Black Friday is a time of great hype. Some of it is made up while some of it is warranted. Getting through this year's event with minimum frustration and maximum benefits is a combination of art and science. We would like to offer a few pointers and we encourage you to add your thoughts in comments at the end of it. Let's get started and debate on the best way to buy products on Black Friday 2016:
Black Friday: How much hype, how much reality?
Black Friday 201 6 is upon us. This year it is on November 25th and every retailer and avid shopper has already started to get ready for this event. While the traditional sales have been in brick and mortar stores, online is catching up. Amazon is not standing idle while the biggest sales event of the year takes place and there are many deals that will be available only on websites like this portal made by Amazon for this event.
Black Friday may have been at its inception a legitimate sales discount event to refresh existing stocks. Today this is a much more planned event where the deals and especially the items sold are thought out well in advance. The old adage "you get what you pay for" tends to be true and, in the long run, retailers have adapted to the pressure of offering big discounts.
One of the first things to check are the details of the product offered on sale. The advertisement will focus on things like the size of the TV screen and, yet, the product on sale may have old technology. Another trend is to get products specifically designed for Black Friday that have cheaper components to allow room for the big discounts. Therefore, always check the specs for what you are buying. If a device, like a TV seems too affordable to be true, most probably its specs are not great at all and the TV isn't worth buying.
The bundling up of several items makes a deal difficult to judge. Take the time and do the math . You may find that the actual discount is quite small and you are better off getting the individual items, especially as the bundles often include often less desirable products alongside desirable ones.
Knowing exactly what you want to buy is essential in getting the right deals for you. Make a shopping list and research prices ahead of time. The good deals will go out quickly. Once you are in the store or online on your computer, you will have little time to pick up your product and complete the transaction.
When does Black Friday 2016 start?
Black Friday deals used to start on... Friday. Friday morning to be more precise. The timing has been pushed earlier almost constantly. From 6 AM to 5 AM then even at midnight. The next innovation was to start Thursday afternoon. What better way to wrap up a family Thanksgiving meal than going shopping? Of course Thursday morning was the next frontier.
There has been backlash on this and you need to check your stores of choice for the timing of the start of their Black Friday 2016 deals. This is true for both online and brick and mortar deals.
The reality is that the best deals that are advertised a lot, sell out in a matter of hours or even minutes. The queuing outside stores is a regular sight and it depends on how much you are keen on a good deal. Online, the experience is somewhat similar, with huge number of shoppers stuck to their computers pressing the Refresh button on their web browsers . One hour later it is often enough to see your dream product deal gone.
What to buy on Black Friday?
Given the quality of the products you are likely to find on Black Friday, this is a great time to get a budget item. A TV that you want in the children's room or a spare tablet for a quick browse on the net are items you will easily find at a good price. Also, smartphones that are close to their selling window are generally sold at very good prices for Black Friday. Some good examples are Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge or ASUS ZenFone Max.
Video games are also a good item s to hunt for a deal as you will not get a trimmed down version for Black Friday. The same is true for other software deals. Whatever productivity, security or entertainment deal is available, it is likely to be a good catch. Security vendors do a good job and offer major discounts for their antivirus products on Black Friday.
The small kitchen appliances and other cookware sets are likely to have big discounts. Large appliances require a lot more preparation as they have a long life in your house and any misstep will be there in your kitchen as a constant reminder. I personally find that when I look at my fridge, I couldn't care less whether it was made in 2011 or in 2012. I don't remember anyway :). Last year's model may be a good deal after all.
The biggest ticket item for shopping is the car. Car dealerships have joined the Black Friday bandwagon and you will find decent discounts. To be fair, it is the time of the year when dealers look to start getting rid of this year's model and make room for the the 2017 one. The deals will likely not be restricted to Black Friday and the deals will get better and better as we approach December 31st. Keep in mind that fewer and fewer models will be available. If your desired car is on sal e and you have the money, it may be a good idea to buy it right now.
This is the moment to complete your Christmas toys shopping. If you find that the deals are not that attractive on Black Friday, keep in mind that Cyber Monday is around the corner. However, after the upcoming deals are over, the prices for toys are likely to start rising until Christmas.
Electronics usually feature on the top of the Black Friday ads. Retailers frequently put them as the loss leaders looking to get shoppers inside their store or on their web site. Since you cannot be sure which items the store will put on sale, it is best to narrow down your desired purchase to 3-4 different items that match your needs. Once the Black Friday 2016 shopping starts, you can see which of them have the best discounts and you have better chances to get what you want.
How to buy online on Black Friday?
Here at Digital Citizen we have a lot of how-to content. To keep our tradition of providing useful, actionable content, we would also like to share a couple of recommendations on how to purchase products online, for Black Friday:
- Sign up to the online shops that interest you before Black Friday arrives.
- Research the products that interest you and add them to your shopping cart in each of the stores that you are looking at. This way, you can compare prices prior to Black Friday and see which store gives you the best discount on Black Friday.
- When the Black Friday deals are posted online, go back to your stores, check the deals and buy only the products that you want, with the best discount.
Black Friday is a chaotic time and it may create too much discomfort for many shoppers. If you hate the elbowing in the store aisles, online is a much better experience. You may get frustrated as the online store may refresh pages like a snail or even go down at times. At least you can go through all this with a cup of tea in your hand and in the comfort of your armchair.
Black Friday does offer good deals though. The retailers will count on the impulsive buyer that's lurking inside of you. The key is to consider your needs and research the market in advance. It is very likely you will secure a good deal especially as Cyber Monday offers a second chance in case Black Friday proves too hectic.