Black Friday 2021
Black Friday is Quickly Approaching. Prepare Early to Maximize Your Shopping Experience.
With the holidays nearing, the biggest sale of the year comes in the form of Black Friday. All businesses prepare for it, and shoppers get some of the best deals anyone will see in the year. However, the challenge is maximizing your money so you can save more.
Considering how there’ll be so many things that will try to catch your attention, you need to know a few tips and tricks. That way, you’ll avoid getting overwhelmed and can have a solid plan when the fateful day arrives.
When is Black Friday 2021?
Black Friday occurs the day after the Thanksgiving holiday, though specific retailer start times differ. You’ll want to check in early with your favorite stores to determine when they’ll begin their discount sales.
Friday, November 26 is the official date for the 2021 Black Friday in the United States.
What is Black Friday?
If you haven’t experienced it yet, Black Friday is one of the biggest sales promotions of the holiday season. It occurs every Friday following Thanksgiving in the U.S. While its origins date back to the 1960s, it wasn’t until the 2000s that it became a more common tradition.
While Black Friday isn’t a holiday per se, it’s the last opportunity for shoppers to get the best deals for the holiday season. Nearly every business participates in Black Friday promotions. Some stores even extend their hours and hire extra staff to prepare for the influx of customers.
Shoppers also know that it’s the occasion to get the best deals. Here are some things you can do to prepare for it:
Planning is the key to success with Black Friday sales, but where do you start? The first step you should take is to research. You likely have a few items you’d want to buy for the holiday season, like gifts and personal items. List them down and maybe brainstorm a bit.
After you have a list of items you want to research, think about where you can buy these items. It will be your starting point. For example, you want to buy a new pair of sneakers, and the first store you think of is Nike. You then check the Nike store and narrow down a few choices.
You’ll do this for the remainder of your list, but it doesn’t stop there. If you truly want to maximize savings, you’ll have to check their competitors. If you’re looking at a few pairs of Nike shoes, you may also want to check out Adidas and other brands. Comparing their prices and deals will help you arrive at the best bang for your buck.
Another way you can go about this is to check stores selling similar items. Aside from the Nike flagship store, there might be other stores offering better deals. After all, these are stores competing to get more sales than others. Don’t limit yourself to physical stores. Check online and other businesses too.
Write Them Down
Once you have a set of products and stores to buy from, you should organize them into a list. Having a handy excel file you can access from your phone or computer will save time. If you try to keep them all in your mind, you are bound to forget a deal or two. You will have stores to prioritize, and you’ll begin to see patterns once you organize them.
When you have a list, you’ll also notice some things you want more than others. If you want to save money, you may want to cut a few items that you won’t need to buy for now. That way, you can allot more resources to your priorities in the list.
Set Reservations & Join Lists
Some items will have reservations available before the sale even begins. It’s a way for stores to guarantee purchases beforehand. Some will have very clear online reservations, while others may not be apparent at first. You’ll need to call them or visit the store to ask if you can reserve the item in advance.
While it may seem like extra work and it's not a guarantee, the time you invest will be worth it if you can get an amazing deal. Others will fight to get to the remaining stock while the cashier already has one reserved for you. Not many people go the extra mile for these deals, which is why you’ll have a better chance by doing this.
Not only that, some shops offer early-bird discounts. You can get more on top of other savings for that added value.
Another way to set reservations is through email lists. Some companies offer discounts and early reservations for people subscribed to their newsletters. Start signing up to all the email lists you can. It will also alert you of any new sales well in advance.
Don’t want the email cluttering your inbox? Create a secondary email address for joining email and subscription-based programs and check-in when you’re ready to shop for deals.
Set a Schedule Based on Priorities
There are two ways to approach your shopping schedule. The first is to prioritize items that you can buy from the same store. If you have most items at Walmart, for example, then it's best to start there. If you’re shopping from a store with many categories, trying to bundle them together will save you time. The store may even offer extra discounts for buying in bulk.
The data even shows that people often try to buy more food and beverages during Black Friday. These items receive 33% more orders than usual.
Some people even try to maximize these by bringing essentials into the mix. If you’re going to add groceries or other personal items, now is the time to do them while the prices are low.
The second way to prioritize is to focus on the items you want first. If you have concerns that some items may go out of stock before others, try to go to these stores first. It doesn’t matter if they’re physical or digital stores. Setting your priorities will give you more chances to land greater discounts.
Saving Money on Black Friday
If you want value for your money, you’ll definitely be saving money on Black Friday. Often, the best deals come with the most expensive items. If you’ve been looking for a good deal on a high ticket item, this is the time to save. How aggressively you want to save for Black Friday will be up to you.
If you have a lot of time before Black Friday or already have some cash stored, then you’ll only have to add in a bit more. Your list will also give you an idea of how much you’ll need to save. You’ll only need to add a bit more of your income in savings to get everything you want.
If you are short on time, then you’ll need to be a little more disciplined. After paying for bills and the like, some people save 50% or more to prepare for Black Friday.
Granted, you’d want to add a bit more extra money for those last-minute splurges. You may find a flash deal that the store didn't advertise early. Having saved extra will yield its rewards when Black Friday comes.
Have a Mix of Cash and Credit Ready
When it comes to saving money on Black Friday, using a credit card may be a good idea if you want to take advantage of cashback or other rewards. However, you might get too deep into debt. Paying off extra interest isn’t fun and will affect your credit score in the long run. Ideally, you’ll want to stay within the limits of credit, with many experts recommending that you should only use around 30% of your max limit.
Data shows that more people are at risk of getting into credit card debt because of Black Friday. Around 41% of shoppers have experienced the consequences of overspending. It can lead to buyer’s remorse and anxiety.
It’s the reason having savings is ideal for Black Friday. You can make the most out of your credit card and then use the cash for the rest. If you’re the type to have money saved before using your card, then this should be no problem for you.
Another way you can save is by using gift cards and coupons. Many stores will accept them on top of the Black Friday discounts. It may not always apply, but having them ready in the case will save you more money.
It Doesn’t End There
While Black Friday is often when big retail stores go on sale, it only marks the beginning of a weekend of deals. Many independent retailers also go on sale during Saturday, which some are calling Small Business Saturday. Then you also have another tradition in Cyber Monday, where some of the best online deals happen.
Remember to spread out your resources and look for the best deals, no matter what is available. Using a prioritized list will come in handy and if you miss out on an item, cross it out and move on to the next target. Your goal is to save money on Black Friday by creating a strategy that maximizes value.
About the Author
Rick’s been with Money Fit by DRS for 18 years and early in his career, he managed two divisions, customer service, and credit counseling, before settling in his current role of managing the organization’s marketing efforts. He is known for being someone who’d give the shirt off of his back for you, and smile while doing it! He takes that positivity and problem solving to consumers when relaying a message of help, hope, and better times ahead. When he isn’t helping consumers regain control of their debt, he loves traveling and seeing new places.