Black Friday falls on Nov. 24 this year, which means shoppers across North America will be ready to find early holiday deals.
While we’ve already seen shopping chaos at some Sears stores slated to close, shoppers can also expect to see deals in electronics, clothing and toys following the American Thanksgiving holiday.
Retailers like Best Buy will open up shop at 12:01 a.m., and have deals that will flow into Cyber Monday.
But for anyone who wants to make the trek this year to find the best deals, it’s always good to go in with a plan, says Tracie Fobes of the Penny Pinchin’ Mom blog.
“Have a list of your top items and the backups,” she tells Global News. “There is a good chance you will not get what you want, so you need to know what you will look for if you can’t find that item.”
For the very eager shopper, Fobes suggests going to the store in advance to scope out where everything is located.
Planning a shopping route
She also says before you go, create a shopping list of exactly what you want. Most stores advertise their sales weeks prior to Black Friday, so if you are eyeing something specific, go to that store first.
“If you can, have a friend come along with you. Then, you can divide and conquer the stores where you have multiple items on your list. Get through the door and head in different directions to try to get all of the items you need.”
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You should also be aware which stores have the types of deals you’re looking for. You’re better off looking for electronics at big box retailers, as well as online sites like Amazon.
But Fobes stresses Black Friday shopping isn’t for everyone, especially for those who can’t handle crowds.
“You will be much better off staying at home and shopping online instead. The only thing you can’t get online are those hot door-busters,” she says.
She also suggests shopping later in the day to find other deals. “Stores want to keep customers coming all day long, so they will sometimes put up sales that happen later in the day to grab an afternoon crowd. You may be able to head out after the crowds have settled and still score some great deals.”
Is the deal worth it?
And while some people depend on big deal days like Black Friday or Boxing Day to purchase things they need, for others, ask yourself if the savings are worth it.
Fobes suggests downloading a shopping app like ShopSavvy, that can compare prices to other retailers. She also recommends using the Amazon app to read reviews of a product while you’re shopping.
“Another thing you need to check is for the inflated discount,” she says. “This is when retailers will say an item is on sale for $89.99 — down from $149.99, for example. In your mind, you see a deal. However, a small bit of research shows you that the retail price was too high to begin with and everyone offers that item for that same price. It is not truly a deal and you might pass and wait for a better offer.”