Black Friday and Cyber Monday are believed to be the best days to shop and save. In the past years, shopping on these days has become so popular that people around the world are ready to spend sleepless nights and get ready for these great sales weeks in advance. However, the secret of efficiency is not in the tortures you have to endure to wait in the line or the efforts you make to get through the day. No, the secret of a successful shopping on Black Friday is in scrupulous planning and perfect organization. Below we offer you the best Black Friday lifehacks to help you win the day over.
Black Friday lifehacks: before the Day X
Make a wish list and stick to it
Remember how you come to a department store and buy a whole cart of stuff instead of a single sticky tape? Well, that’s how stores are built – to get you to buy everything you haven’t planned to. The stores offering Black Friday sales will go even deeper and think over their goods positions perfectly to get you to buy everything! Moreover, if you begin to squander during the rush hour, you risk not buying the thing you needed or wanted to. So make a list of things you want/need to buy, and when entering the store get only this item and proceed to the cash register. This will save you lots of time on purposeless wandering and a lot of money on unnecessary purchases.
Set a budget
This is in continuation of the previous idea. If you have no money limit, you are likely to spend much more than planned! Much more! Unless you are ready to do so, set the tentative budget and the desired budget. Try to stay within the desired budget and keep in mind that there is still some buffer for the urgently needed things.
Get the armor ready
If you’re planning to sit in a line, prepare your chair and a rug to stay warm; if you’re planning to literally run all over the city, then prepare comfy clothes that won’t get you tired, as heeled shoes do. If you want to stay peppy all day long and cannot begin your day without a coffee, then prepare it all from the evening. This will save you a lot of time waiting in the Starbucks line or resting after hours of shopping. Maximize your efforts by minimizing extra useless movements.
Create a travel route
Don’t try to visit more than 4-5 stores this Black Friday since you are very unlikely to do it and stay sane and happy about the purchases. Mark those stores where you definitely will buy something and go for them. Even if you’re going with your family, still keep these numbers in mind. Besides that, try to think of logistics as much as possible. It concerns not only relocations around the city (consider using a bike on such a busy day instead of a car) but also your action plan inside of stores. To know exactly where a particular item will be sold on Black Friday, come to these stores on Wednesday, a day before the Thanksgiving, when most of the staff will be planning the arrangement of goods for the big sale on Friday.
Look for coupons in print
On the week of Thanksgiving, many retailers also post special offers for their customers in printed media, magazines, beauty press, etc. So if you’re up to read a couple of printed things, then look for the special coupons there as well! This hint is among those Black Friday lifehacks that people frequently oversee in the era of digitalization. So be smarter and don’t miss a chance to save!
Create accounts in advance
Yes, it’s Tuesday already but you still have time to set up accounts on the websites of your favorite stores to minimize the time required for buying an item on the Day X. Among the important Black Friday lifehacks here is the need to complete your shipping and billing details and saving them on your account. In this way, you can minimize the time required for completing the order.
Look for free shipping
This can be done in a form of a research. Go to the online store you’re planning to buy from and read their shipping rules and look for the free shipping offers. Sometimes the purchase cost must exceed a particular sum, pay attention to this fact as well. If you can’t find a free shipping deal, check the possibility to send all the items to the nearest store, frequently it allows saving on the shipping costs as well.
Leave the filled cart
Most online stores get upset when customers abandon their filled baskets and don’t proceed to pay for them. Even though it’s only a couple of days before the Black Friday, you can still try to trick them. Typically, online stores will send you notifications asking to complete your order and offer you a small (10%-15%) discount as an incentive. You can check here the list of online retailers who tend to do such a thing. However, note that this is not a sure deal!
Use price protection programs
This trick works with Discover, Citi, and Mastercard cards. They all have price protection programs which will adjust the price even for the completed purchase. This is one of the best Black Friday lifehacks one can ever hope for. What you do is normally purchase an item you want and save the receipt for it. You will also need a copy of the ad with the lower price that can be done on Black Friday. Once the great sales are over, you submit your purchase original receipt, credit card statement that proves the completed purchase, and also a dated ad with the lower price (remember that a note from the store manager on stationery will also work well). After submitting just get your refund!
Note: among the similar Black Friday lifehacks is the idea of shopping through Ebates. All you need is set up a free profile and complete your orders through the app. Most often you will get even higher rebates together with up to 26% cash back.
Sign up on social media
Liking a page on social media platforms doesn’t oblige you to perform any actions, however, it gives you the advantage of knowing about all brand’s sales and special offers first. So if you want to prepare for this Black Friday, sign up for all accounts a store has – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. Remember that some brands have special offers only for their subscribers, so use this advantage as well!
Note: You may find a huge number of fake deals and links on social media. Some may steal your personal data while others simply won’t work as they suppose to. To avoid such scams, don’t fill any personal data forms since retailers don’t need them in most cases (remember we’re talking about social media accounts). And preferably, just make screenshots of the best deals without interacting with any links and click-to-action buttons.
Get special offers
Retailers love loyal customers so they offer them personalized coupons and deals via mail. Yes, the timing is pretty limited since the Black Friday is almost here. However, there are special coupons that stores may send to all their subscribers via mail. Don’t lose a chance to get some discounts here as well. Sign up for the promotional offers from retailers and expect to get special discounts before Day X.
Note: Remember that right after the Black Friday is over, you can always unsubscribe from all the mailing lists.
Black Friday lifehacks: on the Day X
Use a credit card to pay
The thing here is to use a credit card for all payments instead of a debit card. In this way, your bank will complete footing the bill should the transaction goes wrong. In case the products aren’t as promised by the seller or fail to arrive at all, the card company has a liability and so will have to refund you the money.
Professional lawyers note that in practice, getting this kind of refund might not be that easy however under the “Section 75” the company is obliged to do so. To prove that the delivered item differs from the one you ordered, take screenshots of the ads or website parts as a proof.
Ask for the coupon codes online
If you see a Live Chat icon in the retailer’s online store, then don’t hesitate to ask the assistant for a coupon code. You can check a list of retailers who tend to hand over coupons in such a way. Don’t be ashamed and don’t feel awkward about doing so since not everyone knows about such Black Friday lifehacks, and moreover, you can literally save about 10%-20% by asking just one question. Isn’t it the best deal ever?
Beware of frauds
Not all retailers lower their prices for the Black Friday sale. Some jack up prices for a day and then write that some discounts apply. As a result, you risk literally paying more even under the label of sale. What you can do is download CamelCamelCamel app which will tell you a complete pricing history of the item. This way you will be able to check what price exists or existed for the item and so might reconsider buying it on the spur of the moment.
Turn on the push notifications
Just for a day, turn on all push notifications on your phone. This will allow you to follow all deals and hot offers of the retailers that are posted every second during the Black Friday rush hour. Among the best working apps are Clutch, Pounce, RedLaser, and RetailMeNot.
And a final note
Yes, on Black Friday retailers promise to give the best deals and give you the lowest price. However, remember that most Black Friday deals continue to stay at least until the Cyber Monday if not till the Christmas sales. So if you are afraid to miss something on the Day X, don’t mourn over it, you still have another shot.