Black Friday Shopping Tips
It’s that time of year again, time for family, food, football, and the all out war we call “Black Friday”. So buckle your seatbelts, lace up your best running shoes, grab a helmet, whatever blunt object is closest and lets go shopping. Anyone who has ever braved the riots and crowds for the newest flat screen TV’s or latest tickle me Elmo type craze have all got some crazy stories to tell, but all end up developing their best practices to surviving the chaotic day that is “Black Friday”. Many people have said it in different capacities but in this great time of war I’m going to quote Winston Churchill “He who fails to plan, is planning to fail”. After my own adventures and frustrations I have come up with a few helpful tips that will help you get the deals you want and survive to talk about it.
1. Do Your Research
I cannot stress this enough, most important part of your preparation. I remember growing up the most important newspaper my parents received the entire year was the thanksgiving paper. They would scourer the ads for hours deciding where to go the next day, and what to buy. I was always just hoping to get a glimpse on the Toys-R-Us ad hoping to drop some helpful hints. Things have moved to tablets and laptop ads, but still a similar concept. A lot of ads come out digitally a lot sooner now, but this gives you time to research and read reviews on the products. This gives you the opportunity to actually figure out what the best deal is and will keep you out of those nasty exchange lines right after The Holidays. Make sure to check out the Black Friday dedicated websites like bfads.net, blackfriday.info, theblackfriday.com, and gottadeal.com to see whether you are getting the best deal. Some of these sites will even let you filter your search by item. (i.e TV’s, Laptops, Toys). With all these resources at your fingertips, there is no excuse not to be totally prepared and know exactly what you are leaving the house for on Black Friday!
2. Use Your Technology
The Greatest shopping aid of the 21st century is your handheld devices. Before you head out in the wee hours of the morning make sure your phone is fully charged and locked and loaded with the best black friday apps. A few suggestions would be redlaser, shopkick, and shopsavvy (all available for iOS and Andriod devices). These apps allow you see special prices and even compare prices in nearby stores. If you can find it somewhere cheaper you might try showing a manager and seeing if they will match it. This will save time and craziness trying to park and get into another store. BuyVia also has a Black Friday app that will allow you to compare prices and even set up alerts to new deals. If you aren’t taking advantage of these tools you might be missing out on some great savings. (Please don’t forget your phone charger.)
3. Social Media is Your Friend
After you do your research make sure to look up all of your favorite companies and stores on social Media. Check to see what special deals they are running through Facebook, and Twitter. A lot of companies will offer special pricing if you will like their Facebook or follow them on twitter. Some stores will even be doing rotating online sales that they will update through their social media outlets. If you haven’t already go right now to sign up for online newsletters. Companies want you to know about their deals, so by signing up for email alerts and newsletters you can keep informed on anything new, and any last minute deals they are currently keeping secret. Be sure to stay connect to OtterBox on Facebook or Twitter for all the latest deals on products!
4. Know What You Are Spending
The guy in the red suit knows what he’s doing by making a list and checking it twice. There is so much going on in every big box store, mall, and kiosk you come across its easy to get distract by every outrageous deal and shinny toy you see. If you plan correctly you will know exactly where you are going and what you going to get. Check out the app “Gift It” it’s a great gift shopping app that allows you to make a shopping list and dedicate each purchase to a certain person and cross them off as you go. Also don’t be distracted by the sneaky sales people trying to upsell you to a new product or ad on packages of things you might not need. At this point you should already be the expert on the products you want, go in get what’s on your list, get in line and get out. This way when you get home you don’t have a heart attack looking at your credit card statement.
5. Plan Your Route
At this point you’ve done your research, looked for the best deals, made your list, your phone is charged and apped up. Now its time for you to plan your route. Stores open at crazy times starting as early as thanksgiving evening. Knowing which stores will have a line and when the best time to get there is a key component of Black Friday success. A lot of regions are different so make sure you check your local opening times for stores, shopping centers, and malls. Decide what items will go the quickest and what’s the most important to you. Then plan your route accordingly so you don’t waist to much time sitting in the car deciding where to go next, and looking up directions.
We all know “Black Friday” can be chaotic, fast paced, and down right scary, but if you plan accordingly you can really take a lot of the stress right out of it. Use these tips and do your research. These amazing deals only come around once a year, make sure you are ahead of the game, and take advantage of the information at your fingertips.
Hope these tips will help you this holiday season, good luck and happy shopping! And be sure to check out the OtterBox Black Friday sale on Friday!