“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” That is, if you are one of the people who look forward to the hustle and bustle of crowded stores, long lines and the thrill of hunting for the perfect gift. Having never been one to enjoy the long lines and all the waiting involved to get the best prices on Black Friday, I am a huge fan of comparison shopping. After all, with the convenience Internet, shopping for the perfect gift is easy. No standing in lines in the cold waiting for Toys R Us or Best Buy to open at 4:00am, no hoping that the item is still in stock by the time you get to the appropriate aisle, and best yet, no traffic!
So, how can you save time and money on Black Friday shopping? The easiest route is by knowing ahead of time what stores offer the best deals on the purchases you plan to make. Since many stores are releasing their sales prices earlier, you can plan your Black Friday shopping excursion as precisely as a military maneuver.
And, if you don’t want to do all the work for yourself, there are many sites that are happy to do the comparing for you. In fact, there are even Black Friday websites such as A Full Cup and Black Friday Ads dedicated to comparing the assorted advertisements. However, to get the most from your Black Friday shopping experience, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Read the ads carefully and be sure that you are comparing apples with apples.
- Know what time different stores open and –if possible- divide and conquer by sending different family members to the various stores on your list.
- Beat the early–birds. Many superstores such as Wal-Mart and Sears will run pre-Black Friday events on the weekends leading up to the Black Friday sales.
- Always get a gift receipt! This will make it easier if it is necessary for the recipient to return the item. Also, be sure to check the return policy.
- Use the right credit card. Some cards actually give you added savings, or like the Upromise account, put money towards the future while bringing pleasure today.
So, if you must indulge in the thrill of Black Friday, do your homework. After all, the Season of Giving can also be the Season of Saving as well.