Are You Ready For Black Friday?

by Ron Haynes

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photo credit: djlicious
The symptoms are all there: long, slow yawns, droopy eyelids, long lines of people waiting outside in the cold at 4:00AM. It’s Black Friday! Black Friday is the Friday after Thanksgiving here in the US and it kicks off the start of the traditional Christmas shopping season. Supposedly called “Black” Friday because it’s the day that retailers begin making a profit (in the black on their books), Black Friday is rumored to be the busiest shopping day of the year. While this may or may not be true, Black Friday has become almost an industry in itself and I’ve assembled a list of sites that will help you navigate your way through the retail maze! If you want, put your savings into a savings account like I suggested in 17 Sneaky Savings Strategies. That would give you a jump start for next year!

Free Shipping!

The truth is, you don’t have to awaken at 3 in the morning to get those great Black Friday deals. You can get many of them from the comfort of your living room with a steaming cup of hot chocolate in your hands while a crackling fire warms your toes. Considering that there are far more retailers to buy from via the Internet and they don’t charge sales taxes, the savings can really add up! Especially if you can use the shipping coupon codes found on Free Shipping. This site offers free shipping coupons to over 800 stores including JC Penney, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Dell, and Gap. Free Shipping is very easy to use and is well organized. You can locate free shipping coupons by store name, category, soon to expire, or most recent free shipping coupons and best of all, it’s FREE to use!

Find The Perfect Holiday Gift

First though, check out all the bargains major retailers will be offering on sites such as Black Friday, Black-Friday.net, and Black Friday @ GottaDeal.com beforehand. The way these sites find out about a retailer’s upcoming Black Friday sale is part corporate espionage, part intentional leaks, and part corporate news releases. Those sales that are only “rumored” are marked as such so you don’t get your hopes up too badly. But generally, the content of the ads is pretty reliable, giving you a taste of what’s coming.

Use Coupons To Lower Your Cost

After you’ve been able to pick an item that’s on your holiday wish list, check out coupon sites such as Flamingo World, Coupon Cabin or Current Codes for percentage-off coupon codes and more free shipping deals to make your Black Friday finds all the more appealing.

Get The Real Scoop

If you’re unsure about an item’s quality or reputation, read the reviews on Amazon, Bizrate, or Epinions. If you’re considering an expensive purchase (computers, televisions, or other expensive electronics), take a few minutes to hop over to read the forums on the bigger deal sites such as dealnews, Fat Wallet or Slick Deals for some additional advice. Sometimes you’ll find that an item was selling for less somewhere else or you can possibly get referred to an alternative model that costs significantly less!

Make sure you keep these ideas in mind:

  • Know the retailer’s policy on returns.
  • Know the retailer’s policy on price matching.
  • Read customer reviews of the site or retailer if you’re unfamiliar with them.
  • Make sure that if you MUST physically be on site to purchase the item, that it’s worth your time, effort, fuel, and frustration!

Yet Another Discount!

You might also consider using a site such as Ebates where you can get a percentage refund of your purchase if you go through their site. The refunds can range from two to eight percent, so it really could be worth it.

Frugal isn’t refusing to buy anything, it’s making the most of your hard earned dollar. By purchasing your Christmas and holiday gifts as inexpensively as possible, using free shipping codes, coupons, well timed sales, and rebates, you’re doing just that: making the most of your hard earned dollars!

[tags]Black Friday, Christmas, 2008, shopping, free shipping, coupon codes, discounts[/tags]

About the author

Ron Haynes has written 1003 articles on The Wisdom Journal.


The founder and editor of The Wisdom Journal in 2007, Ron has worked in banking, distribution, retail, and upper management for companies ranging in size from small startups to multi-billion dollar corporations. He graduated Suma Cum Laude from a top MBA program and currently is a Human Resources and Management consultant, helping companies know how employees will behave in varying situations and what motivates them to action, assisting firms in identifying top talent, and coaching managers and employees on how to better communicate and make the workplace MUCH more enjoyable. If you'd like help in these areas, contact Ron using the contact form at the top of this page or at 870-761-7881.


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{ 8 comments }

LP

This year we’re giving gift cards. There’s no fuss and it’s much easier when family lives far away. Besides that … it’s less expensive. Online is good, and you can have it sent straight to their own homes too, just in case you can’t get there yourself. I’ve ordered from your site before (Amazon) and there has always been a good outcome. I’ll check out the sites you’ve mentioned. Thanks!

But we, as well as many others, are spending a very small amount this year. Because…..well…..raises didn’t happen! But, that’s not what is so wonderful about the holidays anyway. It’s the family love and togetherness. And, the joy of the season. And, Jesus IS the reason for the season! Sometimes we forget that!

God bless America!

Jesse W.

working in retail makes me dislike Black Friday more and more each year!

Mary@SimplyForties

I never, ever go anywhere near a store on Black Friday. In fact I try to completely avoid malls and other large retail environments from November until mid-January. Thank heaven for online shopping and free shipping!

Steve C @ MyWifeQuitHerJob.com

I used to take part in black friday the old school way, waiting inline all night just for a good deal on a laptop or gadget. If you’ve never done it at least once, you should at least experience the total chaos and mayhem first hand. In any case, I don’t do this anymore. Internet retail makes things so much easier.

Mark W.

I live in the Empire state (New York) where all taxes and then some are collected. The argument was that on-line retailers had an unfair advantage over the local brick and mortars due to the tax collection process. We now pay taxes on Internet purchases for the most part. It’s all about the money and the state government saw an opening and took it. Now the state government is crying big time due to the Wall St. meltdown which is resulting in a much lower revenue stream. We now get regular updates about the gravity of the situation from the comptroller. Anyways the specifics are below. :(

Internet Sales Tax Fairness – New York

In 2008, New York enacted a measure that requires many online retailers to begin collecting sales taxes on purchases shipped to the state, even if they have no operations or employees working there.

The measure states that any online retailer that generates more than $10,000 in sales via in-state sales affiliates must collect New York sales tax. Many online retailers, including Amazon.com and Buy.com, have sales affiliates nationwide that link to the retailer’s web site and are paid commission on any sales generated from their referrals. New York’s measure clarifies state tax law to say that sales affiliates based in the state are representatives of the online retailer. This means that the retailer has nexus (i.e., a physical presence) in the state and is required to collect state sales taxes.

It is estimated that the bill will increase revenue by $43 million in 2008-2009 and $73 million in 2009-2010.

http://www.newrules.org/retail/efairny.html

Student Scrooge

I had to take a deep breath when I saw your post — I’m definitely *not* mentally prepared for Black Friday to come around again. Too many bad memories,like getting stuck in a Kohl’s parking lot for what seemed like an eternity.

Yes, the internet makes all of this far easier now.

bob smith

This year black friday sucks. No good deals.

Mystery Shopping`

I know a lot of companies ramp up mystery shopping efforts before black friday to ensure their service is in peak performance before the rush of shoppers.

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