8 Black Friday Shopping Tips for Newbies
The countdown is on to the biggest shopping day of the year. If you’re a newbie to Black Friday shopping, the sheer logistics can be overwhelming: Online vs. in-store. Where to go first. How to weigh price against availability.
Check out these 8 tips to make the day go more smoothly.
- Set your priorities: Make that budget and holiday gift list, and then rank your most-wanted items from most to least important. Decide what you can buy early, what to buy on Black Friday, and what can wait until the weekend and Cyber Monday.
- Do a ton of research: Get a handle on what’s hot and what’s not this season. If a mega-popular item is a must-have on your list, consider buying it online now and paying a few extra dollars. Then go to the stores on Black Friday for lower-priority items.
- Look online first: Items online are usually available longer and in bigger quantities than what you’ll find in the stores. Many retailers have already lowered their prices in what they call Pre-Black Friday.
- Put together your in-store strategy: Large department stores with multiple floors, like Macy’s, can be pretty intimidating, especially in a crowd. Start on the floor that has your most-coveted items and work your way around.
- Online or in-store?: You can do both! Pay attention to which deals are in-store only, online specials, or equal both ways. If you shop online, you’ll find more of what you need; if you shop in-store, you have access to doorbusters and items sold only in stores.
- Compare prices: At the very least, compare prices and items. Use the Savings.com PriceJump app. If you find what you like, see if there is a coupon code that is site-wide, or offers for some other deal like free shipping. Snag your most-wanted Christmas presents early, especially the popular ones.
- Do an early reconnaissance mission: And, yes, approach it as a mission! If you’re planning to shop inside a large department store, such as Target, it helps to know the layout before Black Friday. It sounds hardcore, but seconds count when you’re in a huge crowd of people. If there are several brick-and-mortar stores on your list, hit the one with sell-out items first.
- Always demand the best price: If you end up buying online and the price is lower in the store – or at a competitor – read up on the store’s price-matching policy. You may have a certain amount of time to get a refund for the difference. Or buy the item online first and if it’s offered for less when you get to the store, return the online purchase. Double-check all policies on returns and return-shipping charges first.
Black Friday will be over in a flash. Do as much homework as you can upfront, approach the day strategically, and plan a nice way to relax afterward – knowing you’ve finished most of your holiday shopping.