Black Friday Review and Hacks

During my quest to buy the $49 Ninja Blender, I had to squeeze myself through this crowd of customers at Walmart. (Photo by Jessie Lin)

It’s true—Black Friday alone attracts more people than a year’s worth of visitors to Disneyland.

According to Tom Risen in The U.S News and World Report, Black Friday attracts an average of approximately 133 million people to shop for the cheapest deals annually. This year, a record number of people—171 million— hit the stores and online.

I was one of them. In my case, my family and I chose to ditch the traditional Thanksgiving meal and celebration, and hit the streets for some door busters. Here are some my favorite places to shop and some deals that were too good to miss:

Best Buy:

Although there are some items from this retail giant that would be cheaper elsewhere, the purchase protection policies and options offered by Best Buy are some of the best in the market. Their excellent return and exchange policies put customers’ minds at ease, as all items that are brought in November and December can be returned  up to more than a month later. If you are someone who values quality and security, Best Buy is the way to go.

I didn’t get the chance to be there for their deals this year, but I heard some great comments about it. There were rumors about shorter lines, well-stocked shelves, and no transaction complications.

Some examples of deals this year:

Sharp 50’’ LED 2160p television: $179.99/ MSRP: $499.99

Samsung 11.6’’ Chromebook: $80.00/ MSRP: $199.99

Apple 13.3’’ Macbook Air 8GB memory: $799.99/ MSRP: $999.99

AT&T – ZTE Maven 3 4G with 8GB Memory Prepaid Cell Phone – Black:  $7.99/MSRP: $29.99

Kmart:

If you were one of the first customers to enter the store during their Thanksgiving Day 6PM Doorbusters Event this year, you were in for a treat. Customers who arrived early received a swag bag filled with granola bars, coupons, and even Advil.

Some examples of deals this year:

2-slice toaster, hand mixer, or can opener: $4.99/ MSRP: $9.99

Coffee maker, Black and Decker food chopper, or blender: $9.99/ MSRP: $14.99

50% off slippers and sandals

6’ pre-decorated Christmas tree: $49.99/ MSRP: $103.99

Walmart:

Walmart has just about everything anyone needs. From electronics to apparel, the nation’s largest retailer never ceases to draw throngs of customers through their doors on Black Friday. The entire store becomes ten degrees hotter because of the overwhelming number of people just like me trying to find the best deals. This year, like in previous years, my feet were often trampled upon and there were plenty of angry exchanges between shoppers. However, it only took me about fifteen minutes to enter and exit the store, mainly because I kept my calm while I shopped for what I wanted.

Some examples of deals this year:

iPhone 6 on Straight Talk Wireless: $129.00/MSRP: $199.99

Select DVDs: $1.96 MSRP/ anywhere from $5 to $9.99

Black and Decker Air Swivel Vacuum: $28.00/ MSRP $58.99

Serta Massage Recliner: $169.00/ MSRP: $256.37

 

If you missed out on Black Friday deals this year or are hoping to up your shopping game, here are some tips and reminders, plus some mistakes to avoid when this time of year comes around again.

  • Research. I cannot stress this enough. I’ve made the mistake of not doing my research well and have ended up with buyer’s remorse for what I ended up buying. Always look up the MSRP (merchandise suggested retail price) of the item you want to get to see if the sale price is really a deal. Open multiple tabs on your screen, grab a pen and notebook, and begin dissecting the Black Friday ads. Make a column for the item’s MSRP, multiple columns of the different retailers you are going to visit, and compare prices.
  • Ditch Thanksgiving. Yes, it may seem unorthodoxed but in order to get some of the best deals, you need to take advantage of doorbuster events. Many retail giants open at 6PM on Thanksgiving day. If you’re lucky, some places even offer a swag bag of some sort for customers who’ve traded in their turkey meal to go shopping. Most times, the best deals will sell out quickly. That was the case this year for Target and their Beats earphones, which sold out within the first hour of my arrival.
  • Don’t use Black Friday to shop for clothes or toys. Most of the time, clothes and toys are the cheapest during the Christmas shopping season after Black Friday.
  • In spite of all the Black Friday and Cyber Monday marketing hype this year, I didn’t think that the deals were actually that amazing overall. There were some significant markdowns, and I managed to take advantage of a few of them. Items such as the Ninja Blender (discounted to $49 from $90) and the Beats urbeats 2 (discounted to $49 from $100) were worth the Black Friday madness. However, some items only saw at 10% discount. Personally, I’m still keeping an eye out for better deals this Christmas shopping season. I’ll keep you posted.

 

Written By
More from Jessie Lin

The Joy of Cooking

The familiar ding of a cooking timer accompanied by the evocative aroma...
Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *