Happy Black Friday Eve! That’s right, the biggest shopping weekend of the year is upon us. It’s a great time to stock up on some things for yourself as well as get your holiday shopping done, but it can also be overwhelming, stressful, and lead to some regrettable impulse purchases.
Here are some of my tried and tested Black Friday shopping strategies to help you get everything on your list and make the most of the weekend’s big sales, while sticking to your budget and keeping your cool.
1. Plan, Plan, Plan
Have you ever heard the saying “If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail”? Truer words have never been spoken on Black Friday weekend! I like to finalize my shopping list during the week of Black Friday. That includes figuring out who I’m shopping for, what specific items I’m looking for, and which stores or sites I plan to visit. Having a game plan in advance helps you avoid stress, blowing your budget, and feeling totally overwhelmed once Black Friday weekend actually happens.
Pro Tip: I like to build out my shopping list using Pinterest so that I remember everything I loved and where to buy it. Use a secret board if you’re buying gifts for friends and family so you don’t spoil the holiday surprise!
2. Think Small and Look for Essentials
Everyone’s looking for big-ticket items on Black Friday weekend, but I prefer to go smaller. Think stocking stuffers, your daily essentials, hostess gifts, etc. By casting your net wider than the big ticket buys that everyone else is going for, you give yourself access to way more deals – plus, you’re getting things you know you’ll actually use. Remember: It’s not a deal unless it’s on something you really need or want.
3. Shop Online
Traditionally, Cyber Monday’s been the day to score deals online, but most retailers now have their offerings up all weekend long with additional sales on Cyber Monday. Shopping online lets me comparison shop and shop at any hour that works for me (including before and after the mall is even open). Plus, instead of dealing with long lineups and crowds, shopping online means you can shop rom the comfort of your couch while watching Netflix!
4. Familiarize Yourself with Your Favourite Brands
In the days before Black Friday/Cyber Monday make sure that you’re signed up for emails from your favourite brands and spend some time researching what they offer. That way, when Black Friday actually comes around, you’ll be more prepared and less overwhelmed.
Pro Tip: Follow your favourite stores and brands on social media! Most brands feature their best deals to their social followers, and some will even offer social exclusives, so it pays to be following and checking your feeds all weekend.
5. Build Your Shopping Cart in Advance
This is my tried and tested Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping trick. After scouring my favourite sites and making my shopping lists, I actually create a shopping cart on each site I plan to shop at with all the items I want before the big day. Then, early on Black Friday morning/Cyber Monday morning, I check my carts, remove everything that didn’t go on sale (unless it’s something that I really want and will buy anyway), and proceed straight to checkout. It’s a great way to cut down on impulse buying and to get your shopping done faster and more efficiently.
Pro Tip: If you’re serious about Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping, set an alarm! Waking up early is a great way to get a head start on your shopping and beat the rush.
6. Be Flexible & Have a Backup Plan
Finally, it’s important to have a Black Friday backup plan. Despite your best efforts and meticulous planning, sometimes things will sell out. If there’s an item you absolutely must have, make sure that you’ve identified more than one place that you’ll be able to get it to avoid disappointment if it’s sold out at your favourite store.
Good luck, and happy shopping! What are your Black Friday/Cyber Monday tips? Share them with us in the comments!