Black Friday is quickly approaching, and shoppers across the country are excited for all the great deals to be had. In 2018, nearly half (48%) of American Black Friday shoppers spent more than $500 on great deals. This year that number is expected to increase to 54%.
As the day after the last major holiday before Christmas, Black Friday marks the unofficial beginning of the holiday shopping season. With rock bottom prices, doorbuster deals and discounts-a-plenty, some would say Black Friday is the Olympics of shopping. With any sport, one has to prepare and plan to be successful — the same goes for Black Friday. If you’re not sure where to start, fear not, we’ve got you covered. Savings Expert Lauren Greutman has shared her top Black Friday shopping tips to help you stretch your shopping dollars to the max! Enjoy the thrill of the hunt and the thrill of more money in your pocket with these simple but powerful tips.
1. Start planning at least two weeks in advance
If you want to stay one step ahead, you should start planning early. 60% of Americans plan their Black Friday shopping at least two weeks in advance, while 18% of those start researching items to buy even earlier. Prioritize which items you’re going to purchase on Black Friday, and decide which ones you’re better off buying later. I usually shift gears to full-on planning mode two weeks before Black Friday, since that’s when most stores will have advertised a lot of their deals.
2. Do your research
Digital ads are extremely helpful for Black Friday research, which is why I use the Flipp app to skim through all the store circulars in my area and clip deals I’m interested in. Not only can I browse store ads on Flipp, but I can also search for specific items. If I’m looking for an item in particular, I just type it in the search section within the app, which pulls up all available deals at different stores. This feature works miracles when I’m short on time, allowing me to quickly find and compare prices.
3. Stay focused with a shopping list
Let’s be clear. Just because a deal is a great deal doesn’t mean that you have to purchase it. This is where your shopping list comes in. Make a list of everything you need to buy before you set foot in-store. Your shopping list will help you stay focused and avoid the temptation of a “good” deal that will simply make you spend more than you anticipated. Take advantage of Flipp’s shopping list to stay on track while shopping.
4. Set up a holiday fund
We all know how expensive the holiday season can get. That’s why Black Friday is the perfect opportunity to tackle your holiday shopping while prices are low. With this in mind, I usually start a holiday fund at the beginning of the year, setting aside a small amount each month. In November, we go through our fund and figure out how much we have to spend on decorations, gifts, home supplies, etc. If you haven’t done this yet, I strongly recommend you try this strategy in the new year.
5. Plan out your gifts
Once you figure out your total Black Friday shopping budget, allocate a dollar amount for each person on your list. Some folks on your list might receive $10-15 gifts, while others may get gifts in the $50 range. There’s no reason to feel guilty about how much you spend on each person, or that the amounts are not equal. No one needs to know how much you spent, and your loved ones will appreciate the gesture no matter what.
6. Don’t sacrifice your Thanksgiving
According to a study conducted by Flipp, 80% of Black Friday shoppers in America would be willing to give up their Thanksgiving dinner for the right deal during Black Friday. You don’t have to take such drastic measures to enjoy Black Friday savings, though. Most stores have hourly sales and deals, like Walmart. If you plan things right, you can get the bulk of your shopping done before and after your Thanksgiving holiday, since many stores have begun their sales as early as Wednesday, with some stores even extending them past Friday.
7. Shop at multiple stores
This tip goes hand-in-hand with your Black Friday planning and research. Instead of going to one store to get everything on your list, you should know from your research where you can get each item for the best price. Retailers usually attract shoppers in-store with a couple of great deals, in the hopes that you’ll stick around to shop for other products that might not have as big of a discount. Take control and shop smart by visiting a few different places!
8. Shop for electronics first
Electronics is the number one category for Black Friday shoppers, with 64% planning to purchase items in this category. Seasoned Black Friday shoppers know that electronics sell out fast, and stores only usually get a few of each item to sell. Laptops, TV’s, smart home accessories, tablets, and video game systems are the most popular items this year. If any of these are on your list, tackle them first. Fashion and apparel are also in high demand, although they tend to not sell out as fast. Stores have enough apparel in stock, so shop for your electronics first.
9. Shop from front to back
Most retailers put their best deals front and center, so plan to shop from the front of the store to the back. Most stores are only allocated a certain amount of those doorbuster deals, and once they’re gone, they’re gone. If you want any of these deals, I recommend that you arrive at store opening or close to it. Once you’re there, focus your attention on the deals at the front, and then work your way back.
10. Split up the shopping
With a little help from a friend, your Black Friday shopping can be a breeze. I usually try to shop with my spouse to split up the work. By using the shopping list on Flipp, we share the shopping duties and check off the items as we shop. The Flipp shopping list automatically updates, allowing us to shop through a broader area of the store or at multiple stores at a time.
11. Shop online when possible
Over the last couple of years, I’ve been doing a significant chunk of my Black Friday shopping online. I make it a point to note when each store’s Black Friday deals go live online, and enjoy the convenience of shopping from home. By shopping online, I can get exactly the items I need without the temptation of buying additional items (which is usually what happens in-store). Not to mention that avoiding the Black Friday crowds is always a plus!
Whether you’re new to the Black Friday game or you’re a seasoned vet, these tips will help ensure a successful shopping day. Do you have any other Black Friday shopping tips? We’d love to hear them. Let us know by tagging us on Twitter and Facebook @getflipp!