The most hyped deal day of the year may be over with, but that doesn’t mean holiday sales are through. In fact, with fewer shoppers hitting the stores this Black Friday than last year, more of us may be waiting until closer to Christmas to snag a seasonal sale.
Millions fewer people shopped during the Thanksgiving Day weekend in 2014. In fact, overall shopper traffic from Thanksgiving Day through Nov. 30 dropped 5.2% from the same period last year, according to the National Retail Federation. There were a reported 133.7 million unique holiday shoppers in 2014, compared to 141.1 million in 2013.
With these figures, some are calling Black Friday 2014 a bust. A lackluster turnout may not be as bad as it looks, though. Black Friday’s underperformance could spell more deal days for shoppers. As Time suggests, retailers may now feel more pressure than usual to move inventory off shelves.
If that’s the case, and you’re one of the many with shopping left to do, follow these tips to make sure you’ll be able to find your way to any great upcoming post-Black Friday deals.
Sign Up for Retailers’ Email Lists
Retailers like to announce their ongoing or upcoming sales and promotions to their loyal customers. One common way they do this is via mailing lists.
Sign up for the email lists of your favorite retailers to receive timely notice of discount events. Email registration opportunities are often somewhere on the store’s homepage.
Monitor Social Media for Sales
It’s not just email lists. Retailers advertise sales on other online channels as well, including social media.
Did you forget about that sale your favorite store is holding? You can get a reminder simply by checking your news feed. Department store Kohl’s, for example, is hosting a Friends & Family sale through Dec. 8. Facebook fans of the store were not only notified of this promotion, but were also provided with the promo codes to use to take advantage of savings of up 25% off.
Ensure that you’re always in the loop by following your favorite retailers on sites like Twitter and Instagram and becoming their fan on Facebook.
Look for the Product Online
If it’s a specific product you’re looking for a sale on – rather than a specific store hosting a sale – try conducting a quick online search. Compare prices on the item you want and try looking for coupon codes to score the biggest possible savings.
Read the Physical Ads
Even in the world of cybershopping and social media, you can’t underestimate the power of traditional printed paper ads. Check for current deals in the mail and don’t forget to bring any in-ad coupons to the store with you when you go shopping.
Physical ads can be especially helpful for savvy shoppers who want to compare prices among competing retailers. If you find a lower price advertised from a different store, you may be able to use the ad as proof for a price match (asking a retailer to match another store’s price).
At JCPenney, for example, the store recommends that customers who hope to request a price match bring a complete original advertisement with them. Of course, you’ll need to review each retailer’s price matching policy to ensure that the product you’re purchasing fits the guidelines.
Check the Clearance Section
Even if a particular retailer isn’t necessarily hosting a storewide sale event, there are likely to still be items on sale. Check the clearance and sale sections – both in-store and online – for discounted merchandise. These areas can be perfect places to find stocking stuffers.
Shop on Super Saturday
Black Friday isn’t the only day for holiday sales. Expect lots of retailers to host big discount promotions on Super Saturday, the last Saturday before Christmas. In fact, retail foot traffic analysis company ShopperTrak predicts that Super Saturday will be the No. 1 holiday sale day of 2014.
This year, Super Saturday is Dec. 20.
Santa hat springy sales image via Shutterstock