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  • Strategies for Shopping Black Friday Sales {Nov. 29, 2013}

    Black Friday Shopping Strategies at chieffamilyofficer.com

    Black Friday has changed dramatically in the last few years, as online shopping has become more and more popular. Here are some tips for making your Black Friday shopping as easy as possible:

    First, you should determine what items you want or need to purchase. Popular items at this time of year are electronics, toys, clothes and other gift items, but you can find deals on pretty much anything.

    Once you have your list, you should review the Black Friday ads available at sites like GottaDeal.com and SlickDeals. As soon as Black Friday ads are leaked, these sites post them for savvy shoppers to review. Based on the ads, you can prioritize the stores you want to target.

    At this point, you should decide whether you want to focus on shopping online or at brick and mortar stores. Keep in mind that while online stores have great deals on Black Friday, they may also have great deals on Cyber Monday – so you’ll want to review the Cyber Monday ads too. However, note that for true bargain shoppers, Cyber Monday deals have historically paled in comparison to Black Friday deals.

    Once you’ve decided whether you’ll focus on online or brick and mortar stores, you can tailor your strategy as follows:


    When it comes to shopping online on Black Friday, your best friend is a fast internet connection. You’ll also find the best selection if you shop early. Online Black Friday shopping is particularly great for electronics and toys, which are the type of brick and mortar stores that seem to have the biggest crowds and longest lines. (I’ve scored great deals on TVs and computers on Black Friday these past couple of years, and I’m in the market for yet another TV on Amazon that day.)

    To get the most out of your Black Friday shopping online, take the time to set up an account at the stores you plan to shop at. Create your username and password, put a credit card on file, and enter your billing and shipping addresses. Having this information already set up will allow you to check out faster, which can be critical when it comes to limited quantity or time sensitive items.

    Another thing you can do ahead of time is put items you want to buy on your wishlist so that you can find them easily. For example, you could add this $9 Sheath Dress at Ultimate Outlet, and then wait to see if there’s an even more incredible deal on it on Black Friday.

    Finally, one perk of doing your Black Friday shopping online is the ability to save even more money by going through cash back sites. You’ll want to sign up ahead of time, and then use a site like evreward.com to figure out which site is offering the best cash back deal (but be aware that they don’t list every cash back site).

    My personal favorite cash back sites are Ebates, which is offering a FREE $10 gift card to new members who make a $25 purchase, and Mr. Rebates, which is offering a FREE $5 registration bonus to new members. You can also earn cash back through sites like Swagbucks and SavingStar {both are sites I love and use regularly, but I haven’t personally used their shopping portals}.


    If you prefer to shop at brick and mortar stores on Black Friday, definitely go as early as possible. Notwithstanding the inevitable lines at stores like Best Buy, my personal experience has been that the crowds increase throughout the day. Plus, many stores offer early-bird specials for their first shoppers, and you’ll find the best selection.

    There are a couple of things you can do ahead of time to make your in-store Black Friday shopping go as smoothly as possible. The first is to plan a strategic route through your target stores. If you’re after something that’s super popular, get that first before stores run out. But you’ll also want to think about minimizing the amount of driving, walking, and back-tracking you’ll have to do.

    The second thing you can do ahead of time is get any coupons ready. The Thanksgiving Day newspaper should be filled with circulars and look more like a Sunday newspaper than a weekday one. Many of the circulars will have special Black Friday coupons. Be sure to pull those out and put them in a place that will be easily accessible while you’re shopping.


    Ever since I started playing The Drugstore Game, the drugstores have been my favorite place for Black Friday shopping. They have fantastic deals, including many free items, as well as bargains on gift-able items, and everyday necessities. And the best part is, most drugstores are open on Thanksgiving Day, so if you can get away for a little while on that Thursday, you can still do all of your Black Friday shopping on Friday!

    This post was underwritten by UltimateOutlet.com. UltimateOutlet is the official outlet of Spiegel, Newport News and Shape FX, and offers a wide range of high quality, reasonably priced women’s fashion. Read the full CFO disclosure policy here.

    This post contains affiliate links that support this site at no additional cost to you – thank you for using them! Image via FreeDigitalPhotos.net by Iamnee.