Get Ready for Black Friday!
Get Ready for Black Friday!
Some people look forward to the fourth Thursday of November because of turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce. For others, Thanksgiving Day is something different…
… Black Friday Eve.
Whether you enjoy braving the crowds and standing in line (or camping in line for weeks, like this guy) or prefer to shop at home in your pajamas on Cyber Monday, there’s no question about it: November and December are full of hot deals!.
Here are some hints to help you get the most out of your shopping experience:
It’s Not a Bargain if You Don’t Need It…
A heated dog bed on sale for 75% off! What a bargain… unless you don’t own a dog. It’s easy to get caught up in getting a great deal and end up buying things that you don’t really need or want. Ask yourself if you really need the item. Visualize the item in your home. Will you use it? If you’re on the fence, err on the side of saving your money for something you know you want.
… Unless You Plan to Sell It
You don’t have a dog, but there are over 89.7 million dog owners in the U.S.… and they are shopping for heated dog beds on Amazon. Black Friday is a great opportunity for those who have a resale business on Amazon or eBay, and many business owners acquire a lot of their inventory this time of year. If you’re in that business or are planning to become an Amazon seller this year, do some planning ahead (and check out this article about how to source Black Friday items).
Decide on a Budget in Advance
Decide how much you are willing to spend and build that into November’s budget. You can give yourself a bit of “overdraft” protection by overestimating what you’ll spend, but stick by your decision once you’ve made it. This will help you avoid buyer’s remorse on Saturday morning.
Make Your List and Check It Twice
Write down the items you need, the items you want and the items you’d like to give as gifts. If you have your Christmas list ready to go, you can check off quite a few things on Black Friday. But leave a little wiggle room on the list for deals you see on items that hadn’t occurred to you before. It helps to set a limit in advance for purchases you hadn’t planned on.
Do Your Research Beforehand
Most stores advertise their Black Friday deals well in advance, so start your research early. Check out the ads that come in the mail, or let other people do the work and use a website like bestblackfriday.com that lists the best deals (and even features “leaked” ads in advance).
Compare prices… sometimes, you’ll find a better deal elsewhere and you can skip the long lines and packed stores. Consider downloading an app that reads barcodes and lists the item’s price and ratings and discounts on Amazon. You may find that it’s cheaper to order it online.
Stock up on Gifts and Necessities
Make a list of birthdays, weddings and graduations happening in the year to come. This is a great time to stock up on gifts, save money and make life easier on yourself in the future when you don’t have time to go shopping. Pick up a few generic items that will make good hostess, housewarming or “just because” gifts as well… your future self will thank you.
It’s also a good time to stock up on necessities that you’ll use all year. Printer ink and Keurig pods might not be exciting, but Black Friday deals can be a great opportunity to stockpile needful things.
Consider Your Time and Tolerance
How far are you really willing to go to secure that deal? Think about what your time is worth. Is the amount you’re going to save really worth the time you’ll spend to save it? Sometimes the answer is yes, but if you assign a monetary value to your time and add that to the price of what you’re standing in line for, you may discover that it’s just not worth the wait.
Is it worth missing out on family time, taking time off work or shivering in the cold waiting to get into Best Buy in hopes that you’ll get one of the 100 TVs they’re selling for a deep discount? Your time and comfort are as important as your money and deserve consideration too.
Of course, if you’re in it for the thrill of the hunt, do what makes you happy. Many people just enjoy the experience itself.
Be Careful out There!
Nobody wants to meet their end in a stampede to secure a trendy item at a discount… but it does happen. Between 2006 and 2018, BlackFridayDeathCount.com has recorded 117 injuries and 12 deaths due to being crushed by crowds, injured in altercations or collapsing from exhaustion.
If a situation looks out of control, do yourself a favor and avoid it. Keep an eye on the crowds and know the quickest way to the closest exit. And don’t take unnecessary risks for a bargain… a trip to the ER can cost a lot more than paying full price for just about any Black Friday sale item.
Dr. Patrick Gentempo