Black Friday shopping tips
Before you head out to the stores this Black Friday, take a look at these shopping tips.
Shop ads before Black Friday
Many of the major retailers will release (or leak) their Black Friday specials early, so check one of the comprehensive Black Friday-focused websites, such as bfads.net, blackfriday.info and theblackfriday.com to see if you’re getting the best deal. Some sites allow you to filter your searches by product categories, such as TVs. Consumer Reports also compiles lists of the best deals we see, so regularly check there as well
Shop online first
Before you brave the crowds at the stores, check to see if the retailer is offering the same?or even better?deals on its website. In past years, some of the biggest retailers, including Amazon and Walmart, have offered several online sales during Black Friday week that have included many of the same items offered as part of their in-store Black Friday events?and often combined with low- or no-cost shipping deals. And some retailers will offer online exclusives you couldn’t get even by walking into one of its retail locations.
Sign up for e-mail alerts
Many retailers now use e-mail alerts to encourage store loyalty and more frequent shopping. Sign up for alerts that will let you know about upcoming promotions and to receive exclusive coupons or discounts not readily available to everyone. Shoppers can also learn if the products they want are stocked and available, or if an item is eligible for a “buy online, pick up at store” option that can save shipping charges.
Shop close to home
If you find the best deals are in stores, you don’t necessarily need to drive all over town to get them. With electronics, for example, our research shows that in many cases the prices for highly promoted TV sets from major electronics brands, such as Panasonic, Samsung, and Sony, vary by only a few dollars from chain to chain. So you can safely shop at the closest retailer without feeling that you’re missing out on a bargain.
Black Friday advertising is no longer confined to the Thanksgiving Day paper. Most major retailers post deals on their Facebook and Twitter pages, and even offer extra discounts and rewards to those that network with them. If you’re headed to a particular store, add them as a friend on Facebook. You never know what useful info or extra deals you may find out about because of it.
Number of ‘doorbusters’
So, there are 50 people in line in front of you, all waiting to get one of the six laptops at the insanely low price. Is it worth waiting the two hours to get nothing? Before heading out, read the fine print in the ads to see just how many of those “hot” items a store will be stocking. Some stores may only stock a half-dozen in an effort to bait-and-switch those who are not at the front of the line.
Bring a List
Ever gone to the supermarket on an empty stomach and had no clue what to make for dinner? Did you leave the store 45 minutes later with three boxes of Boo Berry Frosted Cereal, a jar of mixed nuts and a head of broccoli? We feel you. Don’t let this happen on Black Friday, though. Instead of getting seduced by all the bargains that you don’t actually need, make a list of what you want to get for your friends and family and stick to it.