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5 Savvy Black Friday Shopping Tips to Put In Your Bag

Nov 17, 2023

As the holiday season approaches, the anticipation of Black Friday, the year’s biggest shopping weekend, looms large. In recent years, the landscape of holiday shopping has undergone a significant shift, with a growing number of consumers opting for the convenience and accessibility of online platforms. While traditional brick-and-mortar stores continue to welcome shoppers, the rise of e-commerce has set new benchmarks in the realm of retail.

Whether you’re a seasoned online shopper or prefer the in-person experience, navigating the Black Friday extravaganza requires strategic planning. Prepare for the year’s biggest holiday shopping weekend by reviewing these five savvy Black Friday shopping tips to help navigate potential shopping chaos, whatever shopping method you choose.

1. Get ahead of the game.

If you’re planning on shopping online, consider downloading Honey, an online application that you can attach to your browser to find you the best deals across 40,000+ websites. Honey automatically pulls the best deals from its vast network of websites without sharing your data with third-party platforms. Also, consider researching retailers’ social media sites as many offer additional incentives for visiting or “liking” their page. Note that gift cards that are not discounted (meaning the card value is equal to or more than the cost you pay for the card) are putting restrictions on your cash — where the money must be spent, for example — with no rewards to you or the recipient.

2. Maximize — and charge — that smartphone.

Be sure that you’ve downloaded a smartphone app for comparison shopping. "ShopSavvy" and "Amazon — Shopping Made Easy" are two popular app options.

  • When you're using ShopSavvy, you scan the barcode of a product or keyword search by name, and the app helps you immediately locate that product at the best available price both online and in local stores.
  • The Amazon - Shopping Made Easy app allows you to quickly access the item by scanning a barcode, snapping a picture, or typing your search keywords. You can compare prices, check availability, and read reviews through the app, and purchases can be made directly through the app as they are routed through Amazon's secure servers. In 2022, Amazon achieved its highest-ever Black Friday weekend sales on record.

And remember: Some retailers such as Target and Wal-Mart even offer price matching if another store has the item for less, but be sure to read the fine print before relying on this option.

3. Think outside of the Black Friday box.

While Black Friday is traditionally assumed to be the single biggest day of savings, Cyber Monday has certainly given it a run for its money. Research shows that Cyber Monday usually delivers the best clothes deals. While it’s typically best to wait until January or February (if possible) to purchase high-end electronics as stores reduce prices before annual inventory counts, some stores like Best Buy offer 40%-50% off electronics on Black Friday weekend.

Of course, throughout the holiday season, consider online shopping that may offer free shipping — and sometimes free returns.

4. Reward yourself when possible.

Does your credit card offer cash back? Are you a loyalty program member at any stores? Many credit cards and stores offer cash back or points towards future items when you make purchases. Check whether you qualify, particularly for online shopping. Just be careful you don't spend more than you intended only to receive an extra perk.

5. Make a plan, and work that plan.

Create a list of what you're looking to buy and how much you're willing to spend. It'll help keep you on budget, as well as lower your post-holiday bills. Remember, it's not necessarily a deal if you never intended to purchase the item in the first place.

If you find yourself in need of additional support in managing your finances, especially during the holiday season, reach out to your CRI advisor. They’re ready to provide expert assistance in budgeting and various financial matters, helping guide you through the intricacies of financial planning during the holidays.

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