Black Friday opportunity to find many deals

Shayndel Jones

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is considered to be the kick-off of holiday shopping. Retailers see an upward spike in consumer spending. It’s common for businesses to offer special promotions and to open their stores early in an attempt to draw in customers.  For college students on a budget, the sales offered by many retailers make it a perfect time to buy things they need.

“If there is something I want I go to look, but with a tight budget, it can be difficult. Black Friday shopping is not for everyone,” said Tomasa Espino, freshman accounting major.

To make the most of the deals on Black Friday, consumers can follow a few simple tips to get the most out of their shopping experience. When living on a tight budget, it is understandable that people want to take advantage of every deal possible. However, it is important not to make unnecessary purchases just because an item is offered at a great price. This can put consumers in a financial pinch in the days and weeks following Black Friday. Before shopping, make a list of personal wants and needs and as well as gifts to give others.

Set a budget. Consumers should take a close look at their personal budget. Consumers can easily overspend on Black Friday as they take advantage of deal after deal. However, it is important not to spend grocery money or next semester’s tuition buying a new Blu-ray DVD player or a set of dishes. 

Review ads and specials. Planning and research are a critical part of making the most of Black Friday deals. On Thanksgiving morning, pick up the local newspaper to peruse print ads for local retailers.

“I don’t go Black Friday shopping, but I do like to look for deals at restaurants,” said Savannah Schrichel, freshman mass media major.

Stock up on school supplies. The best Black Friday bargains are usually in the electronics or home departments. Scout stores ahead of time to find the best deals on kitchen-wear or small appliances for dorm rooms or apartments. Big chain electronics stores often offer discounted prices on big-ticket items, so if your laptop has been slow in class, Black Friday is a great time to buy. Consumers can also find discounts on smaller electronics for studying, including external hard drives.

 Check in with your school’s bookstore to see if they will be offering any specials. Not only can you stock up on books and school supplies for next semester, but you can also purchase discounted school apparel.

Read the fine print. Some of the best deals offered by retailers can save you a significant amount of money, and when you take advantage of multiple savings offers, you may save hundreds of dollars by shopping on Black Friday. Develop a plan that gets you to all of the locations you need to visit within a time frame that allows you to capitalize on the special offers.

Extend your shopping through Cyber Monday. For students who decided to forgo Black Friday deals and instead stay in, Cyber Monday is a great time to find additional bargains. Because you can avoid in-store chaos by shopping at home, Cyber Monday is especially ideal for purchasing discounted apparel for the upcoming winter quarter.

Keep in mind that there are numerous scams that target Cyber Monday shoppers. As such, you should only make purchases from known retailers. Also, avoid clicking on links in emails you receive. Some scammers will mimic email template designs of popular retailers, but they will contain a bogus link that takes you to their website. Rather than clicking on links, type in the email address of the retailer manually, and enter coupons and discount codes manually.

 Put these tips to use to make the most of the deals and special offers on these two popular shopping days. You can save a significant amount of money on Black Friday and Cyber Monday with smart shopping.