The mention of “Black Friday” is usually followed with feelings of happiness and excitement. It’s the day, or in some cases week, where you can buy the things you wanted all year long at a fraction of the cost. But don’t go in blind as a bat this year -- do black Friday like a pro by avoiding these amateur mistakes.
DON’T: Go in without a plan
DO: Take an inventory of what you could possibly buy on Black Friday – including, but not limited to aging or obsolete electronics, small appliances, tools or even holiday gifts.
Know what you want and check retailer websites during the week leading up to Black Friday for ads and flyers to prepare for the big day. If you go in without any research on the products or best places to buy, you may fall victim to the black Friday frenzy getting duped with less than impressive “sale” items or impulse buys.
Plan it. Find it. Buy it. Love it.
DON’T: Waste time on merchandise not deeply discounted
DO: Know when types of merchandise typically go on clearance
Preparation is the key to a successful black Friday haul. It’s easy to get caught up in the flashy signs and excitement of other shoppers but steer clear of items like linens, apparel and furniture as they are seldom deeply discounted merchandise. Toys are another item you generally should pass on in-store. They typically go on sale in the first two weeks of December.
Save your money and time for larger ticket items like vacuums, tools, small appliances and TVs that are usually offered with deeper discounts. Take caution with TVs though – you might not be getting the deal you think you are. Some manufacturers produce “derivative models” or scaled down versions with flaws specifically for Black Friday. If it’s not exactly what you wanted, don’t fret; you might have another chance to score big on a TV in January just before the Super bowl when they usually go on sale.
DON’T: Get duped by large signs and fine print
DO: Go for product bundles to save more
It’s easy to get blinded by those brightly coloured “SALE” tags, but understand that sale events are meant to clear merchandise. For electronics, like laptops, make sure you read the fine print on the item so you know exactly what you’re getting – the tech specs and whether is new or refurbished.
You may also be missing the bigger deal in bundles if you snap to action to quickly. A lot of items package things together, serving up a bigger savings than if you bought them individually, like cameras and accessories or game consoles with games included.
DON’T: Wait in the cold
DO: Head into Black Friday with your wish list already in your online shopping cart
There are many places that will have online sales for Black Friday that start right at midnight, so buckle in for some web surfing to get those discounts early. But before you checkout, have a quick browse online for extra savings. Slow and steady wins the race, so it might pay off to take those few extra minutes scouring the web for coupon codes.
DON’T: Assume you’re getting the best deal at one store
DO: Comparison shop quickly
Don’t assume that what you’re getting in one store is the best deal around. Along the same lines as doing your research, make sure to comparison shop and don’t settle for just anything. It’s a good idea to bring a phone or tablet with a comparison app along with you or to check manufacturer websites to learn if certain models are current or obsolete. Some stores may even offer price matching on certain items, so look around.