Black Friday. Shop Smart.

There is a day we can all partake in celebrating for the month of November. Actually, a whole holiday weekend’s worth and we’re not talking Thanksgiving. Even if Christmas is not your style, prepping for gift-giving is no one time deal, it can happen all throughout the year. So whether you’re shopping for loved ones or yourself, sales will hit hard on Black Friday and we want to make sure you’re ready. Here are some pointers.

1) Get an early start with plotting plans, as early as you can. Actually, if you haven’t yet, NOW would be a good time. There are smart phone apps specific to Black Friday shopping that you can download to help with this. However you go about it, bookmark what you are shopping for and keep note of how much the original retail price is. This is important.* We know you want to get in and out in record time, or just, you know, really fast. You’ll need to grab what you need before it’s gone so that you can avoid waiting (more) in hour-long lines wondering if your decision to do this was more important than sleeping. If the store simply does not have what you want and you do not absolutely need anything else there, walking out empty-handed is perfectly fine. And maybe better deals await elsewhere or another time.

2) If you’re shopping for clothes, it is useful to note which brands go exclusively on sale just for this event (meaning you won’t see another sale like this at any other time). Never settle for anything less than 40% otherwise because retail shops will have sales like that year-round, so there is no sense in waiting what seems like forever just for an item you can get on a regular day. Be wary, however. *Some stores can trick you. Their original retail price is suddenly hiked up right before the sales hit, so they can casually pitch high discounts of 40-50% or more off clothing items that you’ll end up buying for the same retail price.

3) The electronics section is where you can really save big. For video games, gaming consoles, home surround sound systems, and gadgets galore (you name it), make sure you compare prices from store to store so that you don’t just get a deal, but the best possible one. After all, this weekend event only happens once a year.

4) Do stay safe and if you are planning to sleep outside before doors bust open, bundle up! No matter how much you’ve plotted and planned, it is imperative to consider that others might have the lead on you so practice your quick reflexes. Know your options. You can rush and also be smart about it.  

5) Lastly, you can always skip the long lines altogether and shop in the comfort of your own home with Cyber Monday. The greatest part is Cyber Monday sales can start as soon as Friday or even earlier. Some websites even pitch smaller discounts on the days before, increasing them to the highest on Monday (clever), so keep your eyes on the prize and decide wisely about waiting because it might just be gone by the last day when discounts are highest.

Have fun and good luck!

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