Black Friday is a nickname affectionately bestowed upon the day after Thanksgiving. It is largely considered the official first day of Christmas shopping for U.S. consumers. The term “Black Friday” is not meant to be negative, but, in fact, alludes to the common financial term “in the black” which is used when a company realizes profits. “In the red” is the financial term used when companies are losing money. How can you easily navigate Black Friday and find the best deals?
Skip the Lines and Shop Online
Some shoppers can be lucky enough to find plenty of great deals without leaving the comfort of their couches. It is definitely worth checking to see if your favorite retailer is offering the same Black Friday sales online that are being offered on the store shelves. Last year, approximately 70% of the day after Thanksgiving specials available in stores were also available on store websites. Of course, if you are one of those shoppers who lives for camping out Thanksgiving night in front of your favorite store to be first in line when the doors open at daybreak Friday morning, there is nothing stopping you. Go for it!
Sign up for Email Alerts
Most of the top retailers provide email alerts to favored customers year round, and there is no better time to pay close attention to those alerts than the days running up to Thanksgiving. Black Friday deals are already being announced to certain customer via email alerts. It is a good idea to make a list (and check it twice) of the most desired items. Make a map and plot your course for visiting the stores with the best holiday sales. Stick to your plan so that you will make every stop in time to snag your desired gifts before they are all gone.
There are a plethora of mobile apps available for savvy shoppers. These can help you organize your Black Friday excursion and compare prices at all the top retailers. Mobile apps are available for Androids, IPhones, Tablets and similar devices. They help consumers look at each store’s ads and even search items by categories. Some of the apps will let you know how crowded the stores are as well as the length of the lines. There are so many free apps out there, you do not need to pay for one in order to make your day after Thanksgiving adventure a success.
Don’t Forget to Check Social Media
One of the best ways to discover the most sensational sales is to watch what your friends and family post on Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and other social media sites. If you are connected to your favorite stores’ Facebook, Twitter and other social media pages, you can learn about special sale offers there. You can even arrange to get email notifications when your favorite stores post something new on their social media pages. This is an excellent way to help you organize your Black Friday trip and not miss any of the best deals.
Be a Coupon Clipper
Scour the direct mail circulars that increase in frequency the closer it gets to Black Friday. Cut out coupons and rebates so that you can get even more money off the sale price in the store. You can even check your favorite stores’ websites to find coupons and advertised specials that can be conveniently printed. Organize your coupons and sale flyers so that you can compare prices, and hit each store early enough to snatch up the best deals before they run out. Having a written list of sale items and prices can also help you stay within a designated budget, which is important for preventing holiday shopping from getting out of control.
Although it is vital that you be organized and focused to get the most out of your day after Thanksgiving shopping spree, remember to take a break. It is easy to become utterly exhausted from camping out overnight or getting in line before dawn to be the first in the door of your favorite store. Stop along the way at a coffee shop or bakery for a quick espresso or sweet treat to help you stay alert and energetic as you strive to set another Black Friday shopping record.
5 Great Black Friday Deals to look out for
1. LG 55” 1080p LED TV for $499.99 – DOORBUSTER Best Buy – $1,500 MSRP
2. iPad Air WiFi-enabled 16GB for $479.99 plus a $100 gift card – Target – $599 MSRP
3. Vizio 60” LED Smart TV for $688 – Walmart – $999 MSRP
4. Microsoft Surface for $199 – Best Buy – $449 MSRP
5. Seiki 55” 4k TV for $849.99 – Sears – $1,499 MSRP