Not all of us choose to endure the insanity that is Black Friday to shop sales in stores anymore. If you’re more of a Cyber Monday shopper, we can relate. However, we wanted to share a little advice collected from around the internet for the brave souls that venture out on Black Friday.
Stock up on gift cards ahead of time.
Most stores start doing gift card specials in the fall season (Like buy $25 in gift cards, get a $5 bonus card). If there are certain stores you know you’ll be shopping at, see if they have any gift card specials. You can also check out different websites to see if they have discounted gift cards. Make sure they are verified websites.
Download Google Pay/Apple Pay.
Depending on your signal and the store’s point-of-sale system, this may or may not speed up the transaction process, but it might be good to have just in case. It will limit how much you physically handle your card/cash preventing loss. Plus, if a sale item sells out by the time you reach the store, you can quickly order the next best offer online from your phone.
Sign up for emails/texts.
Before Friday arrives, sign up for text or email alerts from the stores you plan on visiting. They may crowd your inbox, but rewards programs nearly always save you money.
Shop with a friend, but maybe not the kids.
It’s helpful to have another adult team up with you when Black Friday shopping, but probably not the best idea to bring the kids, especially small children. If you don’t have any other option, make sure you have discussed with your children where they should meet you in the store and how to find employees who can help in case of separation.
Stay secure with CardNav.
With helpful settings to limit how and where your debit card is spent and real-time alerts that notify you of each transaction, CardNav by CO-OP takes all the guesswork out of planning your budget and keeps your account secure from fraud.
Price Check in Store.
You can find reputable apps that will instantly compare prices on your phone by scanning barcodes in the store. This way you can always ensure you’re getting the best deal. Some apps even award you points every time you scan. You can then redeem those points for gift cards or rebates.
Read the fine print.
It’s probably happened before. You struggle to find parking, fight the crowds inside, then wait in long lines, just to find out that the great deal you found wasn’t exactly what you thought it was. Some items have limits, require the purchase of other items or opening a store credit card. Make sure you read all the requirements and restrictions on the deals you have your heart set on before heading out to the stores.
Avoid looking like an employee.
This may sound silly, but don’t wear any clothing that may be confused with store employees’ clothing. For instance, wearing blue to Best Buy or red to Target may force you to have some uncomfortable interactions with the public.
Go early or late.
Avoid the busiest times by getting up early and scoring the Early Bird deals or staying up late Thursday and Friday night to get the extended hours specials. Typically, the crowds are a bit thinner at these times.
Use a holiday loan instead of credit.
If all your credit cards have high-interest rates, consider getting a personal loan instead. Not only could you end up paying less in interest, but it’s a good way to build credit if you’re able to pay off your loan early.
Don’t forget gift receipts/return policy.
If you’re not sure whether or not your gift recipient will 100% love your gift, make sure you’re not purchasing a final sale item. Also, 30-day return policies don’t leave much room for gifts to be returned after Christmas day. Always know your store’s return policy and be sure to ask for a gift receipt.