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Black Friday Deal-Hunting: 4 Last-Minute Prep Strategies

Nov. 27, 2014
Black Friday, Shopping
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You’ve read the ads, researched the deals, picked your favorite store and claimed your place in line. The bargain hunting legwork is over with, right? Wrong.

You may think your Black Friday preparation is done once you’ve arrived at the store, but not so fast. Here are four ways to use your time in line as a last-minute attempt to grab the best deal possible.

1. Review the Ads

If you’re already in line, hopefully you’re equipped with the Black Friday ad of the store you’ll be patronizing. If you’re heading out soon to get in line, make sure you bring the ad with you. This is extremely helpful, as it will help you ensure that you receive the advertised price on any given item.

Additionally, many ads contain coupons. While you wait in line, review the coupons and clip the ones that you can apply to your purchase. Ads also typically designate how many of a specific product will be in stock on the big day, so you can try to calculate if you’re close enough in line to get the deal you want.

There’s another reason to pay attention to ads and ad comparison apps, too. You should constantly be checking to see if competing retailers have advertised the product you want for less than the store where you’re waiting in line. If you find an instance of this, you can guarantee yourself the lower price – but only if the store you’re shopping at will be honoring price matching.

2. Monitor Social Media

Let’s face it. You’ll probably be checking your Facebook news feed, sharing Instagram pictures and posting more than a few tweets while you’re in line anyway, so why not use social media to your advantage on Black Friday (and Thanksgiving)?

Many major retailers use their social media accounts as ways to spread news and generate hype about their sales. This may include postings about contests, giveaways or exclusive coupons. If you’re not plugged into such updates, you might miss out.

3. Shop Online (But Not in Line)

Have you thought about combining virtual and in-store shopping? That doorbuster deal you’re waiting for might not be available until 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving, but meanwhile, other sales will have already started. Many retailers are making their online deals available all day Nov. 27 and Nov. 28. So while you need to be in person to grab the big blockbuster discounts, other reduced-price merchandise doesn’t need to be bought at a physical store location.

But we don’t recommend online shopping via your mobile device while you’re in line. Shopping in public can be dangerous, especially over public Wi-Fi connections. If you want to try to take advantage of both cyber and in-store deals, we recommend teaming up with a friend who can shop online while you’re in a real line.

Even if you’re not at home to make the purchases yourself, you can browse sites from your mobile phone to scope out which deals you want included in your divide-and-conquer strategy. If you and a friend decide to take this approach, as with any cybertransaction, make sure that you follow the tips for sale online shopping.

4. Go Over Your Game Plan

After all of those hours (or perhaps days) of waiting, don’t sabotage your own Black Friday strategy at the very last minute. You won’t want to walk into a store blindly, so use the time you have before the store opens its doors to do everything you can to formulate a mental game plan.

Know which item you want to try for first, second and so forth. Review your list of must-haves so you don’t leave the store and realize you forgot something. Finally, do a quick inventory check to ensure you have your cash, credit card, ID, coupons, ads and product ticket – if the store you’re at hands out tickets.

With all of these steps complete, you’re ready to leave the cold behind as you greet all of your favorite deals on the inside.



Sale clock image via Shutterstock