Black Friday strategies
Last November on one of the busiest shopping days of the year, I woke up before sunrise and drove into the “sale madness” of Black Friday. This carefully orchestrated marketing event has earned its place as a holiday among bargain hunters. On my list for that day: A cashmere sweater, a belt, and an excellent pair of brown dress shoes (classic Italian made if possible). I also kept my eyes open for Christmas gifts. Despite searching through a range of stores from Macy’s to Nordstrom, I walked away empty handed. Either the deals failed to achieve “spectacular savings” or I simply could not find what I required. And, I felt okay with that outcome. For those of you looking to shop the day after Thanksgiving for yourself or Christmas, I offer a few suggestions:
1. Time your in-store shopping. Wait till all the crazed sleep-at-the-door people clear out before you shop, but not so late you catch the casual shoppers. You will still find many door busters as you scan the stores between 7am and 10am.
2. Utilize your smart phone. As you consider each deal, do a quick Google Shopping search to determine how great a deal you have before you. I have aborted many a purchase after finding the same item online for less. The opposite is true too. Sometimes, I pull the trigger on a great deal with a little reassurance from the web.
3. Create a plan. Probably the most important action you can take. For more on this, read Quality clothes + bargain = smart shopping.
4. Research deals and sales. Search the internet or newspapers/mailings. Find your favorite stores or websites for a heads up on their specials. You can also try one of the Black Friday websites.
5. Its okay to walk away empty handed. Just because you participate in “Super Sale Day,” doesn’t mean you must buy something. No quality deal, walk away. He who shops and walks away, saves enough to shop two other days. Don’t worry. You will have many more opportunities for savings in the coming months.
6. If you didn’t want it without the deal, don’t get it. All of us find ourselves drawn to “a deal” and will take another look even if we never would have bought the item. On Black Friday you will be bombarded by deals. Stick to your plan.
7. Understand the marketing maze. Every store will be set up to get you to spend. Banners, displays, posters, specials, flashing lights, even dancing monkeys if they loosen your wallet, will be out in force. Stay focused and aware of all the marketing. For more on marketing, read Be mindful of marketing.
8. Keep Thanksgiving sacred. Let’s resist the push to invade Thanksgiving with shopping, sales, and materialism. So, I suggest we give thanks for what we already own on Thursday and save the search for more stuff until Friday.
I wish you an enjoyable Black Friday experience. If your plan can’t make it past a blank page and you need ideas, check out The starter kit. At the very least, bring a friend and plan to have fun. Happy Thanksgiving and happy hunting. And, thank you God for all the good things in life!