Are you hoping to score big on Black Friday sales?

We all know that Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping days of the year. People come out in droves and stand in hours-long lines in hopes of finding the perfect gift at a discount price.

Whether it’s your first or fifteenth time Black Friday shopping, there are some mistakes you’ll want to avoid on this day. Avoiding these common mistakes will save you money, stress, and time.

Check out this guide to discover the top Black Friday shopping mistakes and how to avoid them.

1. Not Doing Your Research

Not doing your research is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when Black Friday shopping.

Before you hit the stores, take some time to do online research on the products you’re considering buying. Make sure that all of the big products and electronics you’re buying come with all of the specifications you’re looking for.

Also, don’t let yourself be fooled by flashy signs that say “50 percent off”. Just because something is “on-sale” doesn’t mean that you’ll be getting the best price. Check Amazon and other online retailers to make sure that the price is worth lining up in a long line for.

2. Falling for Scams

Black Friday isn’t just a paradise for people who like to find a good deal, it’s also a paradise for online scammers.

During the week of Black Friday, scammers come out in hoards and will be invading your email and social media profiles. Keep your eye out for deals that seem too good to be true, and don’t click on any links that aren’t from a reputable store.

Also, if a company asks for any of your personal information, don’t give it away. You shouldn’t need to give anything more than an email address to receive a coupon or a discount.

If you have any questions about deals online that seem suspicious, don’t be afraid to contact the store to see if it’s valid. A store employee should be able to tell you if a Walmart ad Black Friday is valid.

3. Not Having a Shopping Plan

We’ve all seen the Black Friday commercials in which a family goes to a store and has an NFL-like huddle before they start shopping. While these commercials are humorous, they’re also offering some good advice.

Before you hit the stores, you want to have a shopping plan in place. First, make a list of everything you need to buy. Then, do your research on each item to see which ones you can buy online for the same price.

Once you’ve narrowed your list down to the items that you need to buy in-store, figure out where you’re going to buy each item. Then, look at your list of stores and figure out how you’re going to get to all of them in the most efficient manner.

Make sure you look into each store’s opening and closing hours for Black Friday, as some stores have extended hours while others have shortened shopping hours.

4. Thinking a Low Price Equals a Great Deal

As we mentioned earlier in this article, it can be easy to get roped in by stores with huge flashy signs advertising their big sales.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that a low price doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting a great deal. Before you buy, you want to make sure that the product is high-quality.

The best way to learn about the quality of an item before going in is to read online reviews. Keep in mind that paying a little more for an item often means that it’ll last longer, so don’t automatically opt for the cheapest product you come across.

5. Spending More Than You Can Afford

Just because there are great deals on Black Friday doesn’t mean you should go nuts and buy everything you want. Even with the discounts, all of this shopping can quickly add up.

In fact, a recent study found that the average American spends over $1,000 on holiday gifts and goodies. Before you hit the stores, make sure you create a budget so you don’t overspend.

When creating a budget, make sure you’re factoring in sales tax. Also, keep in mind that holiday gifts likely won’t be your only form of holiday spending. You might be traveling, hosting parties, or buying new decorations. Make sure that when creating your budget, you’ll still have enough money left over for other types of holiday fun.

6. Not Reading Return Policies

Before you buy an item on Black Friday, it’s very important that you understand the store’s return policies. Oftentimes, if an item is for sale for a large discount, you can’t return it or you’ll need to retun it within a certain period of time to receive a full refund.

However, this certainly isn’t the case for all retailers, as many have generous return policies that allow you to return items well after Christmas. Whatever the store’s return policy is, just make sure to hang onto the receipts in case you or the recipient have a change of heart.

7. Neglecting to Shop on Cyber Monday

While Black Friday certainly offers great deals, don’t forget that there’s more to be had on Cyber Monday.

In recent years, more and more stores have been closing on Black Friday to give their employees time off with their families. For this reason, Cyber Monday sales are bigger than ever. Plus, shopping from the comfort of your home is a lot less stressful than waiting in long lines in the cold weather.

Are You Ready to Go Black Friday Shopping?

Now that you’ve read this guide, you’ll be ready for Black Friday shopping. Before you know it, the big shopping day will be here and you’ll be stress-free knowing that you have a plan in place.

Be sure to check back in with our blog for more holiday shopping tips and tricks.

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