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Monday 13 November 2017

15 Shopping Tips Essential To Surviving Black Friday

15 Shopping Tips Essential To Surviving Black Friday

There's every other shopping day of the year, and then there's Black Friday. The Christmas shopping season kicks off with one heck of a frenzy, and if there's anything you can count on, it's the combination of deals and stress. 

Making the most of the big day is a challenge, but it can be done. Here are a few tips to keep in mind so you don't have to shop 'til you drop.

1. If at all possible, leave kids at home.

It's going to be a long day, with plenty of time spent standing in lines, and probably many bags to haul around — not an ideal scene for the kiddos. 

2. Prioritize the deals.

Because lists aren't only for Santa, make a list of all the things you want at each store, with the must-haves at the top so you know what to target and don't waste time browsing.

3. Check eBay for discounted gift cards.

It's not uncommon to find people selling gift cards for less than the face value — if you know you're going to be hitting Best Buy hard, grabbing a $100 gift card for $90 ahead of time puts you $10 ahead. 

4. Get emails from the stores on your list.

You never know, folks on the email lists might see deals that don't go out in fliers or on the website, so why not sign up? You can always unsubscribe later. 

5. Make a backup plan.

Because the hottest deals are going to sell out fast — people will literally crash doors to get door crasher deals — it's unlikely that you'll get absolutely everything on your list, so think of some alternates before you hit the stores. 

6. Make a budget and stick to it.

It's so easy to get sucked into the deals and you'd better believe the impulse buys will be as tempting as they ever get. It all adds up awfully quick. If you can manage, take cash and leave your plastic at home

7. Shop with a friend.

Not only is this a prime bonding opportunity, but it's almost necessary to divide and conquer on a busy day like Black Friday. And just think of the saved time in the parking lot if you carpool. Teamwork makes the dream work!

8. Don't go to Walmart.

Just don't. Of course they have great prices, but everybody knows that, which means that everybody shops there...and everybody loses their minds there. If there's a Wild West of Black Friday, it's at Walmart. 

9. Start early.

Even if a store isn't open on Thanksgiving, their website will be up and running. If you can find what you want online, you might just be able to avoid the rush altogether.

10. Use technology to your advantage.

Hey, while you're waiting around in those lines, things could be happening online, so check your phone regularly. If the blender you're holding drops to a lower price on Amazon, why wait around? Speaking of which, don't forget to charge your phone!

11. Speaking of technology, get the app.

If you do brave Walmart or Target, their apps can do things like guide you to the items you want to purchase. Alternately, Amazon's app lets you scan a bar code so you can compare prices more easily.

12. Take snacks.

If you think the stores at the mall are crowded, wait until you see the food court at lunch time. When you pull out your turkey sandwich, you'll feel like a genius. Thanksgiving leftovers for the win!

13. Check store policies before you shop.

Not every store will have a great return policy for all your purchases — some will charge a re-stocking fee that could dig into your savings, or only have a 30-day policy — and many will suspend their price-matching policies for Black Friday.

14. The lowest price doesn't always mean the best deal.

Yeah, maybe you can get a TV for $100. But is it a good TV? You might be able to grab better tech for $200 with a deep discount, so you'll get more bang for your buck.

15. Don't just shop for Christmas presents.

Look ahead to birthdays and weddings coming up in the new year and grab something nice while it's at the deepest discount of the year.

Good luck out there!

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