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Black Friday Shopping Tips

November 26, 2014
  1. Is it really a bargain? Know the real price. Is it something you really want or need? Is it a quality product?
  2. Plan ahead. Check ads in your local paper or online. Store websites sometimes have additional information and coupons.  Load store apps on your smart phone so you can check for last minute deals and updates.  Make a shopping list in advance.  The list can be people for whom you’re shopping or a list of items that you want to purchase.  Set a spending limit in advance so you’ll be less tempted to overspend.
  3. Read the details. Door buster items or big discounts may be “while supplies last” or limited supplies only. Some stores don’t offer rainchecks on Black Friday.  Find out which stores offer price matching on Black Friday and take advertisements with you.  Sometimes you can save time by asking for a price match of an item that’s on sale somewhere else.  However – some stores that typically offer price matching may not do so on Black Friday.  Be sure to know the store’s return policies.
  4. Pace yourself. Plan ahead to know when stores open and where you’ll go when for the best prices. Some stores open on Thanksgiving evening, some at midnight, others might offer “early bird” specials. If your most important purchase is “while supplies last” you might want to plan to go to that store first and be in line early. Save some room in your holiday budget for future purchases.  Remember, there are still bargains to be had at:
    1. Small Business Saturday – enjoy supporting local businesses and find unique items
    2. Super Sunday
    3. Cyber Monday
  5. Shop online. Many retailers also offer Black Friday deals to online shoppers. Some online companies don’t wait for Cyber Monday but also offer Black Friday sales. Some companies offer free shipping. If not, consider if the item is still a bargain after you add the cost of shipping.
  6. Consider your best form of payment. Typically credit cards offer better consumer protection against fraud. Limit the cards you carry. If you carry cash, keep an eye on your purse or wallet. If you use a debit card, protect your PIN.  If you use credit cards, limit spending to what you can repay in a reasonable amount of time so that you don’t end up adding to the cost of your purchases with months of interest charges.
  7. Combine Discounts -store sales plus coupons and even manufacture coupons or rebates can add up to your biggest savings.
  8. Beware of impulse buys. Advertised sale items are designed to get you in the door.  Store displays are designed to prompt impulse buys.
  9. Shop safely. Be conscientious about your personal safety.  Shop with a friend or with a group.  Be aware of your surroundings. Park and walk in well-lighted areas.
  10. Keep your receipt. Compare it to your bank statement or credit card statement. If the item is going to be a gift, be sure to ask for a gift receipt.

 

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