Business & Finance Shopping

Black Friday in October? – Get Prepared Now So You Won't Go Broke in November

Black Friday…the day after Thanksgiving…the typical start of the Christmas shopping season.  I can picture all of my previous Thanksgiving days, driving around trying to find ANY newspaper that is still available in order to look at all of the deals coming out on Black Friday.  Sitting around with family debating on if it is worth it to wait in cold lines at Best Buy for hours and hours in order to get that one special deal.  It's actually an addiction.  The items for sale on Black Friday aren't always items we need or items that people on our list want; but, the sale ads speak to us as if to say "come on..we know you would never buy this…but look at the price…forget the cold…etc., etc."

For those of you who have managed to sit through a Black Friday line and purchase that one special item; or, to those who just bare through the long shopping day, I salute you.  Having shopped through this day several times, I have finally come to realize that I can get most of the same items for the same price without having to wait in long lines and fight the crowds.  Last year, I purchased a Canon camera from Office Depot.  I will spare you the story about what I sent through, but I actually saved more money when I was waiting in line and another patron of the store told me that they sold the same camera at another location for the same price.  I actually saved more money at the counter as they offered to price match.  Now, I actually could have purchased this camera on any other day for the same price if I would have known where to shop.  I was caught in the realm of Black Friday ads which pushed me to one store believing that it was the "deal of a lifetime."

Last year many retailers actually released "pre-Black Friday sales" in order to capture consumer spending prior to all of us rushing out and spending it on Black Friday.  According to an article by the New York Times on October 28, 2010, "the range of stores offering early discounts is wider, the discounts are steeper and the sale periods are longer – in some instances, a full month before [Black Friday]."  This means that if you want to take advantage of some of the best deals, shop before Black Friday and don't even think about Cyber Monday.  ALL retailers are competing for your money.  If Walmart is offering you a great deal now in order to keep you from making the same purchase at Target,  why not take advantage of it?  I know this year that I will.

Now, in order to make sure that you do not overpay for an item (like I almost did last year), it is important to compare prices.  As part of our new website upgrade, we have integrated a price comparison engine.  This engine searches millions of products from 1,000's of retailers and returns results showing the item you are searching for, the stores where it is available, and the best price available.  It will even show you the additional savings that you will receive from in the form of cashback. 

Final thoughts…If you are only going out to get gift cards, save yourself the time and energy.  Go online and buy gift cards with no premium and no shipping.  You can get Visa gift cards as well as merchant gift cards (Aeropostale, Kmart, Sears, Sephora, etc.) at DISCOUNT PRICES from  For example, you can often purchase a $50 gift card for $40.  In addition, you will get 6% cashback from for your purchase.  So…avoid the lines, shop from home, save money, and enjoy the Holiday.   

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