Mississippi customers lined up before Black Friday opening in 2011. AP photo/The Commercial Appeal. Stan Carroll
Ahhh… Black Friday. The day after Thanksgiving where most retailers open early and offer highly-discounted items to kick off the holiday shopping season. Or the day when shoppers run amok during the wee hours of the morning in the name of holiday cheer. Whichever definition you prefer.
For some people, Black Friday is totally worth the money-saving hype, and for some it’s not. For us, we look forward to Thanksgiving night where we browse through Black Friday store ads and map out our game plan for execution. To help you decide whether to partake in the Black Friday madness, we’ve outlined a few tips and ideas to see if it’s worth your while.
Key strategies that most retailers follow are competitor price-matching and placing their hottest items on the front of their Black Friday ads. This practice draws larger crowds and anticipates higher revenues year-over-year. The downside of this for most consumers is that these items are usually limited per store. For example, a store may only have 10 televisions to sell at an unbeatable price. If you’re not one of the first to purchase a particular item, you’re out of luck. To make sure you’re one of the ones to get the most out of this Black Friday’s sales, here is is what we’d advise.
First, avoid the crowds by making your purchases online. Most major retail outlets allow consumers the option to shop via their website. While shopping online, remember to use a major credit card and not a debit card to prevent identity fraud.
Most banks will replace funds that were unauthorized out of your account, but you may have to wait as long as a week before your funds are replenished. A credit card company can release you of responsibility of fraudulent use by the time your next bill is due. (Please note: we do not promote using credit cards unless you pay off the balance in full to avoid finance charges.)
Second, prepare ahead of time by creating a budget and making a list of items you would like to purchase. Black Friday ads are available online up to two weeks before the big day. Start today, and you will still have enough time to browse your favorite stores ads and to execute your game plan. Also, remember to stay focused. Retailers will put doorbusters with great prices in their ads to lure you in. They’ll use creative marketing tactics to persuade you to purchase items you never intended. We are avid believers in staying within what you can afford, even during the holidays.
Last, don’t overlook smaller items that are most times overshadowed by 50 inch TVs and other flashy items. For example, if you are a new homeowner, Black Friday is the perfect time to purchase your smaller appliances, such as coffee pots, toasters, blenders, and more for as low as $5 each. Those same items can be used as gifts for other special occasions, such as bridal showers, birthdays, and housewarmings to name a few.
With these tips in hand, do you believe Black Friday is worth the money saving hype? Please share your thoughts.
Tai and Tarin Perry are financially savvy identical twin sisters, and investment bankers turned money saving experts at www.DoubleSavingDivas.com
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