Black Friday is the best day of the year for shoppers to find great deals on almost anything. Shoppers, though, need to be smart and prepared because even amongst all the alluring Black Friday ads and discounts lie some clever pitfalls that even the most experienced of them could fall into. Anyone planning on braving the chaos that is Black Friday should be well prepared. These tips will help get shoppers prepared for black Friday and in turn, get the most for their money.
Research Black Friday Ads
Black Friday ads start showing up online as early a few weeks before the day even comes. A smart shopper should prepare by looking at these ads and finding the stores and the items that interest them. Newspapers the week of black Friday will be full of ads, coupons and door buster deals, especially the newspaper for Thanksgiving Day.
These should be looked over carefully. If there is a coupon for something that a shopper wants to buy then they should cut it out and organize it according to store. Well done research will bring the chaos level of black Friday down significantly.
Make a Black Friday Budget
After the research is done, a shopper should have an approximation of what they want to spend. Whether it is $100 or $500 or more that a shopper wants to spend, they should still have a budget. This will keep them from overspending. Set aside money for definite purchases that that the shopper decided to buy while doing research and a little for things that catch the eye when arriving at the stores.
Keep in mind that while some deals may be too good to pass up, too much money could easily end up being spent if one does not have a budget.
Make a Plan
Next, a plan should be made of what stores one will go to and in what order. Most Black Friday ads will show the time that a store will open, some as early as 4 a.m. A shopper should consider many factors when making their plan: how early the store is open, how long the door buster period will last, what deals they want the most, how long they anticipate the lines will be and driving distance are a few. This will make shopping on Black Friday easier and less stressful.
Don’t Get Distracted
This is one of the most important tips. After all the work of researching ads, making a budget and making a plan, one wouldn’t want to get distracted. Sticking to the prearranged budget and plan will make ones experience of Black Friday much more pleasant.
Abiding by these tips will take the craziness that is usually associated with Black Friday away and help shoppers get the most for their money.
What’s the Best Time to Christmas Shop?
What is the best time to Christmas shop if you’re trying to avoid the holiday crowds? And when is the best time to Christmas shop if you’re looking to save money? Many holiday shoppers ask these two questions, as in today’s society, it seems that everyone is looking to save money, time or both!
Ellen Henry has worked in New York City as a personal shopper for more than a decade, so she does more holiday shopping in one year than most people will do in an entire lifetime. Over the years, she has learned quite a bit about the best times for Christmas shopping, as saving money and time is essential for success in her field.
Christmas Shopping on Black Friday – The Best Time to Save Money on Holiday Shopping
According to Henry, the day after Thanksgiving is perhaps the best time to Christmas shop if saving money is a priority. In particular, the Black Friday early bird sales can lead to significant savings. But even those Christmas shoppers who like to sleep in can take advantage of the Black Friday sale prices.
For even greater savings, Henry recommends attending Black Friday sales at Wal-Mart, Target and other department stores. “You have a very limited period of time to take advantage of Black Friday sales; you want to limit the amount of time spent traveling from store-to-store and you want to limit the amount of time spent waiting in check-out lines. So on Black Friday, it’s ideal if you can Christmas shop at just a few stores,” Henry explained.
Notably, many retailers offer great holiday shopping sales throughout the weekend following Thanksgiving. So if for those holiday shoppers who don’t complete their shopping on Black Friday, the rest of the weekend is a good time to take advantage of sale prices.
Christmas Shop on Weekdays to Save Time When Holiday Shopping
Weekday mornings are an ideal time to Christmas shop because most people are at work or school. Weekdays can be a great time for parents of school-age children to buy Christmas gifts, as the children are at school.
“If you can take a day off from work at some time in December, do it! Weekday mornings are the best time for Christmas shopping if you’re trying to save time. You may miss out on some of the weekend sales, but in a society where time is money, it’s really a case of ‘six of one; half a dozen of the other,'” Henry explained.
Notably, for those who decide to Christmas shop during the week, it’s important to avoid the period between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. – lunch hour. Many people who work 9-to-5 jobs will dedicate their lunch hour to Christmas shopping.
Save Money by Holiday Shopping on Christmas Eve or After Christmas
Christmas Eve sales and day-after-Christmas sales can be a great time to save money on holiday gifts.
“If you can postpone a purchase, this is a great way to save money on holiday gifts. Many people present gifts to friends and family members after the actual holiday. So create a separate Christmas shopping list for items that can be purchased just before or after the holiday,” Henry explained, adding, “I wouldn’t leave all of your holiday shopping for Christmas eve, as most stores are closed by 6:00 p.m.”
For Christmas shoppers who want to save money and time, shop during the late afternoon hours on Christmas Eve. Day-after-Christmas sales can also result in great savings on holiday gifts, but the stores and malls will be busy, so it’s not an ideal time to Christmas shop if saving time is a priority.