Black Friday shopping can be a bit intimidating for some people and rightfully so. Long lines, crowded stores and early morning shopping hours aren’t for everyone! However, if you’re planning to tackle one of the busiest shopping days of the year, here are some tips to help you have an enjoyable and productive shopping trip:
Arrive early. Is there an item you’re determined to buy? It’s probably best to visit this store first (and as early as possible) since you’re most likely not the only one who wants it.
Research. Look at print and online ads before Black Friday to see where you can get the best deals and determine what stores you want to visit.
Wear comfortable shoes. If you’re planning to shop all day, your feet will thank you for wearing your most comfortable walking shoes!
Bring snacks and a bottle of water. Restaurants in malls and around busy shopping areas will probably have fairly long wait times. Having a snack can give you an energy boost to get through the wait or you can skip the restaurant all together and eat the food you brought.
Consumer Reports also has some valuable tips to keep in mind:
Be loyal. Stores often have loyalty programs that offer sales and promotions to their members first, then let them earn rewards on what they buy. Sign up for Black Friday shopping alerts about upcoming promotions, coupons, and discounts. In some cases, you can even learn whether products you want are in stock or eligible for a buy-online/pick-up-at-store option that saves you on shipping charges.
Get social. The Facebook pages and Twitter feeds of your favorite retailers are a great way to find out about deals and promotions. Those retailers will often reward customers who “like” them or follow them with special alerts to Black Friday discounts and incentives. And, of course, texts, tweets, and social media posts are an easy way to share Black Friday shopping intel with your friends.
Avoid pricey accessories. You’ve just scored an awesome giant-screen 4K TV at an all-time low price, so don’t blow your savings by splurging on pricey accessories or extended warranties. This is where retailers make their money. Hence the hard sell. If you know you’ll need an HDMI cable, buy it in advance from an online retailer such as monoprice.com or bluejeanscable.com. That way you won’t be pressed into overpaying at the store, where you might pay $35 for a 6-foot HDMI cable that performs similarly to a cable you can buy for less than $3 at monoprice.com.
The cheapest TVs aren’t always the best deals. Doorbuster specials draw people in with visions of savings, but they might not offer the best product for their needs. This is especially true for big-ticket items such as TVs. Just remember that you’ll probably be watching that TV for a number of years; if you’re not happy with its features or picture quality, you’ll wind up spending that time regretting that spending even an extra $100 could have gotten you a set you’d be happier with. Also, those loss-leader TVs are usually at their lowest rock-bottom price. A retailer may have more wiggle room on a step-up model or flagship model, so during your Black Friday shopping don’t be afraid to ask for a better price on the TV you’d really like to own.
Do you have any Black Friday shopping tips? Share with us!