Money Matters - Simplified

Black Friday Shopping? Get Ready

From planning what to buy and how, these tips will help you make the most of your holiday shopping this Black Friday.

If you are obsessed with saving money, Black Friday can just be the right day for you to bag great bargains.

But before you hit the stores and start jostling with the crowds on the biggest shopping day of the year, go through the following tips to save yourself some hassle.

1. Research
Begin with taking out some time today to research what exactly will be available at a discount.

Check newspapers and circulars for Black Friday deals. Visit websites like Black Friday, Bradsdeals and BFAdsnet for latest advertisements.

If you are considering buying electronics, check Decide. The site has advice on whether to buy a product now or to wait for a further price cut or a new model.

2. Plan Out
Once you're done with research, make a list of all the items you want and decide on a plan of action for the day so that you can better spend your time on getting your hands on the deals. Have answers to these:

What time will you leave the house?
Which all stores will you visit?
Which stores will you hit first?
What route will you take?

3. Arm Yourself With Smartphone Apps
Even if you have done enough research on the Black Friday deals, a great offer might still go unnoticed.

To streamline your shopping experience, download some great smartphone apps. Be sure that you are comfortable with them before you hit the stores, and that your smartphone is charged.

4. Shop With Buddies
Team up with like-minded friends and family members who love to hunt for bargains.

As many of the stores offer only limited quantities at a discount, divide the stores or sections of stores between your group. This will not only help you save time but also increase the chances of scoring great deals.

5. Dress Comfortably And Carry a Snack
Black Friday is not the day to bother about how you look when you've to up at 4:00 a.m (or maybe even earlier this year as stores like Target, Best Buy, Kohl’s and Macy’s are opening at midnight).

Considering that it is the craziest and longest shopping day of the year, you'll be better off in your athletic shoes and a comfortable sweater.

Also, to maintain your energy and stay hydrated, carry a snack like apples or an energy bar, and a bottle of water.

6. Don't Get Lured by Doorbusters
We often get attracted to doorbusters due to their low price, unaware of the dirty secrets of such high-discount deals.

Did you know that big ticket items like TVs offered as doorbusters may be derivative models created specially for this day, and that they lack many features found in the manufacturer's standard lines?

Also, many doorbusters are old models of a certain item, and the retailer is just trying to clear out old stock. So before you buy such items, make sure they suit your needs.

7. Check For Price Guarantees
Even if you are confident that your shopping has been at rock bottom prices, the bargain shopping process doesn't end there. Keep checking for price guarantees.

Though most stores suspend price guarantees during Black Friday, there is no harm in asking the retailer. In case the store has the program, you'll be entitled to a refund if the item is offered at a lower price on a later date during the holiday shopping season.