November 7, 2017
It's time to say it, Christmas Shopping. How many years has Christmas come and gone and you've said to yourself "next year I'm going to get done early"? How about making this year, the year you do it?
With just a little planning and research now, you can get your Holiday shopping done early, stay within your budget and have the confidence you got the best price. It might surprise you to know that many stores actually have their rock bottom prices well before Black Friday and then they raise their prices just so they can lower them again for one outrageous day of chaos (November 25). In fact, we here at Coupons4Utah, have seen this time and time again and have, actually watched prices creep up as the big fiasco nears.
If your family tradition is to shop 'til you drop at the wee hours of the morning or, as we saw last year, before the Thanksgiving table has been cleared, by all means, have your fun with family and friends. It can be a rewarding rush trying to score that handful of Black Friday lost leader items that stores use to lure you in. But, for those that prefer to avoid the crowds, craziness and like to sleep off the turkey tummy, here's a few simple tricks I've picked up over the years for getting the best Black Friday deals before Black Friday arrives.
**Make a list, make a list, make a list..... You know we love them. The sooner you get your budget set and gifts in mind the easier it is to find and recognize the bargains for those items. If you have young kids this can be tricky as it's likely they don't know what they want this early. But, you can set the budget for their gifts and just knowing that, can help you, guide them, to stay within your budget restrictions.
If you know a high ticket electronics item, smart phones, tablets, computers, game systems or even home appliances like vacuums and blenders will be on your list, list them now and start considering and narrowing in on brand.
Once you know what high ticket items you plan to purchase, it's time to do a little research and price them out. Check the prices of the items on your list right now. You can do this quickly by checking Amazon.com, Target.com, BestBuy.com, Walmart.com, ToysRus.com and if you're a warehouse club member check SamsClub.com and Costco.com too.
**Write the prices down so you don't forget what they are and keep your list handy near the computer or in your smart phone. If you aren't brand specific search the sites and web for the specifics you'll want. For example, when I search BestBuy.com and Walmart.com for 60" LED HDTV, I get several results for the same brands. Knowing these prices and becoming brand familiar before the rush starts will be the most invaluable information you can have!
**Know the dates. During the weeks after Labor Day, and through October we often see the lowest price for the season. By knowing what the average prices of the items you're looking for are, you'll be able to spot and know when it's gone on a drastic price drop (30% to 50%) and you'll be able to spot the deal when you see it and make your purchase with confidence. DIV
**Where to look for the deals? Now you know what you want, how much to pay, how do you find the deals? There are 100's of deal websites out there. Some of the reputable sites I like are BradsDeals.com, DealsPlus.com and Offers.com. They post 100's of deals daily and all 3 sites are good at spotting low prices without the impulse factor.
Black Friday ads will typically start leaking somewhere around the first week of November. You can watch for them on BlackFriday.com. Keep in mind, that they have been known to change and the ads are often area specific, until the ad is officially on the company's website, it can't be considered accurate. They do however make a good guideline.
**Are there bargains after the chaos? Yes, if you can't fit it in your budget to shop early, you're not alone, for years our family shopped for the Holidays the second week of December. We did this because of how the weeks fall and our "every other week" paydays meant that December typically had a 3rd payday in it. For us that was how we paid for Christmas. If that's your strategy, all is not lost. Just because you missed early shopping and Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals doesn't mean you can't score a great price. But, be aware you may end up paying more.
If you waited 'til the last minute, keep watch for bargains online. Online merchants run their last ditch attempt with FREE shipping day (December 18, 2014), where nearly every online merchant will offer free shipping without a minimum. Pair that with any available coupon codes for bonus savings.
A little tip: If you must wait to do your shopping at the last minute, cut yourself a break and prepare another way. Make your lists and then start enjoying the holiday season. Stay out of the stores until you're budget allows you to shop and then get it all done in a day or two. In the meantime, take the time to enjoy the holiday with family and friends. That way, you won't feel cheated out of the holiday festivities.
So, whatcha' waiting for? Get out your pen and paper and start making that list. Just imagine, trimming the tree and wrapping up those gifts on Black Friday. Awe...... Sweet Success.
What's on your holiday shopping list? Leave a comment so we can help you find a deal.
This is an update from it's original posting date of 9/15/2011.
Posted by Joani