Black Friday Tips & Tricks
1. Where should I go shopping?
M: First, on one hand be comfortable shopping stores that are typically one step above your typical price range! On the other stand, stick your go to stores! If there is a store you never shop in because the prices scare you away, Black Friday is a great day to shop some lower prices on your "dream" items!It also the best day of the year to shop your go to stores and find the best prices. Don't try to hit every single store in the mall to find one simple item- make sure you have purpose and an understanding of the priority of each store to you. I also think it is a priority to set yourself a budget! It is easy to get caught up in the deals and spend way more than you bargained for.
Second, shop your local mall, outlet mall, Targets, Walmarts, outdoor stores, sporting goods stores, Best Buy, even small local boutiques! I think the best plan of action is to make a list where you want to go, check the times that they open, know how much time you want to spend and create your game plan from there!
2. What should I be shopping for?
M: At this point in the season I stop shopping my "wish-list items" and wait for the Black Friday deals. I think it always best to make a list of what you want, where you have been eager to shop, and go from there! I love to typically save my larger priced items on my list for Black Friday- like new boots, jackets, electronics, higher end workout pieces, running shoes, etc. This year specifically my husband and I are eying a new refrigerator, a new TV and I am due for some new running shoes! Black Friday is a great day to get your Christmas shopping done as well! Make your list of everything you need for family and friends and try to knock as many off during Black Friday! With the great deals on Black Friday you may be able to afford more for your loved ones than you originally anticipated!
One other tip here- if you are shopping for Christmas decorations, wrapping paper, lights, etc and can stand to wait until after Christmas- WAIT! The day after Christmas deals are incredible for these items! My mom and I wait at the stores of Dillards every morning of December 26th to get our wrapping paper, ribbon, and ornaments for the next year 75% off! Every year it is such a great feeling to open the Christmas storage boxes and remember I have beautiful new decorations to use and do not have to fight the pre-Christmas crowds!
3. When should I plan on going shopping?
Alyssa: The earlier you get out to shop, the better. You will have access to the best deals, and honestly the greatest selection. In my experience in retail, stores only have so much stock and just because it is the busiest weekend of the year, doesn't mean every store is prepared the way we think they should be. If you are looking for something specific, it is definitely best to plan on going Thursday evening or first thing Friday morning. If you are just moseying around to see what deals there are and see if there is anything too good to pass up, then you can go anytime throughout the weekend!
In our area, the malls open up at 6 pm. Some close at midnight and reopen at 6am Friday morning, and some are open all night. Other retailers like Target and Macy's open at 6pm as well and stay open through the night. Other retails like JCPenney, Kohl's, Big Lots, and Best Buy are pushing the envelope by opening at 5 pm, 4 pm, even 7 am on Thanksgiving. And yet others like Barnes and Noble, REI, and Menards do not open until early Friday morning. All that to say, if there is somewhere specific for something specific you are looking for, definitely look it up before hand and get there right away. If you are just shopping for the thrill of the find, you will be safe heading out to your local mall at 6pm and shop till you drop! Hours are going to vary from city to city, so make sure you look things up for your local store!
My husband and I usually start at one the of malls, and then hit the stand alone stores like Target once the lines have died down. Then we go home around 2 am and get some sleep, and wake up to check out Menards at 6 am. This year we are looking for some more specific deals, so we might adjust our plan. The best way to go is to go in with a plan and know what you're getting into! You all know what will be best and most helpful for you!
4. What if I don't want to go out in the crazy?
Alyssa: First: Let me say that the "crazy" of Black Friday that you see on social media or in the media is not accurate. Sure, there are isolated incidents where people get a little crazy, but generally speaking everyone is just there to get a great deal. You will only run into a problem if you're going for a limited doorbuster item or something. But still let's say you are worried about crowds, lines, or finding a parking space. Maybe going out Black Friday shopping isn't for you, and that's okay! Second: Black Friday deals generally decrease over the weekend at a gradual level, but are still the best of the year regardless. Let me explain. The best deals usually happen Thursday (Thanksgiving) evening with early bird specials, doorbusters, or additional coupons. But the "deals" or "discounts" start Thursday and last through the weekend. Most ads will say how long the to expect to see the deals, but in my experience they usually last all weekend, if not into the week. So if you are looking something specific, check the ads to be sure, but I bet you could go out Saturday or Sunday and see much less crazy! Third: Shop Cyber Monday! I still think that Cyber Monday is one of Black Friday's best kept secrets. Every single retailer out there will have a great sale with deep discounts on the Monday after Thanksgiving. This is just as good of a way to shop the deals without ever having to leave the comfort of your home!
We promise to keep our eyes on the deal for y'all and post them when we see them! Happy Thankful season and best of shopping to you!!