Shopping on Black Friday means you will be shopping on the most competitive selling day of the year, so it will be extremely hectic and maybe slightly overwhelming. However, it also means that if you are prepared, you can find some amazing deals.
There will be doorbusters galore, special sales hours and huge discounts on hundreds of great products. There will be a lot of sales to choose from, so in order to help you get the best bang for your buck, here are a few tips to help you save money and ensure you are getting the best bargain.
Make a List
Your goal for Black Friday should be to only buy the items you have on your list at the lowest price possible. Keep in mind that retailers will try their best to get you to buy products that are not on your list, which is not beneficial for you, because you will end up spending more than you planned. So, make a list of what you need and do your best to stick to the list.
Read the Fine Print
Instead of grabbing your coffee and rushing to the mall to be one of the first people in line, you will get the best deals by planning ahead. Your local newspaper on Thanksgiving Day will be loaded with ads, circulars and coupons, which is major resource for finding the best savings. By reviewing the ads, you will also be able to organize your shopping by knowing which stores offer the best discounts and will have the products you are interested in.
Remember, when looking through the ads, only look for the items on your list and when you do find items you want in the circulars, be sure to read the fine print. For example, there may be a limited supply of the item available in each store or the item may only be available at the sale price for certain times.
Plot Your Route
Once you have identified where the best deals are for the items on your list, you will need to prioritize the order of the stores. For example, if one of the items is only available during the hours of 6am and 7am, but there are other items available as doorbusters only (as soon as the doors open), you want to make sure that you will have enough time to travel (drive or walk in the mall) between the stores.
In some situations, you may find great deals on some of the items on your list at a different store than you planned on shopping at; if so, go ahead and grab them while you can, it may save you time and money (especially if you have to drive to the originally planned store).
Know the Store Policies
One of the most important things to do during your Black Friday shopping adventure is to check out the store’s return and exchange policies, especially if you are shopping online. Some stores may have a restocking fee, a shorter return deadline or a no return without a receipt policy.
If you are buying gifts, make sure you get a gift receipt, which will allow your recipient to return the gift if necessary for the same price as you paid for it. If an item is on sale, the price may continue to be discounted, so if you give a gift without a receipt, the lowest sale price will be given for returns, which may be significantly lower than you originally paid.
One of the best things about doing your research before shopping day, is that you will know whether or not the “sale” price is really a great deal. If the product was on sale a few weeks ago, it may not be that great of a bargain and some deals are recycled over and over throughout the year, so only buy what you know is truly a good deal.
Whenever possible, pay with cash-using credit cards will make it easier to go over your budget and you will be paying fees and interest, which ultimately means you will be paying more than what the original price was.
If you are shopping online, search the internet for coupon codes that can be used at the stores offering the items you want. Coupon codes vary in discounts as well as availability, so make sure to read the fine print to determine if the coupon is expired or will actually be worth the time it takes to download it.