Last but not least, we see reports of Black Friday violence every year, everything from people getting trampled to shootings. Be polite and courteous to those around you.
There are a lot of great deals to be had, so if you do head out this Black Friday, keep your eye on the prize and prepare ahead. It is the best way to stay on track and make the time worth your while.
*Again the information pertaining to the National Retail Federation is from their site, NRF.com]