Black Friday Bargain Tidbits

November 26, 2008 by Suzanne Cheek  
Published in Shopping

“Black Friday,” the Friday after Thanksgiving, is considered the start of the busy Christmas shopping season. With the recent slump in the economy, retailers have suffered just like the rest of us, so they are turning out their most generous discounts for Black Friday in an effort to recoup some of the recent month’s losses. October’s retail numbers hit record-breaking losses. Their loss is your gain. With saving on everyone’s mind, here’s 10 ways you can get a head start on the bargains Black Friday has to offer.

The Christmas shopping season starts on “Black Friday.  The term “Black Friday” originated in Philadelphia in reference to the heavy traffic on that day. More recently, merchants and the media have used it instead to refer to the beginning of the period in which retailers are in the black (i.e., turning a profit).

With the recent slump in the economy, retailers have suffered just like the rest of us, so they are turning out their most generous discounts for Black Friday in an effort to recoup some of the recent month’s losses.  October’s retail numbers hit record-breaking losses.  Their loss is your gain. 

With saving on everyone’s mind, here is how you can get a head start on the bargains Black Friday has to offer.

1)    The early bird gets the worm: Get up early and get the best deals before they sell out.  Many stores give even further discounts for their early bird customers.  

2)    Price match: If you have seen the same item advertised for cheaper ask the store to match the price.  They often do.  I always ask for a manager since they are usually the ones who can authorize a further discount.

3)    Shop alone:  I know this sounds severe but bringing your spouse, friend or kids just adds a distraction to your mission: which is to get the best deals you can get all in one day.

4)    Keep all of your receipts: If you buy something on Friday and then it is further discounted within 30 days, ask the store to give you the difference; so keep the receipts.  I keep all of mine in an envelope which I keep in my pocket book.  This also comes in handy for returns.

5)    Ask for further discounts:  Since you know that the retailers are really having a tough year; why not ask for an extra 10% off at the check-out?  You’d be amazed at how often I ask and get it.  Try it and see.

6)    Buy online.  Many online retailers have their Black Friday deals online and offer free shipping on some purchases. Since I have a 7 week old baby, this is where I’ll be doing my Black Friday shopping this year.

7)    Don’t get carried away with your plastic.  Buy what you can afford and don’t overspend.  You will not enjoy your Christmas Season knowing you have overspent and will be burdened with debt come January. 

8)    If you are buying gifts with credit, call the card company before Friday and ask for a rate reduction.  You might get it.  If you purchase items on ’store cards’ to get the extra 10-20% discount, as soon as you’ve purchased the item, ask to pay the card off with cash right there and then.  This way you get your extra discount and don’t incur the interest charges.  I just saw a customer at Macy’s last Tuesday use her card to buy jewelry on her store card for 15% off and then she paid the card-off in the next minute with cash-SMART.

9)    Don’t start WWIII.  Don’t get into a fight over buying stuff with other customers.  We often see media reports of people being crushed at Toys’R’Us when they open at 5am.  Keep it real.  Make it a fun day, make friends with people in the check-out lines and keep in good spirits.

10) It is OK to “pass” on Black Friday.  This can be a frenzied day and pretty stressful.  Lots of people stay home that day and avoid the crowds.  I’ll be sitting in front of my fireplace reading and playing games with Alex (7 weeks) and Zara (2 Yrs).  Hopefully my husband Dan will be making the hot chocolate.

Check out the following sites for some “unofficial” previews on gift discounts.
http://www.blackfriday.info/
http://bfads.net/
http://www.black-friday.net/
http://blackfriday.gottadeal.com/
Don’t forget to check out my Money Saving e-book at:
http://www.saving-money-tips.com/

Have a great day on Friday, whatever you decide to do!
Suzanne

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