Black Friday is when thousands of products drop to all-time low prices in stores and online. Mattresses, laptops, TVs and even clothing are all discounted to make room for new inventory after Thanksgiving. But shopping on this biggest sale event of the year doesn’t have to be chaotic and stressful. Here are some tips to help you maximize your savings this weekend.
Look for Deals Online
Black Friday has grown from a single day into a whole shopping season. Whether looking for gifts for family or friends or things you want for yourself, you can make the most of the discounts by booking online ahead of time.
Many retailers release their ads in advance. Some also have smartphone apps that let you easily browse sales in one place and watch for price drops. Other app options remove the clutter of paper ads and digital coupon sites by combining them into one place and offering cash back on purchases made at a list of participating retailers. Another consideration is return policies, which tend to be more generous around the holiday season. It’s a bummer to buy a gift that turns out to be the wrong size or an electronic device with a flaw you didn’t know about. Some online retailers offer extended return periods during the holiday season so you can feel confident that your purchase is a safe bet.
Buy Discounted Gift Cards
In-person shopping may require you to fight through crowds of people, but you can find Black Friday deals from the comfort of your couch or office. The key is to know what you’re looking for and snag it quickly. That’s why it’s a good idea to use coupons aggregator websites like RetailMeNot that offer Black Friday discounts. Many retailers start offering sales and coupons on their sites before Black Friday. So, if you plan on buying something for yourself or a loved one, check out these sites in advance. Discounted gift cards are another great option for Black Friday shoppers. These sites buy gift cards from consumers for less than their face value and pass the savings on to you. Discounts vary by retailer and card type. Typically, the cards in lowest demand have the most substantial discounts, Knowles says. It’s also important to set a budget and stick to it. You don’t want to get caught up in the hype of Black Friday and spend more than you can afford.
Sign Up for a Co-branded Retail Card
Co-branded credit cards are credit cards that are issued in partnership with a retailer, often with rewards programs exclusive to the brand. These cards have higher reward-earning rates than regular credit cards because the retailer pays a sign-up bounty for every cardholder it brings to the credit card issuer. A good rule of thumb is only to consider a co-branded credit card if you regularly make a specific type of purchase from the brand.
Another way to maximize your savings on Black Friday is to use a smartphone shopping app that passes a portion of its retail affiliate discounts onto you. Using these apps can significantly reduce the cost of your Black Friday purchases. It’s also worth familiarizing yourself with price-matching policies at your favorite stores ahead of time. That way, you can be prepared if they offer a lower price on an item you want.
Add Items to your Digital Shopping Cart
Many retailers start circulating Black Friday ads weeks in advance, and some shoppers like to plan their shopping strategy. This may include determining a budget for what they want, checking return and price-match policies before purchasing, and using tools to compare prices online. Some people have described putting items in their digital cart but have yet to purchase them for various reasons, including forgetfulness, budget concerns, frustration with entering card information or seeing the final price with tax and shipping included, and want to keep options open while browsing different products. However, many of these on-the-fence prospective customers can be converted into buyers when they are offered a coupon to save on shipping or other money-saving features. Some money-saving features can be delivered as time-limited promo codes that appear in a web browser plug-in or as discount popups on an eCommerce website. These promotions are a great way to drive conversions during the Black Friday shopping rush by converting site visitors into paying customers.
Look for Stores in your Community
Black Friday is a time for consumers to buy big ticket items at a discounted rate, especially electronics. But it’s about more than just electronics, as many retailers offer deals on various products. Clothing, shoes, beauty products and travel discounts are popular during this sales week. Smart home devices, kitchen appliances, jewelry and even pet supplies may be available at a great price. If you’re a loyal customer of a particular retailer, it can pay off to keep an eye on their apps and websites for Black Friday discounts. In addition, many companies start their Black Friday deals online around Halloween, some even earlier. Shoppers can also track deals on their favorite stores’ apps by adding products to their cart and watching for price drops. Lastly, if you’re looking to score the hottest toys of the year, look for package deals that include multiple items from a brand. For example, Samsung has several deals on electronics such as washers and dryers, TVs and stick vacuums.