Black Friday marks the start of the Christmas Holiday. It happens after Thanksgiving and is a holiday in its own right. It gained it’s name from being the busiest shopping day of the year and it marks the beginning of the holiday shopping spree for most people as well as the beginning of a whole slew of shopping to prepare for the best Christmas ever.
Black Friday shopping requires a lot of preparation and planning. Some websites will share flyers for Black Friday before they reach the public. This can help you to plan your shopping list before you even set foot outside.
Although Black Friday shopping is something I only recently started doing, this year I will be focusing primarily on online deals, sometimes now known as Cyber Black Friday (not to be confused with Cyber Monday which follows a few days later).
Why Black Friday online deals? Well, because it’s a lot easier to shop from my warm home than brave the crowds at dark-thirty on a chilly November morning. Plus I won’t have to worry about my family stampeding me to the computer.
But whether you stay home or go out, here are a few tips to help you prepare and find the best deals on Black Friday.
1. Your Black Friday Shopping List
It is a good idea to plan out your holiday shopping in advance, especially if you intend to do any of it on Black Friday. Looking at sales flyers can be a good start as you can plan your list around the shops you will visit first. Write your list based on which stores carry the items you want to purchase. Using a portable notebook can be helpful, especially if you list your items categorized by store. It is useful to have the items that need to be purchased from that store on a single page. Taking your notebook with you when you shop removes a lot of stress from the experience and makes sure you don’t forget anything.
2. Shop The Sales Online
Shopping online helps to avoid the Black Friday crowds, especially in the morning when it can be extremely busy. Online shops allow you to browse at your leisure, even whilst in your pajamas with a coffee. This method can save stress, gas and comfort and you won’t have to hide the presents straight away.
Shopping the Black Friday sales online helps to keep your presents under wraps from the rest of the family. You can keep the items in their packaging boxes until you are ready to wrap and hide them. Most people, even children, wouldn’t dare to open someone else’s mail to take a peek. Check out my specific tips for Amazon Black Friday Deals below.
3. Local Black Friday Shopping
Visiting stores on Black Friday can be an eventful experience. It usually involves getting up very early in the morning to reach the shops in time. Sometimes just the excitement of holiday shopping is enough to keep you awake through the night.
Getting to the store as early as possible is important. Queues can develop quickly and you will want to find the items on your list before they sell out. Your shopping list will help you navigate the stores quickly and pick up the items you need. Be prepared to get in and out of the store as quickly as possible so you can move on to the next one.
You should always do research before you attempt Black Friday shopping. Items sell out very quickly and it can help to make a note of back up sources in case one shop doesn’t stock an item on your list. If possible, bring a friend to help protect your shopping cart in the chaos.
Black Friday Deals at Amazon
Amazon.com has had some of the best Black Friday deals online historically. The only problem is that you have to be on your toes to secure the best deals as they come and go quickly. If you don’t have time to stare at your computer all day like my pregnant friend on bedrest did one year (really, she couldn’t do much else), then you need a strategy to keep up with the stream of sales and grab the stuff you want before it disappears.
Here are a few tips:
First, Amazon usually rolls out their deals earlier in the week. This year is no exception.
Second, depending on demand, a deal on Amazon can disappear within a few minutes. Sometimes you will know what items are coming up and at what time but sometimes a deal just appears. If you see something you want, you need to be prepared to move fast.
Third, you may get an early warning on deals by checking Amazon’s Twitter and Facebook feed. Signing up for their newsletter can’t hurt either.
Compare the deals you found to locate the store which has the best price for your chosen items. Make a note of the deals and prices in your notebook before you venture out to the stores. Plan to visit the store that opens earliest first, to have a better chance of getting your chosen items. Prioritize the stores on your shopping route according to the items you need the most. This can help to avoid disappointment and make sure you have the important items.
Shopping on Black Friday isn’t for everyone but it can be a pleasant experience. If you plan to start early then it is a good idea to have a decent breakfast and take lunch or a snack with you. Expect it to be a little chaotic and busy, but make the effort to enjoy yourself and don’t be too disappointed if you don’t get all the deals.