We all know that 2020 didn’t just impact our ability to go out, it also impacted our shopping habits. Crowded lines and fistfights in aisle 19? No, thank you!
Of course, things are finally looking up in 2021, but we’re still left wondering how we’re going to tackle this holiday shopping season. Namely, is Black Friday even worth it anymore? We chatted with several Chime members about this very topic, and after lots of back and forth (and great winter sales hacks) we’ve come to a conclusion. The long answer short?
Black Friday shopping is only worth it if you do it right.
Here are 5 ways to maximize your Black Friday shopping experience, from online tips to our members’ personal hacks.
1. Black Friday Isn’t Just One Day 🤑
First things first: just because we call it Black Friday doesn’t mean the deals only last one day! The deal season usually starts the week of Thanksgiving, and continues through the weekend—some even extend through the following week.
So don’t limit yourself to that one day. In fact, you can even aim to go earlier or later during the deal season to nab the great sales—without the traffic. Micah, a Chime member, recommends this. “If you can, shop early or shop late, and stay away from the main event.” He lives in the greater Chicago area, where traffic can become a nightmare during rush hour, and he told us he usually “doesn’t feel like driving [up to] six hours” just for some deals.
Either way, knowing that Black Friday extends for a lot longer than 24 hours takes the pressure off—take your time and shop at unconventional hours! Who knows, you might find a gem of a deal, and you won’t have to fight someone to get it.
🔥 Chime Tip: Due to the unpredictable nature of this year’s Black Friday season, expect to see some deals pop up as early as late October! We recommend shopping earlier rather than later—because of extended shipping times, you’ll want to get your gifts in hand before it’s too late.
2. Make a List and Check It Twice 📝
With all the deals, sales, and companies advertising to you that they have the “best Black Friday deals ever,” Black Friday shopping can be super overwhelming—which leads straight into overspending on things you don’t need in the first place!
Selena, a Chime member, knows all too well about how wild Black Friday can get. Her advice? “I would say, for anybody that feels crazy, just check around the house and make a list.” She recommends planning as much as you can before you head out, because once you’re out, it’s go time. With a list, she says “it’ll kind of give you a little bit of direction of where you want to go.”
Selena also leaves us with some words of wisdom. Most people go Black Friday shopping because they want to score an amazing deal, but if it’s not worth it to you, you can always get it next time! “It’s not that serious!” she concludes, and we 100% agree.
3. Not All Black Friday Deals Are Created Equal 🤔
Sometimes, the wildness of Black Friday deals makes people forget that—wait a minute—this isn’t the only time of the year companies have sales! For some places, their Black Friday deals aren’t even as good as their other sales, like Labor Day Weekend or President’s Day Weekend, so don’t let the excitement of the holidays get the better of you.
Always take a second to do a price check before you check out, and if you’ve done your research, you should know if that deal is worth shopping. 15% percent off isn’t that impressive when you know that product usually goes half-price at the end of the season!
4. Get Deals Without Leaving the House 🏡
It’s time to address the elephant in the room. We’ve been talking about in person shopping, but we all know that after Black Friday, it’s Cyber Monday, and especially in 2021, online deals will be back and bigger than ever. While in-store shopping is still huge, companies are recognizing that after 2020, online sales are booming, and it doesn’t look like it’ll be slowing down anytime soon.
Here’s where Selena really dropped a great online shopping hack: join a Facebook group dedicated to discount codes! This is a more general deal-finding secret, but you can bet that during Black Friday, you’ll be able to find tons of sales online. She says “Before I start shopping, I always try to see if I can find discount codes on Facebook.” Once she figures it out, she shares them with her friends and family so that everyone wins! Her wallet, and her homies, are definitely thanking her.
5. Look Outside of Amazon 👀
These days, it feels like Amazon is impossible to get away from. On the surface, everyone is talking about them and there are great deals, but don’t discount the other shopping sites! Other sites like eBay and Overstock usually have surprising deals that you would never know about if you hadn’t scrolled away from Amazon.
In fact, before Amazon was even a thing, Selena swore by eBay. She told us “eBay used to be my go to for everything,” and really emphasized the fact that it’s not just second-hand sellers on there. For hidden gems and unexpected deals, definitely check out other online retailers—you never know what you might find!
TL;DR Black Friday Shopping Doesn’t Have To Be Insane
At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide whether or not you want to do the traditional Black Friday ritual of lining up at 3 am and grabbing the first deal you find! No matter how you choose to do it, one thing is for sure—if you follow these tips, you’ll be sure to catch a few shining deals under all that noise. Good luck and godspeed! 💚
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