For some, Black Friday shopping is a tradition as strong as pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. It’s the official shopping kickoff of the Christmas season and often a date to find incredible prices on a number of gift-worthy items. If you’re thinking of taking part this Friday, here are 10 tips to keep your Black Friday golden:
1. Do your homework. Gather Thanksgiving Day newspaper ads and visit retailer’s home pages to research the deals that will be offered. Don’t forget to read the fine print, especially concerning quantities and availability. You don’t want to stand in line for a $99 HDTV if there’s only actually one for sale! If you’re unsure about terms of an offer, call the store manager in advance to clarify.
2. Be a scout. Knowing the layout of a store can help you nab the deal you want. The crowds can cause confusion, so know where you want to go beforehand.
3. Set your priorities. Unless you’ve recruited an army of shoppers, you’re not likely to get every early bird, door-busting deal offered, so decide which deals are at the top of your wish list and work down.
4. Pack a snack. Keep a bottle of water and a healthy snack in your purse to keep energy high and irritability low during the shopping frenzy.
5. Review the return policy. Before you ring up, make sure you know the store’s policy on returns and exchanges. You’ll avoid any frustrating surprises if you ask questions before you swipe your card.
6. Know your budget. There will be even more “deals” than you’re expecting, so avoid buyer’s remorse by creating a budget that allows for a little wiggle room, but won’t break the bank.
7. Consider your transportation. Be sure that your car, van, truck, or bus will fit the items that you purchase. Your friend with the pickup truck will probably not appreciate a 6:00 a.m. call for help.
8. Dress in layers. It’s cold outside the doors and warm inside, so be prepared to adjust to the temperatures with layered clothing. It can make all the difference in your experience.
9. Carry a calculator. Don’t rely on your own math skills to make the calculations that morning, especially when some stores will offer an additional percentage off a sale price. Use a calculator to figure out the cost before tossing things in your cart. It’s also a great way to keep a running total of your entire purchase.
10. Shop online. The Internet age has changed Black Friday shopping, which means that unless you enjoy the adventure of a 4:00 a.m. shopping trip, most deals are available online, at home, in the comfort of your pajamas. Several retailers will be offering free shipping as well to entice online shoppers. Don’t forget to check out Mrs. Fields Friday morning, as well as our blog and our Facebook page for special Black Friday deals!