Start early. Make a game plan. Control your spendings.
Before you know it, Black Friday, November 25th, will be knocking on your computer. But be assured, there will be plenty of deals throughout that entire week starting on Cyber Monday.
Brace yourself! You’ll receive dozens of emails and see tons of ads and other enticing promotions. Thankfully, we’ve got you covered with a few simple rules to help you stay on top of the hype and still get those holiday gifts your kids demand at the lowest prices.
Get organized with a spreadsheet
There’s no need to rush to online stores or click on every ad you see. Create a simple Google Doc to track the best deals, coupons and when they expire for that long list of people you’d love to buy a gift. Lots of stores offer free shipping; so, keep the shipping addresses handy in the spreadsheet as well.
This will prevent you from getting a stack of presents for one person, and a sack of coal for another.
Do research on the best prices
Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.
Start with a list of gifts you want to buy for the holidays. Research how much this is going drain your check book based on the promotions you receive, compare at websites like ConsumerReports.org, and check current prices at a site like PriceGrabber.com. They will help you find the best deals and purchase without panic.
Also, we found an extremely useful Google Chrome extension that makes it super easy to check price histories on Amazon. Install it, and it will instantly alert you if the price for selected items drops.
Pay attention to extra costs
Discounts can be very tricky. A $50 price increase preceding the “Sale of the Century” with $50 off is not a deal we want to fall for. Be sure to check the shipping price and any possible extra handling fees too. They might cause you to blow the whole deal. The devil is in details.
Don’t get sidetracked by the unneeded items
The goal is to get exactly what you need. Go down your list and don’t be tempted to buy extra cool things that are almost free. Almost free can add up!
Sign Up for Newsletters
If you plan to shop in a specific store, subscribe to its newsletters for a few weeks before the holiday sales kick off. Retailers want to spark your interest in the hottest deals in advance. Then you can pick up that great new toy and avoid going to the store to risk being trampled by last minute shoppers.
Let Deal Bloggers Do the Work for You
If you don’t have enough time to sort out the best deals, don’t worry! There are plenty of websites and blogs which can do this for you. They make purchase research and planning so much easier. Here’s a short list of must-follow blogs we’ve found for you:
During the sale season, the Verge team does an awesome job of surfing the web for the hottest deals and presents you with the best of them.
Either way, we suggest downloading the DealNews app in order to stay on top of the latest deals on the go.
Pre-Load Your Shopping Cart
Be the smartest Santa! Start shopping at online stores early and add the items you need at the regular price to your shopping cart. When the sales start and the prices go down, you will be only a click away from finalizing your purchases. That gives you more time to spend with you family decorating the tree.
Stack Promo Codes to Sweeten Deals
Stacking promo codes in online stores is easy. When checking out, look for a special field to enter a coupon. In most cases you will enter each code one at a time, pressing “enter” after each to adjust your total balance.
As a bonus, here are some of the big stores that already announced sales on CyberMonday and Black Friday. Check them out!
That’s right! You aren’t having visions of sugar plums dancing in your head! Our team of elves has also prepared some amazing offers for you. Stay tuned for more! You’ll love them!