Get ready, get set, go shopping the Friday after Thanksgiving! Based on accounting terminology where black ink shows a positive profit margin on ledger sheets, retailers have named this biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday. Here are some tips for making the most of this shopping opportunity.
1. Do your homework. Shop the items you are interested in before you head out Friday morning. Compare existing prices and product details as not everything advertised as a sale is one.
2. Read the newspaper. Get an early edition of your local newspaper and read and clip ads and coupons.
3. Share the experience. Coordinate with friends or family members. Divide and conquer and you can cover more ground and more sales with far less effort.
4. Cover yourself. I’m not talking about bringing a blanket for your wait in the cold for the store to open, although that might not be a bad idea. I’m suggesting you bring the copy of the newspaper ad or print out paperwork that will help you justify pricing and product specifications. Beware the bait and switch.
5. Befriend. While standing in those lines, coordinate a divide and conquer plan rendouvousing at the cash registers. Chances are you are not the only one there for a particular sale item. Ask those leaving the store if it is still available, preventing you from waiting in a line for a product you’ll never get to buy.
6. Protect. Know the store policies before you buy. Can it be returned? What if the price is lowered even further later?
7. Exit strategy. Once you’re in your next step is to get out and onto the next store. Have your money or credit card ready and do whatever you can to help speed the check out process. This is not the time to ask for a price check!
If, however, this shopping frenzy isn’t worth the effort, consider placing gift cards in holiday cards this year so others can enjoy the experience of the after-Christmas sales!