Thanksgiving officially kicks off the holiday season. Once the turkey is gone, shopping begins. The holiday shopping season kicks in to full gear with Black Friday. Black Friday is a traditional shopping day that starts in the early morning hours the day after Thanksgiving. Stores open their doors early and feature the very best sales they have all year. These include door buster sales where hot items have their prices slashed in drastic fashion. In addition to the sales, Black Friday is also known for extreme crowds. The following Monday is known as Cyber Monday. This is like the Black Friday for internet shopping. Cyber Monday started in 2005 and offers online shoppers chances to purchase products at reduced prices. These days offer the best sales, but getting the items is easy. There are limited amounts available and there are many people like you who want them. Here are some tips to prepare for a successful shopping experience on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Plan your budget
Hopefully by the time Black Friday rolls around, you pretty much know everything you want to get for Christmas. Set up a budget so that you know how much you will spend on gifts. Research the prices of all the items you will need to buy. If you feel that a Black Friday or Cyber Monday sale on one item will relieve a lot of stress in your budget, you should consider visiting the store on that day. If you are comfortable with your budget, you might want to avoid the hassle. Saving money is always great, but going to the store on that day requires losing sleep and dealing with a lot of stress. You have to decide how much the sale is worth to you.
Check the advertisements
Black Friday ads often aren’t sent to homes until Thanksgiving, so you don’t have much time to prepare. However, many stores release all or part of their ads online. Nowadays, some ads are released on smartphones or social networking sites. Download all the Black Friday apps you can find. Check out of networking websites you know. Search for common stores and see what Black Friday information is out. You can then judge for yourself what sales are interesting to you. Black Friday and Cyber Monday require a lot of planning, so you need information beforehand in order to figure out what sales are best for you.
Divide and conquer
In order to get the best deals on Black Friday, you will likely be able to visit just one store. This is due to lines and the limited amount of products available. If you can get someone else to shop with you, you might be able to get deals at two stores by each of you going to a different one. If not, or if you just don’t want to be alone in the crowds, you likely only have one shot. Go through the ads and decide what deal is the one you want most. Find out when that store opens and get there well before then. If there are two things you can’t miss out on, have a loved one or friend help you out by going to the other store.
Sign up for newsletters
This is especially hand for Cyber Monday. You may not like getting a lot of emails, but newsletters often offer news about the best deals as well as coupons. It doesn’t cost you anything to sign up and you can always opt out after the day has passed. Visit all of the shopping sites you can think of and sign up for their emails. You can track them just as you would print ads. These newsletters will help you find the best possible deals for Cyber Monday. In addition, follow those stores on Twitter or Facebook to get the best information. This will help you out on both days.
General tips for both
Here are a few more quick tips to help your shopping experience. For Black Friday, always bring the copy of the ad with you. Make sure you understand all return policies and get all of your receipts. If you can, use a credit card. Credit cards offer more warranty protection and will save you money on items like electronics. For Cyber Monday, sign up or search for coupon codes. They can give you extra savings. Make sure you know the exact times that items go on sale. Open up multiple web browsers if you must. Lastly, search around for discounted gift cards. These can sometimes be bought for 10% less than the value of the card. That means you are saving money before you even start shopping.