Image source: DigitalTrends.com
Next week is Thanksgiving and once you recover from the Turkey and tryptophan induced stupor, you may think about getting out and about and fighting with thousands of other shoppers to scoop up Black Friday bargains. If you’re deep in debt or just coming out of bankruptcy you may think this is a good way to get some deals – and maybe it is – but only if you use your money wisely.
Here are 5 ways to make the most of Black Friday sales so you can have a good Christmas and happy holiday despite your money woes:
#1 Plan, Plan, Plan
Black Friday deals can be a super cheap way to take care of your Christmas shopping but only if you take full advantage. You need to develop a plan of attack starting with your budget. No matter how good the deals are, you can’t go over your dollar amount allotted or you’ll end up with financial problems in the New Year (or sooner)! CouponCloset.com has a great – and FREE – Black Friday planner you can download. Get the newspaper, go through all the flyers, highlight what deals you want to get and make a list (be sure to check it twice).
#2 Know Who Will Price Match
This year, many more stores than ever are offering to price match against competitors. Target will match Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy and ToysRUs. Walmart will not match internet retailers but will match other local store ads. ToysRUs will match print ads and online website prices from Walmart, Target, Sears, Kmart and Amazon. Price matching can be critical because if a video game is on sale at Walmart for Black Friday, they may run out quickly. But if you head to Target (and they aren’t featuring that particular game in their sale) you’ll be more likely to find it in stock and can get it at the same low price.
#3 Know What Battles Aren’t Worth Fighting
You also need to approach Black Friday sales with a grain of salt. Understand that although the $200 flat screen HDTV is a great deal, there are likely only a handful of these in each store and you would have to camp out for days to get one or get involved in an epic brawl. If you have to camp out on Thanksgiving and miss your family meal or sacrifice hours of time to get a bargain, it’s really no bargain at all. Any deal that’s way too good to be true is going to be way too hard to get!
#4 Consider Staying Home to Shop
One of the problems with indulging in Black Friday is the spending momentum. You may get caught up in the moment and pile too much stuff into your cart. Or if the deal you want is out, you may be tempted to grab something else just to spend that money. The good news is, this year, many retailers are offering the same (or better) deals online and Amazon is offering a ton of great deals. Shopping online can keep you from engaging in impulse buys when you’re caught up in the moment in the store. Plus, many stores offer free shipping during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
#5 Raincheck Strategy
Here’s one little known strategy that can help you scoop up Black Friday deals even if you’re short on cash. Walmart and other retailers will sometimes offer rainchecks for doorbusters if they run out of advertised sale items. This year’s policy at Walmart is that if you show up within one hour of the doorbuster deal time and they’re sold out, you can get a raincheck for that item. This allows you to buy it at the sale price once it’s in stock anytime up until Christmas. Even if you can’t afford to buy the item on Friday, if you have the time, you can collect rainchecks and then cash them in for good deals later!
Image source: ReadWrite.com
If you do want to try and fight to get the best deals, you should come prepared. Bring a bottle of water, a snack (in case you’re stuck in line for hours), print and bring your planner, copies of flyers for all competing stores and your cell phone. You may want to bring an envelope of cash instead of using a debit or credit card so that you know when you’ve reached the end of your budget so you won't overspend.
If you are frustrated with debts and are considering bankruptcy, contact the law offices of John T Orcutt for a free consultation today!