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BEACON Senior News

Cash in on super holiday savings

Oct 31, 2022 03:06PM ● By Kimberly Blaker

Whether you’re a Black Friday enthusiast or hater, there are ample ways to cash in on super savings throughout the holiday season. So follow these tips for deep discounts on Black Friday, Cyber Monday and beyond.

Subscribe to store email lists. 

Decide on which stores you want to shop at least a couple of weeks in advance. Then visit each store’s website and subscribe to their email list. Early signup will ensure you receive all promotional emails for the season’s big Black Friday and Cyber Monday events as well as ongoing savings right on through Christmas Eve.

Buy discounted gift cards. 

Visit Raise.com and order discounted gift cards for the stores you know you’ll purchase from. Make sure the gift cards are for stores you’ll definitely shop at, so you don’t blow your savings. Gift cards also make great gifts.

Begin collecting deals 

Collect deals that show up in your newspaper, mailbox and email. Also, visit your favorite stores online a few days in advance to see what kind of deals they’ll offer. Print any coupons you find. 

Organize for the big day. 

Once you’ve collected all the deals, sort through and match them up to your holiday shopping list. Compare deals and determine when the sales or doorbusters begin and if there’ll be limited quantities. Then strategize. If you can’t stand in line for hours for a limited quantity doorbuster, skip it and focus on other deals that are easier to fetch.

Prepare a second-best list. 

You can’t be everywhere at once and you’re sure to miss a deal or two. So prepare for alternative gifts and where to shop for them.

Watch for early bird freebies. 

Many stores offer free gifts to the first 25 or 100 people that come through the door. It’s true that there are some pretty nice prizes to be had, but many will require you to arrive well before the crack of dawn and spend hours waiting in line. Before you succumb to these lures, consider whether it’s worth the risk of losing out on savings elsewhere.

Black Friday isn’t always the best day for bargains. 

So do your research. Stores tout their Black Friday deals to get consumers into a buying frenzy early in the season. Some even start to reduce prices on Wednesday. Keep in mind, all those Black Friday deals can also often be found online on Cyber Monday. In fact, many hot deals and some better deals stretch well into December.

Shop late in the day. 

If you’re like many, you wouldn’t even consider shopping on Black Friday simply because of the chaos. But the vast majority of shoppers start at the crack of dawn or earlier. By 5 p.m., early birds are exhausted and malls and stores are dead quiet. So evening is a great time to get in some peaceful, early shopping with plenty of great deals still going on.

Shop online. 

This is another option if you don’t want to participate in the madhouse. Many stores offer the same deals online as they do in their stores. In fact, many online stores don’t even have storefronts. Keep in mind, supplies are often limited, even online. So by the time you reach checkout, an item in your basket might be sold out. If you’re shopping for multiple items from a store, do multiple checkouts, so the items in your basket don’t disappear while you shop.


MORE HOLIDAY SHOPPING TIPS

Arrange your finances in advance. 

If you intend to pay by credit card, plan well in advance so the credit is available to you. Make your credit card payments at least two weeks in advance to allow time for processing. Use your credit cards that offer cash back or reward points to increase your savings. If paying with a debit card, check your balance before you head out to avoid an unwelcome surprise. Avoid carrying cash in chaotic crowds because of the increased risk of pickpockets and purse snatchers.

Avoid carts. 

On Black Friday, carry shopping bags or totes instead unless you plan to buy heavy items. Carts will slow you down through crowds that are unwilling to budge for you.

Hold off on toy purchases. 

Black Friday doesn’t offer the best deals on toys. The first week of December usually provides much more significant savings on these items.

Use social media for extra savings. 

Many retailers offer exclusive coupons and discounts to people who like them on Facebook or other social media. 

Check return policies. 

Most major retailers have liberal return policies. But not all. Do your homework before you make purchases. Ask for gift receipts to make exchanges and returns easy for your gift recipients.

Avoid impulse buying. 

Many shoppers’ savings go right down the drain because they grab unnecessary “great buys” on the spur of the moment. 

Get extra savings with instant store credit. 

Most stores offer 10 to 25 percent savings by opening a store credit card at checkout. If you pay your charges off immediately and don’t use it for unnecessary purchases, it’s well worth the savings. Otherwise, the long-term cost of interest will exceed the savings you gained.

Make sure a sale is really a sale. 

Some stores mark up merchandise before they reduce it to make it look like a great bargain. Furniture stores in particular are known for this tactic, so do your homework.

Don’t waste time trying to price match. 

On Black Friday and Cyber Monday, stores typically don’t honor price matching. 

Be prepared for long lines. 

Before you head out, add your email account, music, audiobooks or movies to your phone, so you have entertainment for the long wait in line. Better yet, spend your time in line visiting online stores and watch for rotating deals. Download Black Friday deals apps such as Dealnews, Slickdeals, Shopkick, Flipp or The Coupons App.

Request duplicate receipts 

Request duplicate receipts for rebate purchases, and store them in a safe place in your wallet or purse. If you shop online, download the Ebates app for automatic rebates when you buy on participating websites.

Forgo extended warranties. 

With a few exceptions, extended warranties are a waste of money. Most electronics already come with a limited manufacturer’s warranty. Defects usually show up within the scope of the manufacturer’s warranty. Accidental damage that might be covered under a store’s extended warranty only rarely occurs. Cell phones or small personal electronics people carry with them that are likely to get dropped, lost or run through the washing machine are the exception.


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