Smart Spending

Strategies for Black Friday Shopping

This year’s best Black Friday strategy maybe to start shopping on Thursday!  While Kmart has been opening on Thursday for a couple of decades, Toys R Us and Wal-Mart broke the mold last year by opening on Thursday night/Friday morning at midnight.  In an ongoing battle for the competitive edge, several other national retail chains are now following suit and opening on Thanksgiving Day.

This year Wal-Mart will begin offering Black Friday at 10 p.m. Thanksgiving Day.  Not to be outdone, Toys R Us will open at 9 p.m. Sears and close to 1,000 Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Gap Outlet and Banana Republic Factory locations across the country will open on Thanksgiving Day.  Check your local listings for opening hours for stores near you.

Best Buy, Kohl’s, Macy’s and Target all will open for the first time at 12:00 a.m. Thursday night/Friday morning.

If you plan to be among the millions who shop on the biggest retail day of the year, here are some tips to keep you from having buyer’s remorse the following day.

Lay Out Your Strategy Now
Plan your strategy by checking out the Black Friday deals retailers have already started unveiling on line.  While you are there, also check out Cyber Monday deals to determine when the item you are interested in is most likely to be on sale.  Now is also the time to Google coupon or promotional codes to maximize your savings.

Wal-Mart’s Black Friday Specials

Target Black Friday Specials

J.C. Penney Black Friday Specials
Best Buy Black Friday Specials

Plan your Shopping List/Budget
While perusing the different specials on line, make out a list of potential purchases and then compare it with your budget.  It is better to rethink your purchases now and adjust before you have spent the grocery money/ maxed out your credit card.

Plan Where You are Going When

Some shoppers will get there the night/day before.  Some of the best deals will launch at midnight, others at 4 a.m. and some will be opening on Thanksgiving Day.  To get the best deals, you will have to be at the front of the line.  Bring a non-shopping teammate(s) that can stand in line for you while you are shopping elsewhere.  Team up with friends to plan a strategy for covering more bases.

Make Decisions Ahead of Time
Do your research in advance and know which blender/digital camera, etc., you are going to buy.  Harried store clerks will not be in the mood to answer your questions or be patient with your indecision.

Keep Your Blinders On and Your Wallet Hidden
Remember your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to keep from going over your budget and to stick with the plan regardless of the eye-catching candy retailers have put out to trap you.  Keep your wallet hidden and keep track of your receipts since one-third of all gifts are returned.

Know Your Limit and Do Not Exceed It.
This all depends on having a plan and sticking to it.

Good Luck!