If you haven’t seen or experienced the mayhem of Black Friday shopping, count yourself lucky. It’s a veritable feeding frenzy of mad crowds trying to snatch up anything and everything they come into contact with – whether they need it or not. You don’t want to be caught unprepared and blindly following the throng through a minefield of fake discounts and poor-quality products. Research is the name of the game, and once you’ve started making use of this tip, you’ll wonder how you ever went without. Having a solid plan in place, differentiating between what you need and what you want and making lists of where those things might be found, is the first step in a success Black Friday journey.
Gift cards are the ticket
An overlooked and often undervalued phenomenon is that of the humble gift card. Gift cards aren’t only for grandmothers and acquaintances we don’t know well enough to choose a gift for, they are also incredibly useful when dealing with Black Friday sales. A lot of stores might not offer discounts on them, but just because they aren’t advertising it left and right, doesn’t mean they aren’t, so it’s always worth asking. It’s literally money in your pocket and gifts for the rest of the year without the stress of running around a shop trying to nab the best deals.
For many who’ve been shopping Back Friday sales since they can remember, the whole maddening, adrenalin-fuelled store experience is actually welcome and exciting, and if that describes you, then do go ahead and enjoy, but if you’re anything like me and the vast majority of crowd-averse people worldwide, grabbing a gift card online might just be your salvation.
Read lots of reviews
As we near Black Friday 2021 you may have seen or heard of smaller brands making a splash on the market, and with the price of items being significantly lower, the temptation to save might be too much, but beware. Smaller or no-name brands are sometimes very good at marketing items as being just as good quality as the big dogs, and in some rare occasions this is true, but the majority of the time, it’s not. Big brands are expensive for a reason – you’re paying for quality and trust.
Read plenty of reviews on reputable websites, and make sure they aren’t just bot reviews or paid ones either. We are extremely lucky to have the internet at our disposal for easy research, so why not take advantage of that? Of course, this requires you to have made a list of items you need and want. Once again, planning is essential. If a price seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Check your emails
Signing up for store newsletters is nothing new, and though the endless stream of spam from websites we don’t remember signing up for can be infuriating, when it comes to Black Friday it can actually be a huge, time saving advantage. Most stores will send out advanced email notifications about the sale and what kind of discounts to expect, as well as coupons, discount codes and vouchers, and early access. Signing up for the emails a couple of months early might also give you access to possibly even better deals that on Black Friday, making it a lot easier to shop overall.
Be cautious about prices
You don’t need to be told that, just because something is part of the Black Friday madness does not make it magically cheaper. How often have you seen stores advertise something as discounted when in reality it’s down to its regular price from bloated prices of a few months ago? Or it’s only discounted by a tiny percentage? It’s the oldest trick in the book, yet we’ve all fallen for it at least once. Once again, having done your research beforehand puts you ahead of the game, and enables you to think more critically about the pricing, especially when it comes to things you don’t need. Setting up your accounts and email notifications ahead of time will have given you all the pricing knowledge to spot a fake discount a mile away, and having done your research and price-matched on different stores and websites give will help you narrow down the truly fantastic deals from the bogus ones.