Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Black Friday is November 29, 2019 Are You Ready?! Tips for a Fulfilling Shopping Experience

Black Friday is November 29, 2019, and with less shopping days until Christmas, I’m sure many shoppers will be out and about this year looking for the best deals.

Black Friday shopping is my Super Bowl – the event I look forward to all year long. Like any sporting event, it’s what leads up to it that makes it the event so magical. The game itself is important too, but you’ve got to plan your plays and do it early. I used to buy a lot of junk on Black Friday, and I don’t want new shoppers to do what I did.

Let’s Jump Right into the Deals

Black Friday ads aren’t leaked until late October, but there are many ways to figure what is on sale and where it will be on sale through historical data. As an example, video game consoles and video games rarely go on sale, so this would be the time to snag some games or even grab the gift card deals that coincide with the sale. Nintendo products are rarely on sale throughout the year, but during Black Friday there are gift card deals paired with sales, meaning you will get possible a $50-$100 gift card to return to that store to buy more products. This is a great strategy for gift buying if a console or any other electronic is on your list because you can use the gift card on your next purchase. You should buy the gift card deals first, then use the gift card to help pay for the next round of purchases. I keep focused on sale items using deal sites like SlickDeals. I find their articles on Black Friday rich with information without the fluff like historical data, store opening times, and when ads are released.

Portion of Target's Black Friday ad from November 2018

One for You, Two for Me!

I shop for everyone on Black Friday, but I give myself some treats, too. It’s the only time of year I go shopping for myself. I think it’s because I can shop in the middle of the night. I have been a Black Friday shopper since I was a kid. My mom and I would get up very early Friday morning, and be at the stores by 4:00 AM. The doorbusters back in the day really were at the door, so once you busted through you could stand to get $15 VCRs and $30 DVD players (big ticket items back in the day!). We would hit up Toys R Us, Macy’s, and then when the Shopping Gods brought Target to our neighborhood, we would be there, too. When I started working, I learned what the meaning of Black Friday was to retailers, and to them, it’s actually called “Green Friday.” This is the one sale period where everyone wins - the customers and retailers.

Blurry photo of my mom and her Black Friday deals! Everyone is smiling!

There is a world of information to get you started for Black Friday. One of my tools to help me plan for Black Friday are through deal websites, one of which is SlickDeals. All year long they have a team of people who monitor ads and sales providing historical data of previous sale items.

Go with a game plan.

Would you go food shopping without a shopping list? I hope not. Make a list, and stick to it. I would also choose a backup product just in case your first choice sells out, and do this backup for multiple stores. Also, according to SlickDeals staff writer Johan Mengesha, take note of the exact model number of a product, which I find to be excellent advice. Often times store displays of heavily slashed merchandise are mixed in with other sale items that are slightly higher in price. Last year, I made the mistake of purchasing the wrong printer for my mother—it was a Canon Pixma for $19 that I was planning to purchase, but I bought a similar Canon Pixma, a different model, for $34. Do your homework a bit before to save big. A $15 mistake isn’t huge, but when you’re looking for the best deal like I am, it was a big mistake.

Go Solo

Keep the kids at home, if you can. I have kids, I know how hard it is especially with little ones. I have missed a lot of sales at the store opening for this reason, but unless you have to have that big screen 4K television, you won’t have to visit the store at opening anyway. Plus, a majority of things that parents shop for are top toys (stay tuned to my must-have toys list for 2019). That being said, if you can’t head to the stores without the kids, then I would suggest taking advantage of Black Friday deals online. Cyber Monday, which is December 2, 2019, has proven to be another great sale day, and you don’t have to leave the house to do it. If you’re at work that morning, take a coffee break if you can to peruse the deals. Often times you can check the site of your choice the night before for some pre-sale items. SlickDeals has some great information about Cyber Monday and you should stay tuned to that space to learn more. 

Get the Good Stuff

The deals are aplenty during Black Friday sales. Why not take advantage of all of the great sales, right? A lot of these deals aren’t really a deal, though, and often times can be purchased during regular sales. Slickdeals has great historical data on electronics and small appliances as voted by the SlickDeals community. From Nintendo’s Switch to an Instant Pot, be sure to find considerable savings to help build your strategy. 

Do I have to Go to the Store?

Yes, you should definitely go to the store! That’s the best part of Black Friday shopping. I love finding deals that are not even advertised, which are usually products like towels. The absolute best savings I have found are on bath towels, and this is a deal only in-store. Large bath towels for as little as $4 are huge cost savings. Crafters usually gobble these deals up faster than their Thanksgiving meal. They are great for embroidery and gift baskets. I also like to grab board games as they as a little as $5 each, and are great ways to round out a gift. Bigger items like electronics usually only have the best deals in-store too, and as I said before going in with the model number to ensure that you’re getting the correct model and the correct price. If you go to the store, get a shopping cart. See below for why.

Some goodies from a past Black Friday shopping trip. 

There are also shoppers that line up for hours for a $50 television. Honestly, that’s not worth it to me, but if you have your hopes set on getting a PS4 or Nintendo Switch at a great deal, then going early may be worth it in the long run. Keep an eye out for the ads and compare the prices for in-store deals vs online deals. Sometimes online deals and in-store deals differ slightly. You have to know your worth. Is your time more valuable than saving $20-$50 and getting the item that day?

Also keep in mind that some stores have a give-aways at the opening of the store. If you’re in line early, you’ll get a ticket to enter to win a door prize, and sometimes they are handheld electronics like Gameboy Advance. Clothing stores use this strategy to get you in the door, so they don’t lose out on the green of Black Friday.

What are your plans for Black Friday? Let me know in the comments. Keep in SlickDeals mind when making your shopping plan -- for Black Friday and every day. SlickDeals takes the guesswork out of what to buy when to buy, where to buy for Black Friday. They have done all of the legwork for smart buyers like you who want to walk away with the best Black Friday deals.

Happy shopping!

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