Black Friday is a classic American holiday when millions of people do shopping (mostly for Christmas) at exceptionally discounted rates. Although it is not an official holiday in the US, most employees have days off except those who work in retail. It falls on the Friday after Thanksgiving normally between 23rd and 29th November. This year it is going to be on Nov 26 and shoppers will be looking for the best Black Friday sales on electronics, appliances, clothes, and more.
The term ‘Black Friday’ was coined in the 1960s by the Philadelphia police when it saw streets filled with people running after shopping deals on the Friday after Thanksgiving. These shopping deals started after Macy’s first Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924 on Friday. Back then, accountants kept the records manually and denoted loss by red ink and profits by black ink. Ever since the Parade, the stores with red revenue started to move towards black, thus the name. Retailers soon realized that the power of discounted prices was drawing buyers, even more than those at pre-Christmas sales.
It continues to the modern era but the pattern has largely shifted from in-store to online shopping. The situation surrounding the COVID-19 Pandemic and lockdowns has intensified the shifting process. According to records, the in-store traffic in 2020 decreased by 42% as compared to 2019. On the other hand, the total Black Friday sales in 2020 rose by 19% to over 9 billion USD. It is predicted that the ratio will rise even more this year.
How to Get the Best Out of Black Friday Sales?
Coronavirus pandemic has compelled many retailers to seek online opportunities rather than sticking to in-store. Sometimes they start the sale weeks before the scheduled date, which doesn’t mean that customers should rush to get anything they can get their hands on. They can wait and watch for the other retailers to play their move as the final day gets closer.
The shopping season doesn’t end with Black Friday because, after 3 days, there’s Cyber Monday with more online deals. So, one can plan accordingly about what to buy and what to let go of. Here are some useful tips to keep in mind while availing the Black Friday sales.
Research Before Black Friday Sales Start
On average, an adult spends around 400 USD on Black Friday sales. It is not a huge amount to spend on a yearly event especially when an average American’s weekly income is around 990 USD. However, one can further reduce this value by following some steps. The most important thing to do before the beginning of the event is to scout the deals and plan what is needed the most. The advertisements are a great source to see the special discounts ahead of time.
Setting a limit beforehand is also a wise start so the wallet can still breathe after the event is over. There are many websites and browsers plugins like Rakuten that can help cushion some impact on the budget. They scour the internet on the customer’s behalf and come back with coupon codes, which are automatically applied to the purchase and allow some cash back to the purchaser.
One can use this time before the sales to create accounts on such websites. It is also an opportunity to identify the legitimate vendors from the suspicious ones because it is that time of the year when opportunists will certainly use trickery and deception to entice customers.
Consider Online Instead of In-store
Most of the action is going to happen online. Big brands have already started to display various sales as November to January is generally the holiday season. In-store shopping is just not worth the hassle one has to go through like heavy crowds, health and safety concerns, long queues, and parking issues. This is the reason why more than 90 million buyers make purchases on Black Friday sales through online platforms.
Also, online shopping is the best option for electronics lovers, who can enjoy discounts of up to 24%. The highest discount of Black Friday sales happens on smartphones, TVs, tablets, home appliances, and even jewelry sometimes.
Buying online also offers better rights to return an unsatisfactory product. Normally, online retailers provide 14 days to return an item and refund the paid amount. Some physical stores on the other hand may or may not have a return policy because they are not required by the law.
Follow Retailers on Social Media Platforms
It is normally beneficial to follow retailers on social media anyway but during the holiday season, they speed up their marketing activity and post large volumes of last-minute Black Friday sales.
Users also start receiving targeted ads after following them which will not feel as annoying as they usually do on normal days. Depending on browsing habits and search settings, users might also be able to find those items in ads, which they needed from the beginning.
Compare, Contrast, and Match Prices
It is always best to compare the pricing at each store with Black Friday Sales. One way to do it is by making a list of all retailers that are selling the same product.
It often happens that some sellers allow purchasers to match prices. It means that they can further decrease the price if the customer can prove that a specific product is being sold for less at another store.
Customers can also buy from cards because very often payment companies offer discounts so one can avail store plus payment company discounts.
Make Sure You Buy What You Need
In the end, all that matters is to not get distracted by a sea of discounted items. The purpose of availing sale season offers is to save money. However, many people in a bid to buy at discounted rate end up purchasing the stuff they don’t need. In this way they just overspend. So, the tip is to be clear on what one needs.
There are many ways to further reduce the face value but the budget should be the priority. Remember, Black Friday sales are not the last opportunity to get good deals if one is looking for electronics. It is because Cyber Monday sometimes offers better discounts on them. In 2020, total Cyber Monday online sales generated more than 10 billion USD, which is a record for the biggest online sale of all time.
This holiday season also presents the Singles Day sale which is coming way sooner than Black Friday or Cyber Monday. It is a huge Chinese shopping event that celebrates people who are not in a relationship. This year it is going to be on 11th November and like every time, it will offer another chance to get expensive gadgets at lower rates.