The holiday shopping season kicks into high gear during the month leading to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, two of the most anticipated shopping events of the year. This expanded six-week period is filled with opportunities for consumers to score incredible deals, but they also require a bit of strategy to ensure you snag the best bargains. Here are our top tips for navigating the discounts and promotions on Black Friday, Cyber Monday and beyond.
Do Your Research
Start by making a list of items you intend to buy, and research their prices ahead of time. If possible, find what those items have been offered for during the year so you can compare the Q4 sale prices. This way, you'll know whether the Black Friday or Cyber Monday 'deals' are genuinely good offers. Websites like GottaDEAL, for example, publish leaked Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales early, allowing shoppers to compare prices in advance.
Set a Budget
It's easy to get caught up in the shopping frenzy and spend more than you can afford. To prevent this, establish a clear budget before the sales start. This will not only help you make rational buying decisions but also prevent post-purchase regrets. With all the deals, sticking to a budget can be difficult, so be prepared.
Follow Your Favorite Retailers
Most retailers announce their sales and deals through social media, email newsletters, or their websites. Following your favorite stores on these platforms can give you a heads-up on what deals they'll be offering, allowing you to plan your purchases accordingly. You can also just visit GottaDEAL frequently to see the latest updates in one spot.
Take Advantage of Credit Card Rewards
In many cases you can earn credit card rewards on your holiday shopping purchases. Each card has different rewards and individual cards can vary by category, so do your research especially if you plan on spending a lot so you can maximize the rewards you get from your credit cards.
Discounted Gift Cards
Purchasing discounted gift cards is a savvy, under-the-radar tactic that can help you save on everyday expenses and occasionally even large purchases. Imagine paying less for groceries, gas, or your favorite online retailer. Sounds good, right?
Check for Coupons and Promo Codes
Before you finalize any purchase, check for additional discounts through coupons or promo codes. Some retailers offer extra savings on sale items, or they might provide free shipping codes. Websites like GottaDEAL often have an extensive list of up-to-date codes. In some cases, you can leave an item in your cart and the retailer will follow-up with a coupon offer via email.
Shop Early...or Late
Some of the best deals can be found early in the morning (midnight in various time zones) when the sales first start. However, there can also be last-minute price drops as retailers look to clear out their inventory. Determine which strategy works best for you and plan your shopping spree accordingly. GottaDEAL has a tracker with a schedule of start times for all the sales.
Protect Your Purchase
Use a credit card with good purchase protection benefits. This can be especially helpful if you encounter issues with your purchases or if items get lost or damaged. Note that credit card companies have been reducing these kinds of benefits over the past few years so find a card with a good policy.
Remember Cyber Monday
If you miss out on a Black Friday deal, remember that Cyber Monday (and Cyber Week) follows just a few days later. Many items, especially tech products, may be on sale for similar or even lower prices. Many retailers run back their same offers from Black Friday during Cyber Week so if you miss out, you often get another chance. And if you want deals even earlier, remember Prime Day is in July.
Navigating Black Friday, Cyber Monday and holiday sales in general can seem overwhelming, but with a bit of planning and strategic shopping, you can secure great deals without the stress. Remember, the ultimate goal of these events is to help you save money, so stick to your budget, shop wisely, and enjoy the thrill of the hunt. And take advantage of all GottaDEAL has to offer to help you stay sane during this crazy time of year.