Black Friday is a great day to shop for everything from flatscreen TV’s to new mattress covers. The day after Thanksgiving (actually a few hours after dinner) has almost become a holiday of it’s own. Family members and friends plan for weeks to “shop til they drop” after Thanksgiving dinner. They come together from all over the country to celebrate Thanksgiving and then pile in cars and head out to brave the crowds to get the best deals!
Often over the years instead of being greeted by the spirit of the holidays, you can find a frenzy of people all trying to grab whatever is in arm’s reach. Boxes and packaging paper all scattered across the floor. In some cases, the environment can turn hostile as fights for the last pair of designer shoes erupt. While this sounds scary, there are many ways to avoid the bad side of Black Friday shopping.
To be fair, many of the stores have come up with excellent ways to combat all of that. Walmart in particular has seen great results with their new systems in place for the past few years. They add a little more each year to make it safer, easier, and quicker and I think they’re doing a great job.
Let’s talk about the ways you can avoid that crowd altogether:
Come To The Party Early
It’s one of those situations where the “early bird gets the worm” adage applies. There were times when Black Friday was much simpler and less chaotic, when it simply implied checking newspaper ads to see which stores had the cheapest deals and offers. Fast forward to today, Black Friday sales have become a more complicated process. The event has transformed into month-long celebrations of savings and deals. To make it much trickier, online retailers regularly update the prices throughout the month, which means you can’t really be certain that a specific store sells the cheapest items if you don’t check their site the night before.
Do Your Homework
Don’t be an amateur that heads out on Black Friday without any preparation and get swallowed by the herd of savings-hungry customers. Study the ads carefully, both in print and on the store’s website, days before the actual event. Sometimes, leaks on the best Black Friday deals already start appearing before Thanksgiving. We have all of the leaked lists you could ever want and the best deals every year. Be sure to check our Black Friday Leaked Lists <— here for those to help with your planning.
If you stumble across a great deal online, make sure you check the competitor’s price on the same item and see what they have it priced at, or price match it at Walmart.com. You can check out their price match policy. Make sure when you make the comparisons you are comparing apples to apples and not apples to oranges. If the match isn’t exact, the deal won’t work. So, match model numbers carefully.
Use Social Media
Anything and everything that happens under the sun is on social media – including Grocery Shop For FREE! Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest can leave clues on which stores, both brick-and-mortar and online-based, are offering the best Black Friday deals. Store owners and large companies will often reward customers who follow their page by alerting them to special deals. Also, your friends on social media can be a great resource, too, as they share their great deals!
Cheapest Doesn’t Always Mean the Best
People often get blinded by doorbuster deals posted on Black Friday. What looks like a great price may not always equal great value. This is especially true for big ticket items, like a sofa or TV. Keep in mind that you’ll be using these items for years to come before it makes good sense to replace them. If you choose a TV that has features that you don’t even need or want, you’ll probably end up regretting that you picked that one instead of spending a few dollars more for a sofa or TV you actually wanted.
Stick To Your Budget
Set a budget and stick to it. It sounds overly simplistic and something that doesn’t even need to be said, yet there are many rookies who go to brick-and-mortar and online Black Friday deals without any idea as to how much they can or should be spending. Days in advance, decide how much you can comfortably spend on Black Friday. Furthermore, decide how you are buying the items, whether it’s by cash, checks, or credit/debit cards. If you find yourself losing control and being too impulsive when shopping, bringing cash with you can help control these impulses. On the other hand, using debit or credit cards may yield discounts and, therefore, a cheaper overall price.
Don’t Buy What You Don’t Need
It’s not a good idea to spend the money you saved from discounts on pricey accessories and things you don’t need. Sure, you’ve just bought yourself a giant flatscreen 4K TV at half the price, but it’s not a reason to splurge on high-end speakers or a new TV stand. In fact, this is where stores try to make their money during online Black Friday deals. If you really need accessories, such as HDMI cables or a new remote, purchase them in advance.
Don’t go on a blind shopping spree just because it’s Black Friday. Even if most items are already on discount, there are ways to get better price reductions and maximize savings during a Black Friday event. Don’t forget Cyber Monday and Small Business Saturday, too! There are many more chances at great deals then, too.