Halloween is over, and I hope everyone had a safe and fun evening. Now, however, it’s time to prepare for our next big holiday – Thanksgiving Black Friday. While you might be excited to roast a turkey, eat mashed potatoes, or give thanks, I’m gearing up to join the thousands of maniacs on a Black Friday shopping spree, as we drag friends and family members out of bed to compete for extreme deals on everything under the sun. Perhaps I’m a little overexcited, but nothing gets me going like a fabulous D-E-A-L.
Last year, my boyfriend was bound and determined to snag a Best Buy offer on some sort of gaming console/HDTV set. It was a really great price, and I would have encouraged him to go for it, but he made one fatal error: He didn’t make plans until Thanksgiving Day. He chattered all Thanksgiving morning about the ad he’d found, but little did he know that the most extreme Black Friday shoppers had already been camping out in front of the store for days, setting up tents and lawn chairs, prepared to spend Thanksgiving dinner with their deal-seeking comrades out in the cold. Since he didn’t bother to check the ads ahead of time, he missed his opportunity.
Now’s the time to start thinking about Black Friday. These deals are insanely appealing, it’s true, but we can’t all be the lucky ones who are able to buy the $10 Blu-ray player or $50 big-screen TV. To increase your chances of being that lucky buyer, you should make yourself aware of this year’s deals, and plan your day-after-Thanksgiving shopping expedition strategically.
Black Friday is all about the hunt, and it’s a shopper-eat-shopper world out there. Planning ahead and strategizing is the key to getting what you want on the craziest retail day of the year. No matter what you have on your winter shopping list, here are some ways to stay abreast of the Black Friday deal-mania, so you can grab some major savings on all the best Christmas loot.
Check your local newspaper. Weeks before the big day, stores will start circulating newspaper ads with Black Friday deals. Now listen carefully: The local newspaper is your best friend. Set aside a time at least once a week to go through the ads, and save the ones you’re interested in. You might even consider going extreme-couponer style by making a Black Friday binder to keep your thoughts organized. You’ll need to keep a running list of goods and stores to help you create your plan of action.
Sign up for store emails. I’m on the list for pretty much every store I frequent, not because I like sifting through junk email on a daily basis, but because every once in a while, a deal catches my eye. Getting on your favorite store’s email list will help you find their Black Friday ad, and more importantly, if they’re running any Black Friday or Cyber Monday online-only deals, you’ll be the first to know. Online-only deals can be the absolute best because as long as you can click “add to cart” before the item sells out, you’ll never have to leave your nice, warm bed!
Search Black Friday websites. It’s almost scary how many websites exist specifically to help people find Black Friday deals. You might check out sites like www.TheBlackFriday.com or www.BlackFriday.com, which offer ads for all the most popular retailers, as well as blogs dedicated exclusively to helping you find deals. Using these websites is also a great way to find specific items, since you can narrow ads down by category to see who’s offering a deal on the items you’re looking for. If you’re having trouble navigating the online world of deals, check out www.BlackFridaySites.com. It’s a website devoted exclusively to helping you find the perfect Black Friday website.
Research and compare prices. A certain store might be offering that toaster oven/luggage set/e-reader you were looking for at 75% off, but why wake up at 2 a.m. to get it if it’s complete garbage? If you know what the deals are in advance, you can do some research. Check online for reviews. This can help you determine if the product is worth buying, and if the deal they’re offering is actually a “deal.” Don’t waste your time or money on products that aren’t worthwhile. If you don’t have time to do research, or you’re making an impulsive purchase, make sure you are aware of the store’s return policy before you fork over your credit card.
Black Friday can be a lot of fun, but it can also be pretty stressful. Make a list and plan ahead to make sure you can snag the deals you’re interested in. How do you prepare for Black Friday? Let us know in the comments below!