Black Friday comes once a year, it can be overwhelming and if we don’t prepare, it passes without us realizing all the great deals we missed out on. We’ve put together 11 strategies to help you have an effortless experience.
Steps to Take before Black Friday
1. Be aware of your budget
What good does it do if after you buy all your items, you check your account and realize you should’ve left a couple in the stores. To stay away from this, try making a list of items you’ve been saving up for, birthday gifts, and try to think for future needs like footwear for the seasons to come. Calculate the absolute maximum amount you can afford, remember to leave room for items you might find you haven’t thought of-remember realistically you might go over your maximum while shopping so try your best to stick to your number.
Put down the items you absolutely need, and be sure to think of future needs.
If you’re shopping for specific people, list them down to draft out amounts for their gifts. Do your research on what you’re looking for and match the prices you’ve decided on, make sure to not be stubborn on what you choose, you could find better offers while shopping, so keep your eyes open.
2. Study Ads
Check your favourite stores first, not ignoring ones you don’t normally visit. Familiarize yourself with the Black Friday ads you receive. Make notes on all the deadlines, some stores have offers running for 4 days and some offer them on a certain day.
3. Compare Shopping Online vs. In-Store Shopping
If you absolutely hate crowds and waiting in lines online might be your first option, but it’s a good idea to look at Amazon both price offerings. Although buying a new device on Amazon is easy, stores like http://bestbuy.ca, http://staples.ca or even http://thesource.ca could have better savings locally. As convenient as it is, shopping online also has its draw-backs, like a lack of inventory, websites crashes or even fast sell-outs. Sometimes though a retailer might have sales begin earlier than in-stores, it could be to give you better offers but most of the time its the same price as the physical store. If that’s the case though, it’ll leave you with one less store you need to visit.
4. Check Prices Before Black Friday
You might be wondering why it’s important to search for the prices of the items on your list, but often people doubt if what they’re buying in store really is the best offer out there. To have that piece of mind, checking on prices can give you that confidence you need to be sure of your buy.
5. Create an In-store
This is Black Friday we’re talking about, you can just wing it but chances are if you’ve done your research other people have as well. You need a game plan, note store opening hours, how long offers run, if you’re not shopping alone maybe you could assign your team (because shopping on this day needs to be a sport) different stores to maximize store coverage time. Arrive early, prioritize most important items, focus on those that have limited time offers first, or if you think they’ll be high on demand.
Make sure to coordinate your list with your shopping team, assign dream team members different stores.
Pack foods and snacks as they will keep up you energized, pack drinks to keep you hydrated throughout the day. Sleep well the night before and have a good breakfast, maybe do some stretching prior to heading out.
6. You Don’t Need the Cart
You can barely navigate around a store on Black Friday, imagine how much harder it is with a shopping cart. Unless you have a huge item on your list, consider heading to the mall/shop with reusable shopping bags. If you have little self-control these shopping bags could save you from yourself by forcing you to only buy what you can carry.
7. Go in Comfortable Clothing
No matter what time you go shopping, you’re bound to stand for at least one long line. Be ready to stand in line, you could have entertainment on hand, maybe you could download a podcast you’ve been meaning to listen to. Wear comfortable shoes you’ll be walking and stalking for long. If you know where you’re headed, try to steer away from clothing that will make you look like an employee, unless you like repeating to shoppers that you don’t work in given store.
8. Download the Apps
You could save big, by double checking that you’re getting the best deal while standing in line. If you do find better prices elsewhere some stores might match it. But also try to follow your favourite stores for coupons or sale previews, these could help you find a bargain you wouldn’t have seen otherwise.
9. Bookmark Retailers’ Websites
Take advantage of bookmarks, they exist for a reason! Being organized is key, add your own brief description to each bookmark to not get lost, whatever makes sense to you. If you have too many you could categorize them by creating folders for instance, American eagle, Zara and Arie can be found in the clothing folder.
10. Stay Calm and Avoid Unsafe Situations
There can be some distracted drivers in the parking lot, so keep your guards up. Even if you arrive early, you don’t need to be first in the door. You could get seriously injured, so try to wait and enter when it’s safe. Keep your valuables close and in your pockets to prevent opportunistic thieves. Under no circumstances do you need to fight for the last item in stock, even if you were the first to grab it, if the other customer picks a fight, remember to take deep breaths, it would be smarter to drop it. Worst situation to be in after a successful day of shopping is having the items stollen from your car, try stashing purchases in the trunk of your car or tucked away from snoopy people. Black Friday crowds can get crazy, so take the time to calm your mind and mentally prepare before shopping.
11. Understand Stores Policies
All stores have different return policies and stocking fees. Check to see if the items you’re purchasing are ‘final sale’. It would be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the store’s policies. Some policies allow no-questions-asked returned while some need the items to be unopened and in original packaging. Some stores actually loosen up their polices for the holidays.
Those are all the tips we have, try to be kind to everyone you encounter, especially the poor retail employees who have to deal with temperamental customers.
Have yourself a safe and successful Black Friday!