It has arrived! This week, savvy shoppers strap on their savings caps as they prepare for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. This is one of the best times to score on holiday gifts, or treat yourself to something on your own wish list. You can score big on beauty, fashion, and technology during these sales… so you’re going to want to plan ahead of time to make sure you come out on top with everything on your list at the best possible prices. Here are the best ways to prepare for Black Friday and Cyber Monday so you can be sure to save both money and your sanity.
1. Choose: Black Friday or Cyber Monday?
As someone who has worked in retail during Black Friday, I’ve almost completely sworn off shopping in-store on this chaotic day. Whichever you choose to participate in, you’ll definitely want to decide ahead of time so that you can be ready for doors to open and webpages to load. Inventory is usually limited both online and in-store, and merely strolling (or scrolling) into a sale mid-morning might not cut it if you want to nab everything on your list. Setting alarms and reminders will be crucial, so decide what days and what sales you want to participate in.
2. Prioritize Your Shopping List
Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are overwhelming enough as it is, but without a shopping list, you might as well call it quits. While you’re meandering around the store or site, more prepared shoppers will be grabbing the best items! Write out a list of things you’re looking to pick up during sales, in the order of importance. To be honest, beauty is never really a priority for me during these days. I tend to have electronics at the top of my list, along with other things that are normally out of my price range. I plan on shopping some of this year’s best electronics sales, like the Office Depot OfficeMax deals which are already online and feature their lowest prices ever. I want to get Adam something really cool this year, like a tablet or something for gaming (I really hope he’s not reading this…!).
3. Use Cash Back Sites
I use Ebates, a cash back site, year round— every time I shop online. For Black Friday & Cyber Monday, it can be a huge cherry on top of your savings. When you click through to your favorite retailers through Ebates, you get a percentage of your subtotal back as a rebate. I’ve gotten close to $200 back this year from shopping online through Ebates— hello extra spending money! Ebates even has a plugin that you can install on your browser that will flash when you’re on a site that qualifies for cash back. Usually on Black Friday, they offer double cash back on popular retailers. Sign up now and get familiar so you can get paid to shop this season!
4. Sign Up for Newsletters
Almost every retailer will alert their newsletter subscribers of the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals via email, usually even ahead of time! This will help you plan by giving you all the info you need on what items will be discounted, and what times to start shopping. Sometimes, sales require coupon or bar codes that are also usually sent out over email.
5. Compare Prices Ahead of Time
I don’t think there’s anything worse than buying something from your first Black Friday shopping stop, only to find it cheaper somewhere else. Try your best to compare prices for your big ticket items across different retailers. You can usually find price previews in their email newsletters, and in online and in-store catalogs.
Whether you’re shopping beauty goodies, electronics, or the hottest fashion pieces, I hope these tips help you maneuver through all of the great sales that will be going on this weekend! If you do decide to venture out and shop in-store, here are some more tips to prepare you for the craziness ahead:
What’s on your Black Friday shopping list?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.