How to Find the Best Deals on Black Friday

We've all heard of it. Some of us chose to ignore it, and the rest of us are counting down the days till it arrives. Yes, Black Friday is quickly approaching, and it's time to start looking for the best deals in town.

The day after Thanksgiving, known as Black Friday, is designated as the first official shopping day for the holiday season. It dates back all the way to the 1960s when shoppers would congest stores, streets, and sidewalks in order to find the best shopping bargains. Financially, it represents the beginning of the period where retailers do not suffer from losses as they did during the months of January through November. Instead, they begin making profits starting with the day after Thanksgiving.

Today, people arrive at stores in the early morning hours (or even on Thanksgiving day!) to wait in line for doors to open. Dedicated bargain shoppers have been known to sleep in shopping carts, tents, or cars just to be one of the first in the store.

One of the main reasons why Black Friday has become an unofficial American holiday is due to the incredible bargains most department stores offer. Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, JC Penny, Macy's, and many other department stores offer huge discounts on items such as electronics, home goods, clothing, and miscellaneous items. Flat-screen televisions will sell for half their price, fifty percent off will be placed on all items throughout the store, and doorbuster sales will attract hundreds of shoppers. These are just a few traditional expectations for the kickoff of holiday shopping.

Television advertisements have a large impact on Black Friday shoppers because they try to attract their customers in a particular way. For example, Target created a commercial to promote their two-day sale in 2009. In the commercial they depicted an obsessive, competitive, middle-aged woman who had been counting down the days until Black Friday. Sarcastic and hilarious as she might be, the message is relaying that you as a shopper do not have to wake up at the wee hours of the morning just to get the best deals because they will be available for 48 hours.

With the Holiday season quickly arriving, shoppers are beginning to prepare for the great deals that lay ahead of them on Black Friday. As a shopper, the best way to get ready for the largest shopping day of the year is to start looking online for coupons and savings. You may be surprised what you can find by just simply looking online. Do not be surprised if you start seeing Black Friday commercials in the beginning of November. Retailers want their customers to be prepared for what is expected this holiday season, and some stores may even extend their shopping hours if they are expecting larger crowds.

But getting some of the best deals may require a little studying in advance. After all, some of those "bargains" may not actually be favoring your pocketbook.

Consumer Reports wrote an article detailing their "Top Ten Black Friday Shopping Tips for 2016." According to the article, shoppers should follow these guidelines:

Start early.
Do your homework.
Compare prices.
Be loyal.
Get social.
Phone it in.
Create a budget and stick to it.
Check all store policies in advance.
Avoid pricey accessories.
The cheapest TVs aren't always the best deals.
Some stores may open the doors at midnight on Black Friday or even on Thanksgiving, but whatever time the doors open, shoppers will continue to line up for years to come. It's become an American tradition that will surely continue to stimulate our economy for many years.


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