Decisions…..Decisions….In the past, Black Friday was the “tell- tell” sign that the Christmas Season was in full swing and turkey sandwiches would be waiting for you when you returned home. However, that’s not necessarily the case these days. In fact, Black Friday is more like an entire month, rather than just a day. With so many decisions and so many great deals, one could easily become stressed and unsure of the best “plan of attack”. It actually starts with a K.I.S.S………. Keep It Simple Santa!
- Create a plan….Not just a plan of where you are shopping, but more importantly a spending plan. Before you make that first online purchase or “door buster deal” you need to know how much can you afford to spend, who you are buying for, and what are you buying. This will help you better navigate the deals as well as reduce the stress of overspending.
- Be prepared by starting early! After you know who you are buying for, how much you can afford to spend and an idea of what you are going to buy, start looking at the Black Friday ads online and in print. Several retailers have a “sneak preview” of their Black Friday deals and you can search websites such as Bfads.net, bestblackfriday.com and theblackfriday.com for “leaked” ads prior to Black Friday. Don’t forget about Groupon, Living Social & Ebates for discounted prices, too.
- Comparison Shop! Just because it has the word “deal” doesn’t mean you are always getting a deal. According to CEO of dealnews.com, shopping for clothing on Black Friday doesn’t guarantee you the lowest prices of the season. Typically, the best deals for clothing are in August. Consider using apps such as Amazon, Retailmenot & PriceGrabber.com to comparison shop, too. Shop large retailers for the lowest prices on electronics. Remember not to sacrifice good quality for low prices. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
- Divide & Conquer. Perhaps it’s tradition that Black Friday is your annual shopping trip with your “besties”. Consider divvying up and conquering a shopping list and store individually. Perhaps someone else in your group is looking for the same items or going to the same store as you. You could create a shopping list for one particular store and shop for all items in your group. You all could meet back up for lunch, distribute the purchases and collect the money. It may sound a bit complicated, but I’m sure with all of “experience” in your group, you will find a way to make it simple and fun!
- Don’t forget to check return policies. Some stores require an item to be returned within 14 days with the original receipt and tags. If you are shopping 4 weeks before Christmas, it’s possible that the item you have purchased may not be able to be returned or can only be returned with an “in store” credit issued. Always ask for a gift receipt also, this will help eliminate issues if someone needs to return a gift you purchased for them.
- If the hub bub of Black Friday isn’t appealing to you, you may consider purchasing gift cards as a or shopping after Black Friday at discounted retailers such as TJ Maxx, Ross, Burlington, Marshall’s. Typically discounted retailers have lower prices regardless of the season or day of week.
Best of luck with your holiday shopping and remember, don’t sweat the small stuff… and it’s all small in this big world!