How to Score the Best Deals on Black Friday 201613 Nov, 2016
The holiday season is upon us and along with it comes the shopping madness known as Black Friday.
Heavy foot traffic and eager shoppers looking for the “steal deals” can create a stressful and overwhelming environment for unprepared consumers. Having a solid game plan before entering the store and not getting caught up in the commotion once inside, is beneficial in helping you get the most bang for your buck.
BestSales.com has comprised a list of tips that, if followed, will assist you in finding the perfect gifts for your loved ones without breaking the bank and, more importantly, survive the crowds on Black Friday. BestSales.com allows you to search for any product and compare prices across dozens of stores like Amazon, eBay, BestBuy, Walmart and more.
Know What’s Hot
For the latter items, you can always wait to snag movies and games for stocking stuffers. Focus specifically on the trending item that you need, not necessarily the items that everyone wants.
Also, don’t be fooled by deals on hot items. For example, the television with the best price is often a bare bones model. While that item is flying off the shelves, opt for one that is a step up from the base model.
On the other hand, if you don’t need all the bells and whistles, seek out a marked down, lower model. For example, GoPro is releasing it’s Hero5 4K camera and Karma drone for 2016. There’s not much of a drop off with the Hero4 and the Karma can always wait.
Utilize Apps and Ads
Always, always, always bring ads and a fully charged smartphone with you on Black Friday journey. A lot of stores have a “lowest price guarantee” policy and having physical proof of another store’s deals in your hand is a quick way to get the best price.
Don’t shy away from technology. Merely bringing a smartphone into the store immediately gives you a leg up on old-school shoppers. Utilize apps like Honey, Coupon Sherpa and Retail Me Not to find coupons and the best prices available in your area. Plus, most, if not all, major retailers have smartphone apps that are constantly updated.
Last Year, FatWallet introduced the “Black Friday” application, which allows for browsing of scanned ads. In Summer 2016, the company updated its app with a new version that fixed previous bugs and issues from the first year.
Also, BestSales.com as we mentioned is a great way to start shopping smart if you plan to shop online. Instead of going to a store’s site, compare prices using BestSales, allowing you to save time and money.
Budgeting, Cash, & EMV Chip Cards
The first thing any shopper should do in preparation for Black Friday (or the entire holiday season, for that matter) is create a budget and stick to it. If possible, use cash when shopping and leave your cards at home. When your money runs dry, you’re done.
According to Bankrate.com, 36% of millennials prefer cash when holiday shopping.
However, if you do use a card only use one card and pick the one with the lowest interest rate. When piling up item after item, one aspect that’s often overlooked is security. Utilize the EMV chip on your credit card. EMV chip cards (short for Europay, MasterCArd and, Visa) is the new standard in smart and secure payment. The embedded microchip makes it more difficult for hackers to access your information as opposed to the traditional magnetic strip.
The technology is still catching on and isn’t in every store, however merchants with chip-enabled readers saw a 47% drop in counterfeit fraud in May of 2016, according to Visa. MasterCard also showed a significant decrease (54%) with its merchants between April 2015 and April 2016.
Research Stores & Sales
Research goes along with planning a budget. Make sure you do your homework before heading out the door. This includes something as simple as knowing the hours of operation for the stores you’re visiting.
Over the past decade, Black Friday has extended into Thanksgiving Day. If recent trends continue, sales will once again rise in 2016 as stores such as Kohl’s continue to open early. This year for example, Amazon started their Black Friday 2016 sales a lot earlier.
Some stores, however, are sticking to their guns and remaining closed on Thanksgiving.
Video games, as we mentioned, will once again be hot items this holiday season but one of the leading retailers in the gaming industry, Gamestop, won’t open it’s doors until 5 AM Friday. Likewise, Home Depot, Nordstrom, Costco, BJ’s, Lowe’s, Patagonia, and Jo-Ann Fabric will be closed on Thanksgiving.
Finally, if you really want the deals but not the hassle, some stores allow ordering online with in-store pick-up. In addition, you can always wait until Cyber Monday and do all your shopping in your PJ’s from the comfort of your couch.
No matter what your approach this holiday season, remember, a smart shopper is a safe shopper.