Who likes to go to work after they’ve had some time off? No one. You feel tempted to phone in sick and earn yourself a sneaky extra day off. It’s partly how Black Friday became a thing. The term came about in 1951. After Thanksgiving, citizens in the US would yield to the temptation. They’d call in sick and then go out shopping to make a head start on their Christmas shopping. It became quite a profitable trend for retailers, who associated it with the black in their accounts book (signifying profits) and they started to push the day as a sort of unofficial shopping holiday.
Only since 2010 has the UK really started to embrace Black Friday, which takes place on the last Friday of November and is followed by Cyber Monday on the start of the week afterwards. This year, that Friday falls on the 29th, which might seem a long way but will be on us in no time at all, so get ready to grab those bargains.
Not quite sure of the best way to go about it? Well, you’re in luck. Here are a few tips:
Set yourself a budget
Yep, a bit boring and responsible for sure, but you need to know exactly how much you can spend. Open up Excel and start making the calculations on that spreadsheet now. It’s crucial. Spend too much and when the bills roll in, your new TV or other bargain might not feel so great; tighten your belt too much and you’ll also regret it when you realise you’d foregone an item you could have afforded! Work out a budget ahead of time and you can part with your cash comfortably when those deals hit the shelves.
Do some research
Think about some of the things you’d like to buy in the Black Friday sales and do some research. You need to know a good deal when you’re getting one, which you won’t unless you understand the pros and cons, and the ins and outs, of what you’re buying in the first place, not to mention their normal retail price. Familiarise yourself with terminology. A good knowledge of the product is especially important if you’re dealing with items that have three or more digits on the serious side of the decimal point.
Black Friday may feel like a one-day event, but the season kicks off as soon as the first Black Friday ad goes up. That can be as much as a week early because some retailers are already putting their offers online well before the official Black Friday. The deals aren’t always the biggest, but you can pick up some tasty bargains, even if they’re not one of the major items you had on your list.
Decide whether to shop online or in store
If you’re shopping for bedroom furniture, which you can do with Bedstar, or for any other item, you should determine whether you’re going to do so online or in store. Note that some of the biggest ticket items that draw people into the brick-and-mortar stores are sometimes available at a cheaper price online. Do you want to shop online or join the masses and queue at the door for the item? Online saves you time, but whether you decide to battle it out at the front of a store or make your purchase over the internet, only the shopping gods can determine whether you’ll secure the item.
Bookmark different retailers
If you’ve plumped for the online route, bookmark your favourite retailers so you can access their websites and deals quickly and easily, rather than having to type in the right URL, find the deal, etc. Bookmarking will help you to filter through all the online noise ― and this is the internet, so there’s going to be lots of it. It’s not just about the filters, though; you’ll be able to compare deals easier between retailers, too.
Turn on notifications
To save major money, it’s important to track prices in the run-up to the big day. A deal can seem like the deal of a lifetime, but could actually turn out to be nothing when you compare it to a deal on another brand. Turning on your notifications will allow you to track movements in price and form a better idea of when you’re getting a good deal. Since you’ll already have thought about what you want, you can just ignore any notifications that aren’t relevant to your choices.
Have a game plan
If you’re going to go down the brick-and-mortar route, punctuality is of the essence. Depending on the store, you might even have to get their (ridiculously) early to queue. Are you prepared to stand in line for a few hours? Is it worth it? Are you being realistic about still getting a bargain if you do? If queuing is your decision, plan how you’re going to get to the store and make sure you know how long the journey will take you. Arrive just a few minutes late and that bargain could already be long gone.
Keep your impulses under control
To say shopping on Black Friday triggers an adrenaline rush is an understatement. It might only be shopping, but you get swept up in the emotion of it all. There are deals everywhere and you can end up buying more than you really want or need. Deciding before you go shopping what you’d like to buy will stop you from splashing out on something that will sit gathering dust in a corner or on a shelf somewhere later.
You should have a clear idea of what you want, but you must also be flexible because there might not be a deal on the item(s) you want or the retailer may have sold them all. It pays to keep an open mind. If you’re too inflexible, you could miss out on an even better deal simply because you’re not open to buying a different brand or type of product.
Black Friday is your big opportunity to seize some major bargains and keep more of your hard-earned cash in your pocket. Things can get a bit hectic as shoppers, online and offline, make a beeline for different items, so make some solid preparations to land the items you really want and then enjoy your purchase!