The busiest shopping day of the year, Black Friday, is fast-approaching, but it’s possible to find major deals without waking up before dawn after Thanksgiving or battling the crowds and frigid temperatures, according to ShopSmart magazine.
Here are some Black Friday shopping tips to help consumers avoid splurging and making irrational purchases:
- Start now. The holiday shopping season starts earlier every year, and it’s possible to find deals now.
- Track the ads. Black Friday shopping sites such as BFads.net, BlackFriday.info, BlackFriday.net and TheBlackFriday.com can simplify holiday shopping. Year-round sites such as FatWallet.com and GottaDeal.com and mobile apps such as Black Friday can also help consumers find great deals.
- Use social networking sites to your advantage. You can like your favorite retail stores on Facebook or follow them on Twitter for advance notice of special sales.
- Shop Small Business Saturday. Many local businesses offer specials on Black Friday and the next day. The day after Black Friday has been dubbed Small Business Saturday to encourage shoppers to visit neighborhood retailers.
Here are some additional Black Friday shopping tips from Andrea Woroch, a consumer and money-saving expert at Kinoli Inc.:
- Develop a strategy. Review Black Friday store ads ahead of time and select your shopping destinations based on sales. Consider shopping at the mall for easy access to many stores and less driving. Many door busters have limited quantities, so shoppers should also determine how many of particular items will be sold at each store.
- Make a detailed list. Shoppers can even save a copy in their smartphone. Include details such as the model number to help you locate items quickly.
- Stay connected to Facebook and Twitter. Even when you’re standing in line on Black Friday, check the Facebook and Twitter pages of your favorite stores for the latest updates on deals.
- Make sure you’re getting a deal. Simply because a price has been slashed doesn’t mean you’re getting a good deal. Many stores lower prices on unpopular items to clear them out. Do your homework to make sure you’re getting a quality product.
- Bring a shopping partner. This increases your chances of snagging limited-quantity deals. During the wait in long lines, it also leaves a place holder if someone needs to use the restroom.
Black Friday Preview: For the first time, Walmart is offering customers a preview of its Black Friday specials. Customers who sign up at Walmart.com or Facebook.com/Walmart will be able to view specials on top electronics, toys, apparel and more. Walmart will reveal the specials soon.
Walmart has also created some holiday offerings:
Christmas Price Guarantee: If a customer buys an eligible product at Walmart anytime through Dec. 25 and then finds that same product advertised for less at another store, Walmart will give the customer a gift card for the difference through Dec. 25.
The Christmas Price Guarantee is valid on purchases of identical items (same brand, size, color, quantity, grade and model number) that are available at competitor’s stores located within the same local market as a particular Walmart store.
Holiday Credit Offer: Shoppers can receive no interest on every in-store or Walmart.com purchase in November and December if they pay their Walmart Credit Card in full within six months. No minimum dollar amount is required.
Save on Shipping: Nearly 95 percent of walmart.com products is eligible for free shipping via Site to Store, Pick Up Today, FedEx Site to Store and Home Free shipping programs. With Home Free, customers can ship any apparel and consumables order over $45 for free directly to their home.
Win a $50 Gift Card: Donate a whole turkey to Earth Fare’s efforts to feed local families and enter to win a $50 Earth Fare gift card. There will be one winner per store. The promotion ends Nov. 23.
Sam’s Club Holiday Site and Mobile App: Sam’s Club has launched a holiday shopping site, SamsClub.com/gifts, which is available to members and non-members through Dec. 24. It will feature a daily “Holiday Value of the Day,” such as online exclusives, gifts with free shipping and instant savings. The site will also have digital versions of the Gift Guide and Entertaining catalogs, a listing of weekly savings events and shipping cut-off dates.
Sam’s Club also has a free mobile app, which is available at m.SamsClub.com or by texting “APP” to 72671. Message and data rates may apply. Membership is not required to use the app, but non-members will be charged a 10 percent upcharge on all SamsClub.com and mobile app purchases.
Hungry? 11 Cent Tacos: On Tuesday, Barberitos customers can receive 11 cent tacos with the purchase of a drink.