My friends call me a shopaholic, though a better choice of work might be “bargain-a-holic.” It is bargain shopping that I find so addicting and the reason why so many of us are willing to face the crowds on Black Friday.
Black Friday is all about finding the perfect bargain, the ultimate deal that saves us piles of money. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your shopping dollar on Black Friday.
Read all the ads, even from stores you don’t usually shop at. All retailers get into the act on Black Friday, including smaller stores that a shopper might not typically consider for Black Friday specials. Part of our family’s after dinner routine on Thanksgiving is to read all the circulars, right down to drug store & hardware store ads. The super deals are then circled with a black felt marker and set aside.
Prioritize your Black Shopping goals. Having worked at the mall for a number of years, I know that Black Friday is a bit of a “come-on.” While each store will have their One (or Two) Great Deal(s) to get you inside the store, the rest of the merchandise is not exceptional priced. (Hint: the best prices are in late October and the week leading up to Christmas). Prioritizing your goals means to start with the genuine Black Friday Deal that will save you the most money and then working your way down the list incrementally.
So what are examples of real Black Friday deals?
Merchandise that has been discounted by at least 75% since the normal holiday sale price is around 50% off.
The exemptions are electronics; the “real deals” here are items that are at least 40% off.
Assemble a folder of your ads & jot down important details. This seems so obvious, but many shoppers don’t think to bring along the Black Friday ads on their trips. Bringing the advertising circulars is important for several reasons:
* Ads usually include special coupons for additional savings
* It details particulars of the sale such as time or quantity restrictions, or if a rewards card or charge card must be used to receive the discount
* The circulars are “proof” that a particular item is on sale
* Lastly, you will need those ads to scoop up the bargains at rival stores that honor other store’s advertised prices
Don’t forget on-line resources. Not all the deals are printed in the newspapers. Two of the more popular Black Friday resource web sites blackfriday.info and bfads.net have listings of unadvertised store specials and special deals, with direct links to retailers offering Black Friday deals available on-line. Bringing these on-line coupons with you on your Black Friday shopping trip means extra savings.
Be flexible. Many of us see Black Friday as a kick off for our Christmas gift shopping. Being flexible simply means a willingness to make a last minute switch on your Christmas shopping gift list. Like, for example, the year I fell into a Black Friday deal of 100 piece tool sets at my local hardware store for $30 each (normally $150) and decided that would make a far more awesome gift than a $40 tackle box.
So what is my Black Friday shopping strategy this year? My time is too valuable to waste eight hours in line for a $200 laptop, especially since it means losing out on excellent deals elsewhere. My strategy this year — as every year — is to shop for Black Friday electronic deals on-line Thursday evening, then hit the less crowded stores bright and early Friday morning for the 75% off family deals. For a shopaholic who loves the bargains, this strategy is one that saves us hundreds of dollars not just on Christmas gifts but also on household items that we use everyday.