Do you plan on doing some Black Friday shopping this year? Looking to save money and get good shopping deals this holiday season? You can get some amazing deals on Black Friday! Read on to see how to best prepare for Black Friday and get the most out of your Black Friday shopping.
How to Plan for Black Friday Shopping
After Thanksgiving, have some fun and experience the thrill of Black Friday.
1. Prepare for Black Friday Shopping Early
First, you need a sense of what the price of items normally are to know if it is actually a good Black Friday deal. Don’t always believe what a store ad or online app tell you for how great of a deal the item is or when you see a price crossed out with the sale price next to it.
Do your own research prior to Black Friday. Check how much the items you are looking for normally cost. An easy way to do this is my looking online. Especially for your big or expensive items, before Thanksgiving week, write down their price. This way when Black Friday sales come out, you can compare prices.
2. Make a Budget
Make a holiday shopping budget and stick to it. Know how much you can spend on each person. It is easy to overspend on good deals, so know your budget before shopping Black Friday deals.
3. Know What Gifts You Need to Purchase
Planning for Black Friday is much easier when you know what you are shopping for. Before Thanksgiving week, get Christmas lists and ideas from everyone who you are buying gifts. Make a holiday gift list with everyone you need to buy for, their budget, and ideas of what to get them (see below).
Then take into account any gifts you already purchased and what you have left to get. Have you gotten all those random gifts you need? Do you have gifts for all the service workers (teachers, babysitters, hairdresser, etc)? Once you know what gifts you have left to purchase, then you know what to look for when Black Friday Shopping.
4. Check the Black Friday Ads
As soon as the Black Friday ads come out, check them over and start making a list of what you need to get at each store. Some stores reveal their Black Friday ads a couple weeks before Thanksgiving while others may reveal their sales the week of or a couple days before Black Friday.
5. Compare Prices
Compare prices of the items in the Black Friday ads to the prices you noted beforehand. If you cant find your item in an ad, simply check online at the store you previously looked at. Is the item a better price?
Also, many stores may have the same item you are searching for so compare the price of items at different stores as well. For example, Walmart may have a laptop for $800 while Best Buy has the same laptop for $700.
6. Know Your Priorities
Make a priority shopping list. Which item(s) is most important that you get? What deal or sale is the best and saves you the most money? As you make your list for each store, list items as high, medium, or low priority. This helps determine which items you want to go after once you enter the store because you may end up not getting them all if they have a limited quantity or if you are not at the store right when it opens.
7. Shop Black Friday Deals Early
Many stores will have their Black Friday prices out online before the store opens on Black Friday. Some stores will have their Black Friday prices all Thanksgiving week long. Check things out early so you do not miss out.
8. Check Store Hours
If you plan on going to the stores, check what time they open. Depending on your priority list, you may have to pick and choose which items are most important to get if two stores open at the same time.
9. Make a Shopping Plan
Make a plan of which stores you are going to go to when. I find it helpful on one sheet of paper to have a list of stores, times they open, and the list of items you need to get at each store in priority order. Also, add when the specials are and coupons you have to use and when.
Next, map out your plan of attack taking into account your priority gift list. Bring this sheet along with you to the stores so you have the plan with you and can follow it. Also, make notes on the sheet as you go. I like to circle an item if i got it and draw a line through if I didn’t. If a store was out of an item i may add it to another store’s list.
10. Shop Special Sales or Early Bird Specials
Some stores will have certain sales at specific times on Black Friday. If this includes an item you want, make sure to note to be at that store at that time. In addition, some stores will have special coupons or sales early on Black Friday so take advantage of these sales if they have an item you need.
11. Take Advantage of Black Friday Store Coupons
Some stores will provide special coupons for Black Friday only. For example, a store may give you a free $10 coupon to be used in their store. This is a great way to get something for free. Just be sure to check the fine print as usually it cannot be used on all items or combine with other offers.
12. Bring the Ads Along Shopping
Bring each store ad along with you into the store to have as a reference if you need it. Sometimes you need to ask a store clerk a question, to help you find an item, or do a price check and by having the ad along you can show them what you are talking about.
13. Check Return Policies
Before you purchase an item, check the return policy. Especially if it is a gift, make sure you can return the item if the person doesn’t like it, already has it, or something is wrong with it. Certain items may be a final sale.
14. Don’t Buy Things You Do Not Need
Lastly, this is more of a money saving tip, but do not buy things you do not need. It is easy to get caught up in deals on Black Friday, so stick to your plan and don’t buy things you don’t need or need for gifts. Everything is going to look like a good deal, but not buying something is still saving your more money than buying something on a good sale.
Black Friday Shopping in 2020
With the pandemic Black Friday shopping may look a little different this year. However, most stores are still participating in Black Friday this year. Most stores have taken a big hit in retail this year because with the pandemic people haven’t been shopping as much as they did in a normal year. Stores will be in full force on Black Friday to try and recoup some of the money they lost this year. Most stores need to have a good holiday season of shopping for their business.
Although in store shopping may be unlike years past, most stores will have in-person Black Friday shopping. Stores haven’t been revealing their full plans because they are probably waiting to see what the world or their community is exactly like closer to the day.
Most stores have said they will first open on Black Friday instead of on Thanksgiving like they have been the past 10 years. Which personally I love because I think thanksgiving should be reserved for family and giving thanks, not shopping. If people want to shop on Thanksgiving they can do so online. Which speaking of – online shopping is going to be bigger than ever this year.
How to Prepare for Black Friday Shopping Online
More people are going to shop online than ever before. With the pandemic so bad in so many places, people are not going to feel comfortable being in a store in a potential crowd, so they will turn to online shopping. The biggest advice I can give to an online shopper is to do your online shopping early. Start your Black Friday online shopping on Sunday or Monday of Thanksgiving week. Some stores have their Black Friday prices all week long. In order to insure you get the items you want, do not wait until the end of the week to purchase.
If you want your gifts in a timely manner before Christmas do not wait until the week before or week of Christmas to order items online. Here are several reasons why you should shop online early:
- Lower quantities – Some retailers may only have a certain amount of merchandise or stock available and it may go quickly.
- Variety is going to be less as time goes on.
- Prices may increase closer to Christmas because demand may go up.
- Shippers are going to be overloaded with everything that needs to get delivered so shipping times maybe delayed or take extra long.
Best Places to Shop on Black Friday
Depends what you are in the market for, but almost every store has some sale for Black Friday. The big Black Friday leaders are the mega shopping centers like Walmart, Costco and Target. Following the super centers are department stores like Kohl’s and Macy’s. Then there are the home improvement stores like Menards, Home Depot, and Lowe’s. Last but not least are electronic stores like Best Buy.
Final Thoughts on Preparing for Black Friday Shopping
Experience and participate in the fun and thrill of Black Friday this year. There is nothing better than getting a great deal on a special item for someone on your list, or for yourself. Follow these tips above to prepare for Black Friday shopping and take care of all the gifts on your list.