How To Prepare For Black Friday


Black Friday, the Friday right after Thanksgiving, is the best day in the entire world for shopping addicts. Black Friday is the traditional start of Christmas shopping in our beloved United States. It’s the day when many stores offer discounted prices you might not see throughout the rest of the year. They cut prices not only on smaller items and toys but also big ticket items like Apple products, even car dealerships participate. Black Friday is crazy and chaotic, but most of all it’s a fun time that brings family and friends closer together.

First things first set your budget, you need to decide how much you can afford to spend and how much you will be spending on each person you are shopping for. I suggest that once you decide how much you are willing to spend make a list of all the people you will be shopping for and divide that money however you would like. You can divide it evenly or you can just jot down how much you are willing to spend on each person.

Check the prices of the items you have in mind BEFORE Black Friday. It may seem like a waste, but it will actually help you. If you check the prices of the items you are planning on getting before Black Friday it will help you to know whether or not your getting a good deal or not.

Study or research all of the ads before Black Friday. When searching all ads for black Friday make sure to study them as well this way you know where or who has the best deals on the items you are looking for. Make a mental note of all the restrictions that the stores have placed as well.

Opt for online shopping. Throughout the year many people online shop, but when it comes to Black Friday then everyone feels like they have to shop in-store. I am here to tell you this is not true, over the last couple of years stores and retailers have equalized their prices from online and in-store including discounts and markdowns.

Going off of that if you are planning on doing your shopping online make sure to bookmark or save the websites. This can save you lots of time, especially when items go live. But sometimes things happen like stores moving the discounted items which in turn changes the URL, in this case maybe just save the home page of a store so then you can look up anything.

Create a curbside plan, many stores like Target or Walmart are still offering curbside pickup but this year for Black Friday those stores are offering curbside returns. With all the pandemic restrictions gone, it is a good idea to think about curbside pickup instead of in-store, this is because the crowds from before Covid may come back this year.

Many times people can get discounts through price matching, during Black Friday don’t expect many stores to price match anything. Many stores put on a restriction for price matching starting Black Friday and typically it doesn’t end until Cyber Monday. This is a very sad con to Black Friday but I can tell you that not all stores do this. Actually, Target has said that they will be extending their price-matching policy, they have said that if you buy any item between October 6 and December 24 you can receive a price adjustment if the item’s price drop before or on Christmas eve. However only if the price adjustment is at Target and not another store.

Although many retailers and stores are closed on the day of Thanksgiving, a lot of them start their deals the day before. There are some stores that will start the deals even before that for competitive reasons. So If you are waiting make sure to check them out a couple of days before Thanksgiving.

Now it is always good to have some backup gifts planned but it’s especially needed during Black Friday. When shopping on Black Friday you can always run into risks like the price not dropping enough for your budget, or the item selling out because it is so high in demand. So to avoid chaos it is best to have one or even a couple of backup gifts for everyone on your list planned.

Now also keep in mind that open-box items and refurbished items are always a possibility. Although most people think used items are worthless, it’s actually not very accurate. Even though an item may be open or used the majority of the time it still will function as it was intended. It may not look very perfect or even brand new, but most of the time you can get the item for cheaper. With this don’t forget to read over the manufacturer’s warranty, often times many manufacturers offer a 1-year warranty on the item.

With so many shoppers coming out this Black Friday be prepared to wait. Even if you not shopping in-store you still need to prepare for waiting in line, I advise you if you’re doing store pickup to make sure it’s drive up this way if you are waiting you can wait comfortably in your car.

Along with waiting lines also be prepared for shipping delays. Many people try to get everything shipped to them to avoid the lines but sometimes that doesn’t always work. You may not experience this at all but it’s still good to account for them. If your holiday parties or plans are coming up, you may want to consider spending a little more to get your purchased item shipped sooner.

double checking that you getting the best deals can never hurt. There are many apps whether there the store apps or just random ones that can save you even more money when purchasing your items. Keep an eye out for these apps because who knows they might just give you bigger or better deals.

Impulse purchasing has gotten us all, but it really comes to bite us during Black Friday sales. It’s especially important to stay away from impulse buying during this wonderful day but it’s even more important when you are on a budget for gifts. It’s good to know what you need and to keep reminding yourself of your list. If you know that you are the kind of person who can’t say no to an impulse buy, try taking someone who is better at saying no with you, or try shopping online so that way there will be no items taunting you.

It’s important to make sure that you are familiarizing yourself with the store’s policy before buying items. Some items can be marked as a final sale which means that they can’t be returned. Keep this in mind as you are buying items for others, you want to make sure you make the right decision before you become stuck with something you don’t want or need.

Staying organized will really help you this Black Friday season. Many stores and retailers prefer to use Mail-in rebates and store credits because it helps them still get the full prices of the items. It’s important that you keep all receipts somewhere safe where you will remember for in-store shoppers this could be in your purse or wallet, but for online shoppers, it could be saved or screenshotted. After your shopping take all your receipts and organize them along with the information item, store, and dates. This will help you to stay organized and might even help you to get more savings.

With social media being so popular nowadays it will be very helpful for all shoppers to start following the stores you plan on shopping at. Most of the time the stores will post coupons, sale previews, and other ads. Make sure to especially check before entering the stores that way you have the savings ready for when you head to the checkout.

The most important piece of advice I can give you to help you prepare for Black Friday shopping is to be kind to everyone. Be kind and considerate to your fellow shoppers, to the store employees, to the retailers and sales associates, to everyone. No one wants to deal with mean or rude customers, with all the chaos going on being rude is just going to make someone else’s time worse. Now you may run into someone who isn’t being very kind but being kind to them or even just to someone else around you can cause a chain reaction of kindness. Who knows you could bring happiness to someone who isn’t having a very good day.

I hope you keep this all in mind and have a fun and safe shopping experience. Remember, you can either make it great or you can ruin the entire thing.

On your marks, get set, SHOP!