It’s November, which means Thanksgiving is around the corner, which means Black Friday will be here before you know it. Despite not being as big of a deal in recent years, Black Friday still marks the start of major holiday savings. We want to make sure you can get those bargains without being disappointed, so here are seven ways to stay safe and shop smart during your 2017 holiday shopping.
It Pays to Prepare
In order to make the most out of this year’s Black Friday sales, you have to be organized and do your research ahead of time. Many retail outlets actually start their discounts early so that customers can have more time to shop and not get fatigued. Online warehouses, like Amazon and Ebay, often start their sales the week of Thanksgiving with deeper discounts posted on the day itself.
It’s Okay to Penny-Pinch
During these big sales events, you want to spend your money carefully. Plan out what you want to buy and then search around for the best deal available. Do not hit the “Place Order” button until you are absolutely sure you are getting a significant saving. This time of year, it’s worth playing the waiting game to get the best deals.
Why not? You’ve just come off a night of heavy foods and good fun, so let yourself sleep in a bit on Black Friday and shop from home. Online shopping lets you avoid the long lines and crowds of in-store holiday shopping. Many deals go online at midnight. So if you’re a natural night owl/early bird, you may want to consider getting some very early shopping done when the servers are less likely to be bogged down.
Protect Your Feet!
Please, if you decide to brave the Black Friday crowds this year, dress for comfort. You’re going to be walking all over various stores, all day long, and you’ll be pushing your way through dense crowds of other shoppers. So be sure to wear comfortable sneakers and layer-up! It may be cold in the line outside, but as soon as you get inside and start moving around with everyone else it’s going to get warm.
Location is Key
If you can’t normally find a parking spot at your shopping mall of choice, it will only be worse on Black Friday. Search around for a mall with less foot traffic and fewer cars. This will be your best place to find a bargain without having to fight other customers for a parking spot (or that last Smart TV).
Get ahead of the Game
Stakeout the stores you plan on hitting ahead of time. Look around the store and locate the items you’ll want to purchase on Black Friday. You should also locate the closest register that will enable you quickly get in and out.
Do NOT Bring Your Kids
Leave them home. Trust us, not only will bringing your children slow you down, but the chance of them being kidnapped increases in such a crowded, hectic environment. If you absolutely cannot afford to leave your kids at home, and you must bring them with you on Black Friday, make sure they know their address and phone number. In fact, put that information on a suitcase tag and stick it on their belt loop, jacket zipper, or in their pocket before taking them shopping.
Finally, remember to never share any personal or financial information on an unsecured WIFI network and save a copy of all your transactions, both online and in-store. Armed with this survival guide, go out there and have a bountiful holiday haul!