Here's some tips to make your Black Friday shopping run smoothly this year.
Each year on Black Friday, thousands of shoppers rush into stores during early morning hours to grab the best deals for items on their holiday shopping list. It’s no wonder that this day can be a little stressful. But stave off the Black Friday crazies with a little planning this year, and let your bargain hunting be merry.
1) Know the ads
Check out today’s newspaper to see what stores are offering the best deals. That way, you can organize your day to maximize savings. Many stores offer special, time-specific discounts, such as 10-percent savings before 11 p.m. Using those coupons can not only save dollars, but help you plan out when you want to check out which stores.
2) Do research ahead of time
Knowing what items are on your shopping list can make a big difference. If you know you specifically want a purse for your sister, a kitchen utensil for you dad and an MP3 player for your mom, be as knowledgeable as you can be about what you’re looking for to avoid getting sucker-punched by advertisements for poor products.
3) Compare prices
Websites such as pricegrabber.com or Google Product Search can point you in the right direction of what stores are offering products at the best price possible. By doing this ahead of time, you’ll save yourself the trouble of going from store-to-store to compare prices on the busiest shopping day of the year.
4) Be a night owl
Don’t want to get up early tomorrow morning? Shop online on Thanksgiving, as some retailers offer Black Friday specials ahead of time that can be picked up at a local store after they’re purchased. Some stores also open tonight at midnight, and offer early bird promotions that save you money — and you’ll get to sleep in the next day, too.
5) Know the store policies
Check out return deadlines and restocking fees for stores, as many retail chains require receipts for returns or exchanges. Ask for a gift receipt, to save your friends and family the trouble. Also, some stores offer a lowest-price guarantee if there are other stores advertising the same item for less. Bring ads from other stores with you if this is the case, and you’ll be one of the smartest shoppers around on a day when the best are most certainly scouring the stores.