1. This year, the best deals are actually on Thanksgiving, though more people will shop on Friday. This makes sense. Retailers know their biggest crowds are coming on Friday, so why give the “best” deal, then? Despite the hoopla, much less people will be on Thanksgiving, partly due to an increased push to ban Thanksgiving shopping. Less crowds means better deals to draw you out of your house.
2. Really, the best incentives come closer to the holidays. If you wait to buy, you’ll find better deals. The deepest discounts come in the second week of December. Either you’ll get a similar deal as you would on Black Friday, or you’ll come really close (maybe better). If you love Black Friday for the experience, go for it. But if you’re goal is to actually save money, there are other ways to go about it.
3. Get online. Stores are competing for your business every single day up until Friday. Many stores are doing “early Black Friday” today, and tomorrow, but again, if crowds aren’t your thing, just go online. You don’t need to search for codes; most stores plaster their sales on their homepages. Less people are shopping on Black Friday this year because there is always a sale. No need to buy into the hoopla. If there is something you really want, and you want to count on a sale, don’t get in line–go online.
4. Do your homework. Many stores, especially electronics stores, sell cheaper versions of the actual product. Shortcuts may have been taken, or the product comes with less features. Unless you read the fine print, you’ll miss this. Black Friday deals on electronics are notorious for being lesser quality products. Don’t compromise. Check model numbers and cross reference.
5. To avoid crowds, follow these simple tips:
- Shop early morning or late evening. Crowds peak between 2 and 4PM.
- Call first to make sure the store has what you want, if shopping for a specific thing. And find out how many. If there is one left and you are in your pajamas, wait until next week. They will restock.
- Avoid electronics–these stores have the highest foot traffic by far.
Above all, be safe and happy saving!