Black Friday is probably the biggest shopping day of the year. So big, in fact, that in past years, people rushed out to snag the best-discounted products and deals while pushing and trampling each other all through the night. But with the surging popularity of online shopping, consumers have learned to make the most out of manic shopping days without losing an arm and a leg.

This year, Black Friday falls on November 23, with Cyber Monday following up on November 26. These two days are increasingly shifting into an entire month of crazed sales with both brick-and-mortar and online retailers reducing prices and displaying their best of the best promotions, which is fantastic for those who love to shop in bed, at work, on the bus or wherever else they operate their phone or laptop.

With every major brand displaying its best deals left and right, overwhelmingly cluttering our minds with products, products, and more products, knowing the right buying moves is momentous!

So let’s make the most out of the big sales days this year.

Tip #1 – Prepare a budget

A lot of retailers are going to offer crazy discounts over Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so it’s really easy to feel like a couple of extra items won’t matter. This kind of thinking will most likely crush your budget sooner than you can imagine. Setting yourself with a budget, a realistic budget that will allow you to properly administer your shopping, is a good idea, whether you’re buying one product or many.

If you’re planning to spend a generous amount of money this year, it’s worth to put aside a little extra cash for unplanned purchases each week. After all, you’d hate to end up with a full shopping cart and no money to check it out with.

If you need help to stick to your budget, there are plenty of apps for extra savings. While you’re standing in line or shopping from home, double check that you’re getting the best deal possible. Apps like ShopSavvy or Shopular can help you find the best deal at your favorite stores.

Prepare a Budget


Tip #2 – Make your wishlist

After the budget setting, comes the wishlist. Make a list of things you’re eyeing for a while but waited for that price-reduction to buy them. For example, are you looking to be the proud owner of a 4K LED TV or that price-friendly new Macbook? Carrying a list with you is great to maintain your shopping on the right track. An organized list will help steer you away from impulse purchases, even if you’re saving a lot of money purchasing them.

Some sites, like Amazon and eBay, allow you to create a wishlist within the site and save items you have watched or favorited, which is a great place to start.

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Tip #3 – Get an early headstart

Black Friday sales begin at the crack of dawn with doors busting as early as 4am or 5am and wrapping up by 9am or 10am. Traffic is usually heaviest in the afternoon, and the most sought-after items tend to fly off the shells way sooner. If you’re after particular products, standing in long lines or risking items to be out-of-stock are things you need to consider, that is why you’re better of starting early.

This applies to online shopping as well. A common mishap during huge sales days is websites crashing due to an influx of traffic, so many websites recommend to take leverage on early hours and quieter times.

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Tip #4 – Take advantage of quieter shopping times

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are no longer days, but an entire season of big discounts and special deals offered by retailers a month in advance. This means that time is at your side, stores are less likely to overflow with shoppers and sites are less likely to crash. This may require you to be extra attentive to special discounts during this month, but when there’s a will there’s a way.

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Tip #5 – Sign up for newsletters and social media updates

Social Media is an advertising hub for retailers, wowing and seducing their followers with unbeatable deals. Email newsletters are a free click away from receiving hot “value for money” offerings. Do you know which brands you’re planning to buy from this year? Keep a close eye for coupons, sale previews, and Black Friday ads by signing up to newsletters and social media channels of retailers to assure a live update of their promos.

The thing with newsletters, though, is they may clutter your inbox, however, there’s a smart way to dodge the overload. Create a burner email address just for retail promos and deal notifications or utilize Gmail’s separate Promotions folder designed for this purpose exactly.

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Tip #6 – Understand return & exchange policies

Some retailers offer generous full-refund policies within a predefined timeframe or no timeframe at all. Most retailers, however, cannot offer you a refund or exchange if 14 days have gone by since your purchase and others adopt stricter all-sales-are-final policies. Know your retailer’s specific refund and exchange policies to stay on top of things. Target, for example, offer a full refund on products unopened and kept in new condition within 90 days, with some items having a modified return policy date, which is quite flexible.

In most cases, for a product to be properly refunded, it needs to remain unopened and in its original packaging. Almost no retailer will refund your cash or credit for opened items. In this case, your best bet is perhaps getting a store credit less the restocking fee. Retailers may extend their generosity and allow easier refund conditions during the holiday season, but pay attention to all sorts of dodgy promises made for the sake of you buying the product.

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Tip #7 – Look for quality and beware of scams

Your common sense can be of great to you this holiday season, why? Because of the holiday season is a fertile ground for scammers and fraudsters to hook innocent people who are merely looking for a good bargain. Never submit your credit card or personal info on fishy websites, beware of unsolicited emails and double check these “too good to be true” offers on social media.

Reading reviews and getting recommendations from friends and other consumers are great to avoid being duped by spammy deals. Check websites on ReviewMaster before you purchase to see how others perceive of them. A Poor quality site with mostly negative reviews will surely be enough to make you move on to the next one.

Altogether, keep an eye on retailers bumping up their prices just before the holidays only to “reduce” them again for Black Friday. Make sure you’re well aware of the prices of the products you want to buy beforehand to make the purchase worth your while.

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Tip #8 – Be kind and stay safe

It’s only human to be kind while shopping, but it’s days like Black Friday that turn this around. People tend to get extremely discount-focused that they lose all sense of control. So, keep yourself out of unsafe situations and be kind to everyone – shoppers, salespeople, temperamental customers, and co-workers who probably have zero desire to be there. No point in arguing over the last item on the shelf. Remember, there’s always another deal.

KEEP CALM