Festive season has begun with thanksgiving day and then Black Friday this month. This is the great shopping day on Friday (25th November 2016) before Cyber Monday in the United States. Though Black Friday is not a federal holiday but it is a public holiday in some states.
Some people utilize this day to meet their friends and relatives who live in other areas or go for a vacation with their family. But most of us love to shop for Christmas and New Year. You must have seen newspapers and TV ads already advertising special offers from the retailers and stores specially on toys, electronic goods and clothes. But what the retailers do not share is the strategy for perfect buying. Here are 11 shopping secrets that you should follow on Black Friday to nab the best of the shopping bargains.
There are two popular theories as to why the day after Thanksgiving Day is called Black Friday. One theory is that the wheels of vehicles in heavy traffic on the day after Thanksgiving Day left many black markings on the road surface, leading to the term Black Friday.
The other theory is that the term Black Friday comes from an old way of recording business accounts. Losses were recorded in red ink and profits in black ink. Many businesses, particularly small businesses, started making profits prior to Christmas. Many hoped to start showing a profit, marked in black ink, on the day after Thanksgiving Day.
1. Before you go for shopping make a list
Have you ever seen Christmas Santa holding list in his hands of the gifts he brings for us? That shows how efficient he was at shopping presents. Before you step out for the Black Friday shopping make a shopping list and check it twice. It is because you should know what you are shopping for. Suppose you are planning to buy a smartphone. So first note down what brand you will be interested in, its size and other features so that you can compare quality and price.
Therefore with the list of things in hand you can also make an overall budget and be prepared to stick to it for each of the high price items, how much do you want to spend and what’s the most you want to pay as these things will make it easier for you at the shopping mall.
2. Make a plan of the things to buy and compare the prices
You should be specific on the shopping list that you have created as this helps to clear your mind avoiding to wander here and there. Also it is all the better to compare prices before the big day. That way, when you decide what you want you can educate yourself on where your best price is and you’ll be able to spot the truly good deals among the pseudo-sales and so-so merchandise.
You can know before hand which stores will offer the best prices on the items you want. You can often find out weeks ahead of the big day and compare the price online. A few of the popular ad flier and price-comparison online sites are BFAds.net, BlackFriday.GottaDeal.com, ShopSavvy.com, PriceGrabber.com, PoachIt.com, DealNews.com, BlackFriday.com and theBlackFriday.com
3. Start to shop early and save your money and time
Bargain shopping starts long before you hit the stores in the wee hours of Black Friday morning.Some ad-flier sites leak Black Friday ads early, giving you an idea of the best places to buy the items on your list. With many ad-flier sites, you can sort by product categories like TVs or tablets and other goods.
Some price-tracking sites allow you to set up email or text alerts for deals on certain products, or specific sale prices. Going through the online versions of ad fliers is just half the job so better do your homework on the prices and the specific products. For that you can go through lots of product reviews and know what the item normally costs. If you really want a good deal, it’s not enough to know who’s offering what at a discount but to know the real value of that merchandise.
4. Go for ‘Rolling Deals’
Many stores have “rolling deals,” like you’ll see one slate of specials at 5 a.m., another at 8 a.m. and another one at 10 a.m. Also there are many stores that offer international shipping nowadays which also can be looked for such deals.
One major chain leading the way is US giant Target , which has revealed it plans to start the Black Friday discounts early. Last year the brand rolled out deals nearly two weeks ahead of Black Friday. This year the retailer will again release early deals, and is offering US based shoppers $10 off a $50 spend on selected product category each week from mid-November and also benefit from free shipping on all orders from Target.
5. It is not necessary to shop on Friday only
Although it has become a ritual to shop only on Black Friday there is no rigid rule to it. You might be able to score a bargain even on Wednesday night, as many stores set up their discounts before Friday. This is because some stores, look forward to draw shoppers earlier, offering deep discounts well in advance of Black Friday.
6. Shop in groups with families and friends
Shopping together in groups with families and friends is not only fun but saves money too. This cost effective shopping can help you grab good deals. You can bargain more in less time. You will not only save your gas or fuel and have one parking spot when travelling to shop but have more fun saving time as one of you stands in line to pay the others may be moving to next store for the purchase.
7. You can even shop online as Black Friday is not only store shopping
Though going out to shop is more entertaining but it can be stressful too. Why not get the same deals at home. Retailers seldom advertise that some of those Black Friday door-buster deals are available online too. So what you need to do is either look for yourself or designate one of your family members to work the computer from home and inform you on the deal that you may get online itself rather than lining up at the store the whole day. You will be surprised that best of deals will be online just a click away from you.
8. Compare and identify the ‘Real Deals’
As it is said for shopping that not every “bargain” is really a bargain so when you get an item in your shopping cart you have to recognize the difference between the price and the real price. If you buy something because it’s being offered at a crazy price and it’s not something you need or can use, it’s not a bargain. Instead it is advised to be a truly targeted shopper. Remember this isn’t your last chance to get a bargain on what you seek. If you’re truly looking to save money, something that might be 30 percent off Nov. 25th might be 40 percent to 50 percent off on Dec. 20th
9. Ask for price matching at the sales counter
Nowadays shopping is also a smart business. Bring your smartphone and if you see it cheaper elsewhere, show the sales associate and match the price. If the store you’re in won’t price match use your phone and buy it much cheaper at another store. So you need to act like pro shopper and be organized before hitting the stores and everything printouts or URLs at your fingertips.
10. Use coupons and grab additional discount
One way to find more discounts is the coupons. Use mobile apps while you’re in the store and look for coupons that retailers offer as additional deals or discounts. This not only save money but also a good strategy. Follow the stores and brands you like on social media and get alerts, coupons and extra deals on your cell phone or email.
But if you have missed out the coupons not to worry as being already in the store, you can go online and type in the name of the store and “deal,” “sale” or “coupon,” and you will be surprised to see the list of coupons that might get you an additional 35 percent off on clothes or electronic goods. Even if the sale or deal is online only, they want to make the sale so if you ask the employee or a manager, they may match the deal for you.
11. Use cash instead of credit cards and create a budget
You might think carrying cash is a liability and credit cards are convenience and less stressful. Agreed that carrying cash is worrisome as you might lose but credit card debt is more to worry about. In a recent study it was found out that credit card users not only spend more, but they also purchase more unhealthy things. It was found in a survey that people were willing to spend $175 to throw a Thanksgiving party when using a credit card to buy the food, but only $145 when using cash.
Also as an psychological effect it has been found that those who pay with cash enjoy a better relationship with their purchased products. According to the consumer psychologists the shoppers who pay cash to buy something increase their emotional attachment with the purchase compared to credit card users. All said and done one thing is clear paying by cash helps you stick to your budget and you are more to save than to spend.
One thing is for sure that there is no end to shopping and you should not feel and think as Black Friday the only option to shop. You can shop whenever you feel like be it cyber Monday or any other day. If you didn’t get what you needed, ran out of energy or forgot something, you may still find it available and on sale bit at online and at stores. Things are always there to shop and they are not going to be finished in any way. So Black Friday is not the end of the holiday bargain shopping season but it is the beginning as many deals are to follow in December and January. If you want to find bargains, you can find them in stores and online throughout the season. It is only the tradition to buy on Black Friday.
So before you shop think about what you really need and then step for buying. If interested to send gifts then choose free shipping and track who is offering you at freeshipping If you really wish to go out on Black Friday then have fun, drink plenty of water and wear comfortable shoes and carry on your shopping spree to enjoy.