Hello, friends! I’ve hopped out of my hot tub and into my fluffiest business slippers to write up these Black Friday online shopping tips – I hope they help you out!
Seems like it was just yesterday when I was frantically completing my Christmas list but here we are at shopping season again, getting ready for yet another round of Black Friday madness.
Ahhh … Black Friday. These are two words that conjure fond memories of lining up at the stores for hours in order to overspend on dubious “deals”. And don’t forget the stampedes and tramplings. Why do we do this to ourselves?
There’s a better way. I’ve been getting smarter and more savvy year on year, so here is everything I’ve learned about shopping on Black Friday distilled into 7 bullet points – just the way you like it!
- Our Top 7 Black Friday Tips
- #1 – Make your list and arrange according to priority
- #2 – Know what NOT to buy on Black Friday
- #3 – Know where to shop for your items
- #4 – Bookmark must-follow sites for Black Friday
- #5 – Start early
- #6 – Shop from the comfort of your home
- #7 – Abandon your (online) cart
- BONUS TIP: Don’t wear red at Target
- Other tips:
Our Top 7 Black Friday Tips
#1 – Make your list and arrange according to priority
Those marketing teams are the most cunning people on earth and their sole purpose is to get you to give up your hard-earned cash willingly. To avoid getting dazzled by so-called deals, overspending, and buying items you don’t actually need, you’ll need to write up a list and stick to it.
- Things you “want” rather than “need” automatically go to the bottom of your list.
- When shopping, turn a blind eye to items not on your list UNLESS you might have a future need for them (like gifts for future events) and they’re really DEEP discounts.
#2 – Know what NOT to buy on Black Friday
The next step is confirming if the items on your list are actually best purchased during Black Friday. For example, here are some things that are best purchased on other dates:
- Bedding is best purchased during white sales in January
- Christmas decor get huge price drops during post-Christmas clearance sales
- For jewelry, jewelers offer lower prices in July and August for lack of any major holidays during this time
- For outdoor furniture, wait till the summer or Labor Day for big price slashes
- Drills, hammers, and other handyman-type tools go on big sales in December
- Winter clothing and outerwear goes rock bottom in April; spring clothing gets discounted in Memorial Day sales
- Cookware and kitchen items get big discounts in April
- If buying a mattress, mattress companies do sales on Labor Day and Memorial Day.
- You’d expect laptops and other electronic gadgets to be the best deals on Cyber Monday and Black Friday, but what we’ve noticed is that stores sell no-name or weak brands during these times. January is a good month to purchase computers since it’s when older models are sold at a discount to clean out stocks and prepare for the release of new models. June is also another good time to score back-to-school laptop deals.
The above is just a general guide. If you spy a brand and model you like that has a generous discount, go for it.
#3 – Know where to shop for your items
After finalizing your list, the next step is identifying what stores to stalk for particular items. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are especially good times for buying small gadgets and small appliances.
Whether you’re buying online or in brick-and-mortar stores, you can keep these in mind:
- Electronics – Best Buy
- Small appliances – Sears, Macy’s
- Stocking Stuffers – drugstores, Walgreens, Rite-Aid, CVS
- Toys, gaming consoles, and FitBit – Kohl’s
- Electronics – Best Buy
- Pyrex – Khol’s, JCPenney
- Tools – Sears, Home Depot
#4 – Bookmark must-follow sites for Black Friday
Some sites specialize in being crazy updated on Black Friday deals and news.
Here are some of them:
They’ve got the latest news on this year’s Black Friday. They also have a list of well-known retailers on there and when you click on the logo, it brings you to the current Black Friday deals for that brand.
You can get all the BF deals and ads from the top shops once they’re released. Includes Amazon, Kohl’s, Walmart, Target, Costco, Sears, and everything big.
See holiday catalogs, ads, and even leaked BF ads. They have a sidebar for recent Black Friday activity so that you’re always on the know.
I love this blogger’s site. Her Black Friday articles are just so relatable and useful.
For Apple phone users, Flipp is one of the most popular apps for Black Friday.
Unlike the other sites above, this site is an Amazon price checker. If you’re shopping on Amazon, this site is a HUGE help. By pasting the URL of the item you want to check, you can find out the price history of an item. This will let you know if a seller jacked up the price of an item for Black Friday or that’s the actual price during regular days. Cool, huh?
If you’re buying from Amazon and depending on reviews, you want to make sure that the reviews on there are legit. This is where Fakespot comes in. They’ll tell you if a products items are fake or real. This has saved my bacon many many times already.
Lets you know which retailers are offering free shipping for BF.
#5 – Start early
Nowadays, Black Friday sales start as early as two weeks ahead. For example, Toys “R” Us started offering deals on October 28 last year. The same for Amazon who started displaying ads for Black Friday deals very much ahead of the official date.
To get the best promos, start checking out the sites early.
#6 – Shop from the comfort of your home
If you’re young, spry, dressed like a linebacker and up for the hunt, you have my blessing to join the melee for this special day. Otherwise, I’m just going to shop in my jammies, thank you very much.
A lot of in-store deals are also made available online for a limited period so you get to enjoy the same deals.
And of course, you’re safe from the possibility of getting injured and having to cough up for medical expenses.
#7 – Abandon your (online) cart
As buyers, we can be cunning too. Marketers use the abandoned cart email campaign strategy to lure back in interested parties. To explain it simply, when a buyer puts an item in her online cart and removes it later for whatever reason, this triggers an email with tempting offers to get that same buyer to change her mind and buy instead.
Because the reasons usually range from shipping fees or high costs, marketers offer rewards and incentives such as 10% off or free shipping. The email is sometimes triggered 12 hours from abandoning your cart.
To score a possible incentive, put items you are planning to buy online in your cart. Do this early on the days leading to Black Friday. Then, abandon same products and monitor the inbox of your registered email address for the email campaign. (They usually send a series of mails.)
BONUS TIP: Don’t wear red at Target
I know these are supposed to be tips for online shopping but I couldn’t resist!
Here are more common sense Black Friday online shopping tips that don’t need too much elaboration:
- If you are buying from different stores, use Amazon to compare prices.
- Eat before going online to shop. You’ll be less greedy.
- Use coupons.
- Beware of no-name or weak-brand products that have tempting discounts; these sometimes have bad reviews or bad history (plus returns and repair will be a big headache).
- Read the fine print.
- Know the store’s (or item’s) return policy especially on discounted items.
- Buy discounted gift cards to stores you’ll go to before Black Friday.