In the run-up to Christmas, easily the largest retail event of the year, another contender has made its way into our cultural consciousness from across the pond - Black Friday. There’s no denying that this monolithic mega-sale is here to stay, with almost all retailers taking notice in some form or another. Scenes of packed shops, snaking queues, and trolleys piled high with big-ticket items are far removed from what Black Friday can be if you have a little know-how.
With a few tips and tricks, the dark cloud that seems to hang over this shopping event is dispelled, leaving you free to make the most of the amazing deals available. Let us take you through our Black Friday Survival Guide to help you save without the stress.
The first thing we need to cover is that ‘Black Friday’ as a term isn’t as accurate as it might have been years ago in the American shopping centres where it originated. The idea of a single day filled with absolute commercial carnage, closing with a crescendo isn’t what it is now. Over time, Black Friday has slowly grown to more than just one day. The true Black Friday period now starts with early deals and ends with ‘Cyber Monday’.
So, dispel the notion of joining the rush on stores at the last moment. There’s plenty of time to prepare.
With preparation in mind, it pays to plan ahead. Even a few careful considerations before the big day can make all the difference. Here are some tips for preparation to help you get the most from your shopping time.
Pick Your Battles – The first question you need to ask yourself is whether you are heading to shops on the day or waiting to buy online. Not everyone has the time or inclination to storm the shops, which is fine. You can secure just as many savings sat in your pyjamas on the sofa as you can in the shops these days. However, making this choice now is going to make your preparations down the line much easier.
Sign Up Soon – During Black Friday, and the accompanying Cyber Monday, it is natural and expected for a retailer’s website to slow to a snail’s pace. Just like a long queue outside stores keeps you from getting inside, lots of people trying to access a website simultaneously slows it down. Unfortunately, these slowdowns cannot be avoided. However, there are ways to streamline your experience ahead of time. Most people trying to access a store’s website are likely spending some time signing up for an account. This extra task might normally only take a few seconds with low traffic but could take a long time during periods of high demand. We’d advise getting signed up for a store’s website before you spend time shopping. This will dramatically cut down the time you spend shopping, even with high demand.
Newsletters and Promotions – One often overlooked element of Black Friday preparation is signing up for marketing emails, newsletters, apps, and price alerts from your favourite stores. Stores, including The Range, will likely advertise deals on their most popular products far ahead of time. Knowing about a good deal before you even boot up your browser or step inside the store is a great way to save time and effort. Here at The Range, we have a newsletter for all the best sale events and discounts, and not only for Black Friday.
Bring A Buddy – It’s all too easy to forget on days like this that shopping is meant to be fun! Consider getting a friend or two to tag along with you if you do venture out. Sharing a cup of tea in a queue, securing a quick ‘yes or no’ on a borderline purchase, and comparing notes on the best deals are all great reasons for tackling Black Friday as a team. We’d certainly recommend bringing a buddy along with you.
Cross Off Christmas – Part of Black Friday’s growing appeal to both retailers and customers is the fact that it reflects an already high demand for Christmas shopping. Of course, Christmas is still the biggest shopping event on most people’s calendars, but with a massive sale event like Black Friday, it’s a perfect opportunity to give Father Christmas a hand before the big day. Bring your list, check it twice, and cross off some of those Christmas gifts in advance.
However, if you’re looking to get gifts for your loved ones, don’t forget to ask for gift receipts when you shop in-store. Something as small as a guaranteed return can make all the difference, taking the worry away from a deal on the day.
Black Friday is time for serious savings, but with a little forward planning and some savvy tips, you can make the most of the discounts but leave the distress behind. We hope that you find our tips and tricks useful, whether you’re clicking your way to Christmas, heading onto the high street, or into the store. Happy bargain hunting!