The staff here at Save.com is split. Some of us are die-hard Black Friday shoppers and are already camping out for the big sales. And the others (me included) have learned that you can get many of the same in-store deals online. Either way we all agree on one thing - it pays to plan ahead.
We've been busy Save.com elves, searching for the best of the best Black Friday online deals. Some of them are so big, so exclusive that we can't even share them with you until Friday! But we love you guys so much we had to give you a sneak peek at some of the deals that are being hyped in the store ads that actually cost less online.
Decided to brave the mayhem for the rush of Black Friday? Have a blast! But first, check out 10 of our most useful Black Friday tips. You'll want to be prepared.
- Do Your Homework
You don’t have to wait until Thanksgiving to check out the Black Friday flyers – and you shouldn’t. There are lots of places that post Black Friday flyers. Just check out Target’s Black Friday Ad Preview.
- Flyers are Your Friends
Get all your flyers together and find the best price for the items on your list. Be sure to add all the pertinent information about each store, including hours, special early-bird discounts, online availability, item inventory and important store policies including rain checks and return policy. That way you have all of the right information in once place, making it easy to prioritize your shopping.
- It’s Probably Cheaper Online
When you find a deal you like in a flyer, do yourself a favor and Google it. You may find that you can get the same item online for the same price or even cheaper (and maybe with Free Shipping). Why wake up at the crack of dawn to stand in line with a bunch of crazy people and risk not even being able to get the deal you want?
- Beware: The Bait and Switch
Did you know that many of those unbelievable deals in the Black Friday flyers are – in reality – unbelievable? These heavily-discounted items – that are often sold at a loss to the retailer – are usually only available at such low quantities that, you probably won’t end up with one unless you’re already camped out in front of the store as you read this. Be sure to read the fine print or call the store ahead of time to find out how many will be available at your location.
- Do a Trial Run
While many stores set up special displays on just before they open on Black Friday, it’s a good idea to know the layout of each store to launch your plan of attack. Be sure to make note of restrooms! While you’re at it, make sure you have a full tank of gas. There’s nothing like running out of gas to spoil a perfectly good Black Friday.
- Pick a Partner or Two
It might be fun to get a bunch of your friends together with lists in hand and divide and conquer. Decide who needs what at which store and assign each friend a store. That way, you’re all hitting different stores early and are much more likely to end up without crowds and lines and with the best prices. You’ll definitely want to keep the kidlets at home. Ditto for husbands and significant others (unless, of course, they’re into that sort of thing.)
- Dress for Comfort; Not for Seepie-Time
It was cute the first time I saw someone shopping in flannel jammy pants. Now it’s just out of hand, so I’m calling it. Jammies belong at home, not in public. That said, think layers for your Black Friday, but leave your big puffy coat at home. If it’s cold, you’ll want to stay warm, but once you get into the stores, you’ll be shedding layers like a banana. Ditch your usual handbag for a tote with the basics and lots of portable totes so you can cut down on the plastic bags.
- Charge It
I usually choose one card for all my holiday shopping to keeps all my holiday purchases in one place and to stock up on points (hello winter vacation in the tropics!). Be sure to choose the one that provides extended warranty, low-price protection and hassle-free returns. And while we’re on the subject of charging – be sure to fully charge your cell phone and keep a charger in your car.
- Rest up
Face it – you’re not going to have any fun if you’re low on sleep and wearing your cranky pants. If you do your shopping prep before thanksgiving you can use the early evening to grab a couple of z’s before boarding the crazy train.
- Be Good
Nobody likes a cranky pants! Say please, thank you and excuse me and mean it. Remember the season and try to spread some holiday cheer. We all know the terrible things that can happen on Black Friday if things get out of control. Stay calm in all situations and stay out of the way of loose cannons and trouble makers. No sale on the face of the earth is worth getting hurt over, so if things turn south, make haste to the nearest exit.
A Sneak Peek at Some of the Best Black Friday Deals