Black Friday blues
“Black Friday” is the day following American Thanksgiving, which is always celebrated on the last Thursday of November. So named because it marks the start of Christmas shopping season and is a profitable day for retailers and the economy, Black Friday has become a day synonymous with deals and sales. It has become such a popular phenomenon that it’s even recognized in Canada.
However, Black Friday is also known for bustling crowds, long line-ups and sometimes violent altercations over deeply discounted merchandise, which is why thinking about taking part in Black Friday shopping gives some people the blues. But amazing sales right at the start of holiday buying season are really hard to pass up, so we have some tips for spending smarter and advice for those who want to take full advantage of sale season without actually having to arm wrestle other shoppers for that last slow cooker on the floor.
If possible, check out the sales for items that you’re interested in buying before you head out the door. You’ll save time and money if you know exactly what you want and who is offering it for the best price. Have a plan B in case the store you head to is out of stock.
Know what’s available.
Do some research in advance and find out how many of the popular and big-ticket items a store will be offering on Black Friday, and if they’ll give out rain checks if they sell out. You should also find out if there are limits on the number of each item you can purchase if you’re planning to nab multiples.
Make a list and stick to it.
Great deals can be so tempting, but remember that you won’t actually be saving the money you’d hoped to if you buy more than you’d planned to. Make a list of all the gifts you need to buy and stick to it as much as possible. Substituting is okay, but try not to add extras, especially if you are on a strict holiday budget.
Many retailers offer the exact same deals online as they do in-store, so you could potentially do all of your Black Friday shopping in your jammies without ever leaving home. Take note of when the online sales start and shop early to avoid disappointment, since online shopping is becoming a popular Black Friday alternative. Check out the following websites for deals in your country:
Shop before Black Friday.
According to The Balance,1 because Black Friday has become so competitive, retailers starting sales as early as the beginning of November in order to make sure they get your dollars. Apparently the number of available deals peaks a full week before Thanksgiving, so check your flyers and keep an eye on online offers and promotions for pre-Black Friday events.
Don’t forget about Cyber Monday.
The Monday following Black Friday is a great day to nab deals online since many online retailers offer discounts, saving options and free shipping on that day.
Trick your brain.
If you’re worried that you might go a little crazy and overspend either online or in person, trick your brain into being more conservative by thinking about how many hours you would have to work to pay for each item before you drop them into your shopping cart. Sometimes a little perspective is all it takes to help us reign in our spending.
For help keeping your spending under control, check out our article on budgeting help during the holidays, and for some money-saving DIY suggestions, check out these ideas for having a very merry DIY holiday.
415651D CAN/US (10/17)