In just a few weeks, the “busiest shopping day of the year” will be upon us once again. In keeping with retail tradition, the Friday after Thanksgiving is the official start of the holiday shopping season and to keep things running smoothly, retailers always offer their biggest savings of the year on this day. We’ve all heard the Black Friday stories of customers rushing into stores, knocking down doors, stamping on and trampling each other, and fighting over the latest fashion item. Whether we’re talking about Furby, the new electric scooters, Tickle Me Elmo, Sony Blue Ray players, or the Nintendo Wii, the action and sale prices go into effect that day. Consumed shoppers looking for a bargain will do their best to get one, even queuing in the cold for hours or even camping overnight. While savings are expected on Black Friday, the economy is tough right now and US customers should save every dollar we can. To do this, just follow a few tips and you can get even more savings than you bargained for.
Don’t wait until the day of the sale to find out what’s on sale. If you show up when the store opens to get a copy of the ad, you will have missed the best deals and the huge line will already be there. As much as companies say they want to keep their ad a secret to this day, they always end up leaking online. A couple days in advance, check the internet boards to find out what’s on sale at Kmart, Target, Walmart, Toys R Us, Sears, Kohls, JC Penny’s, and the other big retailers. Many sites even have side-by-side comparisons that allow you to clearly see what you will pay at each location. If you’re really engaged, you can even try calling a few stores to see if you can trick or persuade an employee to give details of the sale or inventory levels.
As mentioned above, customers will be lining up hours, and even one night in advance, at stores with big-ticket items. If you want Tickle Me Elmo to be 70% off at Store B, as your son’s letter to Santa says, you better be ready to wait. However, once in line, you will have to stand your ground. Some are late and try to sneak past the line and even remove the item from their hands once they get it.
Lastly, don’t forget about Doorbuster specials. Stores are now offering one- or two-hour specials at the start of the business day only for customers who got up early enough to challenge the crowd. These specials are typically lower priced and limited in quantity.
Stay strong and be willing to put in the time and you’ll be leaving Black Friday with everything related to your kid’s Christmas and whatever money you have left in your wallet.