By Lynn Truong
Today, we're going to talk about the most popular shopping day of the year: Black Friday. We'll show you where to look online for the hottest prices and how to start planning now so you can save big later. This is part one of our two part Black Friday series. Make sure to tune in in two weeks for part two, for a guide on beating the crowd and scoring the deals you planned using tips from today's episode.
What is Black Friday?
Simply explained, Black Friday is the first day after Thanksgiving and is marked by stores offering some of the lowest prices on popular consumer goods for the year. It is termed Black Friday because it traditionally is the first day of the year that the retail outlets go “in the black” or become profitable. This year Black Friday is even more important for stores due to disappointing sales they’ve had during the year. Their loss can be your gain however, and we'll look at the top online resources to find this years most promising deals.
It is termed Black Friday because it traditionally is the first day of the year that the retail outlets go “in the black” or become profitable.
With the catchy tag line, “Where everyday is Black Friday,” dealnews.com delivers on its promise to provide the best deals available throughout the year. During Black Friday season however, it really steps things up by providing some of the most aggressive sales predictions, the earliest ads, and a supportive community to keep all the Black Friday-related information in check.
Quick and dirty tip: You can see all of last year’s sales ads online now, and 2009's ads should be available in the very near future. Look for retailers Lowes and Walgreens to have their Black Friday previews available online now.
One of the largest shopping communities available online, fatwallet.com relies heavily on its members to provide ad scans and insider tips for a successful Black Friday shopping experience. In addition to lively conversation on the forums, visitors will find exclusive coupons and free shipping offers. Register through Fatwallet's cash back program to get started saving well before Black Friday.
Quick and dirty tip: Earn cash back when you shop through online Black Friday links. Three to five percent is the average amount you can get on top of your already low prices.
With ad scans available before every other website, blackfriday.org is a site you'll want to visit daily for your Black Friday shopping plans. The site offers its readers actual retail store ads along with news updates with the latest ads readily available. Unlike other deal sites that offer a newsletter feature, blackfriday.org sends out Black Friday specific updates only. Reduce clutter in your inbox with this targeted savings tool.
Quick and dirty tip: Sign up for their ad updates to get a look at ads the moment they post to the website. Be the first among your friends to know what Black Friday will hold for you.
This thriving community of over 175,000 members is a great place to learn about the do's and don't's of Black Friday shopping. With an eye for trends and commenters who are eager to share their insider tips, those who are new to Black Friday shopping find themselves right at home. This site is a great combination of similar forum communities and those that offer actual retail store ads. It's a great all around resource.
Quick and dirty tip: If you see an ad, print it and save it. Recent legal action against sites like these has often forced them to remove information shortly after it is posted.
Though it is still early in the game, a proper action plan and a realistic view of your budget can help you make sure you won't go overboard with your Black Friday shopping. Here are a few additional quick and dirty tips to keep you in the black during this mega shopping holiday.
Know whom you are shopping for. One of the best ways to keep spending within reason is to choose who you will give to before making your shopping list. All the fabulous bargains in the world will mean nothing if they are not appropriate to give to those who are close to you.
Set a dollar limit. Decide ahead of time how much you will spend for each person. If you absolutely have to go over that amount for a particular gift, work extra hard to make that money up on another gift (money back rebates are a great way to accomplish this).
Don't be fooled by Cyber Monday. Many Black Friday sales are available online, giving you a chance to avoid stores on that hectic day. Though many stores boast that their sales on Cyber Monday, which is the Monday after Black Friday, are comparable, they fall short. The early bird does get the worm.
That's it for part one of our two part series on Black Friday. Make sure to tune in in two weeks for the guide to scoring big on the day itself.
This has been an episode of Dealista’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Getting More for Less, brought to you by Wise Bread, a personal finance blog that helps you live large on a small budget.
As always, you can send us your questions, comments, and tips to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 206-426-1615.
Until next time!