5 Black Friday Tips You Should Know
Everyone knows the best time to shop is on Black Friday. Unfortunately, that means literally everyone. Cue the crying babies and hoards of families traveling in packs. Crowds and lines tend to overshadow the great discounts, but I've gathered some of the best tips to make your shopping experience a little more enjoyable.
1. According to Google, the best time to shop on Black Friday is in the morning, late afternoon, or evening. Basically avoid the mall from 2pm-4pm; the traffic and lines will be redder than LA rush hour on Google Maps.
2. Your smartphone is called smart for a reason: download apps specific to Black Friday for the best deal comparisons and added coupons/promo codes. Forbes suggests TGIBlackFriday and RetailMeNot.
3. Pay attention to the stores' policies. Consumer Reports predicts that more retailers will be expanding their store policy to include price matching in-store with online deals. Be careful to ask about their return policy as some retailers may charge a restocking fee during Black Friday. Tricky!
4. Know which discounts are worth it. Don't stand in line for an hour on something that's not a good sale! The Huffington Post complied a list of Black Friday deals that you shouldn't fall for including discounts on toys, new TVs, and the Apple iPad mini.
5. Wait for Cyber Monday, or even later. Shopping from the comfort of your own bed? Sounds like heaven to me. Plus, some retailers have been offering deals all November long, or at least a week in advance from Black Friday. The deals don't end there. Good Housekeeping shares Google data that the biggest shopping day is actually the Saturday before Christmas, meaning just as good or even better deals. We can thank all the last minute gift shoppers for that!
BONUS Cyber Monday Tip: Instead of shopping online using your laptop, take advantage of retailers' apps. It's another channel to purchase from, often with less traffic, making it quicker to checkout. If something's low in stock, shopping through the app could be the difference between getting the pair of shoes you've been eyeing versus getting an "out of stock" notice at checkout. Although I've never tried this method for Cyber Monday, it's proven to work for me TWICE when I was able to snag the coveted Taylor Swift 1989 World Tour tickets through Ticketmaster's app instead of using an internet browser.