Six Tips for Finding Incredible Deals on Black Friday

Nov 18, 2016

SF Police Credit Union will be open on the day after Thanksgiving, November 25, 2016When you’re asked to name your favorite holidays, does Black Friday rate among them? While some may dismiss this as laughable, others find reason to celebrate in the troves of special offers, doorbuster deals and deeply discounted merchandise that mark the beginning of the traditional holiday shopping season the day following Thanksgiving. Whether you’re a mall enthusiast ready to hit the stores right after your dinner this Thursday or a bargain hunter who prefers to skip the hoopla and shop online, we’ve complied some tips to help you make the most of Black Friday while keeping your sanity intact:

Plan ahead and compare pricing: You’ll avoid hassles and snag the best possible prices by creating a list of what you want in the days before Thanksgiving, if not earlier, so that you’ll have ample time to check prices against competing retailers and ensure that the Black Friday items you’re targeting actually cost significantly less than they do at their usual retail price. Fortunately, plenty of websites such as PriceGrabber.com and FatWallet make this easy to do. Planning to do the bulk of your shopping at a mall or shopping center? Check beforehand to see if it is offering any kind of special certificate or gift with purchase on Black Friday.  For example, this year Westfield San Francisco Centre is offering two tickets to LUZIA by Cirque de Soleil while supplies last to individuals who spend $1,000 or more.

Focus on Black Friday websites and apps: Looking for inspiration on holiday gifts or do you simply want to scope out the best of what Black Friday has to offer for yourself? Of course, newspapers will be chock- full of coupons and ads on Thanksgiving Day and you can still find excellent deals in these. But for an efficient way to sort by category or store, take advantage of websites and apps that aggregate Black Friday deals from many major retailers and may offer special discounts for users along with alerts on when new sales hit. A few to try: DealNews Black Friday, BestBlackFriday.com  and TGI BlackFriday.  For added convenience, some apps such as ShopSavvy even allow you to scan barcodes for comparison shopping and quick access to discounts and coupons.

Find out when the doors open: As you’ve likely noticed, retailers have been pushing out their holiday season promotions earlier in recent years and many are already offering early access to Black Friday sales—whether online or at a brick-and-mortar store. Many are also providing extended Black Friday hours that may start as early as midnight or even on Thanksgiving Day itself. Check online to find out when individual stores first open for the best selection of merchandise and to learn about any doorbuster sales and early-bird specials. For a list of Black Friday hours on dozens of popular retailers, visit http://bit.ly/2016BlackFridayStoreHours.

Zero in on electronics:  If you’re seeking a new laptop, smartphone, TV or electronic gadget, the Thanksgiving holiday weekend is often an ideal time to buy. Unlike clothing, which tends to be most heavily discounted during the months of August, September, and January, you’ll find some of the best deals of the year on various electronics around Black Friday. Just avoid the common pitfall of overpaying on accessories and extended warranties that can easily eat into your savings. Not in the market for a big-ticket electronic purchase this holiday season? Keep in mind that you can also find rock-bottom prices on smaller items that make great gifts— such as video games and movies.

Don’t get overwhelmed by the Friday frenzy: If your schedule doesn’t allow for trekking out to the malls on Friday or you prefer to bypass long lines and crowds that day, you still have plenty of opportunities to score amazing holiday bargains. According to Forbes magazine, 70 percent of Black Friday doorbusters were available online in 2015. Not only will major retailers continue to run sales throughout the weekend, but you can also find a huge selection of great deals on Cyber Monday, which is predicted to be the biggest online shopping day in history this year. Also don’t forget about opportunities to support your local businesses on Small Business Saturday!

Leverage your loyalty programs: Lastly, as you go about your shopping, keep in mind that Black Friday is an opportune time to earn rewards on items you buy from various store loyalty programs and to avail yourself of any special holiday discounts available to you as a participant. Planning to use your SFPCU Platinum Visa to make purchases on Black Friday?  If you haven’t already, be sure to enroll in the CURewards Program to earn points for every dollar you spend that can be used toward brand-name merchandise, gift cards, vacations and more. Find details at http://bit.ly/CURewards. And as an extra convenience for our members, for the first time, SF Police Credit Union will be open Friday, November 25 for our normal business hours!

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