Black Friday Tips for College Shoppers

Only a few more days until the biggest shopping day of the year. Its become a holiday of its own that gets more media coverage than Thanksgiving itself. As college students, we’re looking to save as much money as possible, which is why we’re willing to wake up before the crack of dawn, stand in line for hours, and wrestle our way through the masses for the next up-and-coming gadget. Here’s a couple of tips for the big day:

  • Shop online first: Before you brave the crowds, check to see if the products are being offered online. The sites usually offer low or no shipping deals. Some retailers will even offer online exclusives that aren’t offered in stores.
  • Draw out your route: Know exactly what time you’re getting up, what stores you’re going to, and what products you will be purchasing. Having a list will make this Black Friday one with no post-holiday broke period.
  • Compare prices: Before the excursion, do LOTS of research. Using sites like PriceGrabber.com allows you to compare products in different stores, guaranteeing that you get the best deal.
  • Don’t sleep: Let me re-phrase that: take a hefty afternoon nap. For the first time, chains like Walmart and Target, will be opening up as early as 8PM on Thanksgiving day. Even if you plan on shopping at  midnight, don’t take an evening nap, no matter what your food-induced coma tells you. Going to the stores right away will ensure you get what’s on your list.
  • Keep receipts: Stores are cracking down on return policies and becoming more strict. Don’t shove the paper in your wallet; bring a separate sleeve to hold your receipts. Better yet, ask for gift receipts even if it’s not a gift. Having two copies increases your chances of not losing it.
  • Use store credit cards: Many stores offer extra discounts and warranties if you make purchases on your store credit card. Word of warning: Pay in full right afterwards, so the interest does not accumulate.
  • Be social: Like a store’s page on Facebook or follow them on Twitter and you may get exclusive bonuses. At the very least, retailers will post about deals that will be sent directly to your phone.

We’ve all seen those people who trample over others and shove their way to the front of a line. Do not be one of these people. Remember that the true holiday this upcoming week is Thanksgiving.