With Thanksgiving coming this week we have been inundated with advertisements for America’s favorite holiday, Black Friday. Black Friday is of course not a real holiday, but it is something retailers and many Americans look forward to the entire year. There is good reason to look forward to it. You can knock out that Christmas list and you can even find real deals on some of those big-ticket items. Retailers of course love Black Friday, because they see massive sales not only on the advertised “DoorBusters”, but other items in the store that customers will inevitably buy when seeking the advertised items. After all the reason it is named Black Friday is it is supposed to be a time when retailers get their financials back in to the black (profitable). Here are some of the Black Friday tactics I have used over the years. They are especially good for tech products, but may apply elsewhere.
You should really be planning out what you intend to buy well before Black Friday. Make a list before you shop, and stick to it. I recommend for larger purchases price them out in the months before the big day. Use this information to see if the Black Friday pricing is really a deal. You may find that the items are not that much more lower priced, and may even have been cheaper in the past. Don’t feel like you have to buy something now just because it is Black Friday. Many retailers will have several more sales leading up to Christmas.
Make sure it is actually a deal.
Many retailers will try to sell you something that is perceived to be a deal, when it may not really be. Make sure that you comparison shop. There are websites out there who will help you to track the prices of products to aid you in this task. CamelCamelCamel is a tool specifically for tracking prices on Amazon, while Slick Deals makes comparisons among several popular retailers.
Don’t visit the store, unless you want to.
I actually hate Black Friday shopping in store. It is deliberately designed to be a circus, and you won’t catch me lining up hours before store open to catch a deal. The smart shopper knows that the majority of these deals (or a similar or better product) can be had on the internet. Many companies will offer free shipping for the special event. Again do your research before going out and catching an elbow to the face for that last 65” 4k. Some people actually enjoy the rush, so if that is you, more power to you, the same research can help you out.
Shop the pre and post sales.
Just about every major retailer is doing a “Black Friday Week” presale. Shop these sales you might find some good scores. Typically retailers keep their crown jewels (the item they want you to buy) until black Friday, but still worth looking. A couple of examples of this are Amazon, Ebay, Best Buy and Newegg. Also as mentioned in number 1, there will be more sales leading up to Christmas and after, patience can pay off.
Whatever you do have fun shopping. Try not to fall for the retailer’s pressure and trickery. With some preparation you can in fact come out with quite the deal. Remember Black Friday is not really about you getting a deal, it is about sales for the retailer, but by preparing you can both come out on top.