Black Friday Shopping
Even though it offers some of the best deals of the year, Black Friday shopping can be stressful at the very least, and overwhelming at worst. Stores open at the crack of dawn – sometimes sooner – and the crowds are heavy and filled with people eagerly waiting to snatch the best Black Friday shopping deals.
If you're going shopping on Black Friday, you need a plan in place. Without one, you'll have a much harder time finding what you're looking for, snagging the lowest advertised prices before they sell out and getting home without having a stress meltdown.
Black Friday Shopping Tips
Black Friday is not a good day to head to the store or the mall just to browse – you've got to know exactly what you're looking for when you walk into any given store. Thus, your first step is to make a Black Friday shopping list. The best rule of thumb is: if you don't absolutely have to buy it on Black Friday to get the lowest price, leave it for another day. Typically, you'll find incredible one-day-only door crashers on Black Friday electronics and Black Friday computers. Appliances and furniture are sometimes also drastically reduced on Black Friday only, but most other consumer goods will continue to be available at deeply discounted prices in the days that follow.
Once you've created your shopping list, your next step is to find the best prices for the items you want. Your local newspaper will be stuffed full of ads and coupons in the weeks and days leading up to the event, and many retailers advertise their sales and specials on their websites. Do your homework and have any coupons, discount codes or rebate forms that you'll need in order to get special prices ready in hand before you leave to go to the store.
Finally, get to the store as early as possible. Many big-box retailers open extremely early on Black Friday, and there are crowds chomping at the bit to get inside no matter what the hour. Once you've circled your must-have deals, find out what time the store opens, and do what it takes to get there early – the best deals sell out fast, and you don't want to brave the crowds only to be left empty-handed in the end.
Avoid In-Store Shopping on Black Friday
Black Friday online shopping is the easiest way to avoid the craziness at the stores. However, items featured in online sales are equally subject to sellouts, so don't wait until the day of the sale to start surfing. Visit the store's website beforehand to see what's being offered – you may be required to enter a promotional code or a purchase order ahead of time to qualify for the lowest advertised price.