Everybody knows the day after Thanksgiving, known as "Black Friday", is one of the busiest shopping days of the year. On November 25th, millions of shoppers will be lined up for hours trying their best to secure some of the great "doorbusters" Black Friday is so-well known for. It can be pretty stressful to deal with, but you may not know that you don't even have to leave your home to get some of the best deals! In this month's post, we've got you covered with the following list of Do's and Don'ts to save you a lot of headache in planning out your shopping strategy this holiday season. (and if you happen to need some help getting everything cleaned up after that big family holiday feast, we can help you with that too)
DO expect that his year, some Black Friday specials will actually begin on Thursday. With a down economy, many retailers know people have a limited budget, and are launching their deals as early as possible. Keep an eye out in your local newspapers the week leading up to Thanksgiving.
DON'T assume the best deals are in-store. Online retailers like Amazon.com don't have the overhead of a physical storefront and can typically offer bigger discounts than brick-and-mortar stores. Also, shopping online may enable you to avoid paying sales tax on your order (as well as saving you from braving the weather and letting you shop in your pajamas)!
DO check on the return policy for any item you buy. Many charge restocking fees, or disallow returns altogether if items were created specifically for a Black Friday promotion. Make sure you're 100% clear on the return policy for the item you're buying so you can return it if it ends up not meeting your expectations.
DON'T purchase an extended warranty on any big ticket item you purchase. Stores use these to recover a lot of the money they lose on offering big discounts. The salesperson will probably pull out every trick in the book to get you to go for it, but don't do it. Most defective products will fail well within the typical one-year manufacturer's warranty. After that, it's usually clear sailing well past the 3 or 5 year extended mark most stores offer. Besides, if you make your purchase with certain debit or credit cards, that may offer you an automatic protection.
DO brave the crowds if you want to grab an extremely limited item. On the rarest deals, you typically won't be able to find a match online, or secure what you really want. Make sure you get in line early - people will often camp out to secure the very best deals.
DON'T wait until the very last minute to do your holiday shopping. While you don't necessarily need to finish EVERYTHING on Black Friday, have a plan to wrap up your shopping well before December 20th-24th. Retailer raise prices dramatically the week leading up to the big day. If you want to save yourself some cash and some stress, make sure you have everything taken care of by mid-December so you can relax and enjoy the season!