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Playground Equipment Blog
Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Navigating Black Friday and Holiday Sales to Get the Most for Your Family

According to statistics, Americans plan to spend $59.57 billion on Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales this year. And while much has been written about the need for Americans to curtail excess consumerism, for many people, especially working and middle-class families, Black Friday and Cyber Monday represent the only time of the year when they can afford to make big purchases. And not all of these purchases are frivolous. Some of the big-ticket items include mattresses, computers, Christmas presents, and entertainment for the kids. In a rough economy, many families have no choice but to brave the malls despite the stress, noise, and crowds.

We’re here to help make the process a little easier! How can you get the most bang for your buck without losing your sanity? Read on to find out our tips for getting the most out of the holiday sales.

Determine your budget.

Even with the impressive sales, shopping on Black Friday doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll end up spending within your means. Before opening your wallet, decide how much you can actually afford to spend, and stick to that number. Yes, that fancy new leather purse would go perfectly with your wardrobe, but pause before you buy. Don’t splurge at the detriment of quality of life and put it on a credit card. Determine which friends and family you plan to shop for, and then follow these tips:

Make a list. Check it twice.

Before you jump into the fray, make sure you’ve made a list of everything you want to buy. If it’s helpful, divide your list into two columns: needs and wants. A replacement dishwasher might go into the “needs” category along with school shoes for the kids and a family computer. While in the “wants” column, you might jot down items like a flat-screen TV, a new curling iron, or a high-tech cooler for camping trips. The key is to figure out who has the best deals ahead of time and plan your attack. From tech to clothes, many websites list the best sales to expect. So start plotting!

Some of the best deals happen on Cyber Monday.

You may not need to spend hours trying to find parking after all! Many retailers are putting their best deals up on Cyber Monday, meaning you can surf from the privacy of your couch (or your office during lunch). Check out this list of Cyber Monday sales, from big box retailers and online outlets. According to some websites, deals are already happening.

Pause. Breathe. Reflect.

Do you get a rush from online shopping? You’re not alone. And you may attribute that euphoric feeling to the purchase of a new item. However, studies show that dopamine is released in anticipation of a reward, meaning you can actually get that rush just by window shopping.

So, put your wishlist items in your shopping cart, enjoy the dopamine boost, and then decide whether or not you can afford to buy it. If it’s the right choice, it will still be there ten minutes later, after you’ve made yourself a cup of tea or walked around the block.

Check out Canada’s “Black Friday” on the day after Christmas.

Canadians and Americans can take advantage of each other’s big sales days by purchasing from each other’s companies online. In Canada, you probably won’t find department stores flooded with people the day after Thanksgiving the way they are in the United States.

In fact, Canadians’ big shopping day, also known as Boxing Day, falls on the 26th of December and is recognized as a holiday. It may have taken its name from a U.K. tradition in which heads of the household boxed gifts for their servants. It’s also a day when stores hope to liquidate gifts that didn’t get sold as holiday presents. And many big-box stores participate.

Couldn’t afford to buy that fancy toy set for your kids at market price? Try searching the web for holiday sales in Canada. If you need to take advantage of a day-after-Christmas sale, consider printing out a picture of the gift for kids or family members to unbox on Christmas morning.

What’s your game plan for Black Friday shopping this year?

Do you have any tried and true strategies? Please share your tips with us! Let’s shop smarter together.

Written by: Parker Jones

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