Ask The Swag Gal – November 9, 2011

Being that Black Friday is just a few short weeks away, I thought I would take this week’s Ask the Swag Gal and dedicate it to tips and tricks for getting the best bargains on Black Friday.  As I’m sure most of us know, Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, has earned the reputation of being the busiest shopping day of the year.  This is when all the stores put their merchandise on sale to kick off the holiday season.  It can be extremely hectic, crowded, and stressful shopping on Black Friday, but hopefully these tips will help to ease your experience.

Check the Ads

Check out your local newspaper on the days leading up to Thanksgiving.  They are sure to be filled with ads and coupons for Black Friday.  This will also help you organize your day so that you can maximize your savings, since a lot of stores offer their special discounts within a specific time slot.

Do Your Research

You don’t want to be suckered into a product just because it’s a good deal.  A bad product is bad, no matter how much it costs.  Do the research on the items you’re looking for so that you’ll know which deals are truly good deals, and which ones are just out to get you.

Compare Prices

Use price-comparison Internet shopping sites to help you find the best deals.  Make sure you’re not just looking at the price, but what is included in the price.  You’ll be surprised at how many shops will try to milk you for everything you’re worth – telling you that you need this, this, and that.  Know what you’re looking for, and determine which store is offering it at the best price before you go.

Find the Early Bird Discounts

Black Friday is the king of Early Bird discounts.  Many stores will offer their early-day specials starting as early as 4am and ending as soon as 11am.  Typically they do not provide rain checks, so once they run out of the products, you’re out luck.  This comes back to the Check the Ads tip, because the ads will generally tell you what time the sales are beginning, which should help you plan out your day.

Beat the Crowds

If you’re planning on doing some of your shopping on the Internet, you could beat the crowds.  Many retailers will post their Black Friday specials on their website, as early as Thanksgiving Eve, allowing you to order online and pick up your products at your local store.  Some of these will even feature special “Online Only” deals.

Bring the Ads

You don’t want to get stuck at the register having to argue with the cashier over something that was in their ad.  Simply come prepared with the the ad that carefully explains the details of the advertisement.  This could even give you additional bargaining power and possible push the salesperson into waiving other charges such as an assembly fee.

Know the Store Policies

Make sure you carefully research the store and return policies of the retailers you are looking to purchase from.  Many stores will implement restocking fees and shorter return deadlines, so know what you’re after and keep your receipt!

If you have a tip for shopping on Black Friday, leave it in the comments section of this post.


P.S. – Send your questions to  If your question is picked your answer will be featured in the blog and you’ll be hooked up with 150 Swag Bucks!