I know, with the prevalence of financial blogs online, and the ability to preview store circulars before they actually circulate, a lot of people are pooh-poohing Black Friday as not the greatest deal of the year. I get that. Mother’s Day weekend and Columbus Day weekend are, in my experience, your best overall discount weekends if you have a variety of things to shop for.
However … the appeal of Black Friday is that retailers know they can get your attention. So, they try to do so with loss leaders. If you aren’t familiar with that term, it means that they advertise a small number of items at a very low (probably losing money) price, because once you are in the door, you’re going to buy other stuff also that’s at a higher price. They figure, once you commit to parking your car, hustling through the cold weather, and get in the door, you’re going to buy more than the best deals they publish. You’ll even buy regular price stuff that has a big sign next to it, because you are in a buying mood and you’re already there.
Here is where discipline and planning will come in handy.
Lots of stores will give you their circular ahead of time, or publish the “advance” deals online. They aren’t hard to find. What you need to have is a plan, a list of what the best deals are, and don’t be caught up in the excitement. Don’t be fooled by marketing tricks. And … for all that is holy … be armed with your discounted gift cards ahead of time so that no matter how good the deals are, you are already paying less than face value because you have gift cards that you bought at a lower price.
Here is my plan of attack so far:
Harbor Freight Tools
Bed, Bath and Beyond
Advance Auto (possibly might be supplanted by Autozone? close right now, depends on discount between now and then)
… may have others added depending on who has good loss leaders to offer!