Black Friday is only a few days away. Stores wait all year for the day after Thanksgiving to hopefully bring up their profits for the year. With us still being in a recession (I know this is up for debate, but whatevs), retailers are really hoping to reel consumers in during the holiday season. Here are just a few tips and tricks to navigating Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
♥ Research sales
Most of your local papers won't contain the Black Friday ads until Thanksgiving day, but a lot of the big retailers have their ads online already. Visit theblackfriday.com to see which ads are already available. If you don't see your desired ad on the site, google store name+ black friday 2011 to see if you can locate it anywhere. Compile your list of the stores you have to go based on the online or print ads. See which items you want to purchase at what stores.
♥ Create a timeline
Different stores open at different times. If you are visiting multiple stores create a timeline of which stores to visit when. Most of the best sales are early bird specials, so plan your time accordingly.
♥ Go map out the store
When you decide what stores you are going to shop at, try to go earlier in the week and do a dry run. Bring the list of items you are planning on purchasing and see where they are located or at least the department they are located in. It'll make it much easier to navigate the massive crowds when you know exactly where you are going.
♥ Unless you want an early bird special or a limited quantity item, go at night
I very rarely shop at 3 a.m. or whenever stores open on Black Friday. The stores are usually open late, so I go in the evening and the crowds are considerably smaller. A lot of stuff may be sold out, but if I'm going for something random like an item of clothing or accessory, it's more than likely that the store will still have the items in stock.
♥ Unless the item is more than 50% off, it isn't worth it
Businesses are still really struggling, so sales are bound to be great right up until Christmas. Unless the item has a considerable discount, it really isn't worth it to brave the crowds.
♥ Keep receipts!
Most stores allow a price adjustment if an item goes on sale within a specified amount of time. Check the price adjustment policy for any stores you plan on going into.
♥ Most importantly, be safe and have fun!
People get a little loco on this shopping day and unfortunately people have been injured or even killed by stampedes of shoppers. Be safe! If a situation seems to be out of control, leave. No discount is worth getting hurt!
Cyber Monday is my shopping option of choice during this busy shopping weekend. I don't have to deal with crowds, as I really tend to panic around massive crowds. I can also get items shipped directly to their recipients if need be.
Just like with Black Friday, it's super important to do your research. More and more sites are featuring Cyber Monday like sales throughout the after-Thanksgiving day weekend. Also some stores are featuring equal or even better sites online than in stores. So compare, compare, compare! Compare between site and store and site to site! Click here to get an idea of some of the most popular Cyber Monday sales.
♥ Google Coupon Codes
Stores still put out coupon codes even during this busy shopping weekend. Google the store name +coupon code to see if you can score any further discounts.
♥ Use ebates!
I did most of my Christmas shopping online last year and made about $40 on Ebates. I think Ebates is such a brilliant idea. If you don't know what ebates is, click here for more information. If you want to sign up and earn myself and you a $5 bonus, click here!
♥ Be familiar with return policies
You don't want to order a gift and then have the recipient hate it and be unable to return it! Some retailers know that a lot of Christmas gifts are being ordered right now, so they have extended their return policy. Just make sure the store you are ordering from has a holiday extended return policy.
Happy shopping! Please post any major buys you score and Happy Thanksgiving!!!