Can you believe it’s November already?!?
Do you know what that means? Yes, seeing family and overeating on Thanksgiving. There’s that, sure.
Know what else?
Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping deals!
These two days have turned into crazy whirlwinds of shopping and sales (actually the whole week is full of deals). Do your homework and you can score some great deals that you might not find the rest of the year,
But if you aren’t careful these days can turn into a crazy hell that wastes your time and your money.
Here Are 10 Tips You Need to Read Before Shopping Black Friday and Cyber Monday:
1. Make a list
What items are you looking for? Who are you shopping for?
Put a list together of exactly everything you plan to buy and who you are buying it for. It’s easy to get lulled into all of the bargains you’ll see. Without a list, you may find yourself buying all sorts of stuff (read: junk) you don’t need because of the prices.
Lists are powerful ways to focus on what you are looking for so you don’t end up blowing your money on impulse buys. You already have psychological effects like the loss aversion switch and an innate desire to save possibly working against you. From Phillip Graves at Psychology Today: “Thousands of years ago, knowing that it was important to store up food and wood for the winter would be the difference between life and death. These days most of us no longer need to worry about our day-to-day survival, but the evolutionary drive remains. In short, we find it hard to resist the idea that we’ll be saving money or time.”
Do yourself a favor and make a list and use it!
Tip: Pick an app that you can pull up on any device. This way, you have your list and can update it virtually anywhere. Some favorites of mine are Evernote, Wunderlist, Clear, and Simplenote.
2. Create a budget
Know exactly how much you want to spend on each item you want to buy.
This is almost a part II for making a list. By creating a budget you set up a dollar amount you are willing to spend. Without having exact figures you can easily find yourself going over budget and spending more than you can afford to.
Do you want to spend the beginning of next year paying for your shopping now?!? Don’t be one of those people that hope they get enough of a tax return back to cover what they’ve spent for the holidays.
What’s the point of taking advantage of deals if you are going to end up overspending?
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3. Do your research before-hand
Look up a product’s ratings online. It’s easy to be taken in by a low price but that price may be low for a reason. Find items that are good quality and don’t fall for the crap that gets put on sale that looks good because of its price.
Another thing – Many stores will carry a brand but only a model that is specific to the store. What happens is a brand makes one version of an item just for one chain, like a Walmart or Target. Because the item is made for only one store you can’t compare it exactly with another store’s. Make sure you understand the spec’s so you can compare them from store to store and get the most for your money!
4. Know what’s on sale
Many stores will list out what deals you can find. The internet is a powerful tool in helping you find the products you are looking for. Make sure what is on sale matches reasonably with what you want to buy. Two products may seem the same but can be vastly different and price may reflect that.
5. Have a plan
Are you going out to stores on Black Friday? What’s your plan of attack?
Many stores only have a small quantity of their biggest deals that sell out fast. You may have to get up before the crack of dawn to take advantage of a sale. Heck, you might have to excuse yourself from dessert on Thanksgiving in order to be first in line.
Find out when the store allows you to start to line up. Some places may give out wrist bands before-hand. Bring a buddy to keep you company and to hold your spot in line should you have to step away (read: potty break). Bring food and beverage.
If you’re hitting up more than one store know which stores are important to you and plan your trip so you aren’t traveling back and forth across town (especially important if you are shopping with your kids).
6. Check the internet at intervals during the day
You may find different deals at different parts of the day. Check your cell phone, or tablet, for apps that might help you check deals.
As the saying goes “timing is everything!”
7. Consider more than holiday gifts
Most people are thinking of holiday gifts this time of the year but this may also be a great time to buy an item you’ve been wanting like a new computer or a TV (assuming you can afford it of course).
This could also be a good time to get gifts for next year’s big days like birthdays and such. You can also use these days to stock up on items you need year-round.
I’ve made it a habit the past few years to buy a couple of pieces to add to my wardrobe during the Black Friday weekend. I make sure the prices are awesome and I only get maybe 2 or 3 things. This is a great opportunity to update your work wardrobe.
I’ve also found really great tech deals that help my business such as hosting deals or deals on plugins.
Related: Think long-term when doing your Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping.
8. Don’t put yourself into debt
A great deal is awesome to come by but if it puts you in debt, or further in debt, then it’s not worth it. If you’re putting something on a credit card but you can’t pay it off in full then that deal quickly disappears as you accumulate interest charges on your credit card.
9. Channel your inner zen monk
Practice with me: Oooohhhhmmm…… Deep breathes…
Black Friday can be a crazy day to be out shopping. Many prefer Cyber Monday so they don’t have to leave the house.
Expect stores to be crowded and tempers to be short. Traffic around stores may be nuts and parking could be bad.
It seems every year you hear about someone getting trampled or killed, fighting over a sale item. There will be rude people but do your best not to be one of them.
Remember, it’s only stuff that’s getting bought. If things are getting hectic take a deep breath and relax. It’s not worth someone’s mental or physical health chasing after sales.
10. You don’t have to spend
There, I said it.
You don’t have to do any shopping on Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
Some think that because items are on sale they have to go take advantage or forever miss out. Yes, there are great deals to be had. But if funds are tight or you don’t have the patience to deal with people then don’t bother.
Here are some sites you can check for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals and information:
Holiday Shopping: Tips for Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Christmas Shopping – Black Friday , Cyber Monday , and Beyond
Black Friday Shopping Tips: How To Get The Best Deals On The Things On Your List
Black Friday Shopping Tips: Become a Sales Pro
Black Friday Sales Are Here Again: A Quick History and Some Tips
Shopping Etiquette: How to Be Polite and Still Get a Good Deal on Black Friday
Preparing for Black Friday
Are Black Friday Deals Really Worth It?
5 Things You Shouldn’t Buy This Black Friday
Great tips! And thanks for including my post over at Moolanomy 🙂
Glen Craig says
No problem! I got to include two of my favorite bloggers in one step!
Always have a plan and stick to it. That is why buying on line is better just because you will stick to your list. It’s much easier to go for impulse buys in store.
Glen Craig says
I think a person can get sucked into impulse buys anywhere. Online it’s easy to go page to page without crowds pushing and shoving. But it’s the plan that helps keep one in line.
The most important thing is to set a budget and sop with a plan. Otherwise you are sure to overspend, buy things you don’t need, and leave things off the list. Great tips.
If I don’t make a list I end up leaving store having spent a lot of money but having gotten nothing I planned on getting. I also think people should take into consideration the true cost of the product meaning the time and effort it’ll take you to fight the crowds. At lot of times, it may be worth the cost savings monetarily but not worth the annoyance.
Once you have a plan and a budget…..don’t forget to look for non-Amazon products that still qualify for Free Super Saver Shipping. It’s an added bonus. I wrote about it here:
Prim @ 123bargains.com says
Great tips, especially the one about checking the internet at intervals during the day. Many of the sites will be putting up really good deals throughout the day and you may be able to get great deals through the internet.
Wow, when I really think about what the celebration of the birth of Christ has turned into, it’s mind boggling. Maybe we should rename it “Giftmas”?
Glen Craig says
Haha, Giftmas would be a lot more honest at least!
Shelly Towns says
Great Post. I know a lot of people are fans of cyber monday, but I still prefer shopping in stores on Black Friday. I have used the internet extensively for researching where I will go, creating lists, and determining what I will buy. My favorite website to use is http://www.blackfriday.com/.
Sarah Hill says
Knowing what’s on sale and making a game plan for the big day is 90% of the excitement for me! I just signed up to be on the mailing list for all my favorite stores. If you want, you can sign up at BlackFriday.info and choose which ads you want sent to you. You will get them sooner than the general public, it’s awseome!
So, I went out to three of the upcoming Black Friday Sale items at Target. With about 20 seconds of googling, I found better everyday deals on the same products.
I just don’t understand why people kill themselves for BF Deals or CyberMonday deals. There are already better deals posted if you just look.
Glen Craig says
That’s a big part of it Nick, you have to do your research! You can’t sucked into the hype.
I’ve found there really are great deals out there though.
Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager says
I plan to be skiing on Black Friday and working on Cyber Monday. However, you can create a holiday budget on Adaptu to help you stay on track when it comes to spending this holiday season.
Glen Craig says
Skiing sounds like a nice option to shopping madness.
Kanwal Sarai @ Simply Investing says
Excellent tips! My favorite is the last one “You don’t have to spend”. 🙂
Some people easily get caught up in the buying frenzy and think they have to spend money just because “everyone” else is spending money.
Glen Craig says
Yeah, you should never go and spend just because you see others doing it.
Jon -- Free Money Wisdom says
Definitely some great tips. I probably won’t be going out — but good luck to all of you who do. May the force be with you. haha, I am not a fan of crowds.
Glen Craig says
Haha, some people may just need the force.
With three kids we just can’t deal with the crazy crowds on Black Friday but weekend deals might not be so bad to check out.
Carrie - Careful Cents says
I’m definitely a Cyber Monday gal myself. I’ve never been part of the Black Friday madness, and I probably never will. I love my sleep too much. 🙂
This is a great post, and I’m going to use it as a reference when I do my Cyber Monday shopping! Definitely going to be putting your tips into use even if I’m shopping online. Still gotta make a list, stay in budget and research the best deals.
Glen Craig says
I hear you, I love my sleep too! I can’t imagine spending a day with the family, enjoying a big meal, and then heading out to get on line by midnight or earlier!
There are so many delas over the entire weekend that you don’t have to go crazy on Friday (unless you really find something that’s worth it to you).
Mike Collins says
I am so not into the Black Friday shopping blitz. Of course I prefer to do most of my shopping online anyway, so maybe Cyber Monday will be more fun for me.
Glen Craig says
I hear you Mike. We’ve gone out in years past over the Black Friday weekend but I’m not sure we’ll be doing it this year. It’s just too hectic to drag the kids out. We’ve been doing lots more online shopping lately too.
Rebecca @ Stapler Confessions says
Having a plan is so crucial! I actually haven’t been out shopping on Black Friday in a long time, I mostly get my Black Friday bug out on Thanksgiving itself, because I shop the national drugstore chains to stock up on toothpaste, toothbrushes, lip balm, Advil, etc., for the year. And, of course, Staples, for the free antivirus software and case of printer paper.
Another thing that’s on sale this Black Friday are gift cards. The various drugstores will give you a kickback or discount on iTunes, GAP, Old Navy, Banana Republic, and home improvement gift cards. So if I plan any purchases at those stores or want to give a gift card as a gift, I’m always sure to pick up what I need on Black Friday.
Glen Craig says
Thanks for the tip on the gift cards. You can really maximize that by checking your credit card to see if you get any extra points or rewards for buying the gift card with your credit card.
Musa @ My Personal Finance Journey says
Since I use the internet all the time, I will buy the idea of checking the internet during different times of the day to find out the latest offers. This will help make Christmas a joy rather than a dent in the bank account.
L Rob says
Blame the media! Media makes people go crazy on Black Friday!
Here’s an interesting article about that:
Julu Nair says
Like Last year ,one can also get amazing black friday deals reviews at best blackfriday site http://www.blackfriday.reviews
Keeping a budget during Black Friday is SO hard! It’s not that I have a problem with spending – I just end up seeing so many deals that can benefit to people I’m buying for…And keeping your inner zen intact is definitely important. I get so worried with the hectic parking lots. Each year I find myself doing more and more online shopping…
John Brendt says
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shane warn says
Such a great and informative blog!in this article the best thing is that money saving tips it is best for everyone and all the people know that how we save money and how we spend in good place..thanks you for sharing
Nice Article. Very informative blogs. You give great tips & tricks for saving money with online shopping.
The trend of online shopping is increasing very fast. Hence these online stores provide many deals and coupons for chasing competition with each other. overall great blog
Ava Stafford says
The trend of black friday and cyber monday is increasing and there are stores that provide coupons and discount codes to save your money
Lilly Sam says
I am waiting for next seasonal deals to but furniture
Deven Richard says
This is became a huge day of shopping.
Thanks for sharing it is good to save money online.