The products and services mentioned below were selected independent of sales and advertising. However, Simplemost may receive a small commission from the purchase of any products or services through an affiliate link to the retailer's website.
Black Friday is not for the faint of heart. You are either all in—or you should just get out. Otherwise, you are going to be one of the lost sheep trampled by the better prepared.
This shoppers’ holiday requires planning and preparation to get the biggest bang for your buck. And the earlier you can start, the better off you’ll be. Here are some insider tips that will help you be prepared to take on the frenzied masses.
1. “Black Friday” Is Actually Thursday Through Monday
In the past few years, Black Friday deals have been creeping up earlier and earlier. It may be necessary to make Thanksgiving dinner a lunch if you are going to be cleaned up and ready to shop by the time the stores open.
2. Do Your Research
Get on stores’ email lists at least two weeks in advance. This way you can double up on the savings by using coupons. When the day comes, you should know which stores you are heading to and what specific items you will be purchasing at each location. Sign up for Macy’s email list here, and get this 15% off $100+ coupon instantly!
3. Buy Discounted Gift Cards
If you have done your homework and followed step two, then you may be able to save even more. Check out Raise.com, where you can purchase gift cards for 5 to 20 percent off of face value. for the stores where you will be shopping.
4. Research While Shopping
Just because you are in a physical store, that doesn’t mean your research is done. With the Amazon app, you can scan bar codes to get real-time price comparisons. If you find the item happens to be cheaper online, go ahead and order it. Bonus: You’ll also save time waiting in line!
5. Scout It Out
By the time Thanksgiving arrives, you should have a pretty good idea of which items you will be picking up from each store. In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving Day, make a point to scope out the layout of your favorite stores. This will cut down on wasted time wandering through crowded aisles on Black Friday.
6. This Is A Time For Teamwork
This is a great night to enlist some friends as a support team. Not only will it make the trip more fun, it will streamline your shopping. Divvy up the sections of the store, and make on person responsible for grabbing the items on everyone’s list from that section (one person picks up electronics, another scours the toy section, etc.). Also consider bringing along a designated driver so you don’t have to waste time searching for parking spots.
7. Be Stealth
8. Forget About Price Matching
Don’t waste your time. Price matching deals are off the table at most major retailers during the Thanksgiving season. From Amazon to Target to Walmart, many stores that usually price match won’t honor competitors’ prices on Black Friday.
9. Download The BFAds App To Keep All The Ads With You
Download BFAds app and leave the paper ads behind. The app will verify prices and promotions as you shop!
10. Save At Least $50
If you’re not saving at least $50, is it really worth your time to battle the crowds when you could be on the couch eating leftover turkey and mashed potatoes? Don’t subject yourself to the emotional turmoil and physical strain of Black Friday shopping to save $10. There are other sales in December, when the stores won’t be quite as chaotic.
11. Make A Shopping List In Order Of Importance
Plan your trip according to importance. Make sure you get to the store with the product of greatest importance first! And try (keyword: try) to not get sidetracked. Stick to the list! Having a list that outlines the items you want/need will make both shopping time and your receipt shorter!
12. Make A Budget And Stick To It
Retailers lure you into the store with clever promotions, and then the next thing you know your cart is full of amazing deals on things you had no intention of buying. Don’t do it. Don’t let them win! Stick to your plan (and map and budget)—or else you are sure to have buyer’s remorse when you finally sleep off that shopper’s high. Try to limit yourself to seven items per store!
13. Look For Doorbuster Guarantees In The Ad
Many doorbuster ads will guarantee that the first 100 people will automatically get a doorbuster. Walmart is well-known for doing this. Plus the first people in line usually get FREE stuff! Last year, Kohl’s offered free movie tickets to the first 100 people in line!
14. Avoid The Main Aisles
Most deals tend to be along the perimeter of the store, so that’s where you will find the most traffic! Save time using alternative travel routes among the aisles.
15. JCPenney And Kohl’s Are The Best Stores To Shop Black Friday Deals
JCPenney is known for having the best clothing deals, and Kohl’s has amazing steals on toys! According to The Krazy Coupon Lady, the median discount on Black Friday 2015 items at these two stores was 60 percent!
16. And Costco and Sam’s Club Are The Worst For Black Friday Deals
17. Go To Office Depot/Max For Computer Purchases
Here is where you will find the best deals on electronics! Specifically deals on computers. Last year Office Depot/Max averaged a 55-70 percent discount on computers and tablets.
18. Get Your Small Appliances At Macy’s
If you are braving the Black Friday madness for small appliances, then Macy’s is your destination! Your best bet for snagging these deals is to get there early. Last year the sale only lasted until 1 p.m.
19. Go To Drug Stores For Stocking Stuffers
20. Consider Staying Home
Other than the doorbusters, most Black Friday deals are now available online. You won’t even have to wait until Cyber Monday. So if all of the above steps seem like too much trouble, stay home and scout of the best deals online.
So there you have it! Now you are a Black Friday Pro. Shop safely and strategically, and you’ll have this in the bag!
[h/t: The Krazy Coupon Lady]