The Dos and Don’ts of Black Friday Shopping

November 21, 2018

Once you’ve polished off the final morsel of Thanksgiving turkey, it’s time to turn your attention to the next task at hand: shopping for holiday gifts. Nowadays, Black Friday begins long before the clock strikes midnight with online deals and Thanksgiving-evening store openings. But the day after Thanksgiving remains one of the most budget-friendly day to shop for gifts. If you’re braving the Black Friday crowds this year, take note of these dos and dont’s. 

  1. Do: Have a game plan in place. Black Friday shopping isn’t for the faint of heart, and if you don’t have a game plan, you’ll end up getting swept up in the crowd and wandering aimlessly from store to store. Do your research into the best deals and know exactly which stores you want to hit up before Black Friday actually rolls around.

  2. Don’t: Fall for fake “deals.” When Black Friday was still a new thing, you could really count on deals being deals. But now that Black Friday has expanded into Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, many retailers don’t feel the same pressure to slash their prices. Instead, some hike up prices right before Black Friday, then offer faux ”discounts” that actually just reset prices at market value. Keep an eye on prices pre-Thanksgiving to make sure you’re actually getting a good deal.

  3. Do: Set a budget in stone. It’s easy to get into a Black Friday mentality that goes something like this: “I might as well get it now—it’ll be more expensive later.” This may be true, but that doesn’t mean you should splurge on things you don’t need. Come up with a realistic budget for your Black Friday shopping and stick to it!

  4. Don’t: Face the hordes alone. Since Black Friday deals tend to draw crowds, it’s a good idea to bring along a buddy to ensure that you’re safe and stay on track. Another good safety tip: don’t bring along valuables and keep an eye on your wallet. It’s easy to lose track of your purse in a crowded department store.

Top 10 Black Friday Shopping Tips for 2018 [Consumer Reports]
Top 27 Black Friday Shopping Tips to Snag the Best Deals [Money Crashers]
What to Buy (and Skip) on Black Friday 2018 [NerdWallet]

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