Ah, Black Friday… it’s that time of the year when both seasoned and novice shoppers alike roll up their sleeves and get ready to enter the battlefield of what’s known as America’s quintessential shopping holiday.
The infamous sale has been around for decades, and before online shops were a thing, it used to mean braving heavy traffic, lining up for hours, going through massive crowds, and fighting for the items you wanted to add to your shopping cart.
Now, Black Friday has made its way to the e-commerce space and diversified the experience, with brands marketing their promos left and right. Even though this is the case, shoppers still need to attack the holiday with a strategy—you want to be getting the best Black Friday deals, after all.
Here are some tips on how you can conquer the sale, whether online or offline.
- Know what you want
Making a list of items you’re planning to buy should be the first thing you do to prepare for Black Friday. Doing so gives you a birds-eye view of the stores you want to check out.
If you just enter a random store without knowing what to get, there’s a huge possibility you’ll get overwhelmed or buy things you don’t end up needing after all. Or worse, someone else may have already snagged what you wanted to buy. Be smart with where your money goes!
- Compare pricing
Before you get tempted to add the item to your cart, it helps to know the regular price of the things you’re shopping before.
So before Black Friday weekend hits, and possibly even before November, take note of the prices of the stuff on your wish list. Then, check if the discount is as advertised or if you’ll be receiving some random bundles that you won’t end up using anyway. You can also scout multiple stores for even measure.
- Subscribe to your favorite brands
If there’s ever a time to sign up for email newsletters or follow brands on social media, it’s now. You might be awarded extra discount coupons or vouchers that are only valid because of specific promo mechanics, or simply because you received a particular email from the retailer. These promo emails add up to the total discount on your bill, so don’t set it aside!
- Pay attention to the sale schedule
This is especially relevant for online shops. Black Friday sales have become round-the-clock events, with some brands putting different sections of their catalog on sale at different times of the day. Say, you want to buy discounted furniture and it’s scheduled at 2–3 PM, but you’re also eyeing some gadgets that won’t go on sale until 9 PM on the same day. Take note and create a shopping schedule.
- Check the returns policy and warranty
Some people shop on Black Friday because they can’t resist a bargain. If that sounds like you and you’re undecided with some of the products you want to buy, then it’s worth reviewing every store’s returns and warranty policy. If you’re going to send back an item, the return fees might cost you more than the product’s regular price. There’s also a chance you could get a defective item—always read the fine print!
- Download essential Black Friday apps
From the official apps of your favorite retailers to coupon aggregators, it’s time to stock your smartphone up with some useful apps to help you navigate your way through the sale. Another upside is you’ll get notified when the sales start or when your bookmarked products may be on sale. It’s a win-win!
- Plan your shopping day itinerary well
If you’re more comfortable taking a look at the products in person, that means stepping foot outside the house and into the stores. If you’re going around more than one place, it’s best to give yourself a time limit per shop so you don’t get distracted with anything else you might come across. Proper planning is essential to get those highly coveted deals!
- Choose the appropriate mode of payment
Do you have credit cards that run rebate or cashback promos with some of your favorite brands? Will paying in cash reduce the total amount of your bill further? Consider the best mode of payment per store and check where you can continue to get the best bang for your buck.
- Shop with a friend or relative
Last but not least, if it’s available to you, go shopping with someone else. Divide and conquer the aisles or make one person in charge of credit payments, and the other for cash. The faster you rake the stores, the more chances you have of getting what you want. It’s both smart and practical.
Get Ready to Shop
Black Friday sales are an excellent opportunity to shop for virtually anything, from early for Christmas presents to home essentials. Use this time wisely to acquire items that are real bargains!