Black Friday has become Black November.
The National Retail Federation (NRF) expects 164 million people to shop over the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Before the end of October, 39% of consumers started their holiday shopping. The shopping chaos will only pick up this month as shoppers search for the best available deals.
And the deals are more than just apparel. According to Statista, 34% of shoppers are going for apparel deals and electronics while 29% shop for media purchases like books, games, video games, and music. In addition, 28% will shop for toys and 23% of shoppers are looking for beauty/fragrances.
Planning Your Shopping Adventure
How does one prepare their shopping strategy? The key is planning. Start with a list. Take advantage of joining your favorite brands' email lists. Sign up now. This way, you’ll be the first to know about hard to find products or deep discounts for loyal customers. Don’t throw away the weekly circular that gets mailed to homes midweek. These are where retailers will list their doorbuster deals and limited items, which are heavily discounted for Black Friday. Many retailers such as Target will do specials via their app where you can either pick up in-store or ship to the comforts of your home.
Apps to Use
Speaking of apps, which ones are really worth the download? This summer, PC magazine ranked the best comparison-shopping apps. The winner was Shopular, which is available on iOS and Android. By using it, you can see what’s on sale and get coupon codes and in-store coupons. If you throw out your weekly circular, you can find it again on Shopular. You can even earn cash back if you shop through the app. Plus, if you refer a friend, you’ll get a $25 referral bonus.
Yroo, another app recommended by PC magazine, gives you the daily deals from both stores and online retailers including Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, and more. This app shows you the price history for 30-90 days. You can even scan barcodes while you shop for digital coupons.
If you like using sites like Amazon, where you can rely on the customer feedback, then you might like ScanLife which is also available on iOS and Android. This app lets the user compare prices both online and locally with real-life user reviews. Instead of getting cash back, you can get rewards that can be redeemed for gift cards.
If you want to bypass the comparison apps, you can download the Walmart Savings Catcher, where you can scan your receipt. If you find a price at a competitor for a lower price, Walmart will issue you a reward eGift card.
Using these apps could be a game-changer but will require some additional planning. Start with a list and load your items and brands you want to watch in the apps and let technology do the work for you.
My Best Holiday Shopping Advice
Look for cards that offer you cash back to get an extra incentive when purchasing those big-ticket items. Some offers that retailers will discount are electronics—so there is no need to wait until the Super Bowl to purchase that new large screen TV.
My Best Gift-Giving Advice
Ask for a gift receipt and double-check each retailers’ return policies! Generally, stores offer extended return policies starting in November.
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