Christmas in October: Why not wait for Black Friday to shop

Posted: Updated:

For some, Black Friday is an annual tradition not to be missed. But the annual door buster ritual that traditionally takes place on the Friday after Thanksgiving has lost luster in recent years, thanks to earlier sales and online deals. Regina Novickis, consumer expert with Slickdeals, is here with money-saving tips on why you shouldn't wait for Black Friday to shop.  

1. Start early – Two years ago, retailers started releasing early Black Friday deals at the end of the first week of November, and last year, Amazon and Walmart started releasing them the first day of November. Even if some of the deals are not as good as some actual Black Friday deals, remember those are generally limited in quantity and require jumping through major hoops such as lining up at predawn hours. Also, several of the largest retailers including Walmart and Macy’s will actually open on Thanksgiving Day this year. Ask yourself if skipping time with your family is really worth the deal you think you may score. 

2. Tap into technology – The internet has allowed us to tap into the power of comparison shopping, but with all the options available, it’s hard to know if you’re really getting the best deal. Slickdeals.net leverages the power of social commerce to make sure you get the best deal available online whenever you shop. Millions of other savvy deal hunters scour the internet, post the deals they are finding, and then others get to vote on those deals. Download the Slickdeals Black Friday app and set a deal alert for the item you are looking to buy – you’ll be notified when the item in which you are interested has deals.

3. Buy discounted gift cards now – Slickdeals currently has a Frontpage deal on a Toys R Us gift card valued at $100, selling for $85. Stock up on discounted gift cards at sites like CardCash.com and Raise.com. Buy cards for merchants where you expect to make your purchases; then use the discounted gift cards as your currency to shop. Of course, you can also give discounted gift cards as gifts. As we get closer to the holidays, there’s a chance that inventory may be more limited, so now is a good time to buy.  

4. Check your list now – just because you’ll be giving the gift in winter, doesn’t mean that a grill or camping equipment isn’t on a loved one’s wish list. Many of those summer items are on sale now as stores clear inventory for winter stock. Recently we’ve seen a ton of grills and tents going on sale, with deals as good as under $100 for large gas grills. Cameras, particularly digital SLR cameras should be purchased now instead of on Black Friday due to their Minimum Advertised Pricing policies that prevent consumers from getting the best deal. Canon offered a $400 mail-in rebate on a camera when purchased with a printer. Recently, Canon lowered their rebate amount from $400 to $350 in August so this could be a sign that might not see as many great deals for the holiday season. Since policies will continue to fluctuate, if you’re in the market, purchase a digital SLR camera before Black Friday.

5. Buy now, price match or return later – check policies before you buy, but many retailers, both on and offline, are offering price matching options. And if they won’t match the price, if the item has not been used, you can always return the item if you buy it at a lower price elsewhere (check return policies).

6. Do wait for certain items – wait until Black Friday to purchase video games released in late October to November. For example, one of the highly anticipated games last year was Battlefield 4. The game was released on October 29, 2013 with a $60 price tag, but the game was actually featured on Black Friday for $25, a 58% savings the following month! Similarly, DVDs/Blu-ray movies; as well as warehouse club memberships are all best to wait for a Black Friday price.