Make this Black Friday shopping spree a success! After years of learning from my mistakes and triumphs, here are my favorite Black Friday shopping tips that save me money and time.
Make a Gift List
Draw a list of all the people you need to buy gifts for on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Write down your minimum and maximum budget and indicate your general gift idea, for example: a craft project for your niece, or an elegant pen for your boss.
Make a Venue List
Next to each name write down the possible shopping venues for the suggested gift. Choose both local and online stores and try to keep the list to a minimum.
Reduce Your Lists
Review your gifts and switch them around to further cut down on the number of stores you’ll have to visit for all your Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping. This will save you money on shipping costs if you’re buying online, or on gas and time if you’re shopping in person.
Join Mailing Lists
Avoid too-good-to-be-true bargains online and stick with stores you have bought from before. Sign up for their mailing list well in advance and get Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers by email or mail.
Learn About Early Bird Specials
Learn about Black Friday early bird specials from local newspapers typically distributed for free at your local supermarket. Visit your favorite stores and pick up their newsletter at the door.
Search your favorite internet venues for the best holiday gift deals and print them out or keep a link on your iPhone. On Black Friday, if your local store is more expensive, show them your online info. Most will match the price rather than lose the sale.
Cyber Backup Plan
Cyber Monday is your backup plan for Black Friday. Start by shopping for the best deals locally. This way you can make sure the gift is perfect and will be in your possession without last-minute surprises. If you can’t find what you want locally or the prices aren’t good enough, shop for these items on Cyber Monday.
Cyber Monday Warnings
Cyber Monday is hacker’s happy hour. If you come across an amazing deal, don’t click on it unless you know the website. Hackers typically create the illusion that you are viewing a movie, ad, or coupon, while they download a nasty little piece of software onto your machine, which will act as a tiny window into your computer’s heart and soul. No matter how good the deal, it’s not worth the hassle of identity theft that might follow. Keep your anti-virus software and security patch up-to-date before starting your Cyber Monday shopping.