Holiday Shopping Hacks: Your Black Friday Survival Guide

Judging from the massive marketing blitz and predictable purchasing frenzy, one could make the argument that Black Friday is a holiday all its own. But despite the fact that we all have that one friend who feels like it’s perfectly acceptable to listen to Christmas music as soon as Halloween is over (it’s not ok—but that’s another post for a different blog), the day after Thanksgiving is traditionally considered to be the official start of the Christmas season.
Black Friday by the Numbers
With this yearly retail extravaganza just around the corner, you might be asking yourself, “What will an estimated 174 million Americans do on Black Friday this year?” Before you start googling, we’ll save you the research. They’ll spend the day—the entire weekend, actually—shopping. Wait. You knew that already? Fair enough. Did you know that the average Black Friday shopper is expected to spend more than $500? Even though we’re dealing in estimates and averages, that adds up to a lot of people and purchasing!
As online and mobile sales increase, the traditional Black Friday crowds may thin out a little—but not much. Even though 2017 saw a 4% drop in the number of in-store shoppers compared to the previous year, there were still more than 102 million people that joined the retail masses. So, with millions of people frantically scouring stores for the best deals of the season and even more hunting for deals on their smartphones, a little strategy may help you keep the holiday shopping season merry and bright!
7 Tips for Having the Best Black Friday Ever!
While there are probably as many shopping hacks as there are shoppers, we’ve narrowed the suggestions down for you. Here are 7 ideas to help you survive Black Friday with your sanity and your budget intact:

  1. Create a shopping strategy. Since most major retailers advertise their Black Friday specials ahead of time, it’s easy to plan ahead by scanning sales flyers and online promotions. Knowing exactly what you’re looking for will save hours of wandering and wondering.
  2. Get in and get out. Most of the time, it pays to shop slowly and carefully—but not on Black Friday! If you’re going to score the best values at multiple stores, you need to grab the items you want, check out, and head to the next store. The midnight madness is no time for browsing.
  3. Maximize your mobile experience. If you’re planning to take advantage of mobile deals or online specials, you can save time and frustration by downloading all the necessary apps in advance.
  4. Prepare your profiles. How many times have you found a deal online, placed the item in your cart, and then had to waste time setting up a customer profile before checking out? Don’t miss out on limited-time-only deals. Create your profile on websites before it’s time to shop.
  5. Look for the lock. Before you enter your personal details and credit card information on a website, make sure the web address starts with “https” and there’s a closed padlock icon next to address. These details indicate the site is secure. If the address starts with “http” or the padlock is open, see if you can find a deal somewhere else.
  6. Team up for double the fun. Finding amazing bargains is fun—but isn’t it better when you have someone to share in the excitement? If you’re going to engage in shopping shenanigans at 2:00 AM, you might as well do it with your favorite shopping buddy!
  7. Shop early. Shop often. It would be logical to think that Black Friday is limited to—well, Friday. But in an attempt to boost sales, stores like Amazon and Best Buy are running early sales. And with the rising popularity of Cyber Monday, you may be able to find money-saving specials all weekend long!

Hopefully, these ideas will help you save some money this winter holiday season and have a little more fun in the process. When the new year rolls around, it will be a great time to start planning ahead for Black Friday 2019. To avoid any last-minute budget crunches, come talk to us about setting up a Holiday Club account. Setting aside money throughout the year is a great way to avoid financial stress and focus on the festivities!

Scient Service Centers will be closing at 1 PM on Monday, December 24 and closed all day on Tuesday, December 25 for Christmas. You can access your account any time through Online Banking or our Mobile App.