Black Friday shopping may have started in the U.S., but over the years it has quickly become a global sensation. One of the first countries to jump on it in recent years was Canada, neighbor to the north that saw sales dip as Canadians travelled south of the border to get the great deals. Canadian retailers responded by offering their own Black Friday deals. Now nearly every country has jumped on the bandwagon of offering shoppers deep discounts the Friday after the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. In America, it’s long been known as the official kick-off of the holiday shopping season and is often the day you’ll find the best deals.
I remember when an old friend of mine asked me if I wanted to get up and stand in line in Buffalo at 4am so that we could be at the front of the line at WalMart when the doors open at 7am. I quickly responded with “Heck no! There’s no way I’m getting up at that hour to go shopping. I don’t care how good the deals are.” As much as I love a good deal, I couldn’t justify standing in sub-zero temperatures just to get a deal on something I probably didn’t need anyway. Perhaps if it were summer I may have given it a second thought. I just can’t deal with the cold.
I worked in the fashion and footwear retail for over 15 years combined and was privy to the reality that sometimes those sales are not really as good as customers think. You see, when you work in the mall or the retail environment, you already know there are items that go on sale often and don’t really get marked down that much. Someone who is not an avid shopper would never even know that those jeans on sale for 30% off on Black Friday were the same price a month ago.
Don’t get me wrong, there really are some awesome deals on that day. The best markdowns are usually in electronics. Big ticket items like televisions, stereo systems and laptops can be slashed to prices that are so low it’s unbelievable. Here’s the catch though, most of the stores will have limited supply. Even if they only have 5 in stock, they can use it as a way to bait you into the store. Once you’re there, you’re bound to do some other shopping.
My advice when you’re scoping out the deals is to prepare yourself by being aware of what the regular prices are on items. This will help you in deciding if it’s really a good deal or not. Don’t just buy for the sake of buying, but make sure it’s really worth the deal.
One thing you have to be cautious about is the fact that some stores don’t have deeper discounts than they would on a normal sale day. Sure they have some big-ticket items like big screen TVs marked down to a ridiculously low price. As mentioned earlier, there are usually limited quantities, which really are designed as ‘door crashers’ to bring customers to the store. Once you’re already there, you’re likely to buy other merchandise, that isn’t as deeply discounted.
What type of items do you look for when you’re on the hunt Black Friday weekend? I think your best bet is to pick up things that are high ticket items with deep markdowns like televisions, stereo systems, laptops and appliances. The travel industry is also taking advantage of offering customers some discounts of flights and travel packages. This could be the best time for you to book that holiday you’ve been dreaming about.
With the rise of online shopping over the last decade, stores have seen a steady decline of shoppers willing to stand in line to get that perfect item. In comes Cyber Monday. The day retailers offer added markdowns to their merchandise after the Black Friday weekend has wrapped up on Sunday. This day is now just as important as Black Friday, if not more. You can sit in the comfort of your home and get the same amazing deals without having to fight someone in line or grab that last box at 7am. At the click of a button, you can snag some awesome deals.
Before Cyber Monday even starts, you’ll discover that many websites are actually having early Black Friday deals. Look out for some of these sales because they could actually be really good.
A lot of people are now waiting for Cyber Monday for even deeper discounts after the Black Friday deals are wrapped up after the weekend. Many companies are even extending it to a full week dubbing it, Cyber Week sales.
So what are you going to do? Go in person to shop on Black Friday? Or will you stay home and choose your items online while taking advantage of Cyber Monday discounts?
If you like online shopping, check out Amazon, your one-stop shopping portal for nearly anything you can possibly imagine. The deals have already begun.