Black Friday Survival Guide
Black Friday will be here before you know it. This is the best opportunity to get deals on everything from electronics to appliances. The savviest of shoppers save their money for months to spend on Black Friday. For bargain hunters, it’s the true test of their shopping abilities. Between special sales hours and doorbusters, Black Friday has become one of the busiest shopping days of the year. People often wait in line for hours, starting at the crack of dawn, just to grab the biggest discounts or take advantage of the best deals. With the chaos the usually ensues, it’s best to go into the retail shopping holiday with a game plan in mind. Our Black Friday survival guide has all the tips you’ll need to make the most of your shopping day.
Join Loyalty Programs
Many stores have loyalty programs and email newsletters. Sign up for these! They can make for a great source of sales and promotions that may only be exclusively offered for members first. You may even be able to find out if the product you want is in stock or only available online. You’ll want to sign up at least two weeks before Black Friday to allow enough time for you to be added to the list.
Shop Before Black Friday
While traditionally, Black Friday deals were reserved for the day after Thanksgiving, that is no longer the case! You can find great discounts starting on the Sunday before Thanksgiving all the way to Cyber Monday. Check online for early deals. Keep in mind, some of these deals won’t be available later in the week, so strike while the iron is hot! Same thing goes for in-store — if you find a hot item at a low price, snag it before the shopping mob rolls through on Friday.
Early Bird Gets the Worm
Not only should you start early in the week, but also early in the morning! Many stores open at 5 a.m. and offer incredible doorbuster deals in very limited quantities. If you’re looking for a massive discount on a big-ticket item, you may want to consider camping out the night before. That way, you’ll be able to purchase the best items before anyone else can. For many, waiting in line to be one of the first shoppers is a holiday tradition. If you’re shopping online, it’s worth noting that it’s become commonplace for websites to crash due to the large amount of traffic. Try to do your browsing early in the morning to avoid your purchase getting snarled up.
Make a Shopping List
This one may seem like a no brainer, but we had to say it. Make a shopping list! You need to determine the main things that you want to buy. Of course, there will be some things that you find in-store that wasn’t on the list, but you want to buy anyway. Try to keep this to a minimum, though, so you can stay within budget. Organize your list by store and order of importance. You’ll get so much satisfaction from crossing things off your list one by one, knowing you got everything you were after!
Figure Out a Budget
Sure, you’ve been saving up and plan for Black Friday, but that doesn’t mean you should go overboard on your spending. Come up with a reasonable budget to stick to. Before you make your shopping list, the next tip to follow from our Black Friday survival guide is to determine your spending limit. As you add things to your list, be sure to note the price and add them all up once you’re done for your final budget. On Black Friday, leave the credit card at home. You’ll only be tempted to rack up charges that aren’t in the budget! Get cash from the ATM instead to help reduce your impulse shopping.
Practice the Buddy System
Do you and your bestie love to shop together? There’s no greater retail challenge for a shopping duo than Black Friday. Going with a buddy will help you reduce your stress and hunt for items in the most efficient way possible. You’ll be able to get more stuff on your list if you split up and look for different things. Be prepared: it might take a while to checkout. Once you’re down to the last few things on your list, have your buddy wait in line. They’ll help you save valuable time so you finish up shopping.
Don’t Bring the Kids
Bringing small children to shop with you on Black Friday is probably one of the worst mistakes you can make. There are plenty of suitable places for you the bring your kids, but Black Friday at a big retail store is just not one of them. With all the crowds and waiting in line, patience is already running thin for everyone. When you throw kids into the mix, things can escalate quickly. Large retailers don’t hide the toy sales either. The latest and greatest toy of the season usually has its own display, which means it’s in full view of your little one. Resist the urge to spend your holiday budget on toys they see while you’re shopping by eliminating the temptation altogether. Leave your kids with a spouse, babysitter, trusted friend or family member.
Prepare Your Body & Mind
Sleeping for a full 8 hours the night before is crucial if you’re trying to hit up the stores right when they open in the morning. Also, you need to make yourself a healthy breakfast so you’re fueled up and ready to go for your shopping excursion. The last thing you want to do is wait in line, hangry, with your stomach growling. Maybe you’re too busy hunting deals to take a break for lunch. Pack some snacks such as almonds or protein bars to hold you over.
Research Return Policies
No one wants to buy a sweater, only to find out when you get home that is has a hole in it. Even worse, when you try to return it, you find out that it was a final sale item and can’t be returned or exchanged. Research the return policy and get gift receipts! Some stores may implement a new return policy for Black Friday that’s only valid for a limited time. Be on the lookout for final-sale sections. Just remember, if you find something you like there, you better be willing to keep it.
If you don’t want to deal with the Black Friday insanity, do yourself a favor and shop online instead. Black Friday isn’t for everyone. The fact that we created a Black Friday survival guide may be enough to deter some people from participating. Not everyone wants to wait in long lines with a bunch of deal-crazed consumers. There have been countless viral videos showing the disorder that can unfold when shoppers stampede into a store early in the morning. Don’t worry! You won’t have to give up your discounts just because you couldn’t make it in person. There will be plenty of in-store deals available online.
Black Friday has become the Super Bowl of shopping. Some people have been preparing for this event for weeks. This is not the time to slack! Do your homework and get ready because the savings are going to be worth it. If you follow these 10 tips, you can be sure that you’re set up for success. Our Black Friday survival guide was developed with your best interests in mind. So, utilize these tips to make the most of your shopping extravaganza!