Shop Early If You Can
In some cases, you can start your Black Friday shopping on Thursday, or even earlier, according to Madhok. “The ‘big-box’ stores will have most of their Black Friday sales online on Thursday,” she explains. “In fact, in years past, we’ve seen some deals sell out before Black Friday. Some retailers jump the gun and start their online sales as early as midday Thanksgiving.” Go to retailers’ sites early to find out if they offer pre-Black Friday shopping deals. The shopping guru also has another trick. Pick out everything you want and add it to your online shopping cart in advance. When the sales start, just refresh the browser to see if any of the prices drop. Then, check out and voila!
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Create a Shopping Strategy
“Review store circulars and make a shopping strategy,” says consumer savings expert Andrea Woroch. “The best bet is to shop at a mall or shopping center where you will have multiple choices to take advantage of on Black Friday. Shopping at a stand-alone store limits your product choices, prices and inventory.”
Develop a Schedule
Know where you want to shop and about how long you want to be there, and then create a loose schedule. It doesn’t have to be exact. With all the crowds and sales, following an hour-by-hour schedule is unreasonable. Keep it loose. Henry Kim, co-founder of social shopping destination Sneakpeeq, tells us, “Personally, I’m planning to hit the major retailers at the wee hours of the morning for a few big ticket items, then spend the afternoon checking out some of the deals in-store, then I’ll check online a few days later on Cyber Monday for example, particularly on the deal sites to round out my holiday shopping.”
Get Your Act Together the Day Before
Fill up your gas tank the night before, says Sallie Felton, life coach, transition specialist and international talk show host. And if rain is expected, pack an umbrella and a few large garbage bags for transferring purchases in the rain.
Go to the Bank
Research finds people will spend 23 percent more than they expect to. If you want to stay within your budget, leave the credit card at home, suggests Felton. Take cash instead. Withdrawing it from your bank ahead of time will also save you from those pesky ATM fees tacked on by other banks.