If you’ve lived through any Black Friday in your life, you’ll know it can be a stressful, anxiety-ridden hell ride or an exhilarating, adrenaline-fueled event. Either way, you’ll want to be prepared. The rise of online shopping has somewhat lessened the stress of Black Friday sales, but not by much.
At least now we don’t have to get up in the middle of the night to camp out in front of a shop and hopefully get what we want, so there’s that. No matter what your previous shopping experiences have been like, there’s always room for improvement, and that’s where these tips come in.
1) The early bird gets the discounts
Not to state the obvious, but if you’re one of the first people there (at the shop or on the website) you have a much better chance of getting what you want. If you’re inclined to haul yourself out of bed and tackle the physical stores, arriving early on Black Friday 2021 means you’ll have access to more of the best deals and stock that is available.
Many think they’re being clever by waiting for Saturday and avoiding the rush, but the reality is that, besides the obvious stock shortages, many of the discounts will have changed or been removed, and with the global pandemic, the limited number of people allowed to shop at once will also worsen your chances. Get there early, get in, get out.
2) Research is the name of the game
Black Friday has been around long enough that most people have a method for dealing with it, and possibly their own tricks for getting the best items and prices. However, the market is continually changing, and the rise of online shopping has created a wonderful, yet sometimes difficult to navigate, new world for people to learn about.
Follow your favorite retailers on social media, scour the websites, and, once you’ve decided what it is you want, you can start making a list of things to buy and where to buy them. You can also compare prices on a dedicated website (or on your own) and find out which stores are offering the best price.
Remember this though; most shops will advertise huge savings and discounts where there may not be. Altering prices beforehand, then adding a markdown sticker to the product does not a deal make. Keep your wits about you, and remember that if you can possibly wait, the best deals are usually after Christmas. Now of course if you’re buying for the holiday this may not be viable, but prioritize your needs and wants before running out to spend money.
3) Capitalize on emails
In the lead-up to Black Friday, companies usually begin their promotions and email campaigns to let you know what will be available and how much you can save, so sign up. You’ve got your list of needs and wants – now use the email information to make a note of which shop might be the best to buy it from. Having all this information in front of you on the day can help you stay focused and avoid impulse buying.
There are also other advantages to being an email subscriber – most companies will offer early access to discounts, as well as special vouchers, shopping tips, hacks and coupons. Equally useful are SMS notifications. Yes, I know they can be irritating when you’re getting 15 a day, and if this is just too aggravating for you, forget it. But a lot of stores will offer flash sales and special discount codes over SMS which are not available to everyone else, once again putting you a step ahead. Worst case scenario, if the notifications are driving you crazy, unsubscribe!
Ultimately, having a well-thought-out and researched list of items you want, where to get them, codes, and discount amounts, will help you to validate how much you really will be saving and whether it’s worth buying those things right this second. Once you’ve spent a little time going over everything, you may find some things can easily be scratched off or even postponed to another time of year. Don’t spend money just because there’s a shopping frenzy. Be smart, be prepared.