Black Friday Inspired Shopping Strategies

by Silicon Valley Blogger on 2011-11-2017

Black Friday marks the beginning of the huge holiday shopping season when some of the best deals around are unearthed. Are you ready to join the big crowds and brave the shopping lines and traffic?

For those of you who are into this shopping holiday craze, here are some tips. They’re pretty applicable and should remain pretty useful for any form of shopping you intend to do this coming season.

Black Friday Shopping Tips and Tricks

#1 Get organized before shopping.
Get your Black Friday coupons together, finalize your list of stuff to buy, strategize with your family. If you’re serious about making this an event worth your while, then why not get your family involved? Assign different family members different stores to visit in order to take advantage of the promotions. Without a plan, you may not get as much bang for the buck and you’ll just be treating the event like any other shopping experience, maybe just wasting your time. Remember that the family that shops well together, stays together. But if you’re out there to just window shop, then that’s another story of course.

#2 Prioritize your list of things to buy and stores to visit.
If you’re like me, then you’re not the type who can shop all day long. I used to enjoy shopping much more when I was younger and had more energy ;). These days, I budget my time as well as my money when I go out to shop — usually because I get either bored or exhausted after walking around the malls for a couple of hours. If time is an issue for you, then ensure that your list is prioritized, and you’ve planned your logistical route for the day.

#3 Shopping on Black Friday is like visiting Disneyland — get in early to save time and hassle!
Believe it or not but there are hard-core shoppers out there who look upon the event as an “experience” or part of their family “tradition”. If you see that line snaking out of a store the night before Black Friday, then those are some serious consumers who’ve decided to camp out to beat everyone else to the merchandise. Now that’s something just completely out of the question for me, but it could actually be “fun” for some people.

#4 Watch out for specials.
There are promotions that may only be valid for Black Friday. “Doorbusters” and “Early Bird Specials” may only run from 5 am to a few hours afterwards. If you miss these, not to worry, there are tons more shopping sales to find every retail season.

#5 Shop online.
Now that’s more like it. The web has its own version of Black Friday deals which I no doubt prefer over the offline shopping experience.

#6 Check out a store’s pricematch policy.
Find out if a store has a “lowest-price” guarantee or policy — if so, make copies of the pricing information for the products in question that are being advertised for less. Price guarantees may not extend to products available on the internet but you can attempt to persuade the store further by providing copies of the pricing from web sites (especially if it’s from their own web site). What’s great about valid pricematch guarantees is the convenience of buying the products in one store at those lower prices. As mentioned, this entails preparation and price comparisons of products available at various stores.

#7 Buy earlier, then return/rebuy on day of sale.
This may not be entirely ethical, so first inquire if this is within a store’s policy to honor. The return policy may explain or hint at the acceptability of this tactic. Those who have already bought a particular item before a big sale may be tempted to visit a store on the day of a sale, only to return the item they’ve purchased earlier, which they then repurchase at a lower price. I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of customers do this sort of thing. Here are more tips on returning and exchanging merchandise.

When Is Black Friday? Mark Your Calendars!

Some people will say you need to prepare several days in advance for an event like this, treating it like a sport. For those who want a small reminder of when Black Friday sits in the calendar, there’s this nifty tool from calendar-365.com that gives us a countdown. Here’s a screenshot of the schedule (minus the countdown, which is a dynamic number that gets updated daily):

Black Friday Calendar or Schedule from 2011 through 2021

So are you raring to shop? In my case, I’m just a casual shopper who’ll be taking it easy. Sales come and go, after all. I usually take note of Black Friday to see if it can give us a glimpse of the current state of the global economy. In years past, we saw a surge in foreign travelers who would go shopping for these deals all the way here, thanks to currency exchange shifts. Let’s see how the season unfolds this year.

Created November 23, 2007. Updated November 20, 2011. Copyright © 2011 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

plonkee November 23, 2007 at 12:56 pm

It’s certainly true that the biggest money saving tip for Xmas shopping this year in the UK is to buy from US$ websites. Even with shipping it seems to be working out cheaper with the exchange rate.

thewild1 November 23, 2007 at 3:04 pm

Hmmm… I actually prefer avoiding the crowds than saving a few extra dollars.

Broke Grad Student November 23, 2007 at 9:53 pm

#5 is the only tip I need nowadays.

The Financial Blogger November 24, 2007 at 4:35 am

#8 Get an helmet and leave your kids home ;-) . I heard that Black Friday could result into quite a mess! We have something similar in Canada right after Xmas (Boxing Day) and it is definitely not a day to go out unless you really know what you are looking for!

vh November 24, 2007 at 7:41 am

Huge discovery made yesterday: Grocery stores are almost empty on Black Friday! Hot diggety.

Broke & almost out of food right before TG, I relied on family to bring the side dishes (I provided the lamb, out of the freezer). Money arrived yesterday and so I had to make runs on Trader Joe’s and Basha’s to replenish the larder. Was dreading having to share the roads and other public spaces with frenzied hordes of shoppers–I normally stay out of stores on Black Friday. But no: everybody’s either noshing on leftovers or fighting for bargains. I breezed in and out of three grocery stores in record time, and then saved $45 on my son’s Xmas present by ordering it online.

What a wonderful, calm day! Wish retailers would do Black Fridays once a week, so we nonparticipants could enjoy the peace & quiet in the World Beyond Acquisition.

There are just as many deals to be had in the weeks after Christmas, and the scene is a great deal less crazy.

Due Dads March 7, 2009 at 12:53 pm

I have got a report of an Internet Customer survey which says that nearly 86% of online shoppers are 100% satisfied with products that were bought through the internet. I think every internet user should go with internet shopping.

Black Friday June 1, 2009 at 8:16 am

Tip # 5 is the best one. Definitely shop online during BF. You can get all the deals and avoid the crowded stores + long lines.

Bob October 21, 2009 at 10:00 am

Like some of you, I’d rather not get mobbed at the stores on black friday; I’d rather do my shopping online. So far this year I’ve already seen some great online deals for black friday.

Samuel Peery November 27, 2009 at 12:30 pm

Great article. I’ve found that there are some little-known ways of shopping via RSS feeds. You can get real-time updates when items you’re looking for go on sale. You can also use RSS to get updates when the items you’re looking for are posted for sale on Craigslist. I actually just posted about it on Wednesday with several detailed screencast videos.

Don@moneyreasons.com November 27, 2009 at 6:50 pm

Wow, great strategies, for #1, people in my neck of the wood expand the buyer pool by coordinating with friends too. That way, they get to hit more stores, to get those really great items that go off the shelves too quickly.

Kosmo @ The Casual Observer November 28, 2009 at 8:55 am

Three little words. Steel toed boots. Great for kicking.

Black Friday is just crazy. Count me out.

Michael - The Fat Loss Authority November 29, 2009 at 9:21 am

No thanks… better strategy is to go the week before and snap up the nice stuff. Is an extra 10% off really worth the drive to acton ;) ?

Mike

Mia June 16, 2010 at 8:08 pm

Great tips for savings around the most expensive time of year – thanks. I love online shopping, lots of sales and very little hassle – delivered right to your door, too easy!

John Rowe November 20, 2011 at 12:40 pm

I don’t believe that Black Friday is worth the trouble. My reasons:

  • You can now do your Black Friday shopping online so why bother going out there to get hassled?
  • The products that are discounted aren’t of the best quality or aren’t what the store considers their top products.
  • Products on sale today may turn out to have the same prices by Christmas time.
  • Fans of Black Friday are usually doing it as part of a habit or tradition, but for everyone else, trying it out once may be enough.

I am shopping later!

krantcents November 20, 2011 at 5:00 pm

I think I will skip Black Friday and I will opt for Cyber Monday! Black Friday is so old school. :)

Silicon Valley Blogger November 20, 2011 at 8:45 pm

@Krantcents,
Either way, that whole weekend is sacred to all serious shoppers! Start oiling your wallets and revving your credit cards. It’s time to get this economy hopping. ;-) Ok, you know I’m kidding. We’re planning to be understated about celebrations this year.

jewel November 22, 2011 at 5:34 am

#4 is important to me. First, find out what the specials are and then check for the deals and offers. Then it’s very simple to start shopping. Good post!

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