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The Front Porch Blog

Education on all things homeownership

12 Tips for Shopping this Black Friday

November 16, 2017 Lifestyle

Black Friday, a time of staying up late, camping out, and rushing through the doors of your favorite stores! What better way to say goodbye to Fall than with a new 60” 4K HDTV or Ninja Blender? With Black Friday being the biggest discount day of the year, many Americans take this chance to buy items they’ve been eyeing all year long! Before you rush off to join the crowd with your turkey-filled bellies, here are some great tips that will help you check those items off your shopping lists!

1. Do your homework

First and foremost, know what you’re in for! Doing a little research will go a long way for you. Stores usually release their deals online a few days before Black Friday so that you can have an idea of what to look for when you’re shopping. A lot of stores, like Walmart, typically have similar deals every year so make sure to backtrack on their previous years to see what they might offer!

2. Create a game plan

Once you gather your research, begin planning your shopping route! The last thing you want to do is waste time on looking for stores located at opposite ends of the mall. Having a shopping list of items and stores that you’re interested in will be extremely helpful. Make a budget for yourself. As tempting as it may be, don’t stray off from your plan!

3. Score early deals

The early bird gets the worm! Over the years, Black Friday has gradually become Black Thursday or even Wednesday! Some stores open a few hours earlier while others release deals days in advance. Shop ahead of time and you might even catch some better deals while avoiding all the crowds.

4. Bring a buddy

What’s better than shopping than to shop with a friend? Bringing a friend makes the experience a whole lot more fun! Divide and conquer to maximize the number of deals you can get and shorten your wait time in lines. At the end of the day, you’ll have an extra set of hands to help carry all of your shopping bags home.

5. Use phone apps

There are many apps that will help you with your shopping. Some apps, like RetailMeNot, will pull up all of the available coupons for searched stores. Others, like Amazon, can help you price-check your items to see if you’re getting the lowest price. Make use of these apps to get the most out of your buck!

6. Lose the cart

Save time by using a shopping bag! Carts are large and awfully hard to maneuver around on a busy day like Black Friday. You want to be quick and swift in order to get to those deals before everyone else does!  

Don't let Black Friday get the better of you!
Be aware of what overspending can do to your credit score.

Holiday Spending vs Your Credit Score


7. Doorbusters!

Find out what doorbusters are available by doing some prior research online! You want to be first in line at shops having deals for only a limited number of shoppers. Lines can be time-consuming so if you’re not looking to wait, then move on. There will be countless of other deals around to snag!

8. Use coupons

COUPONS, COUPONS, COUPONS! Make sure to take every coupon you can find! Many stores will give you bonus savings by allowing you to stack coupons on top of each other. Stores may be handing coupons out or you can use apps and websites to find them. Simply pull the coupon up on your cell phone and your cashier will be more than happy to scan it through!

9. Not everything is a deal

Don’t be fooled. You might not be getting the deal you think you are! A common marketing practice for stores is to increase regular prices dramatically during Black Friday to show you a sales price that evidently equals the original price. Do your research to find out what the market price for that item really is before purchasing it!

10. Ask for the return policy

Remember to read the return policy. Whether your pants don’t fit, the blender won’t work, or you simply realized that your new bike was an impulse buy, be sure that you can return it! Although the majority of stores let you return your item for a full refund within a 30-day time frame, some stores may have different return policies for Black Friday.

11. Shop safely

Black Friday has one of the highest pick-pocketing rates of the year. Wear an enclosed purse with a zipper or keep your wallet in your front pocket. While shopping, use a credit card for the best protection! Debit card fraud protection will only reimburse you after $500 have been stolen. Lastly, don’t leave any of your shopping bags visible in your car; break-ins will happen!

12. Shop online

And if all else fails, shop online! Avoid the crowds and skip the lines! You have the whole world of shopping right at your fingertips. It’s quick, easy and can be done in the comfort of your home!   While there will be countless deals for you to sort through this year, remember to always have a good time! Don’t get too involved with the hustle and bustle and forget that it’s just shopping. A deal is not worth a fight or stressing over about. It should be fun, exciting and stress-free! With these tips, we hope that you get all the items on your shopping list and have a wonderful holiday this year!