The countdown to Black Friday is on! Whether you’re committed to hitting the biggest sales first thing in the morning or you prefer to casually browse the shopping options at home, it pays to make a plan before Black Friday arrives. For more tips on budgeting for Black Friday, keep reading.
Know What to Buy
Electronics and small appliances tend to be the best all-around products to purchase on Black Friday. Technology retailers plan their sales and product launches around the Black Friday shopping weekend, so you will find genuinely lower-than-average prices on items like TVs, headphones, tablets and laptops. Home goods such as blenders, pressure cookers and other countertop appliances are likewise a common discount find for Black Friday. Furniture, on the other hand, is a less-popular purchase around the holidays, so you’re unlikely to find an amazing deal on a new sofa or table. Clothing may be on sale during Black Friday, but the really big fashion sales usually take place after Christmas and New Year’s—so it’s usually smarter to wait.
Don’t Wait Until November 25th
These days, retailers don’t wait until the day after Thanksgiving to start their sales. Many discounts and specials are launched throughout the month of November, so take advantage of the early bird sales by perusing coupon books and online offers before Black Friday. Often, you can find comparable prices to Black Friday or Cyber Monday, without the stress that can be associated with trying to cram an entire season of shopping into just a couple of days (or even a couple of hours!). The New York Times’ product review website Wirecutter has a useful online guide to over thirty products going on sale before Black Friday rolls around.
Make a List
Whatever you do, don’t head into the Black Friday sales without a list! That goes for in-person shopping as well as online. Browsing all of those tempting offers can easily entice you into buying more than you intended, which is why it’s so important to go into your Black Friday shopping adventure having thoroughly considered who you’re shopping for, what you’re planning to buy, and how much you can afford to spend. Remember that language like “last chance” and “don’t miss it” aren’t real imperatives: it’s just marketing! To avoid the impulse buys, make a list beforehand and stick to it. Your bank account will thank you for planning ahead and staying committed to your Black Friday budget.
Compare Prices—And Look for Price Matching
For big ticket purchases, it pays to do your research. Check retailers in your local vicinity as well as online shopping platforms, keeping in mind that the cost of shipping can make a big impact on your final price tag. Some retailers also offer price matching for Black Friday, which means they will adjust in-store or online prices to match another seller’s offer. So if you see a great price on a product you want: make sure to save it! Even if the retailer isn’t located nearby, you might be able to take advantage of the offer. Head online to find out which shops are offering price matching for Black Friday 2022, including JC Penny, Target and others.
Many retailers offer an extended return window for purchase made over the Black Friday shopping window or at any time during the winter holidays. Extended return windows mean you can purchase a gift multiple weeks before you plan to give it, while still enabling the receiver to return it if they wish. The one caveat is: you need to keep the receipt! In the midst of a hectic holiday season it can be easy to lose track of paperwork, so before kicking off your Black Friday shopping, decide on a specific place where you will store receipts. At the same time, also be sure to check the fine print. Some online purchases might not be eligible for a shipping fee refund, or require that the product’s original packaging remain intact.