Tuesday, 20 November 2012

10 Tips for a Successful Black Friday Shopping Spree

With Black Friday fast approaching, the iWishfor team wanted to make sure we were there for you, our dear readers. Black Friday can be a crazy, madness filled day full of stress, angry mobs and people who seem to have forgotten their manners in the trunks of their cars.

Check out our list of Black Friday tips and tricks to help you plan and execute a great day of shopping with a minimum of fuss and stress.

1. Check out the big websites: There are a few great sites out there to help you plan your shopping. Checking these out will allow you to scope the landscape and see where the best deals are, when they are available and plan your route. Checking these sites out first can help save you from driving all over town. Some retailers also put some of their best deals or even different deals online exclusively, so be sure to check their websites to make sure that the better deals aren't already online. Here are a few sites to get you started:


2. Be on the lookout for QR codes: Retailers are really starting to push the use of QR codes as an easy way to direct users to their content. During the Black Friday shopping sale time, be aware of QR codes in flyers, newspapers, ads, etc, that may direct you to further deals and offers as retailers try to encourage the use of this technology.

3. Double check warrenty and returns on discounted items: While great deals abound, you still need to be careful when purchasing products that are heavily discounted. There may be a reason why manufacturers have allowed their products to be discounted. As a way to compensate, manufacturers may have changed their terms on returns or warranties. Read any fine print, notices, signage or tags carefully to be sure you know the actual deal terms.

4. Make a budget and stick to it! Nothing can stress people out like discovering that you have seriously overspent. Before you start your shopping, look at your list of people to shop for and determine how much you are going to spend on each person. Adding that total up can help give you an idea of what you are going to need to spend and whether that is doable. If you can at all do it, try to also pay for everything with debit or cash so you don't have to worry about credit interest, which can seriously muck up your planning and budgeting. The key to successful shopping is to decide your total gross amount of spending and stick to it! You will be left with peaceful nights.

5. Organize your list to reflect when sales are happening and where: Using tip #1 in our list, organize your list by location and when the sale starts. This will save a lot of time running around if you know where you are going ahead of time. One story I read told of a lady you went to an all-night Wal-mart and waited by the wrapped sales items until the sale started. She got all the door crasher specials and everything else on her list before anyone else. That's dedication and most people don't have the time or ability to do that, but if you are organized and know where you are going and when, you can save yourself a lot of hassle, time and gas.

6. Get comfortable and go light! It's not a fashion show so wear something really comfortable, get yourself a mug of your favorite drink and be prepared for the craziness of the Black Friday world. Part of being comfortable means leaving the kids somewhere else. It's hard enough taking kids shopping on a regular day. Don't add more stress by trying to rush and keep track of kids. Going with a friend can also make the day more comfortable. Your friend can help you to divide and conquer your lists. They can either wait in line for you (or vice versa) or you can divide lists by location and each tackle a section. Leave the monster handbag at home. Go light and only bring the essentials with you so you have less to lug around and lose! Nothing is more stressful on a day like that than realizing you have left your bag lying on a counter somewhere.

7. Take the ads with you: This can help you save time with dealing with customer service. If you have the ads with you, it's hard for the service agents to argue with you and waste time.

8. Manners, Please! Manners can take you a long way. Getting upset and angry isn't going to help you or make people want to help you. Even if things aren't going well for you, don't get upset. Chalk it up to experience and move on. You'll feel better for it. On the other hand, if you can keep your cool while all around you is craziness, sometimes being the one with the good manners will make people want to help you.

9. Start early. Really Early! Get out early before the crowds. Most people don't get going until later in the morning or after the big Thanksgiving meal. If you start out early, you can not only get out faster but also ensure that the deals you want are still around.

10. Keep Your Receipts - Some retailers will adjust their prices around 14 days after the big sales. Keep your receipts so you can take advantage of the price changes. A lot of companies will give you cash back for changes in price within a certain period of time. To help make sure you can take advantage of this, you need to make sure to not let the cashiers, put the receipts in bags. Many times, this will result in lost receipts. Keep them handy in your wallet/purse and store them in a safe place where you can check them later.

And of course, use the iWishfor app to know exactly what your loved ones want saving you time and money!

There's our top ten list. If you are looking for more tips, check out this site with it's exhaustive list of tips (some 90+. Whew!)

Bonus: As a special bonus to our readers, check out this Holiday Sales Planner which you can download and print out to use to organize your shopping!

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