Everybody knows that the day after Thanksgiving is one of the busiest shopping days of the year. And if you’re like us, it’s also the most wonderful time of the year.
However, you do not want to head out into the masses without doing your due diligence. Like any project you embark on, you’re going to want to research before you begin.
There are a number of websites that post Black Friday ads as soon as they become available. In fact, some of them are available now. Be sure to Google Black Friday deals and ads or check out sites like Dealnews.com or BlackFriday.info. Nowadays, you can download most of your ads onto your phones, but make sure they’re actually on your phone before heading out. Last thing you want to do is download apps and coupons while in a crowded store with no wifi or signal. Then you’re out of luck.
Timing is also essential. If you’re heading out at the crack of dawn — because why not — you’re likely to grab extra discounts. Last year, H&M gave the first 100 people in line tickets for up to $300 in store credit. And at midnight, Sports Authority rewarded the first 80 customers to walk through its doors with cards worth up to $500. Be sure to check to see if your favorite shops reward the early birds.
Now, if you’re traveling in packs, you may want to reconsider or divide and conquer, but stay in touch. Imagine if you have a different friend navigate each corner of the mall and report back on the best deals. Now, you save time and avoid waiting in lines at every store.
Before you get out of hand with spending, you may also want to keep in mind your budget. In fact, it’s probably safer to set a limit before you head out. If you truly can’t control yourself, you may even want to leave your plastic at home and bring a set amount of cash. While you’ll be missing out on credit card rewards and such, at least you won’t end up broke by Saturday.
Finally, make sure you’re aware of any return policies. Sometimes stores will charge a restocking fee if decide to return your discounted items after the Black Friday Sales. And if that’s the case, the whole effort was worthless. Except, of course, the thrill of shopping!
So, in conclusion, be prepared, focus, pay attention, and have fun! Oh, and be safe. It’s a dangerous shopping world out there, and if you grab the last of a popular item. Take it and run for the register before any jealous eyes see you!