Black Friday is here and many consumers are currently braving the craziness that is the busiest US shopping day of the year. Whether you are an experienced Black Friday shopper or this is your first time braving the madness, we all can use a few tips to help the day go smoother.
Here are five great tips to help make the most out of your Black Friday shopping expedition.
Grab An App
The most important Black Friday item for shoppers ten years ago were the sales papers from the Thanksgiving Day newspaper. The sales papers would allow prospective shoppers to plan out there entire day depending upon the available big-ticket items and store openings.
Fast forward to 2013 and nearly everyone has a smartphone or smart device that is capable of operating apps. Naturally, we now have apps to replace the need for sales papers and help shoppers plan, budget, and protect from scams.
There are two basic types of apps that will help shoppers on Black Friday: deal-finders and day-of support. The deal finders help shoppers locate sales, items, shops depending upon search categories. There are three popular deal-finders available for today: TGI Black Friday, BlackFriday.com, and Shopular. The day-of apps that are most helpful track inflated prices, help budget Black Friday expenses, and provide perks for shopping. The most popular day-of apps are ShopSavvy, Santa's Bag, Shopkick.
Cross-Check your Deals
Just because a shop tells you that the deal they advertise is great doesn't make it the truth. Many retailers inflate the base price of products in order to show a much higher Black Friday discount than the actual reduction. The product you see in the add may not be much of a deal in that store and may be comparable to products at other stores of higher quality or availability.
Make sure you know what the real deal is on your purchase and that there is not a better offer somewhere else.
Look Up Model Numbers
Retailers offer only as much information as needed to get customers in the door. Researching product model numbers will allow you to get the full picture of the item you are interesting in buying. Having the specifics also makes finding comparable items to cross check easier.
Keep this in mind: if a product's model number does not lead to more information on its particulars, then that item may be a specially built "one-off" model built specifically for Black Friday.
We have all noticed the outrageous deals that some retailers advertise in the days leading up to Black Friday. These are the $99 laptops and $200 50-inch televisions that drive customers to wake up early and be in line at a store before they open. Retailers lose money on every door-buster sale and are happy to, due to the limited supplies and the enormous interest they generate.
Unless you are one the first few customers in line and get lucky enough to fight your way to the checkout line still in possession of the door-buster, do not expect to get this deal. Retailers hope that your disappointment at missing the door-buster, coupled with the huge crowds, will make customers reluctant to leave before purchasing replacement items at a much higher profit margin.
If It Looks Too Good To Be True, It Probably Is
Trust your gut. If you have followed the previous tips and done all of the work necessary to make an educated choice, then go with what feels right. Most consumers know inherently if the $200 television is a better deal than the $250 one. Is the hassle worth saving $50 or is your sanity a better value? You will know when you see it.