[Image via BryantArchway.com]
The biggest shopping day of the year is upon us. While some will head to the gym to work off theThanksgiving food coma, others will hit the floor running for Black Friday shopping deals. Retailers will kick off the holiday season with not-to-be missed sales. We all want to maximize savings without sacrificing quality, but shopping Black Friday is not for the faint of heart. Down a cup of coffee, pack a granola bar and follow these 11 tips to live to tell the tale of the shopping madness.
1. Start with an organized list. Write down who you want to buy for, and some ideas of what you may want to get them. Are you buying your boyfriend a new sweater? A hot toy for a niece or nephew? Having a basic guide will keep your sanity in tact and promote efficiency.
2. Do some research beforehand. Compare prices online, take advantage of mobile applications, bring “lowest-price guarantee” ads with you and be knowledgeable about the products. All of this translates to bargaining power.
3. Focus on a few stores only. You may want to shop every deal, but realistically you can’t. Prior to leaving, determine a route, check store opening times and stick to the plan. Or, hire a herd of elves.
4. Stay sharp. Retail stores will have a LOT of gimmicks. Be careful, or you will find yourself purchasing something you don’t need, or will never use. Sheer temptation has the potential to trample your detail-oriented list.
5. Be comfortable! You may be walking all day, store temperatures will vary, and you don’t want to be lugging a purse the size of Santa’s toy-sack around. Wear your most comfortable shoes and some light layers in case you end up shedding your coat.
6. Use coupon sites. These sites have been created to help shoppers find today’s best deals, so why not take them up on their offer? Some great options include fatwallet.com, retailmenot.com, and grechenscodes.com.
7. Pack your patience. Endless lines define Black Friday, not to mention the disastrous ruins of what was once an organized department store. Be courteous to other shoppers, as it is the holiday season. Plus, the salesclerks are probably as frantic as you are, if not worse!
8. Ask for gift receipts. You got a great deal, but that doesn’t guarantee anything; maybe the recipient already has it or would rather get store credit and pick out their own item!
9. Shop Locally: More dollars from sales and taxes at local boutiques and shops go right back into the community, plus independent designers and retailers really do appreciate your business! Think that little store down the street is such a great addition to the neighborhood? Show them you care by purchasing items at their business at this time of year. Online options include Etsy.com, where you also search for local designers in your area.
10. Don’t forget about Cyber Monday. Three days after the insanity we call Black Friday, this new online sale tradition will have you in a shopping frenzy all over again, but there may be better deals if you hold off just a few days.
11. Get something for yourself; or at the very least treat yourself at the end of the crazed day. Whether you snag a deal for yourself or cozy up to a Starbucks Gingerbread Latte to maintain the Christmas spirit, pampering yourself after your hard elf-work is a must.
Subscribe to the FashionPulseDaily Newsletter!