Ah! It’s that time of year again! Black Friday (and Cyber Monday)! That partially stressful, partially exhilarating, and partially confusing-for-Canadians time of year. It is a day of great deals, but also a whole lot of not-so-great deals. Do you actually need to camp out overnight in the cold in front of a store in order to get a great deal on something? Do you need to be online at midnight to get a great deal? Are there stores that have better deals than others? Let’s try to clear up some of the confusion…
Black Friday is actually the day after American Thanksgiving. Historically, it has marked the beginning of the Christmas shopping season in the US. Similar to our Canadian Boxing Day, Black Friday is a day that, although not a holiday, is used by retailers to start the biggest shopping season of the year with a BANG!
For us Canadians, the question becomes, what can we do to get some of these great deals. Here are the top tips in order to make sure that YOU get the most BANG for your BUCK.
MAKE A BUDGET:
Yes, shopping on Black Friday often means huge money savings. However, “saving” 50% off on something that you don’t need isn’t really “saving” at all! So, make a list of all of your holiday expenses, a list of everyone on your gift list, and figure out your maximum spend limit. If you require a short-term loan to help out with the gifts this year, don’t hesitate to reach out. You can apply for a Christmas cash loan here: icash.ca.
Even though Black Friday is still days away, the deals are already being announced. The days of calmly perusing the weekly flyers for the best deals are gone. We are literally being bombarded with announcements of Black Friday deals and we have been for about a week or so already. First step is to scout out the things that you want to purchase and do a price comparison using a tool such as Google Shopping or camelcamelcamel. Quite often, retailers “reduce” the price of an inflated sticker price using Black Friday attractive deals.
The really big question is always: “Do I need to camp out in order to get a great deal?” The short answer is maybe. I know, I know! That isn’t a very helpful answer but it all boils down to what it is that you are looking to buy. Major retailers such as Walmart and Best Buy do often have “doorcrashers” specials. Which are basically items that are on major sale but that are on a first-come, first-served basis. The trick is to have a plan. If the item that you really, really want to purchase is being offered at a great deal as a doorcrasher sale item (refer to point #2 above and make sure that it is, actually, a good deal by price comparing!), then yes, it might be worth it for you to plan to camp out. But, doing your research to make sure that you can’t find that pricing anywhere else online is your first order of business.
WHAT TIME DOES BLACK FRIDAY START?
Great question! Again, you won’t like the short answer: any time between last week and opening store hours on Friday! (Although, re-reading that answer, it doesn’t seem all that short!). Surely you have noticed the sheer bombardment of emails and commercials and social media announcements all with the same wording: “Shop Black Friday Deals Now”! Retailers are all vying to grab your attention as early as possible. Retailers that offer services, for example spas and gyms, will usually break out their Black Friday deals early and carry them through to the end of the month. The deal that they are offering probably won’t get much better than it currently is. So, if you were looking to purchase some services, feel free to start early. Also, online retailers such as Amazon have an entire week of Black Friday deals and the items change often, so make sure to check in daily.
However, retailers will generally let a few mediocre deals trickle out early in order to grab your interest but will save the “big” deals for the day of the event. So, the advice here would be to hold out until Friday before making any big-ticket item purchases.
ONLINE PLANNING AHEAD:
Assuming the item that you are looking to purchase is not one of the doorcrasher items, you may as well get comfy and do your shopping online. But beware, Black Friday online shopping is not as easy-peasy as you may think! The best deal prices are usually “while quantities last” items and you can safely assume that you are NOT the only one waiting to purchase that great deal! One important trick that you can do today is make sure to pre-create your shopper account on any online store that you may shop at. This saves the time of the checkout entering in all your shipping and billing information. The disappointment of losing out on that super deal simply because you ran out of time entering your info is not fun!
SHOP LOYALTY PROGRAMS:
Do some reconnaissance on any site that you think you might shop at on Friday. And when that pesky “pop-up” pops up offering you a 10% or any other percentage off your next purchase, take the time to fill it in. But, as mentioned above, Friday while online shopping is not the time to be doing this. This must be done today or tomorrow or, latest, Thursday! That way the coupon code is already ready and waiting for you in your email for Friday.
WATCH OUT FOR FINAL SALE:
Black Friday is used by retailers, in part, to liquidate inventory. Very often, liquidated items are marked as “final sale”. This means that you will not be entitled to refunds or exchanges. If this is an item that you are buying for yourself, no big deal. If you decide that you are ok with the final sale, go for it! However, if this is intended as a Christmas gift for someone, you may want to think twice before purchasing. Are you 100% sure that they want this item? Something to think about before purchasing…
Black Friday is definitely a great time to get all of, or at least some of, your holiday shopping done. If you are into budgeting and deal-shopping but this week is simply a little tight on funds, you can apply for an easy-to-pay-back installment loan at iCASH. That way, all of your holiday shopping is done before Christmas even begins!