The Shopping season is almost upon us! More recently this season has been more like “Black Week” or “Black Month” as the deals have start earlier and run much longer. Using the best secret black friday shopping tips, you can really get the best black friday deals. Now you just have to shop like a top notch Black Friday Ninja!!!
We have got the best TOP SECRET Black Friday tips you need to know about so that you can get the most out of your shopping… and more importantly save as much money as possible!
Use these tips & tricks to get the most out of Black Friday
Shopping on Black Friday has become a global tradition. It is the one day of the year when all the shoppers are going crazy for the best products with the best deals. Most shoppers head out early in the morning and just shop all day long!
Over the years, We have figured out some tips to really finding the best deals. There are also some other tricks we have learned to make the day even better and less stressful for everyone.
Now its time for you to learn the top secrets that we have discovered! Some of these you might already know about, but many of them might be completely new to you. Whatever the case, these ideas will help you navigate shopping on Black Friday 🙂
Here are the 30 Top Secret Black Friday Shopping Tips for 2018 Revealed
- Buy Discounted Gift Cards before hand to save a lot of Money It is always fun to get a deal. It’s waay better to get a great deal. A simple way to do this is to shop with discounted gift cards. Before you head out to shop, visit a site like Raise.com to find discounted gift cards. You can find gift cards for hundreds of retailers.Recently we were lucky to pick up $500 in Best Buy gift cards for around $440. That put $60 right back in our pockets! Raise.com has probably got to be our number one Black Friday shopping secret.
- Plan and Shop with a Friend, Divide & Conquer!
Not only is it more fun to shop with someone you love, but it can be helpful too! If there are a few must have items on your list, you can work together to find them. Divide and Conquer should be your strategy!Firstly before the D-day, meet up and discuss your shopping lists, make a consolidated list of items (color code it in 2 colours, one for you and one for your friend) to get so that you can divide the work, for example, Your friend can visit the electronics section for the video game you want and the phone they want while you are in the toy aisle finding another item on your list and that Barbie your friend wants for her daughter.
Split sections based on proximity, like your friend can take cosmetics and electronics, while you take Apparel and Toys. You’ll save time, avoid duplication of effort, and probably pick up a story or two in the process.
- Sign up for Web Emails & Newsletters to know what is happening
Decide which stores you will shop at this year before hand. The main thing to do is to visit each website and sign up for email newsletters. Please do this at least two weeks before Black Friday(already late, no issues, go and sign up now!!). It can take time before the emails start to generate, so you want to allow ample time to get added to the list.
- Prioritize your shopping list – Make a List of Items You Want to BuyYour main objective for Black Friday should be to buy only the items on your list at the lowest price possible! (Keep telling your self that) When making your list of items you need to buy, list them first by store and then by order of importance. This will put the most important “must find” items at the top so you can first focus on finding them first as you visit each store. When you get there, first walk to that department to find the item you want.
The worst thing you can do in the weeks leading up to the holidays is purchase items blindly without a shopping list. This is true whether you shop online or in-store. Shopping without a specific list causes you to get easily distracted and spend more and purchase items that you don’t need. By creating a shopping list with specific items, you avoid falling into the trap of buying unnecessary stuff thats on “Sale”.
You can make lists for just about anyone, and you can even use Alexa to create your shopping lists. Alternatively, you can create your own wish list and share it publicly to ensure your friends and family get you the gift you want, Now thats a Win Win!
- Have a Backup List for secondary choices of gifts
With the number of people shopping, there will be instances where you will not find the item you want. That means you need to have backup plan in place. Add a second item to your list, just in case you can’t find the one thing you really want, this will help you really save time. Better yet add a third more commonly available item as the last resort, trust me if I had a penny for each time I had to fall back to the last resort…
- Please Leave the kids at home
The kids always talk about wanting to come with me every year. However, they know that it is not an option. It is not because I don’t want to spend time with them, but it is because of the craziness and frankly they wont be thrilled. There will be a lot of standing in line. No one likes to hear “I’m bored” or “Can’t we go home?” Leave them with your spouse or a friend and just enjoy your shopping day.
- Plan Your ItineraryBefore you leave the house, put together an efficient itinerary for shopping! This is very important! I recommend you start with the one that has your must-have item. Then try to hit the closest or most convenient locations retailers first. There’s no need to drive all the way across town when there’s a comparable shop a mile down the road.
Budget more time than you think you need at each stop. Already-busy shopping districts and malls become downright chaotic on Black Friday. You’re all but certain to encounter heavy traffic and scarce parking almost everywhere you go.
If pricing allows, do as much of your shopping as possible at superstores like Walmart and Meijer – places with lots of different departments and low prices across the board. Ditto for warehouse clubs like Costco and Sam’s Club they don’t have everything, and their deals aren’t the best, but their pricing is hard to beat.
- Score The Early Deals
Many retailers now start to put items on sale online before Black Friday. This can mean amazing deals that won’t be available later in the week. Follow sites which share these deals in an easy-to-follow format, such as the Penny Pinchin’ Mom Facebook group. This way, you will not miss out on any of them being offered. There are some excellent Black Friday groups on Facebook, join them!Black Friday is no longer a one-day event. As a matter of fact, the best sales aren’t even released on Black Friday; they’re actually unveiled throughout Thanksgiving week. So the earlier you start your shopping, the better your chances of finding the items you want on sale and in stock.
Last year, we noticed some of the best deals were released on the morning of Thanksgiving Day. That’s not to say you should avoid Black Friday, but be aware that the best Black Friday deals will start on Thanksgiving week.
- Get out early
It means less sleep, but the sooner you can get to the store, the more likely you will find the items you want. Plan on waking up early (Alarms anyone?) to get the items on your list.
- Dress Comfortably before you Head Out!
Black Friday falls in late autumn, a chilly time of year for much of the country. That means lots of abrupt transitions from cold parking lots to heated stores, especially if you’re shopping before daybreak. Unless the prospect of donning and doffing your heavy coats at every store sounds exciting to you, you’ll want to dress at a happy medium. Wear a fleece or light jacket for your outerlayer, possibly with a snug-fitting underlayer to ward off the outside chill.
Better be prepared well, dont want to waste time due to unwarranted dress choices on the big day!
- Eat well before you head outDon’t leave the house without eating breakfast and drinking coffee (and carry a few snacks for later too)! Every other shopper venturing out on Black Friday will likely be visiting a coffee shop, this is where you can easily lose time. The long waits to get your energy fix really cuts into your precious shopping time.
As a bonus, you can buy some extra gifts with that coffee money you saved. Oh, and remember to pack lots of snacks for later as shopping can be a real workout!
- Price check in the store
Shop with your shopping list in one hand and the phone in the other. Always do a quick scan to check to see if it is less expensive elsewhere. You can use Amazon, Amazon app has a feature which allows you to scan the barcode of the products right in the store!Last year, we saved close to $100 just by using the app. The price was less on Amazon than it was in the store. As we found the discounted item, it was added to the cart in the store itself.
Alternatively you can also use a price-comparison engine such as Google Shopping, ShopSavvy or PriceGrabber to make sure you’re getting the best price on the item you want to buy. There are a lot of Apps and website that can help you here, share your favorite in the comments!
After you’ve done your homework and ensured you’re not being overcharged, the next step is to find out if there are any perks to purchasing from one store versus the other. Maybe you’re an Amazon Prime member, and Amazon’s offering free next-day shipping. Or maybe you have a Best Buy rewards card that promises double points. Dont miss any opportunity to stack on additional savings — even if small — should not be missed.
Finally if you manage to find a better price elsewhere, ask (politely) if the store you’re at is willing to price match. Some stores will offer price matching during the holidays, all it takes is a quick question to a sales rep.
- Dont buy in the heat of the moment because of “the deal”When approaching a sale, ALWAYS ask yourself, “would I pay for this if it were actually the original price?” Retailers can easily bump up the original price to make savings seem more significant. For big-ticket items, like TVs and computers, do your research to make sure it’s right for you and makes sense at that price.
The models promoted with huge discounts may appear like the top-rated products, but if you check the model numbers closely you will realize they’re not the same. Black Friday offerings are typically watered down versions and lack some of the features that give high-quality products their value.
So be extra careful and check that you are getting exactly what you want.
- Be Safe & Avoid AltercationsBlack Friday is usually the perfect recipe for troublesome situations. It is a perfect collection of traffic, crowds, long lines, early-morning starts, and limited inventory. It’s a toxic brew for sleep-deprived, turkey-addled shoppers focused on getting their way at all costs.
Like clockwork, Black Friday brings arguments and altercations, some of which escalate to tragic effect. Here are some safety tips you can follow:
- Avoid some common situations like Stampedes by giving way and keeping yourself in a secure place.
- Be careful in the parking lot
- Keep Valuables safe
- Keep your purchases safely hidden in the car. Last thing you want is someone breaking in and stealing when you are out shopping
- Dont get into fights over items
- Avoid major stores where historically fights and trampling has occured
- Shop late
Retailers would love to keep the shoppers in the store all day long, so they sometimes offer late shopper deals in addition to the early bird offers. Watch the ad to find out which items will be discounted later in the day. You might be able to sleep in, avoid the crowds and still score an amazing deal.
- Doorbusters – maybe you should just avoid them
Retailers want to get you into their store to shop. One trick they have up their sleeve is doorbusters. These time-sensitive sales were designed to lure shoppers into stores in hopes of getting consumers to spend on other non-essentials. Make sure you read the ad carefully. Many times these are limited to 25-100 items at each store. That means if you are not in line super early, you will not get the deal.If you really want a doorbuster, watch for those which have a shopping guarantee, such as shoppers in the store at a certain time will be guaranteed to get that item. Walmart did this last year.
But remember unless you’re first in line, your chances of scoring a doorbuster deal are slim to none.
- Use shopping bags instead of a cart
Maneuvering carts through crowds of people is difficult and can slow you down quiet a bit. Grab a couple of reusable shopping bags and take them with you to shop instead. This one tip can really save you a lot of trouble and time.
- Interact with people in line
Being Social and nice really pays off during the holidays. Every time you are in line, chat with people around you. If you see something they have in their hand or cart and you want one, ask where they found it. We have tracked down unique gift ideas just by standing in line. And most times if you have to run out and get something, the majority of people will allow you to get back in line where you were before.
- Know the return policy
Some stores have a liberal return policy for items purchased on Black Friday and during the holidays. However, it might also be valid for only 30 days. If you buy something and someone does not like it, there is a good chance they might not be able to return it!Also get gift receipts for the items you buy. It will make it a lot easier on your recipient, should a return or exchange be needed (and the store will be happy for this too).
Just note that, Retailers tend to tweak their return policies during the holidays. Doorbuster and “final sale” products tend to have the strictest policies, so be sure you’re comfortable with a store’s policy before you buy anything.
- Use Cash and Follow your budgetBefore you shop, you need to know your budget. Once that is set, get cash. Leave the credit cards at home. You’ll think more about every purchase and reduce impulse shopping if you have cash. There is no way you can overspend as you don’t have the money to do it.
- In case you use Credit Cards, use Rewards Credit Cards for Extra SavingsWe always use our rewards credit cards to tack on a few extra percentage points of savings to every purchase. Make sure to use the best card for every store. Whether you get two percent cash back on all of your purchases or you use a rotating five percent cash back credit card, every penny counts.
These days, practically every credit card company features a rewards program. Find out which of your credit cards offers the best cashback program and use that card over the holidays to earn the most money back when possible.
- Limit Credit Card usage to Prevent Data BreachesData breaches are bound to happen — especially during the holidays — and the best way to safeguard yourself against any potential identity theft is to limit the number of credit cards you use during the holiday season. Our advice is pick one credit card and use it exclusively for your holiday shopping.
- Go Social for more Discounts
One of the best ways to see what’s coming down the pipes is by following your favorite retailers on social media. Facebook and Twitter tend to be the most active platforms for retailers, but don’t be surprised if stores start using Instagram to reveal secret coupon codes or early preview deals as well.This tip pays dividends throughout the year, but it’s especially great during the holidays, when retailers ramp up promotional activity and offer last-minute deals in higher volumes.Here is where to follow the big retailers:
- Bookmark Retailers’ WebsitesSounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how few people take full advantage of bookmarks. Keep your favorite items bookmarked for easy access and to compare prices
- Keep the Shopping Apps Handy
There are loads of shopping apps that can be really helpful in the holiday season, make sure you have them all installed. Our favorites include Shopular, Flipp, The Coupons App, The Black Friday App ect.
- Bring Paper or Digital AdsDon’t trust retailers to maintain accurate signage or advertise deals in-store. Bring a paper or digital Black Friday flyer for every retailer you plan to patronize. Having proof that the deal was advertised at some point in the past doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get it but it can help. Physical proof is often enough to persuade busy sales associates (or their managers) to give you the advertised discount, rather than fight a losing battle against a potentially irate customer. Plus, they’re essential to invoke price match guarantees.
- Go Shopping on Wednesday
This one is a bit non traditional… Sometimes, the Black Friday prices are not always the lowest price. Visit the store on Wednesday to find out. You might find that the price listed is the same as, if not lower than, what you will find in a couple of days. Go ahead and grab that item while you can.This is also true with finding the hot holiday toys. If you find one in the store before the shopping frenzy hits, grab it to ensure you have one for Christmas.
This is also a great time to figure out the other items you want and where they live in the store. This way, when you get there on Friday, you know where to head to get find the gifts on your list.
- Shop for other holidays/events
Making a list of the events coming up during the following year is a smart way to approach Black Friday. For instance, if I know someone is getting married next year, you can pick up something for them on Black Friday. This forethought can easily save you a bunch of money
- Dont like the rush… Shop online insteadIf Black Friday stores are not your thing, you are in luck! Many of the in-store deals will be available online. So why not do your shopping online!
- Finally RelaxNo matter what happens on Black Friday, remember to relax and try to enjoy yourself. Shopping for holiday gifts isn’t the highest-stakes thing you’ll do this year. Besides its hard to keep everyone happy, you are bound to disappoint at-least one of your recipients, so why worry too much about it.