Thrive on Black Friday
6 Tips to Make It Through the Year’s Biggest Shopping Weekend
According to research from the National Retail Federation, in 2017, a record 174 million people did holiday shopping between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday [i], spending on average, $967 per person [ii]. On Black Friday itself, 77 million people shopped in stores and 66 million shopped online [i]. Now that’s a lot of seasonal shopping!
If you’re looking to join the numbers this year, there are some things you need to know before you go. Read these simple tips from Garland Market to ensure your Black Friday is merry and bright.
1. Make a List (and Check It Twice)
You don’t think Santa hops in his sleigh on Christmas eve without a game plan do you? So, why should you be any different? Take a cue from the big man by drawing up a list of all the gifts you need to get prior to your Black Friday shopping. This will ensure you don’t forget anyone in the hustle and bustle of shopping, but also that you don’t overspend. A new big screen TV might be tempting if it’s on sale, but if it’s not on your list, consider it a no-go.
2. Spot the Real Deals From the Fakes
A little competitive research goes a long way to getting the best deal. If you know that you need to get a laptop this year, for example, take a look at the price of laptops ahead of time across a few different websites. If the laptop runs in the $900 range across most sites, when you hit the stores on Black Friday, you’ll know that a big, shiny, red discount sign reading “$899.99!” isn’t actually a deal at all.
3. Fuel and Bundle Up
You’ve likely already mentally prepared for waking up early and braving the feisty crowds, but making sure that you’re physically prepared certainly doesn’t hurt either. Just as Santa runs on milk and cookies, you may want to ensure that you’ve had a cup of Joe and a filling breakfast before you start making the rounds.
On that same note, tis the season for chilly weather, so if you know you’ll be waiting in line outside at 5 am, you might want to toss on that ugly Christmas sweater early.
4. Brick-and-Mortar Isn’t Always the Way to Go
Though some stores offer exclusive sales for in-store shoppers that could make a trip worth it, more and more retailers are switching tactics and offering the same deals online as in stores. You’d be surprised at the amazing things you can score online. And, if you can get the same discount at home in your PJs with a nice cup of cocoa in your hand, why not avoid the long lines, early hours, and overly-eager shoppers altogether?
5. Know Participating Stores and Their Hours
Be sure you know which stores are actually having Black Friday sales before you run out to shop. Most big box stores will be participating, but you might not realize that many smaller spots get in on the festivities, too.
It’s equally important to know the hours of the stores you plan to visit and be strategic about it. What if the stores you want to shop at open at the same time, for example? Well, then you should prioritize by the deal. If something is likely to sell out fast, visit that store first to make sure you don’t miss out.
6. Nab Those Door Busters and Freebies
Finally, many retailers offer gifts known as “door busters” to the first group of customers through the door. They range from little things like key chains and tote bags to highly-coveted electronics. Remember to line up early if you want a shot at one.
Similarly, some Black Friday deals come in the form of bundles. Certain items come with a free gift card thrown in, for instance. Don’t underestimate the power of these extras. You could score a free gift for someone on your list – or yourself!