While families are looking forward to seeing their long-lost loved ones on Thanksgiving Day next Thursday, many more are looking forward Black Friday and a good chance to get more on the dollar. Many retailers lower their prices to lure customers to their cash registers.
An abcNEWS report says that customers do not have to wait until Black Friday in order to get good deals. Some retailers are making discounted goods available as early as next Monday. Mark Ellwood, author of Bargain Fever and a shopping expert, says starting to shop this weekend is the best option. He says staring early will place shoppers ahead of the rest.
Retail stores have come up with applications that make it easier for customers to find out the good deals. Target has come up with an application called “Cartwheel.” The application enables users to scan products throughout the store and find hidden discounts.
Ellwood says that products that have been in the store for several weeks may not offer the best discounted prices. He recommends that clients should inquire from the sales team if the items just got to the shelf or they have been there for some time. Customers can also ask if the products will be marked down after Black Friday. He advises customers not to buy products whose discounted value is less than 30 percent. They should ask the retail team members if the store can price-match, or if there are other online promotions that can go along with the discount the store is offering.
Ellwood says smiling at the cash register can go along way in wooing the cashier to allow for more discounts that may only be applicable online. Sounding knowledgeable and making the cashier aware of the discounts in other areas or stores will make a difference.
He recommends that shoppers should check discounts on their Twitter accounts, as store push advances through Twitter in many cases. He also recommends using Poachit.com and its application,which is available on smartphones, to scan the internet to find out if the discounted prices the store is offering are the best compared to other stores’ discounts on the same items.
Wal-Mart has decided to spread out the good Black Friday deals to last five days to make it possible for clients to visit their stores and still get more for their dollars without having to camp out Thursday night. Not all shoppers find the decision appealing. Derek De Armond of Forth Myers, Florida, prefers to camp out at stores in anticipation of the Black Friday shopping. He pitched up his tent on outside BestBuy in Fort Myers, Florida, on November 11. He will be the first in line when the store opens its doors at 5:00pm on Thursday. To De Armond, being in the line for early shopping has become a part of the Thanksgiving tradition. He told a New York reporter that he considers it like a tailgating party before a football game.
Bonnie Taylor-Blake, a member of the Dialect Society who has researched on the origin of the term Black Friday, said it originated from the Philadelphia police department to describe the jam in the city’s downtown retail location following Thanksgiving in the 1960s. Retailers’ effort to change it to “Big Friday” to give it a positive spin did not gain traction, so they left it as Black Friday.
An article on the Oregonlive.com website advises shoppers to commit some time to research online for best deals since most retail stores post their discounted items online. The author recommends shoppers have a budget and to compare the prices between different retailers. She advises shoppers to decide what day they want to shop, prioritize the items, download the stores’ applications to find out if there are any additional discounts, consider how to get to the store, think of how to get parking in advance, carry some water, and then shop. By following these steps, buyers are likely to take advantage of Black Friday as a good day for getting more from their dollars.
By Benedicto Ateku
Photo image by tsheln – Flickr License