Black Friday–a day holding the promise of great savings on everything from electronics to handbags. If you have a penchant for saving money, Black Friday may be your favorite day of the year. Still, from waiting in long lines to waking up at the crack of dawn, there are more than just a few downsides to participating in this national day of savings.
Fortunately, with a bit of inside knowledge, you can take advantage of financial savings without becoming too frustrated or giving up on Black Friday altogether. Before you decide to throw in the towel, take a look at these strategies we’ve put together for Black Friday shopping.
Did you know that you can find some of the best deals online? Many of the in-store offers that have your mouth watering are also available for purchase on the company’s website. To track all the best deals for the upcoming season, visit blackfriday.com.
While Cyber Monday has had people talking for years, a lot of corporations also offer significant online shopping savings leading up to and on Black Friday. Wouldn’t you rather travel to your laptop at 5 a.m. instead of the local shopping mall? Consider making your major purchases over the Internet this year–you may even get free shipping, and many stores permit in-store exchanges for items purchased online.
Sure, some items on your Black Friday shopping list can only be purchased the day after Thanksgiving. A trade secret, however, is that many of the deals advertised for Black Friday are actually available a few days beforehand.
Many major retailers set their sales prices for an entire week at a time, usually beginning on a Sunday and running until the following Saturday. Unless an item is specifically on sale for a limited number of hours on Black Friday, it’s worth calling the store to see if the sale price offered that day is any different from the price earlier in the week. Shopping early cuts down on the items you must purchase on Black Friday.
Divide and Conquer
Do you have a friend or family member who also ventures out on Black Friday? Split up your shopping list. If you both want items at the local mall and an electronics store on the other side of town, send one representative to each store.
You will wait in the same long lines whether you are getting items from your own shopping list or picking up some things for a friend. You can get together afterward and swap items and payment as necessary. Dividing and conquering can save you hours of battling crowds and standing in lines.
Do Some Recon
Figure out where the items on your shopping list are located in each store. Given the hectic nature of Black Friday, it’s bad strategy to walk into a two-level department store for the first time. If you have your eye on a pair of boots, find out where the shoe department is well in advance.
Likewise, sometimes certain brands are always featured toward the front of a department, while others are located in the back corner. Having an idea of where items are located will save you time and may also mean the difference between snagging a coveted item or going home empty handed.
Get a Ride
Circling for a parking spot on Black Friday can eat up hours of your time. If you are dreading this part of Black Friday, you’re not alone. If you can’t find the best deals online, confronting the cruel reality of Black Friday parking may seem to be an inevitability.
You do have other options. Whether your spouse drops you off, you opt to take a taxi cab or you carpool with friends, avoiding the melee of the parking lot is winning half the battle. If you drive, you might miss out on an important item on your shopping list because you spent an hour trying to find a place to park your car.
Black Friday can simultaneously excite voracious shoppers and strike fear into the hearts of adults. If you must venture out on this day of shopping, go with a plan and don’t go alone if you can help it. While Black Friday is stressful, it can also be a great way to get your holiday shopping done while saving money.
Are you a Black Friday shopper? Tell us your strategies for shopping and saving success. Apartment Guide would love to hear from you on Twitter.
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Photo Credit: Christian Rivera