Black Friday is getting closer and closer. It’s not long now until some really great deals arrive in the shops (real and online), but are you prepared? Do you know how much you want to spend? Do you know where to locate the best deals? Have you got a route planned? There’s plenty you can do to beat the crowds, find your favourite purchases and actually have fun while doing it. After all, can you think of anything more exciting than saving hundreds – if not thousands – of dollars on purchases that you would probably have bought anyway?
Here’s our top shopping tips for getting the most out of this Black Friday!
Set yourself a budget
This is the number one rule for making sure your Black Friday dreams don’t turn into a Black Friday nightmare. With so many great savings out there, it’s incredibly tempting to spend more money than you have – even on things you don’t need. That’s not a great way to kick off the Christmas season, so we strongly recommend you take a long hard look at your resources before you spend a dime.
If you’re using Black Friday to get started on your Christmas shopping, plan a gift budget for each person and make sure you don’t go over it. In fact, a nice clear dollar-limit per present will help you make a call in the heat of the moment, when temptation strikes – you might even want to consider carrying a list around with you to remind you what you decided ahead of schedule.
Come up with a plan
Shopping on Black Friday is not about browsing. It’s about knowing what you want and where to find it, and getting to it as quickly and efficiently as possible. Brands will release adverts in the days leading up to Black Friday, announcing their most exciting deals. Websites like BFads.net and BlackFriday.com will help you search and find the best discounts for the items you’re interested in. If you are looking for deals on ink and toner, then visit our Clickinks Black Friday deals page.
The massive popularity of this shopping day obviously means that the most popular deals (particularly on high value items like games consoles) always sell out quickly. Once you have a list of the items you’re looking to purchase, make sure to prioritise those you think will sell out quickly. It’s also worth checking the opening hours of the stores you’re planning to visit – if they’ve been open since 4am, they’re going to sell out sooner than a competitor who opens at 7am.
Don’t go it alone
One of the best ways to survive what can be a pretty intense day of shopping is to partner up with a likeminded friend. By working together, you can cover more ground, locate the best deals, keep each other’s’ spirits up and even save money if you happen to find multi-purchase deals. Just make sure you pick your partner wisely: you don’t want to head out for a full day only to find they get tired or bored half way through! Oh, and consider taking a back-up battery for your phones.
Ready, steady, apply
There are tons of useful Black Friday apps available for both iOS and Android. Some will help you locate the best deals on the move, some will keep you alerted to stock running low, some will allow you to compare prices between shops and online retailers, and some will help you locate friends who have gone missing in the melee. It’s definitely worth having a browse online ahead of the big day and – again – you might want to consider having some spare juice for your phone’s battery.
Double check online
Before you take the plunge and head to the shops, do a last-minute check to compare instore deals with online ones. Obviously, the vast majority of online savers won’t be available until Cyber Monday (which technically doesn’t start until the Monday after Thanksgiving), but more and more online retailers are kicking off their sales early. So if the crowds and risk of missing a purchase put you off, you might find online prices that convince you to skip Black Friday altogether (just watch out for the sting in the tail of online shopping – shipping costs).
Use your credit card
It’s not a great idea to carry lots of cash with you on Black Friday – for obvious reasons. Paying by plastic alleviates that risk, but there are other advantages too. Depending on what credit card you use, purchases can lead to additional rewards – such as loyalty points, purchase protection and extended warranties. Obviously, you should only use your credit card if you can definitely afford to pay off your balance in full at the end of the month – otherwise those extra benefits will soon be outweighed by the cost of interest on your debt.
Good luck and happy shopping!