Imagine waking up before dawn or camping out in a parking lot to spend hours waiting in line for the doors of your favorite store to open. It sounds crazy but bargain hunters all over the country do it every year on Black Friday. Are you one of them?
If you’re planning to brave the crowds, we want to make sure that you’re properly prepared for the madness. So here to help you out are some great tips for smart shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Get a head start by checking out Black Friday deal finders, such as blackfriday.info, bfads.net, theblackfriday.com, and BlackFriday.gottadeal.com. These websites search through thousands of coupons, circulars and advertisements to help you find the best deals. They let you search for savings on a specific product or compare the prices of several different brands. It’s a super time saver!
Using Twitter and Facebook are great ways to find out about any special coupons or offers that a particular store is having. For example, Amazon posts their gold box deals and lightning deals on Twitter so you can quickly scan their best prices. Some good ones to follow for specials are @Amazon, @BestBuy_deals, @WalmartSpecials, @TargetDailyDeals, @OldNavy, @Target, @ToysRUs, @Kmartdeals, and @SearsDeals.
Thanks to clever app developers, you can now find the best deals via your phone! There are a bunch of free apps out there that can scan barcodes and compare prices in store or online, notify you of a particular deal and put the ads of major retailers’ at your fingertips. Check out a list of some super-helpful free Black Friday apps here.
QR stands for Quick Response codes and it’s a new way for advertisers to reach consumers. Like bar codes, you can scan them with your smartphone or mobile device and get info on a deal, coupon or other offer. Just make sure you’ve downloaded a QR code reader (there are several free apps available) and you’re good to go!
Consider Shopping Online
Instead of fighting crowds on Black Friday, take advantage of Cyber Monday and shop online. Last year, over 107 million consumers used the Internet for holiday shopping spending approximately $648 million on Cyber Monday! You’ll save money on gas and best of all, you can stay in your pajamas. Most stores are offering free shipping (Bloomingdales, Macys, Walmart, and Target) as well as tons of great deals.
Before you buy, check to make sure the return policy isn’t a “final sale” – this is sometimes the case for Black Friday items. Remember, if it’s final sale, the item will not be able to be returned so don’t purchase unless you’re absolutely sure. This advice goes double for e-retailers, where the shipping costs of returning a product may be the responsibility of the buyer.
Happy holiday shopping!