Black Friday is a notoriously busy time; shoppers wait up all hours the night before for exclusive deals and knock-off prices! Depending on what kind of city or town you live in, the best deals might even be online – malls and shopping centers can be great places to score fantastic finds, but they’ll also be heavily populated. If you don’t mind bumping shoulders with others in large cities, this might be the perfect place to cross some items off your Christmas shopping list.
Build a Shopping List
Probably the number one tip we can give you is to have an organized list based on priorities. Some shops will have limited items available at a display with deep discounts. If it’s imperative that you get any item, make sure to book it to that department first – if necessary, wait in line for opening around midnight or early morning. Decide how dedicated you will be to securing an item on your list, then determine what it will take to make that happen!
Have a Plan B
If the store you’re visiting only really has one big-ticket item you’re interested in, consider making a back-up plan. Is there another item your gift recipient would be equally excited to receive? Try not to get overwhelmed and feel defeated if you don’t score what you had originally set out to. If you find an exciting “plan B” purchase to make, celebrate that as a win!
Price. Check. Everything.
While not common, some stores will hike up prices a week or two before Black Friday to prepare for apparent price cuts – 20% isn’t necessarily a true twenty percent discount. Have your smartphone at the ready to compare in-store prices with other stores on-line. If you find a better deal online (including shipping!) order it right then and there – all while passing by your in-store target.
Scope it Out
Sometimes it may be beneficial to visit a store ahead of time so that you know where to find things. If you’ll be attending a door-busting, early-morning event, you’ll definitely be thankful for your ability to dash directly to the section of the store you need to be in.
Think Outside the Box
Black Friday isn’t just for Christmas gifts! If you’ll be throwing a New Year’s party, shop for serving dishes, extra silver and gold tinsel, and so on. Attending a wedding next year? Check out kitchen appliances and home decor items; you’ll be sure to save more the day after Thanksgiving than last-minute for next year’s gifts.
If you have a budget, stick to it! Often the only effective way to accomplish this is to carry only cash on your shopping spree. Remember to pick up only items that are on your list – come back to deals that catch your eye if you still have money left over.
While most stores have respectable return policies for items, be careful not to purchase a big-ticket item that cannot be returned, whatever the reason. Some stores will offer a limited return policy or returns in the form of store credit.
Along the same lines, save all of your gift receipts; it may seem odd to include a gift receipt with the gift to your recipient, but it’s a great idea. We like to believe that everyone we buy gifts for will use and love the item, but that’s not always the case! Including the receipt is a friendly motion that it’s okay to return this and purchase something else.
During a stressful time, it’s most beneficial to simply have a good time! Do your planning and budgeting well enough in advance so that you can enjoy the holiday cheer floating through the air on Black Friday. Invite your friends, call a babysitter! Put on some Christmas music in the car if you’re driving to the mall – pick up a peppermint mocha latte at your favorite coffee shop. Embrace the holiday season and enjoy yourself.