Ten Black Friday Tips for 2015
Black Friday Tips 1. Black Friday Starts November 1. Be Ready – While the official date for Black Friday is November 27, 2015, the sales start much earlier. Amazon has taken it upon themselves to start their “Countdown to Black Friday” sale on November 1, so this is really the start of “Black November.” Numerous pre-Black Friday sales will be held in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, so if you happen to miss one, don’t fret, as another will be right around the corner. Officially, look for the earliest Thanksgiving sale to begin at 6 a.m., with many other stores opening from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Online shopping will be available the entire day on Thursday and Friday.
Black Friday Tips 2. Gift Cards Sometimes Offer The Best Deals – While the idea of a gift card bundled with a full priced item is disappointing, it can actually save you more money in the end. Last year, Best Buy had the iPad Air 2 available for $399, which was a $100 discount. Target had the same tablet available for $499, which was the full retail price. Target included a store gift card valued at $140 though. While Best Buy’s sale allowed for a savings of $100 immediately, the Target deal had the better net savings of $140. When considering an item bundled with a gift card, always calculate the net discount.
Black Friday Tips 3. Be Ready for Online Shopping – With Black Friday and Thanksgiving ready to set new personal online sales records this year, it is more important than ever to be prepared. More and more shoppers are avoiding going out on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, and are instead opting to shop online. Amazon’s recent Prime Day proved how fierce the competition has become. Items were literally selling out within the first minute, which caused confusion and anger among shoppers. In order to give yourself the best shot at being successful shopping online, make sure you have all of your store accounts setup in advance. Double check your shipping and billing information, and consider having a credit card on file for an even faster checkout. Every second matters, and it could mean the difference between getting that new HDTV doorbuster, and missing out. Last year, tablet and smartphones accounted for 51% of our online traffic, while desktops only 49%. We highly recommend you use your desktop/laptop on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, as its faster and more reliable when ordering online.
Black Friday Tips 4. Free Shipping is Important – While many retailers are going to offer free shipping for all orders regardless of the order size, others still require a minimum purchase amount. We expect this minimum to be around $35 this year. Since this is a fairly easy minimum order size to meet, it will not affect any of the more expensive doorbusters. For items under $35 though, you could potentially be paying an additional $5 to $10 in shipping charges, depending on the store’s shipping costs, which pretty much offsets the sale price.
Black Friday Tips 5. Continual Research Is Required – Every year, we will see a deal that we think is going to be the lowest possible price for that item. And do you know what happens? Another store comes out the next day and beats the price by 5%. If you find an item at a price you like, do not end your research. Until you are at the checkout counter or clicking order when shopping online, you should be checking to see if another store comes out with a better bargain. In 2014, everyone believed Walmart’s 32-inch HDTV for $99 was the lowest possible price. Shortly after, Amazon shocked us all when they announced a 32-inch HDTV for $79.
Black Friday Tips 6. Want a Top Doorbuster? Get Your Tent Ready – Unless you are shopping at an online only retailer like Amazon, eBay, or Newegg, you are probably going to have to go to the store to be eligible for the best doorbusters. While Black Friday and Thanksgiving sales are increasing rapidly online, the absolute best deals deals are usually not offered online. This may change in the coming years, but for now, quantities are limited and you are going to have to arrive many hours before opening to have a shot at the most coveted items.
Black Friday Tips 7. Avoid The Apple Store – In recent years, the Apple Store has sold all of their items without a discount on Black Friday. However, they have included iTunes gift cards worth $25 to $100. While we referenced in Tip 2 that this can be a good overall money saving strategy, the net sale price for the Apple Store’s gift card bundles are always higher than when purchasing Apple products from third party retailers. Stick with stores such as Best Buy, Walmart, Target, Sam’s Club, MacMall, and Newegg when buying Apple products.
Black Friday Tips 8. Missing Out On Black Friday Prices Will Cost You Big – We surveyed prices for some of the most popular electronics that were available during Black Friday in 2014. Our study concluded that the average price for a laptop, television, tablet, camera, and video game console that was available on Black Friday goes up by an average of $48.43 after Black Friday and Thanksgiving sales are finished. Expect this number to be anywhere from $45 to $50 for 2015.
Black Friday Tips 9. The Average Online Order Will Be Around $130. Set a Budget – As convenient as online shopping has become, it is important that you stay mindful of your budget. Last year, the national average for online orders on Black Friday and Thanksgiving was $127. Our own personal sales data shows a higher figure, but we believe the national average will be around $130 this year.
Black Friday Tips 10. Wait Until December For The Best Toy Deals – While Black Friday and Thanksgiving have some great discounts on toys and games, December remains the best time of the year for the most savings. If you do plan on shopping for toys before December, avoid the holiday toy book and toy list sales. While these lists are great resources to show what the most popular toys are for the year, the discounts are minimal at best.