Black Friday can be the perfect time to get excellent deals, but it can also lead to bad impulse purchases that you end up regretting. If you want the best shopping experience, here’s what you need to know.
By knowing and avoiding the biggest Black Friday shopping mistakes, you’ll be able to make the most out of sales, whether you’re looking for the perfect winter coat or high end beauty products with a big discount. Making a plan in advance and sticking to it will help you really take advantage of Black Friday.
1. Starting Shopping without a Plan
Once you make your shopping list, you should also work on a detailed plan that helps you prioritize your purchases and stay on track to get the discounts you want. If you plan on doing your shopping online, make sure that you’re logged in and have all the payment info covered before the deals start coming.
2. Ignoring Your Budget
The best way to take advantage of the big sales is to know exactly what you want and to stick to your original budget. Going over your initial budget without getting things you actually want or need is one of the worst Black Friday shopping mistakes. Focus on the items you want, and don’t get sidetracked by unexpected purchases.
3. Skipping Comparison Shopping
Turn your smartphone into your personal shopping assistant if you want to benefit from the biggest discounts. Plenty of free apps offer comparison shopping services, so using your smartphone to find out if you’re really getting the best price is a must. Try ShopSavvy and RedLaser, available on all three major platforms: iOS, Android and Windows Phone.
4. Getting Store Credit Cards
One of the Black Friday shopping mistakes you should always avoid is getting store credit cards just to increase your discounts a little more. From high interest rates to the fact that all the separate cards affect your credit report, there’s no reason why you should fall for this retailer trick and get lured into getting store credit cards.
5. Not Checking Return Policies
Paying attention to return policies is more important than ever, and so is keeping your receipts in order. Whether you’re shopping for yourself or presents for the important people in your life, return policies can sometimes include restocking fees, so it’s a good idea to check them out, especially if you’re unsure about a particular purchase.
6. Getting Sidetracked by Huge Discounts
While there’s always a risk that you’ll end up spending money on cheap things that you don’t really need, it’s also one of the biggest Black Friday shopping mistakes. Don’t fall for things that have huge discounts but don’t fit with your personal style. You’re better off purchasing a more expensive item that you’ll wear a lot than plenty of cheap ones that will end up in the back of your closet.
7. Teaming Up
Shopping with a friend can have plenty of advantages, but on Black Friday you’re on a race against the clock, so wasting time on finding each other or asking for opinions for every purchase can really hurt your goals. You can carpool and have a coffee after both of you are done shopping, but you’ll be more effective on your own.
8. Wasting Time in the Dressing Room
Whenever there are big discounts, the dressing room becomes the biggest time suck in the shopping experience. If you want to avoid one of the worst Black Friday shopping mistakes, check out the items on your list a few days before and take a note of the right sizes, so you’ll waste no time when you’re actually buying them.
9. Ignoring Coupons
Plenty of Black Friday deals are linked to coupons so don’t ignore them. Using the right shopping apps, you can get the best discounts on your phone, but physical coupons can also help you keep your shopping budget under control.
See also: Best Shopping Apps of 2014
10. Waiting for Cyber Monday
Even if you think you’re above the Black Friday shopping mistakes, because you’ll be making most of your purchases on Cyber Monday, don’t wait. Plenty of online deals start right on Thanksgiving, so make sure that you do some price comparisons in time, so you’ll know a great deal from a bad one.