While Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping days of the year where retailers go crazy on “huge discounts”, it can be one of the worst days to shop.
Instead of snagging a good deal, you may go deeper into debt for buying things you didn’t need in the first place.
With so many flashy ads and too good to be true deals, the lure for a bargain can be irresistible. Black Friday can be a hectic and stressful process, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
In this guide, you’ll learn 5 essential tips to make your Black Friday shopping less stressful and save as much money as possible.
Black Friday Shopping Tips
1. Do your research and make a list
We’ll start with something that’s both simple and common sense. Do your research first and make a shopping list. The same way you make a grocery list when you go shopping, you must make a list for your tech shopping during Black Friday.
Whether it’s a flagship smartphone or a 4K TV, you need to be clear on what you want to buy. Otherwise, you’ll end up buying stuff that you don’t need. And this is what retailers are ultimately looking for.
After all most of the products bought on Black Friday are stuff that people don’t need. You don’t want to be like those people, that’s why it’s critical to know what you want beforehand.
2. Plan a Budget and stick to it
Once you know what you want to buy on Black Friday, you need to make a budget and stick to it. There will be a plethora of deals, and it’s easy to fall into the trap of buying stuff just for the sake of it.
Start by putting some money aside every week, so you have the money to shop on the big day. Just because the Apple Watch is at its lowest price doesn’t mean you have to buy it.
Whatever you do during Black Friday shopping day don’t take a hit on your credit cards. There’re no Black Friday deals that are worth it, seriously. If you have problems with managing money and sticking to a budget, there’s a steady stream of budget apps and tools that can help. We highly recommend you check them out.
While I’m a big proponent of paying cash, you’ll be better off using your credit card during Black Friday. Some credit cards offer purchase protection against accidental damage, theft, and sometimes loss.
You can save big using your credit card if it has buyer protection. Make sure you have the money to pay your balance in full at the end of the month.
3. Set up price alerts
Technology can make shopping easy and smart, so take advantage of it. Let’s say, you’re eyeing the already affordable OnePlus 7T, and plan on buying it unless it drops to a certain price.
What you’d want to do is to set up price alerts. For that, you can use free tools like Honey, PriceBlink, and CamelCamelCamel (only for Amazon) to let you know when there’s a price drop on a certain product.
For example, if you want to track the new AirPods Pro price over time. Just add the Honey extension to your browser and create an account. Once you’ve installed it, there’ll be a little “h” living in the top right corner of your browser (on Safari, it’ll be on the left).
When you’re shopping on a supported store, the “h” will turn orange, otherwise, it’ll be gray. To save a product on your droplist, click the “h” to get notified when the price drops. You can set the percentage of discount and the time you want to track it for.
4. Beware of scams
Be aware of scams, which typically increase during the holiday season. More than 50% of holiday shoppers will do their shopping online this year, which make them prime targets for all sort of scams.
We suggest that you always make your purchases at retailers you already know and trust. If you stumble upon a deal you think you won’t find anywhere and can’t resist, always make sure the retailer is legitimate.
Check out online reviews. Are they suspicious? Search the domain name for how long the website was registered. Consider it to be a red flag if they registered the website for a short period of time.
Also, be wary of retailers that increase the regular price of their products just days before Black Friday so the discounts appear bigger. That way they will make people think they’re getting a deal.
So it’s important to check out the price of the products you plan on buying ahead of time; hence you’ll get a sense of what’s really being discounted.
Some manufacturers will make special products for Black Friday sales. They manufacture those products with cheaper components and often are missing premium features from the standard models. These types of products are called derivatives and you need to avoid them at all costs.
But how do I know? Make sure it’s a product you’ve seen year around. Search the model number, which you could probably never find online because they never existed before. They’re usually in a limited quantity and are only available at a single retailer like Walmart or Target.
5. Wait for Cyber Monday
Are Black Friday deals really that good? It depends but sometimes you’ll find much better deals on Cyber Monday than Black Friday. But the thing is, you may not get enough time to plan for it.
Retailers normally put their Cyber Monday deals after Black Friday. That way they won’t cannibalize Black Friday sales.
If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you should wait for Cyber Monday as Amazon tends to offer better deals than other online retailers. Cyber Monday can also help you skip the hassle of Black Friday and still get the best deals.
These were our top 5 Black Friday shopping tips.
How are you preparing for Black Friday? Are you going to enjoy Thanksgiving and skip Black Friday? Did we miss any tips that should have been in this guide?
Either way, let us know your plan for the most anticipated shopping day of the year.
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