Black Friday has certainly evolved in recent years. It feels like just yesterday we were all freezing outside a Walmart, hoping to snag a My Name is Elmo doll. While some still soldier out in the field, many of us now sit in the comfort of our homes - credit cards out, click finger ready.
This day can be exciting and profitable, but without a game plan you could get lost in the shuffle - losing your time, money and sanity. Here's a heads up on some potential pitfalls the day brings and tools on how to make this Black Friday your best yet!
Black Friday Defined
The overall goal of Black Friday is defined as such:
To find great deals on things you need/want for either yourself or someone else.
Anything that doesn’t fall under that umbrella is a red flag. Now let's get to it.
NOT HEALTHY - Impulse Buys
Repeat after me: “It’s not a great deal if I don’t need it.” I once bought a $50 cashmere sweater vest because it was next-level soft and a total steal on cashmere. That was two years ago. It currently hangs a closet, reeking of neglect, because I've literally never put it on. Why? Because I don't wear vests. I've never worn vests. And I live in Los Angeles. That sweater holds zero value because it hasn't provided any - therefore, a total waste of $50 bucks.
HEALTHY - A Great Deal on Something You Need
You’ve needed a drill for the last two years but could never bring yourself to pay $150 for it. So you’ve borrowed your neighbor’s when possible - even put off a project or two because it will be so much easier with a drill. But wait? There’s a sale on a quality drill for $59.99! Not only does it have extra bits, it comes with a backup battery and a two-year warranty. Now that’s a deal.
UNHEALTHY - Getting Seriously Competitive
A little competition makes things interesting but when you start throwing shade at other customers or heaven forbid, fight over the last crock pot, you’ve taken something fun and turned it toxic. We’ve all seen disturbing Black Friday footage where people get trampled, start fist fights, and turn into wild animals over a discounted flat screen. Not only is this bad form; feelings of anxiety, stress, and overwhelm are terribly unhealthy and can manifest into long-term problems. Overall point? #notworthit
HEALTHY - Making This a Sport
Shopping with your friends/family can create fond memories, even a new tradition. Make it a team effort to amp up the fun! That way you’re on a mission together, sharing the wins and losses collectively. Create a tactical game plan that benefits everyone. Tag team on certain items, split up or start a competition over who can find the best bargains. Get into the shopping zone with a buddy or two - it’s a bonding opportunity like no other.
UNHEALTHY - Spending $$$ You Don’t Have
You don’t have to buy everything all at once. Believe it or not, these deals will come again and it’s not smart to get a great deal on a blender with money you don’t have. Sellers purposefully place panic in their customers, creating pressure to BUY NOW! before this once in a lifetime opportunity goes away. If you need another week to think about it, if you’re torn about the product, don’t let time play a factor in your decision. When in doubt, wait. There are endless deals this season so you want to feel 100% confident with every purchase.
HEALTHY - Setting a Budget
To prevent overspending, create an overall budget for holiday gifts. Also set a price point for each individual, because not all gifts are created equal. For instance, you probably won't spend the same amount of money on a new co-worker as you will your mom.
If you’ve got money left over, consider your own purchase investments. The holiday season is the perfect time of year to find great deals on things you may need - just make sure it’s a good time financially. If so, create a budget along with a targeted list of what you need and in order of importance.
UNHEALTHY - Going YOLO
Trying to remember things you need as you shop is like going to the grocery store hungry - it just shouldn’t be done. If you’re just browsing for good deals, pretty objects can distract you from purchase priorities. Before you know it, you’ll end up with two gorgeous dish wear sets you don’t need, while your office chair is giving you back pain. Living in the moment is an amazing quality, just leave your credit cards at home for it.
HEALTHY - Creating a Target List
In addition to financially breaking down your gifts, it’s also important to focus on what you want. For yourself, know what kind of specific deals you’re looking for based on what you really need. For example, if your dresser is falling apart but you see a sale on a fancy washing machine, this will give you clarity on where to spend that money.
For friends and family, create a brainstorm list with gift categories. The more specific you are, the more you’ll stay on track and stop wandering aimlessly through store aisles and internet click funnels.
UNHEALTHY - Buying Hypothetical Gifts
"This would make a great gift!" is the ultimate trap for those who haven’t created a target list. While a little inspiration is warranted (it’s a gift after all) Black Friday's prices are so low you could end up with four checker/chess game sets in your closet for those “just in case” moments.
HEALTHY - Buying Christmas Gifts Early
It’s never too early to find gifts for those you love. When you have a target list with price points, shopping for Christmas gifts early allows for more inspiration because there's time. Your eyes are open to ideas instead of having tunnel vision with a ticking clock.
You'll either get the best of Black Friday, or it will get the best of you. A little preparation is all it takes to make this experience a positive one! Prepare so you can have fun and receive all the good things that Black Friday has to offer!
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