You Shouldn’t Camp Out at Midnight
One of the biggest Black Friday rituals is camping out in front of stores at midnight, hoping to get the hottest deals on the top products. You’ll believe you’ll have some great advantage in being the first one in the store that day, but we hate to be the one to tell you that just isn’t true.
The most prominent deals on the Black Friday ads you see, chances are, you’ll never get them no matter how early you get there. There will be very few of those items in stock and everyone will be after them, so your chances are slim to none. These deals are just meant to entice shoppers to get them in the store. It’s just basic marketing.
Prices are the Same All Day
Stores will also make a point of giving you a timeframe for Black Friday sales but this is a lie. They’ll make it sound like you need to be there during specific hours or for some limited time that day, but it’s just not true. The prices for everything will be the same throughout the day.
By going in early in the morning, all you are going to be doing is pointlessly putting yourself on the frontline of the Black Friday madness. Instead, you could actually get some sleep and go in at your leisure to catch some deals you are more likely to actually encounter in the wild.
The Best Deals are on the Worst Products
As mentioned earlier, those doorbuster deals, as they often are called – you aren’t likely to get those. And of the other deals with the biggest markdowns in price, you are looking at products that basically aren’t going to last you or products that just aren’t very impressive, to begin with.
The best deals are often on the worst products, so don’t waste your money on those. Go for the deals on things that you would actually buy normally – not some cheap TV that won’t even last you 10 years. You can save a ton on smaller items. And while they might not seem like a huge drop in savings, the cost can really add up.
Try Shopping at Local Stores
You may be compelled to shop at the big retail stores putting out ads, but you will find that mom-and-pop shops also have great deals, offering competitive pricing for the retail “holiday.” You may even have an easier time looking for what you want at a local store because not everyone will be thinking of looking there.
Whether you are looking for some discounted clothing, toys for your kids or something special for that special someone in your life, local stores also want your business, so it might be worth checking them out. Remember that the ads from the retail chains are just meant to get you in the store. They aren’t the best deals everywhere.
Most Deals Will Carry Over into Cyber Monday.
Again, the sense of urgency that retailers try to create around Black Friday is all manipulation. The truth is that they have every intention of selling what they advertise to make way for new stock. By creating a sense of urgency in advertising, they hope to sell things faster, but they still want to be able to sell more after Friday.
That being said, you’ll still be able to find great deals after Black Friday and even more deals going into Cyber Monday. New offers help generate buzz surrounding their store and it helps sales go through the roof at one of the busiest shopping times of the year. This is the time to start getting your shopping in but its not your last opportunity by any means.
Prices are Often Inflated Before Black Friday
Sometimes a deal is just an illusion and you are being manipulated once again. Be sure to look at pricing well before Black Friday starts; you’ll probably notice this. Prices are often inflated before Black Friday to make it seem like you are getting better deals. In reality, you are just getting the normal price.
It might be a few weeks or even a couple months before, but the prices on the hottest items will be marked up until Black Friday starts, where they will be restored to their original price. This makes it seem like you are getting a deal and gets you in the store, creating that urgency. But if you pay attention, you’ll probably notice the price on certain items is quite similar for most of the year.
Nobody is Going to Check in the Back
It’s certainly a nice thought to think that employees care about each and every customer’s individual needs, but it just isn’t true – and it definitely isn’t a realistic idea either. Black Friday is one of the biggest sales events of the year, and they simply don’t have the time to give every customer special attention.
In most cases, when it comes to inventory, what you see is what you get. There’s nothing in the back, and if they ever did have stuff in the back, they would bring it out to sell it. So go ahead and ask them to go check the back, and they might say “sure,” but what they are really going to do is take care of some other customer, and report back “sorry, nothing.” Hate to tell you this, but they just don’t have the time for you.
Overspending is quite an easy thing to do on Black Friday because there are going to be a ton of deals you see that you are going to feel like you need to take advantage of. The problem is that you will end up buying things you don’t even need just because they are on sale.
Go in with a goal in mind to prevent overspending and bring enough cash in to cover the cost of those things you really want. Otherwise, if you aren’t quite sure, go in with a spending budget and bring enough cash to cover that budget. This way, you don’t have to suffer from buyers remorse and end up taking things back.
Don't Use a Cart
Using a cart for Black Friday shopping is really going to slow you down if you are trying to catch a deal. There’s the time it takes to grab the cart among the sea of individuals also grabbing a cart and then there’s all the time you will spend you will waste pushing your cart through crowds of people.
Going down the aisles completely on foot is your best chance at getting the items you want quickly. It’s much easier to maneuver through crowds. On top of this, having a cart will compel you to buy more than you need. Consider your budget and consider your time. You don’t need to spend your whole morning shopping.
Ask Other Customers for Help
Consider the time you are wasting asking employees questions about where certain items are. They have a lot of people to help and things to do at one of the busiest times of the year. It may be a long while before they get to you, and you’ll just be wasting time standing around if you wait for them.
As painful as it is these days for people to talk to each other, your best bet at finding something quickly is to ask other shoppers where to find certain items. Chances are they have encountered what you are looking for or maybe even picked up the same thing you are looking for. There’s no harm in asking a stranger for help. You’ll find most people are accommodating.
Don't Sign Up for Store Credit Cards
They will certainly try to do this throughout the year, and they won’t stop on Black Friday just because it’s busier. Employees at retail stores are trained to ask you about signing up for credit cards, and for the stores, this is the time to take advantage of people who are really looking to save.
Often retailers will offer further discounts on items for people who sign up for a store credit card. If you are foolish enough to take the bait, then you may save that day but if you ever use that card, you are in for a world pain. The cards usually have terrible interest rates or terrible “incentives” that are just a waste of your time. If it’s just a debit card, feel free to sign up for that – I guess.
Watch Out for Mail-In Rebates
Some deals aren’t quite what is advertised in bold so be sure to read the fine print. Many deals you may find on electronics and things like that will be as a rebate, meaning you’ll have to fill out some paperwork and send it off in the mail to get your money back.
So, you’ll still need to pay the full price of the item when you come into the store and then wait weeks to get your rebate. What ends up happening with a lot of people is that they never actually turn in the rebate, or they don’t turn it in on time. Thus, they never end up saving any money at all.
Don't Dress Like Employees
One way to slow yourself down during your Black Friday shopping is to dress up like anything that the employees are wearing. When picking your outfit for the occasion, use some common sense. Don’t wear a red shirt at Target or a blue shirt at Best Buy, or you are just asking for trouble.
People are likely to interrupt you a lot more if they think you are an employee at the store. How often do you want to be asked where to find something or what the price of something is? Unless your goal is to infiltrate the backrooms and look for that extra inventory, looking like an employee will only hinder your shopping experience.
Wash Clothing You Buy When You Get Home
Clothing items are always something that goes on sale for Black Friday and as excited as you may be to wear the items you buy, you will want to wash new clothes as soon as possible. Chances are that those clothes have been tried on by dozens of people and they are just brimming with germs.
That’s probably a good rule of thumb for any clothing item you find in a store but it’s especially true during the craziest time of the year. So, remember to get those clothes clean and yourself clean as well. You don’t want to spread germs around your house, after all, and we just got out of a major pandemic that we are just finally getting control over.
There May Be Better Deals Later
Black Friday marks not just one day but the beginning of holiday season shopping. Black Friday deals certainly won’t be the last day of deals and it won’t even be the best deals you can get. You can expect to find deals on the hottest items well into December.
Of course, you won’t want to wait too long because then you’ll be running into time constraints. But by mid-December, you should encounter plenty of deals and deals that have even carried over well past Black Friday. Cyber Monday usually has better deals than Black Friday and you can do all the shopping online, in the comfort of your home.