Over the years, the day after Thanksgiving has quickly become a holiday itself. Offering great deals to customers that they may not find on certain items year-round, Black Friday is an unofficial holiday that causes customers and corporations alike to go crazy. However, if you don't know where all the good sales will be and how to plan your shopping trip, you will not only spend a good hunk of your time stuck in bumper to bumper traffic and in check-out lines, but you will also miss out on some great deals. I'm here to help you not only find great Black Friday deals, but to also give you tips on how to successfully get all or most of everything on your list and to get back home safely with all your treasures.
Who can resist a good deal? If you can buy something highly sought after for half the price or even more of discount, you'd gladly take it, right? But, would you be willing to stand in line for hours, now during Thanksgiving day, to get a good deal? If you said yes, then you aren't alone. There are many people who, like you, will be standing in light no sooner they swallow their last forkful of Thanksgiving dinner. However, if you want to make the most of your time and money, you are going to want to prepare ahead of time to get yourself ready for this great event. It used to be that you could get the sale papers on Thanksgiving and take time scouring them to decide what you will get and your route to get them all, but with Black Friday now easing into later Thanksgiving Thursday as well, you no longer have that time to plan and prepare. If you want those good deals you need to know ahead of time what you want. That's where Black Friday sale websites can come in very handy.
Usually getting copies of the papers weeks and sometimes months in advance, these sites can help you plan what you want and how to approach it. Being a fan of Black Friday myself, I've compiled a list of Black Friday websites that you will want to start surfing through no sooner you shut the lights off on the porch on Halloween. Be aware these sale papers might change before the big day, but for the most part they are up-to-date. So, if you are ready to start working out your game plan, let's have a look at these sites.
Get Your Black Friday Deals Here
Black Friday Is November 23, 2012
Though Black Friday may seem like the "great day of deals", and for the most part it is, there are some secrets you should know about before heading out in the wildness, either in store or online.
1. You may not be getting the great deal you think you are getting. Most sales promote how their sale item is way below MSRP (manufacturer’s suggested retail price), and that you are saving a great amount of money. However, if you do a little research before the big day online and in stores, you may notice that the same item that is going to be on say isn't really that much more than what you'd be paying for it now. So while you will be getting a discount, it may not be the big deal you think you are getting.
2. In order to get the deal you may have to mail in the rebate. Be sure to look at the fine print before you buy. The deal may be one per purchase or one per person. So you may not get the deal if you have multiples of the item. Manufacturers do this because they know that not many people will do the rebate, so it works great for them in them in the end. So if you do decide to do the mail-in rebate, be sure to set up a reminder on your phone about it and maybe even get the rebate all done and in the envelop as soon as you get home and then pop it in the mail that Saturday.
3. Beware of signing up for retailer credit cards. If you are new to having credit, you may want to pass on signing up for retailer cards, even if they have good deals for signing up. Signing up for these accounts can make your credit score drop 15-30 points. For newly formed credit this can be damaging to your score and could make it where you can't get loans. If you have a longstanding good credit history the dip in points won't really hurt you, but even then be careful of the cards you sign up for. Just sign up for the cards you will actually use and don't sign up for cards just for the deals. The money you save in the end may end up hurting you.
4. That doorbuster deal may not be the product you think you are getting. It's been revealed recently that popular manufacturers have been making items called derivative products for stores to sell on Black Friday. The derivative products that manufacturers make tend to be made with cheaper components than the originals. Also the derivative products tend to have missing functions and features from the original one. If you are curious if that doorbuster deal is legit, take a look at the model number on the product you want and compare it to the doorbuster. The models will be slightly different if the doorbuster is a derivative product. Also, if the original item is exclusive to a retailer and another retailer is offering them, odds are that item is a derivative product. So just keep that in mind when you go out shopping for that deal that's too good to be true.
5. Some deals are available now. Do your research and shop around before taking off after those Black Friday sales. Some items you can find for half price online at other shopping venues like Amazon. So be sure to check websites before you buy at the store. Even check the website for the store you are planning to buy item at. Sometimes you will find the same item for cheaper on the website. A lot of the time, store websites and stores differ with their pricing as they are handled separately. So look and see if you can't get that really good deal now online.
6. If you don't have your heart set on a particular color, this may work to your advantage. A lot of companies will discount items simply because the color isn't selling that well. In order to find these deals you may have to alter the model number of the item when searching for deals and see what pops up. You may end up with a blue camera instead of a black one, but if it does the same thing for way cheaper, blue is bound to be your new favorite color. Now this advice also works for brand names. If you don't have your heart set on a 42' Sony Flatscreen tv and a Samsung one at a cheaper price with the same specs will work for you just fine you, you have just saved yourself some time and trouble my friend. And technically, you still got the deal in the end.
7. Cheaper doesn't necessarily mean better. For example, if you come across a tv that has a great Black Friday sale price compared to other tvs, you may be quick to jump at that deal. But hold on a moment before you do. Do some research first and look at the other tvs, especially look for bundles. You may come across a tv that is slightly more expensive than this great Black Friday sale tv, but does it come bundled with anything? A free blu-ray player? A free surround system? A free stand? In the end, the money you may have saved buying the Black Friday deal may not have really been the ultimate deal. So be sure to look around, a better deal may be out there for you.
8. Coupons are your friend...my friend. But seriously, search the web for coupon deals that can save you extra cash on your purchases. This is really great for online shopping. There are many coupon sites and databases that have up-to-date information on coupon deals. Also, look for coupons for all the retailers you will be shopping with, especially if they offer the same or similar item. I know this sounds like a lot of work, but in the end could save you a lot of money, and in my book saving money is worth the time I invested in find great deals.
9. Some credit cards may protect your when it comes to finding lower prices after you've purchased your item. If you find the price of an item you bought on Black Friday is later on priced lower than the Black Friday price, first try going to the store and seeing if they will refund you the amount over you paid on that price. If they won't refund the money, you can try going to your credit card company and see if they cover lower pricing. You need to make sure to read the fine print of your credit card contract to see exactly what they cover. Most won't cover sales that happen for a very short time, like Black Friday, but then again, it never hurts to just ask and see how they handle that. It could save you some money this Black Friday.
10. If you are shopping online, one thing that can end up killing the purchase for is shipping and taxes. Most major retailers will charge taxes, so you can't really avoid that unless you go for stores strictly online. More on that in a moment, our focus right now is shipping. Some shipping can be expensive, especially if stores refuse to combine shipping. Don't be shy about asking if they will combine shipping, but if they don't, don't think they are your only option. Shop around. If you find the same item or similar item on another website, pop it into the cart and see how much the end total will be. Even if the price of the item is more you may save on the shipping and end up with the same price as the item or less. I call that a win in my book. Now back to taxes, how it works is if the company site you are on has a place of business in your state, be it a store or distribution center, they have to charge you taxes. Since most big names stores have one or both in all states, you will be getting those taxes. However, if you can find a store that doesn't have residence in your state, you can avoid the tax issue and get your item for cheaper. Now I am not encouraging avoiding paying the taxes, but hey, we all do it, and cheaper is cheaper. So just keep that tip in mind if you want a cheaper price. This tip really comes in handy with higher priced items like tvs.
11. Realize some deals don't come until after Christmas. It's true. Some deals are better left until after Christmas. I've heard this is especially true for home furnishings as they are trying to get rid of last season's stuff. So take that into considerate. A lot of stores will be trying to part with last season's stuff as Spring is now only three months away and they need to slowly start stocking their shelves with bikinis, shorts, lawn furniture, and anything with bright colors...at the beginning of Winter in the United States. Gotta love how stores like to get us ready for the next season when we still have 3 months of the last one.
Do you think Black Friday takes away from the reason for Thanksgiving?
Yes. How can we say we are thankful for what we've got then go splurge on material things the day after or even on Thanksgiving day?
No. The day after Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday season and it's the best time to get great deals. So why not get them while you can?
In order to get all or most of the deals you want to buy on Black Friday you are going to have to do a little homework. Here are some tips to help you have a fun and successful Black Friday.
1. Start researching the Black Friday sales a week or more before Black Friday. There will be many sales going on and you will want to go over the sales papers several times to make sure you have caught all the sales you are interested in. Be sure to write down in a notepad what sales you are interested in, what stores are selling them, what time the stores open, and on some items how long they will be sold for. Yes, some stores have certain time frames an item will be sold so be sure to double check on that.
2. Make that Smartphone work for you. Many websites offer apps to help you find the best deals while you are out shopping this Black Friday. It's suggested that you don't need more than 6 shopping apps, with one being a comparison app. Also, for the stores you are planning to visit, down their apps as well. Some of the store apps will alert you to sales in the store as you pass by them, which could lead to a purchase of an item on your list, and maybe one that wasn't.
3. Since we are working out Smartphones, be sure to download coupons for stores you are going to. Especially craft stores. If you just show them the store coupon on your phone you will get the discount, which can be 40-60 percent off on one item or a percentage off your complete purchase. So be sure to get those coupons downloaded.
4. Now that you have all the information you need, you want to arrange your day. First check the opening times of the stores to decide on your starting point. If one store has the one item you really want and opens earlier than others, that should be the store you start with. However, there is one hitch to this rule, only go if they will have a good supply of the item, because if you aren't camping out hours before...yes this may mean missing out on turkey and stuffing, then odds of you getting an item that is in limited stock is slim to nil. Don't waste your time on that. You may have to just pay full price for that item later or search online for it at a nice price. It's best to pass on that deal and start at a store you know the stock of an item is a pretty good amount and you think you have a chance of getting your hands on.
5. Now that you know when you are heading out and where you will start your crazy adventure, it's time to think of what you will do once inside the store. If you have plans to hit several stores on Black Friday, you have zero time to play around. Those sales are going quick and fast and the bulk of your time will be spent in lines. So to help you save on time and frustration, mentally map out the store and your plan of attack once you get through the front doors. Do you want to go in a clockwise direction to get all the deal and maybe some you didn't know about? Or maybe you know where the two items you want are and it's a straight shot from the door, to shoes, to toys, to the register, and back on the road to store number 2. Whichever the case may be, plan it out. Odds are if you have been to the store several times you know the layout of it. If you don't, don't be shy about going to map it out the day before Thanksgiving, as most stores will be closed on Thanksgiving, or at least until 9 p.m. in some cases, and by then it will be too late. So get in there, get a feel for the layout, and prepare your attack.
6. Also, be sure to look around for the little guy. You know those stores tucked in little nooks and crannies that don't really advertise. They will no doubt be having Black Friday sales too, and because they didn't advertise you may get in on some great deals and not have to deal too much with a crowd. Score for you!
7. Now that your plan of attack is made out, the next thing you need to figure out is who is on your team. This is especially helpful if there are several sales going on at the same time at several stores. Remember that whole "spending most of your time in the check out line" thing I mentioned? Yeah, serious stuff here guys. And let's not forget the traffic too. So your chances of getting to all those great deals in time are not strong. This is why having a team to divide and conquer is best. Send your sister and her son to Best Buy, your mom and daughter to Sears, and you head on over to Target to get all those great deals. You probably won't see each other for a couple of hours, but trust me, when you meet up at lunchtime and show how you got all the deals you wanted, you'll be happy you worked together as a team.
8. And speaking of doing smart things, one extra smart thing to do until the lunchtime meetup is to bring along snacks and drinks. If you are a coffee person, bring your own mug. Don't even look at that Starbucks in the front of Target. If you want to get these deals you have got to be committed. Sacrifices have got to be made. Starbucks will just have to see you next time. So bring your food along. Also, try to use the bathroom before you leave the house and hopefully hold it until you have hit all your stores. Those bathrooms will be packed and instead of beating out someone else to get that last dress in your size, you will be standing at the back of a line in a no doubt smelly bathroom. Don't do this to yourself people. Go right before you leave the house and see if you can hold it for a while. If you really just have to go, try gas station bathrooms or restaurant bathrooms. They do get crazy during Black Friday, but not as bad as the stores do.
9. Be safe. I'm sure you have heard over the years how not only have people been hurt on Black Friday but also killed. People seem to lose all common sense when they think they are getting something for practically nothing. So be careful. Do not rush the building when the doors open. No deal is worth your safety. If you see someone get caught in the rush and get pushed down, try to call attention to it, it may save their lives. If you can safely help them up and out of the mess, please do, but only if it's safe for you to do so. And just keep your wits about your. Practice safety inside and outside of the store. It's best to go with someone else as their are safety in numbers. A lot of your shopping will be done during the dark time of the day, so just keep that in mind. Wear bright colors so as to be seen while out in the parking lot, take a flashlight with you if your area of the lot is dark so you can make sure no one is around your vehicle, And don't carry to many packages at one time. Be sure to deposit them in the car when you get to many in your hands so as not to make yourself a slow lumbering target. Also, though everyone knows you will be out shopping if you are at a store or the mall, if people can see into your car, bring some blankets to cover your items with. They may know there is something in your car but if they don't know you just bought a laptop and left it unattended in your car, it may keep them from breaking into your car and stealing it. What I like to do is cover the item, and place it on the floor of the car while I am in the store. It keeps it kind of hidden and doesn't let would be crooks know what exactly I have in my car.
10. Have fun. This day is already going to be stressful with rude people, traffic, lines, and missing out on deals. But that doesn't mean you can't have fun. Take a moment to look around at the stores you are in and enjoy the company you are with. You may have missed a deal, but see if there is a clearance or dollar section of the store. Missing a deal doesn't have to mean leaving empty-handed. You may be able to pick up something really nice that wasn't in any sales paper. So if you do end up being just too late to get you hands on that cool deal, take a deep breath, realize there are other options or other ways to get it, and just shake it off and get back into the shopping mood. And hey, since you missed that deal, there's no reason you can't stop by Starbucks and get that coffee after all. See, every cloud truly does have a silver lining.
If you are just not brave enough, or crazy enough, to go out on Black Friday, don't worry, you are far from being alone on that front. I myself join you in staying far away from the chaos of Black Friday. But staying home doesn't mean you can't partake in the Black Friday fun. Many retailers will be having Black Friday sales on their websites, so be sure to check those out. As with Black Friday sales, items are limited, so you may still have to get up early to get the deals, but it can be from the comfort of your bed snuggled up in your favorite jammies and thick blanket.
Now before you get started, just like those heading to the stores, you will need to do your homework. First thing you want to do before you even start looking for deals is to sign up for an Ebates, Mr. Rebates, and ShopAtHome account. These sites will tell you about deals happening at stores you already shop at and they will give your coupons for these sites as well. As long as you purchase that deal by first going through one of the websites mentioned, you'll get a percentage of money back on the purchase. The percentage varies from 1% to 50%, it depends on the day, but money back is money back. So be sure to make accounts at these two sites before you shop.
Next, you are going to want coupons. Yes, you will get them from the two sites mentioned, but you can get even more. The Offers and Savings website both offer great coupons, and great deals that don't require coupons, on popular items from popular stores. You will want to make an account at both of these sites as well to keep up-to-date on their deals.
One more bit of help I can give you are advice sites. These sites will have you compare products and see what other people are saying about them an whether or not they are worth the investment. Retrevo and Decide both offer price comparisons and give advice and suggestions on products. These sites can help keep you from making a bad purchase.
Now that you know the good deals, and have coupons for the well known sites, I wanted to let you know about some sites you may not have heard of that may be of interest this Black Friday. First is NoBetterDeal. This company works with a large majority of retailers, taking their returned items that were open but are still in a good like new shape. The reseal the item and sell it for cheaper. If you are looking for that hot item this year and can't find it in the stores, you might want to take a look at this site. You might find it for deal. It may be in an open box, but it has been resealed. Some deals are also in brand new never opened boxes as well, so be on the lookout for that.
Another site that may be of interest to you is JustDeals. This site has several deals a day they off for just 24 hours. They buy items in bulk, usually refurbished items, and then pass on the super savings to you. Be sure to visit this site to see if they have any deals you may be interested in. Sign up for the deals email so you know when new deals have gone up.
Newegg is another site that is growing in popularity. Mostly known for it's electronic deals, the site is slowly branching out into other categories like home furnishings, Halloween costumes, and automotive. Quickly becoming a popular marketplace for the tech savvy as well as a casual shopper, this site has many deals on offer. This site is one you must visit on Black Friday to see what kind of super deals you may be able to pick up.
One last place I thought I would mention is Amazon. Amazon does more of a Black Friday week than a day. They offer super deals through for the day for the week of Thanksgiving, all the way to Cyber Monday. So if you are a member of Amazon, you will want to visit the site usually starting around the Monday before Thanksgiving. They tend to have many nice deals. The only down side is you can only put one in your cart, at least that is how it was last year. So if you want to purchase several of one item, you will need family or friends who have accounts and wouldn't mind buying something for you on your behalf. Other than that, Amazon is a great place to stop by the whole week of Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday.
I used to love Black Friday. No really, I did. But that may be because I would only go out to get one item early in the morning then come home. It wasn't until I started to work in retail and experience my first Black Friday that I realized it wasn't so much fun any more, but I digress. Black Friday can be a fun experience if you do your homework before you leave the house, and keep your wit and common sense with you when you do leave. It's said that 30% of the deals are in stores, and you have to brave the elements and the people to get them. Sometimes that is so worth it, sometimes not. Me personally, I now choose to look through the ads online, wish I could get the cool deals, and then play it safe and shop online instead. Yep, I'm a chicken, but that's ok, I can stay home all snug and warm having left over pumpkin pie. I'll take that over Black Friday any time. But to those of you going out, please stay safe, and I hope you get some awesomely good deals!