Here’s How to Prep for Black Friday & Cyber Monday
Braving the stores the day after Thanksgiving? Use our Black Friday tips to make the whole experience more enjoyable.
Do Your Research
Most stores will advertise their top Black Friday deals in advance of the big day. If you’re looking for a specific item, compare prices between major retailers. If you’re purchasing electronics, it’s wise to write down the exact model number of the item you want, as many product names sound similar.
Check Store Hours
Over the last few years, Black Friday shopping has started earlier and earlier, sometimes even on Thanksgiving. In response, many retailers are beginning to scale back their holiday hours to give workers time at home. These stores all closed on Thanksgiving last year.
Plan Big Purchases, Even If They’re Not Gifts
Traditionally, Black Friday is the kick-off to the holiday gifting season. But it’s worth shopping for major home purchases, too. You’ll find household appliances like refrigerators and blenders on sale, as well as furniture and linens. See what kitchen appliances are good buys on Black Friday.
Make a Budget
Overwhelmed by deals in the store, shoppers often return home only to discover that they spent more money than planned. Setting a budget cuts down on impulse buying. Remember, you’re not saving money if you’re buying something you don’t need, even if it is on sale!
Set a Game Plan
Have a list of stores you plan to visit and what you’re looking for at each one. Many stores offer a few incredible deals and those items will sell out immediately. If you absolutely need that TV, arrange to get to that store first and head directly to the electronics department.
Don’t forget local businesses, many of which offer deals on Black Friday or Small Business Saturday—often without the throngs of people. If you’re eager to start holiday shopping without the intensity of the deal-seeking crowds, small businesses are a good choice. Build a list of unique gift ideas, then head to bookstores, toy shops and boutiques.
Shop in Your PJs
Here’s one of the best Cyber Monday shopping tips: Don’t wait until Monday! Most web stores start their sales on Black Friday (or Thanksgiving) and carry them through the weekend.
To find out about deals and coupon codes, sign up to get emails from each specific retailer. They’ll often send subscribers additional discount codes or early alerts to price cuts. Don’t miss these Cyber Monday deals, too.
Stay Hydrated and Fueled
Starting at dawn? Don’t forget to take breaks to eat and drink water. It’s easy to get dehydrated after a few hours of errands, especially if you had a bit too much wine with Thanksgiving dinner. Bonus points if you pack an easy Black Friday snack, which is much quicker than a detour through the food court.
The build-up toward Black Friday, the crowds of shoppers, the ads screaming about deals—it’s so easy to get overwhelmed and frustrated. Remember, it’s just one weekend of shopping. Many stores will continue to have sales throughout the holiday season and prices often dip to their lowest immediately after Christmas.