Tips on How to Shop Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales
Having spent many years on the retail scene during these wild, crazy days, I have learned from living it and watching it that there are some definite reasons that some people have better results when shopping these sales than others. The following are a collection of my own thoughts and some of the research I have found by checking with ‘the experts’ on how best to enter this intense shopping time.
Some Shopping Tips...
1. Start early. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are no longer isolated days, the field is much more competitive and so, these days have easily become a week. Most retailers both in store and online are competing for your dollars in one of two ways…..starting their sale prices early (now) or extended them later. The informed shopper just has to watch constantly and know when the time is right to actually purchase. It’s not uncommon for online retailers to adjust prices within the sale!
2. Do your homework. Rely on ads that are being run in the newspaper and/or online pre-sale. Also for the stores where you have a loyal salesperson, check with her/him on what they may have coming on sale for you….they know you the best and what you like. If you are shopping for others (family members, friends, coworkers), please ensure that you have recorded somewhere sizes, favorite colors and in some cases, specific needs. Nothing more frustrating than seeing a great buy on boots in a store and trying to reach your daughter to find out her size and/or color preference or even more so that of your grandchild and no answer on their cell!!!?
3. Compare prices. If you’re shopping for something specific like a big screen TV for the family, a new laptop or tablet or even the hippest new velvet boots. Beware that many of the deepest discounts that stores offer at this time are on exclusive products or private label brands exclusive to them, making that comparison a little tougher. Try Google Shopping as a first place to start and there are many more apps that can assist.
4. Get social. Try Instagram, Facebook and Twitter feeds of your favorite retailers as a way to find out about deals and promotions. Bloggers such as myself, have listed (see below), many leads to great promotions with links that will take you right to the various sites.
5. Create a budget. Easier said than done, I know. However, you should have some idea in your head on how much money you can afford to spend and keep track of what you are spending. Remember Black Friday is just the kick-off to Holiday Sales and are not always the cheapest prices of the season. There are many more sales to come, so budget and spend wisely. Try to avoid impulse buying, especially if you’re not sure of the value of the item. Remember, cheapest is not always best…you may be better off passing on the great deal on a doorbuster and spend a little more time and money on the purchase of a slightly more expensive item. (especially true in TV’s) Also, always make sure that you know the store’s policies on returns and exchanges just in case that size that you thought you remembered for a loved one may not be quite right,exchange it immediately so that you may still have a chance to get what you want and avoid the after-the-holiday return saga!
6. Stay tuned online even while you’re shopping. A tip I heard yesterday on the Today Show, was to check the online offerings of a store while you are in the store. Sometimes there are some better deals online that you should be aware of and in many cases if you show that and demand it in store you can get that and take it home with you right then. Also, nothing is worse than leaving a store, looking at its online site and finding that there are better deals there! Remember, Check it!
Our Favorite Sites to Shop* the Sales (click store name to head directly to their online site!)
*Please note: Check this site regularly as Updates from Retailers occur
TOOTSIES – Pop-Up Shop Special Offering – Buy one, Get one free; Designer Sale, 40% off
Neiman Marcus – 40% Off Regular Price on Designers
Saks Fifth Avenue – 40% Off Designer; Thanksgiving Sale, up to 60% off; Up to $150 on Denim
Nordstrom – Extra 20% off selected sale items; FREE shipping
Cotton Club Collection – 30% to 40% Off New Fall Markdowns; complimentary gift wrap, intown delivery and ground shipping with purchase of $300 or more
Joan Pillow Bridal – 50% to 75% Off Oscar de la Renta, Monique Lhuillier and more
River Oaks District – Sales in Various Stores
Forty Five Ten – up to 40% off for her, him and home
The Webster – Discounts on Various Items
Macy’s – Extra 20% Off, (15%, 10% in select areas)+ Free Shipping
Elaine Turner – Black/Pink Friday 30% off Store & Sitewide; Cyber Monday, 35% off Store & Sitewide; $99 Shoes & Boots (select styles)
Elizabeth Anthony – Up to 40% Off
ShopBop – Up to 75% off Sale items; Up to 30% Regular Priced Items; Get 20% Off Orders $200+, 25% Off Orders $500+, 30% Off Orders $800+, Code: MORE17
Tory Burch – Take 30% Off $250
Sephora – Sitewide Discounts
H&M – Up to 60% Off
J.Crew – 40% Off Your Purchase
LUISAVIAROMA – Global Black Friday Sales; Xtra 20% off, code: BF20
Moda Operandi – Up to 65% Off Designer Sale
Net-a-Porter – Up to 50% Off
Target – Deals in All Categories
Amazon – Deals in All Categories
Barney’s – 40% Off Select Styles
Cakewalk Style – 30% off ONE item; instore only;Upper Kirby & Woodlands locations
Alice & Olivia – 60% Off New Markdowns
Anthropologie – Discounts in Various Categories
Ann Taylor – 50% of Everything with code THANKFUL
ASOS – 30% Off Everything
Bauble Bar – 30% Off Holiday
ETSY – Sales on Various Stores
Foreo – 22% off LUNA mini 2; 22% off IRIS, 25% off ISSA; free Hybrid Brush Head w/Purchase; Coupon Code: FOREOBF17
Francesca’s – Buy One, Get one 60% Off of Various Categories
Gap – 50% Off Everything, no exceptions including new arrivals; code: BLKFRIDAY
INTERMIX – 30% Off + Free Shipping
Horchow Home – Save Up to 40% Off Selected Items
Kiehls – $20 Off $65+; enter code JINGLE
Kuhl-Linscomb – 20% off Friday, Saturday Sale
LOFT – 40% Off Everything
Madewell – 25% Off Your Entire Purchase
mytheresa – Sale Starts Now; $15 off when you spend $60; 30% off on selected items by entering code BLACK 30 at checkout
Old Navy – 40% Off Almost Everything
Pottery Barn – Free Shipping + 30% Off Various Categories
Pottery Barn Kids – 20% Off + Free Shipping
PB Teen – Up to 75% Off + Free Shipping
Ray Ban – 20% Off Site-Wide
Revolve – Discounts in All Categories
Sam Edelman – 30% Off Site-Wide, Code: SAMSGIVING
Serena & Lily – 20% Off Everything
Tibi – Up to 50% Off
Urban Outfitters – Buy One Get One 50% Off Everything
Victoria’s Secret – $20 off $125+
Walmart – Sales on Various Items
Don’t Forget About Shop Small Saturday
Shop Small Saturday is this weekend, and we love nothing more than supporting local retailers! Some of our favorites include:
(click on store name to go directly to their online site and see what’s special about each)
TOOTSIES, a bientot, Cotton Club, Joan Pillow Bridal, Elizabeth Anthony, Elaine Turner, Cakewalk Style, French Cuff Boutique, Kick Pleat, Abejas, More Than You Can Imagine, Muse Boutique, Blue Mercury, Events Gifts, Kuhl-Linscomb, BB1 Classic, among many others. Be sure to check out the sales going on at all of the great Houston retailers!
What’s on your Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping list this year? Plus any tips and/or apps that you have found that makes this all just a little bit easier!!? Share in the comments below!
Feature image courtesy of Pinterest.com