HOW TO SHOP BLACK FRIDAY AND CYBER MONDAY DEALS WITHOUT LOSING YOUR SANITY

If you’re hoping to hit it big on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, you’ve gotta do some prep work. A shopping expert from the digital offers site RetailMeNot gives us their top tips for finding the best deals and taming the chaos.

[1] Research Deals

Before you rush off to the stores on Black Friday or load all your go-to retailers in your browser tabs, look into deals ahead of time so you can make a game plan.

Search for leaked ads online, download shopping apps, sign up for retailers’ newsletters, and follow social handles of your favorite retailers.

[2] Shop Strategically

Believe it or not, the types of deals you can get on Black Friday differ from those on Cyber Monday, and you can get better deals in certain departments than others.

Top 10 retail categories by percentage off on Black Friday:

• Designer Clothing: 41%

• Multi Category: 40%

• Personal Services: 39%

• Teen Clothing: 36%

• Clothing: 35%

• Accessories: 34%

• Computers and Electronics: 33%

• Toys and Kids: 33%

• Sports and Fitness: 33%

• Shoes: 33%

Top 10 retail categories by percentage off on Cyber Monday:

• Designer Clothing: 40%

• Multi Category: 40%

• Personal Services: 39%

• Teen Clothing: 37%

• Clothing: 35%

• Accessories: 35%

• Sports and Fitness: 34%

• Toys and Kids: 33%

• Computers and Electronics: 33%

• Shoes: 33%

[3] Make a List

Outline the top retail stores or sites you want to hit and what products you’re looking to buy. If you plan to shop online, bookmark websites in advance and set calendar reminders for sales so you won’t miss any time-sensitive deals on products particularly low in inventory.

If you’re shopping at brick-and-mortar stores, order your list based on proximity and start with the store with the most high-demand items — that way you don’t hurt your chances of securing the most covetable gifts of the year.

[4] Budget Accordingly

If you’re shopping for everyone on your list this holiday, outline what your spend ceiling is when it comes to each person, especially because it’s easy to get caught up in the shopping frenzy with competitive consumers stocking their shopping carts like its Supermarket Sweep. That way, you won’t blow your budget on the first enticing sale you see.

[5] Bring a Friend

If, and when, you run into a deal that didn’t make your list, it helps to get a second opinion before you get too sticker-struck. Yes, they may be 60% off, but do you really need another pair of running shoes?

[6] Review Return Policies

If returns on certain products aren’t permitted, then you may want to skip the variable gifts and only go for the reliable items on your list that are sure to please recipients. If you’re unsure of sizing (clothes, shoes, or otherwise), find out if exchanges can be done in lieu of a full product return.

[7] Factor in Shipping Fees

The worst thing to do is have your heart set on a discounted item only to realize that the shipping costs more than the thing itself. This is typically true for larger, heavier items, including furniture and technology. Do yourself a favor and look up shipping costs in advance. If that 4K TV you’re lusting over costs more to ship than it does to pick up in-store, consider getting some help with the heavy lifting and go get it in person.

[8] Prepare for Long Lines

If you’re shopping in stores, you’ll be far from alone on Black Friday. Not only is it a rush through the aisles, but it’s a race to the finish (the checkout, that is). Expect to face long lines and impatient customers. Go prepared in comfortable clothes — particularly comfortable footwear — in case you end up standing for a few hours. Also be prepared with emergency snacks like granola bars, bananas, or a bag of nuts for protein that you can stow in your bag to avoid a bout of hunger.

[9] Brave Short Checkout Times

Have your credit card at the ready and discount codes on hand so you can check out quickly without risking missing out on that dream deal. Some sites even count down how long you have to keep something in your cart. Keep that in mind and check out separately if needed to secure your savings.

[10] Save Receipts and Order Confirmations

Many retailers now allow you to email or print your receipts in person. Do either, or both, but just be sure that you keep a record of your purchases, especially if your shopping list includes high-ticket items because you never know when you may need to do a return or exchange.

[11] Have Fun!

Assuming you’ve gotten this far, the idea of shopping serious sales for steep savings must appeal to the bargain shopper within you. Don’t get caught up in the chaos and frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Keep your cool, and remember: If you don’t get the items at the top of your wish list … there’s always next year.

SOURCE: BESTPRODUCTS.COM