I have to turn in my article, today, for next week's column. I want to do it on Black Friday shopping tips.
I know that y'all do all kinds of crazy things like buying stuff early at full price and then using your credit card company's price protection to get the Black Friday pricing, after the fact. And y'all probably do stuff with Rakuten, etc.
Can you guys share some of your super cheapskate Black Friday ideas that would help someone get the best deals?
I don't have any particular Black Friday deals to share, but before using credit cards' price protection, beware -- recently, many card issuers (and/or the banks behind them) have severely curtailed or discontinued their price protection policies. Highly suggest reading the fine print carefully before trying this scheme.
Of course, there's the ultimate Black Friday cheapskate idea -- don't buy anything!
Don't wait for Black Friday. A lot of stores have already run "Black Friday" sales. Watch for online sales, which usually start the evening before Doorbuster day. (I've bought items at Best Buy that way that I wouldn't have been willing to fight traffic and crowds for.)(
If you're thinking of tech items, think of alternatives to brick-and-mortar. (e.g., Motorola or Dell websites, instead of Best Buy or MicroCenter.)
Watch for gift card sales. One of the grocery store chains frequently has a selection of store gift cards for 10% off. (I will always buy one if they have Lowes or Home Depot, because I'll use it sooner or later. Here, it's Hy-Vee)
If you have to do brick-and-motar, consider the places that don't have huge crowds-- hardware stores are the ones I like to go to. (Bet you're glad to hear that, Chelle!)
Speaking of Rakuten-- last year I bought several cheap phones from the Tracfone companies around Black Friday with 60% cashback. (Those became my CellNuvo swiping phones, media players, e-reader/mini-tablets..) Last year you could leverage it buying a plan card, too. (That's of less interest now with the $40-$50 Ebay annual card, but it can be a good way to add additional minutes/texts to an existing plan.)
ADDED: Only experience at prior BF seasons helps here-- but learn which stores have huge crowds, and which don't, and which stores have deep stock and alternative offers. We have both a Target and a Walmart in my general neighborhood, about 1 mile apart in the same suburb. The Walmart doorbusters will be gone in minutes, and the shelves stripped bare of anything remotely similar even if it wasn't on sale. The Target usually has similar doorbusters still available hours later, they'll put out additional stock through the day, and they have a habit of marking down a similar item, unadvertised, if they run out of stock. I've gotten doorbuster deals well into the late evening there.
Apply for some credit cards with Spend $X in 90 days and get $Y in statement credit.
Just saw this on ebay home page...
Thanks! Y'all were very helpful.