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Tips to find the best deals on Black Friday

The most important shopping holiday of the year, Black Friday, is just around the corner. With just days to go here are some tips to find the best deals.

Black Friday Tips & Tricks

The biggest shopping holiday of the year, Black Friday, is coming up. Every year, it is celebrated the day after Thanksgiving Day, which is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. In 2023, Black Friday will occur on Friday 24 November.

This year, like every year, hordes of consumers are expected to shop in stores and online on Friday. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), Black Friday was the most popular day for in-person and online shopping last year. Approximately 72.9 million consumers opted for an in-person shopping experience, while 87.2 million consumers shopped online during Black Friday 2022.

In recent years, Black Friday has been joined by other shopping holidays. For example, the day after is Small Business Saturday, which encourages shoppers to visit local retail stores. Then to kick off next week is Cyber Monday, which promotes online shopping.

A little Black Friday refresher

Before we get into our tips and tricks for this year’s Black Friday, we thought we might answer one of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to the day itself: Why is it called ‘Black Friday?’ Though you might be tempted to think that the origins of the name are rooted in a sinister story, the fact is that it’s always been related to shopping. Indeed, the term was first coined by Philadelphia’s police officers many years ago, when they used it to describe the chaos that ensued with tourists who arrived in the city to shop following Thanksgiving Day. Later, in the 1980s, the phrase was used by retailers to allude to the day on which they finally turned a profit, with bottom-line numbers going from red to black.

Black Friday Tips & Tricks for Saving

As we all know, Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is one of the biggest if not the biggest shopping days of the year. A day on which many people look for the best deals both online and in store. Whether you’re buying for yourself, getting the Christmas shopping done early or splurging on higher priced items like TVs and game consoles, it is without doubt one of the best times to buy. With that said, one can imagine that the share quantity of stores, sales and advertisements out there is overwhelming to say the least. That’s precisely why we’ve compile a little list of some tips and tricks to help you find the best deals out there. Let’s get into it.

Check Ads & Apps

Now, this may seem like a no brainer, but it’s actually something a lot of people just don’t do, thinking they will figure it out when they get to the store. Not a good idea. Most retailers start advertising Balck Friday deals weeks before the day actually arrives. What that means is that you’ve actually got plenty of time to plot your course while also finding the best deals. Be sure to check ads - online and in print - early as many will even go as far as to indicate when you should be in store or online at a specific time. On that note, it wouldn’t hurt to download your preferred store’s mobile app as it will undoubtedly be sending you push notifications in the lead up to Black Friday.

Research is key

In keeping with the above-mentioned point, a little re-con goes a long way when it comes to planning for Black Friday. From reviews of products you want to buy, to getting up to speed on return and exchange policies, these are key steps in avoiding the potential for disappointment with a product you bought, or should you not actually want to keep it. Remember, the large majority of stores have a time limit on returns and moreover don’t always give you cash back. In many cases you will simply receive store credit, so this is yet another piece of information that you need to be certain of.

The Early Bird Catches the Worm

Given the magnitude of what Black Friday has become over years, most stores today don’t limit their deals to just one single day. With that in mind, be sure to be on the lookout for the many early-bird discounts. Indeed, with a little planning and luck, you might even be able to complete your shopping before the rest of the crowds arrive. There’s also the added benefit of increasing your chances of getting the item you want on time, as opposed to battling with the masses only to be told stock has run out. Take this example below:

Planning is Essential

Whether you’re shopping online, in person, or a combination of the two, a road map is essential. Looking for the hottest items of the season, prioritize them as the ones you buy first before there’s no more left. Remember, some stores have specific hours for sales, so if that means you’ve got to be in a queue when they open, that’s something you will need to plan for accordingly. Some retailers even take the step of specifying the location where you can get your desired item, so always be sure to check with their websites and apps.

The Art of Price Matching

Sometimes, you’re lucky enough to encounter a store that offers price matching - happy days - which is to say they will lower the price of a product to match a competitor’s price. Firstly, you’ll want to be up to speed on the store’s price-match policy i.e., do they even have one. Consider Best Buy for example. The electronics retailer offers a “price match guarantee” assuming the product matches exactly, is available immediately at the competing retailer and is not on its exclusion list. In your typical price matching scenario, you’ll need to show proof that the product exists at a lower price e.g., an ad or photo showing the relevant information should do.

Gift Receipts Forever

If you’re shopping for gifts, then gift receipts are absolutely essential. Imagine the person you’ve bought a gift for, wants to return the product you bought them, well that’s where gift receipts come in. You can request them both online and in-store. Indeed, some retailers like Amazon will even offer gift receipts through their website and app after you’ve made your purchase. Here’s an example:

The Credit Card Conundrum

While it’s quite common for most people these days to pay for things with their credit card, especially considering the multitude of benefits available such as reward points, extended warranties, or even purchase protection, the reality is that it can be a slippery slope. Spend too much with your card and you may find yourself taking longer to pay off your balance, which in turn can lead to higher interest rates. Start with your budget and then, make a list of your intended purchases. It can be difficult to fight the buying impulse when you see great deals, but rest assured spending over your budget doesn’t count as “saving.” Last but not least, never be afraid to return things that you’re not satisfied with.