Black Friday Survival Tips
As I head out the door in search of Black Friday deals, I thought it a good time to remind fellow bargain hunters of a few important tips and strategies to help you avoid a bad case of retail regret.
If you’re not aware, Black Friday is the day after American Thanksgiving and is traditionally the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. Many, if not most, retailers offer discounts and other incentives to shop ’til you drop. And while I absolutely loathe crowds, this is one shopping event I take part in. Here’s how to do it right:
Make a list. There is nothing more dangerous then aimless shopping. Those red sequin pumps sitting unworn in their box in my closet are proof of that. But they were 50% off! It seemed like a good idea at the time, right? Before you shop figure out what you’re looking for. Texting the list to yourself will help you keep focus.
Stay social. By following the social media feeds of your favourite retailers (especially Twitter and Instagram) you’ll be up to date on sales and promotions. And some retailers offer extra rewards to customers who “like” or follow, by giving special alerts to keep you in the know.
Limit your means. If you tend to over indulge when sale shopping, either shop with cash or bring only one card. The act of simply opening your wallet and seeing missing cards will help to remind you you’re on a budget.
Make a schedule. I like to make an appointment, whether with friends or to get my tires rotated, thereby limiting the amount of time I have to spend in store or online.
Know your prices. Obviously. This is especially true if you’re shopping in the U.S. or on U.S. websites. The exchange rate is so bad for Canadians right now there are fewer deals to be had south of the border, especially when you add in shipping or gas/hotel costs. Also, load up your phone with apps from retailers like Amazon that help you shop and compare.
Don’t rush out. While I rarely line up for sales and I always stay in my pjs on Boxing Day, Black Friday is one day I do make a point of getting out there. I have to shop for Christmas presents anyway and selection is excellent. (By the time Boxing Day rolls around I don’t feel like spending any money and everything’s picked over). That said, if you don’t shop today the deals will still be there tomorrow. And the day after that. Black Friday is an entire season.
And finally, wear flat shoes, stay well hydrated, and don’t butt in line.
This year I’ve got my eye on a Hugo Boss tuxedo – it would be excellent for my holiday party circuit. But I’ve made a promise to myself that if it’s not at least 30% off, then it’s not coming home with me. And now that I think about it, those red sequin pumps would be a perfect pairing! So glad I nabbed those when I did.
Good luck out there everyone. May the prices be on your side.