Black Friday Shopping: Staying Focused

Black Friday only rolls around once a year, so it pays to be prepared for the big day. Don't just head to the nearest mall and assume you'll find what you need and get great deals on it too. With a little advanced preparation, you can stay focused during your shopping trip, find items for everyone on your list and score great deals on them too. Here’s how to get started:

Jot Down Gift Ideas for Each Person on Your List

While you don't have to pinpoint specific products for specific people prior to heading out the door, at least come up with a list of general items that would be suitable for each person. The Kipling gift guide is a great resource to turn to for inspiration. From duffel bags for athletes to backpacks for students, you'll find all kinds of inspiration. With a list of items to work off, you'll have an easier time navigating the sales and getting home in one piece.

Know the Deals

All major retailers start advertising their Black Friday deals well in advance. With your list in hand, start rounding up newspaper ads and browsing online to see what's going to be offered on the busiest shopping day of the year. With any lucky, you'll be able to map out the places you'll need to go in order to cross every last item off your list, and you'll be able to get everything for rock-bottom prices.

Do Your Homework

Just because something is being offered for an absolute steal on Black Friday doesn't mean it's worthwhile. After identifying the deals that interest you the most, do some online research to find out whether or not the products are really worth it. Online reviews may reveal that the smart TV you've been eyeing is more trouble than it's worth, for instance. In that case, it's probably best to purchase a different one elsewhere, even if it means paying more. After all, no one wants to give low-quality gifts to loved ones.

Online Shopping versus In-Store

You may be able to reduce the amount of time you're actually out on Black Friday by checking on online Black Friday deals first. This is a great way to cross items off your list before venturing out on the morning after Thanksgiving. Of course, compare and contrast online and in-store prices to ensure you are still getting the best deals.

Familiarize Yourself with Store Policies

Research returns and exchanges information for all the stores you'll be hitting on Black Friday. For additional protection, make sure to get gift receipts for everything too.

Bring Your Sales Ads

Black Friday is chaotic. All too often, confusion at the register causes shoppers to miss out on advertised deals. Ward this off by arming yourself with copies of your Black Friday sales ads. Keep them organized, and be prepared to produce them if anything you're buying doesn't ring up at the advertised price. By following these steps, you are far more likely to return home with excellent gifts for everyone on your list for truly amazing prices. Furthermore, this approach helps to reduce the amount of time you spend shopping on Black Friday, which lets you get home quickly to enjoy those Thanksgiving leftovers and to take a well-deserved nap!