How to be a savvy Black Friday shopper

Target gears up for Black Friday deals. Photo courtesy:

In just over a week, shoppers across the country will participate in Black Friday. For years, typically beginning on Thanksgiving evening and extending into the next day, retailers offer large deals on items such as electronics, clothing and jewelry, just in time for Christmas.

Before the time comes, there are a few things to keep in mind:

Anyone participating in Black Friday should prepare. Making a list ahead of time will help shorten shopping times and reduce excessive spending.

Cyla Moore, a third-year nursing student at FAMU, typically does not make a list but is thinking about it this year.

“I don’t have a job this year, so I need to make sure I’m spending smartly,” Moore said. “Normally I go in and pick up whatever I want, but since I’m getting older, I think it’s time I prepare for the future and save more than I spend.”

When making a list, pay attention to what retailers had on sale last year. Chances are that the same things will be back on sale.

After preparing a list, set a budget. Depending on what’s on the list in comparison to the budget, adjustments may need to be made. Having a high budget and not spending it all is better than overspending.

To help set the budget, use price comparison websites such as Shopzilla. On this site, consumers can search for products by category and review prices by competitor. In addition to Shopzilla, downloading apps like ShopSavvy can speed up in-store purchases by providing store coupons and showing nearby competitors.

Best Buy associate Kyra Leigh says showing up early and prepared makes all the difference.

“I’ve been working in retail for a couple of years and Black Friday can tend to get pretty hectic,” Leigh said. “Since I started, I noticed that the customers who show up early and sacrifice their Thanksgiving meal normally have the best results, because they get first dibs at items.”

One last thing shoppers can do to prepare for Black Friday is to shop ahead of time. Stores such as Best Buy, Walmart and Target have begun Black Friday deals. Beating the crowd and shopping online beforehand will almost guarantee that items won’t be out of stock.

Maddy Jones, a 27-year-old mom of two, said she will be staying in the house to shop this holiday season.

“My kids have already started with their Christmas list and honestly, most of it is electronics,” Jones said. “I think I’m going to put time aside soon and go online to buy their iPads and headphones that they’ve been begging for. At this age, if I can get convenience, I’ll take advantage of it at any time.”