5 Steps to Successful Black Friday Shopping
I walked through the door of the electronics super store with the ticket I was given for a killer deal on a laptop. On the way to the claims desk at the back of the store, I passed by a Nintendo Game Boy display that had a large red sale sign on it. I managed to shove an arm through a crowd of people and grab one as there weren’t many left.
It was a Black Friday door buster, so I figured it had to be a good deal.
Continuing further, I found a portable DVD player for a steal of a price. At the time my kids were very young, and we didn’t have a built in DVD player in our vehicle. Seeing a great opportunity to allow my children to watch their favorite shows in the car during longer trips, I snatched one of those as well.
While the laptop ended up giving my family years of great service, the other items I purchased that morning didn’t work out very well.
The Game Boy was discounted deeply because the Nintendo DS had just been released and the store was trying to get rid of it’s stock of the original Game Boy devices. My son was only mildly excited about the Game Boy, as he preferred playing his games through his game console on a much larger TV.
Within a few months, the cheap DVD player had fatally scratched more of our kids’ favorite moves than I could count.
As illustrated by my experience, one danger of Black Friday is impulse buying. When retailers open their doors on Black Friday, they are met with crowds of people who have potentially been waiting outside for hours ready to rush in and find the products they saw advertised at unbelievable discounts. As consumers scamper through the store, many will do exactly what I did and grab items in the heat of the moment because they are perceived to be great deals.
If I’m going to brave the crowds and participate in Black Friday shopping, I need a game plan to make sure I don’t make the same mistake again:
Make Your List: I always have the list of items that I need to purchase for Christmas presents, or any additional items for my home that I’m in the market to buy.
Scour The Ads: The ads are made available in the Thanksgiving Day paper. I scour the ads looking ONLY for items that are on my list. It’s NOT a sale if you buy something you weren’t already going to buy anyway.
Do Your Research: Many times the items that retailers use as door busters are items of sub par quality (Anybody want a used DVD player?), or are items lacking features that you may or may not be interested in. Research the items that you are contemplating buying and ensure they meet your needs and that they are getting generally good reviews.
Make Time: Looking through all the adds, making your list, and doing research is a lot to do in one day. The good news is, it is possible to get advanced copies of the Black Friday Ads from websites like FatWallet or BFAds.net so you can start your research weeks ahead of time.
Stick To Your List: Retailers pull all kinds of tricks to get you to spend your money on Black Friday. For example, notice in my story that I had to walk all the way to the back of the store to get the laptop passing by all their merchandise tempting me to buy more. It worked!
With this game plan, I’m confident that I can get some great deals on Black Friday, without coming home with unneeded and unwanted low quality items.
Do you shop on Black Friday? Do you have any tricks to stay on task and on budget?
Brought to you courtesy of Brock
Brock is a software engineer by day and personal finance blogger at night. He is a fitness junkie and enjoys grilling and smoking meat. Married with two children, Brock strives to improve his skills as a husband and father, and is always on the lookout to stretch his family’s budget as far as he can.