Whether it’s Black Friday or any other sale, what you really need in your back pocket is some essential shopping tips and tricks.
We love getting things on sale, but with so many temptations to splash the cash, how do you make sure you don’t spend more than you can afford or buy something you’ll later regret?
See how to get the best deals for your budget, and avoid overspending at the same time, with these essential shopping tips and tricks.
Don’t leave home without them!
The simplest way to make savings when shopping is one you could probably guess. If you know there’s nothing you either need or have to buy in the upcoming months, then staying away from the stores altogether is the ultimate money-saver.
If you’re on a budget, but you’re a reluctant frugalista who lives to shop, then make sure you plan non-shopping related activities that will help you resist and take your mind off temptation. Have an offline day and watch some movies, finish a home project, or plan to visit somewhere that’s away from the retail scene in your area.
When your credit card bill comes, you’ll thank yourself. No shopping trip was ever worth sleepless nights over money worries.
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Pro Tips For Sale Shopping
If you know you’re going shopping, however, getting organized early will really pay off.
We love grabbing bargains in the sales, especially when it comes to pricey ‘investment’ items that last.
For most people, however, that kind of shopping is rare in discount season, and instead, impulse buys make up the majority of sale purchases. Everything in a store is designed to encourage you to buy. From signage and merchandising to store layout, music, temperature, and even scents.
Not getting sucked in, means doing your research and considering what you really need before you set foot in a store. Because of the planning you put in, you’ll never wind up purchasing something you later regret.
Check out this full 8-point strategy full of shopping tips and tricks to learn how to get the best deals at the sales:
- Begin with a list
The first step is to brainstorm a shopping list with two columns: need and want.The needs are things you know you will definitely buy at some point in the next 3-6 months, like essential household appliances or holiday gifts.The want column is made up of things you’ve got your eye on, but aren’t considered must-haves. Put things like non-essential clothing or hobby items here.
- Don’t get lumbered with an inferior model
A lot of stores use sales to discount unpopular models, or appliances with inferior or outdated features, to get rid of them. Because we’re so bombarded with clever marketing, they’ll seem like a better deal than they actually are.
- Don’t fall for FOMO
Once you have a list of all the items you want, paying attention to your overall shopping budget, decide the max you would be willing to pay right now for each discounted item. – This step is essential to do now while you’re ‘cold’ and not while you’re in the store or browsing online.
Marketing tactics during sales capitalize on your fear of missing out, (FOMO), so you feel you have to buy an item there and then. Hotel booking sites will use similar tricks, with banners that say things like; ‘only a few rooms left’ to encourage you to book quickly or risk losing out.
If an item is unlikely to be reduced to the amount you’re willing to pay, then it’s time to look for cheaper alternatives that fit your budget. Ever carry something to the register and wonder whether you should get it? Putting these numbers down in writing ahead of time will stop indecision in its tracks. When you can’t make up your mind on whether to buy something, just go back to your list and if it’s not on there, or isn’t at a price you want to pay, you’ll already have the answer.
- Shop around
Unless you want to buy from a specific place because it’s a business you want to support, or they have great service, then always compare prices at multiple stores in advance. This is where the internet comes in handy.
You can also ask store assistants if particular items are likely to go into the sale too. Sometimes they will tell you they don’t know; it depends on who you speak to and how much management tells staff about their offers, but they can be a great source of information.
Some places will even let you put things aside for the sale, so it’s also worth asking, especially if they’re low on stock. Lots of stores do this happily, but not all will.
- Join email lists and follow on Facebook
As annoying as those pesky sales emails from stores can be, you should always sign up for them around Black Friday, Columbus Day, and other sales. Use them to get early notifications, special offers, unique discounts, or invitations.
You can always unsubscribe after the sales so that your inbox isn’t jammed up with them the rest of the year.
- Add or delete autofill details
This step is for online shopping and depends on whether you want to make it harder or easier for yourself to make a sale purchase.
If you think you’re likely to make online impulse purchases and don’t want to, then go into your web browser settings and delete any auto-filled payment information. You can also delete the same details from individual store accounts too. That way, when you come to buy something and have to re-enter all of your address and payment info, it will give you a chance to think twice and bailout if you’re not sure.
On the reverse, if you want to get something that’s likely to sell out online, then register an account with all your payment and delivery settings now. It will save vital minutes if you’re trying to buy something that’s popular during a sale.
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Do this for everything you can think of that you want to buy. You can always cut it down later.
So, if you have items like household appliances on your list, decide on the exact model or features you want ahead of the sales by comparing them either in a store or online. Check Amazon reviews and ask friends for their input if they own something similar.
One of the most powerful shopping tips and tricks you can adopt is the ability not to be blinkered by how big a discount is, only to find that an appliance can’t do what you want it to.
The same applies to following your favorite store’s social media accounts, it’s a good way to get a heads up on sales and discounts.