Black Friday shopping: What’s In and What’s Out

We love Andrea Woroch’s insight and advice on saving money, so we couldn’t wait for her to give us the dish on Black Friday. The consumer spending expert offers up What’s In and What’s Out for this year’s Black Friday shopping.
We love Andrea Woroch‘s insight and advice on saving money, so we couldn’t wait for her to give us the dish on Black Friday. The consumer spending expert offers up What’s In and What’s Out for this year’s Black Friday shopping.

Black Friday has reached celebrity status

Woroch, who is well aware of how Black Friday has gained momentum in the media and has been sending more shoppers out in search of the latest and greatest holiday deals. It’s almost epic. “Black Friday has reached an almost celebrity-like status over the years, with enough buzz, chaos and excitement to rival the latest Hollywood scandal,” she says. “It’s only appropriate, then, to take a ‘what’s in, what’s out’ approach to the trendiest shopping strategies for the most notorious shopping day of the year.”

WHAT’S IN / WHAT’S OUT

As you’re formulating your plan of attack for Black Friday — or even Gray Thursday if you happen to be a Walmart and Sears goer — consider Woroch’s insight on what’s hot and what’s not before you hit the shops.

Shopping sanity

IN: Shopping online. Last year, 70 percent of doorbuster deals were available online, according to DealNews.

OUT: Pre-dawn shopping. Frostbite, runny noses and sleepless nights are for amateurs. In addition evening store openings on Thanksgiving, the Internet will help you avoid the harsh, early-morning elements.

Injury-free Black Friday

IN: Crowd control. Target stores tested a stampede-mitigating strategy last year, allowing only a certain number of people across the threshold at a time. Expect more of the same this year.
OUT: Mob mayhem. Trampling and blunt-force trauma are so two years ago. If you want to relive the magic, check out this video for a montage of Black Friday chaos.

Savvy price comparisons

IN: Knowing the best time to buy. Who knew Black Friday doesn’t actually offer the best prices of the year? Decide.com knows the right times to shop, and you can too with their app.

OUT: Falling for faux deals. News flash: Retailers can’t actually afford deep discounts on all of their merchandise, but they can inflate original prices to make it seem like you’re getting a steal.

High-tech browsing

IN: Using a mobile device. Mobile shopping is all the rage this holiday season, as savvy consumers use devices to shop, save and keep track of their budgets. Download digital helpers like the Coupon Sherpa mobile app to save even more on Black Friday.

OUT: Relying on print circulars or in-store ads. Retailers are increasingly using social media and mobile tools to communicate with their patrons. You’re missing out if you’re not plugged-in to Facebook and Twitter.

Giving thanks — seriously

IN: Being thankful. Since most stores will open their doors at midnight on Thanksgiving, it’s only fitting you be thankful to all the patient people working the sales floor on Black Friday.

OUT: Behaving badly. Yelling at salespeople, elbowing fellow shoppers and generally creating a scene will definitely land you on Santa’s naughty list.

Stick to your budget

IN: Sticking to your list. Doorbuster deals are loss leaders, getting you in the store at ungodly hours with the promise of killer deals. Stick to your list to avoid going over-budget.

OUT: Getting greedy. Buying a bunch of useless stuff because it was “such a good deal” is not only out, it’s unwise.

Smart parking

IN: Locating your car in seconds. It’s tough to remember where you parked when you arrived foggy-headed in the wee hours of the morning. Luckily, there’s an app for that. Download Car Locator before you leave your house. Getting out of the parking lot, however, is all on you.

OUT: Failing to find your car. Endlessly roaming the parking lot rows in the bitter cold is more than uncool, it’s irresponsible. Didn’t you know there’s an app for that?

For more money-saving tips, visit AndreaWoroch.com.

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