Are You Ready For Black Friday?

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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 2008, 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 1090 articles on The Wisdom Journal.

Ron is the founder and editor of The Wisdom Journal. He 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 partner in a national building materials company.

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