Black Friday is coming up in a few days, and if you like a good bargain or two like us – there’s a few decent sites you can check to make sure you’re getting the best deals and most bang for your buck. Even if you’re not shopping specifically for audio gear, you can refer to these sites for any products you’re interested in buying and be able to see whether it’s actually worth the investment or not. We’re also going to throw a few useful tips your way to ensure your Black Friday explorations are a success.
Use Apps and Check Out the Adverts
While you’re bound to be bombarded with adverts and deals on the actual day [November 29], it doesn’t hurt to do an independant hunt for the products you want via apps as well. Below are some of the ones we use to closely monitor the product and price trends a week prior to Black Friday. This allows us to see certain metrics and then establish if the price drop for a product is actually legit.
Keepa – Keepa is a browser extension to chrome. It’s a fantastic tool because it helps you to see how online sellers are lowering their prices over the course of different time frames: daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, or lifetime. It also lets you see a product’s monetary history and sales rank to help you make better calculated buying decisions. The graphs may look intimidating at first, but once you get familiar with the colors – they’re straightforward and easy to understand.
Drop.com – Drop was originally designed as an app that targets millennials due to their spending habits on things like organic food products and Uber rides. The company learned that the younger generation aren’t particularly loyal to brands and just want to save as much as possible. Instead of individual loyalty cards, Drop lets you pick the brands you want to buy from, and then the points are credited to your account which you can later exchange for gift cards or other rewards. It’s convenient, free to use, and applies to just about anything.
Ben’s Bargains – We use this one a lot, even when it’s not Black Friday. Ben’s is a great app because all the bargains are hand-picked by their deal editors. They only post the “best of web” pricing, meaning at the time of posting, they were unable to find any cheaper offerings for the product elsewhere. Even on sites like Amazon and Google Shopping. They also look for coupon opportunities which can further save you money on an item, and you’re also able to set up alerts if an item is sold out or not available at the time you want to buy it.
Slickdeals.net – Another online deal-sharing community is Slickdeals. They see over 10m users on the site every month, and again, work with specialist deal editors to ensure you’re getting the best-of-the-best offers while you shop. What sets this app apart from the rest is the fact that they base the deals they display on community votes and feedback. The deal is posted, rated, then reviewed by the editors team to guarantee the best prices.
Amazon – If all else fails, or you simply run out of time to do any research before Black Friday, Amazon are always the default option for us. They start advertising deals about a week in advance, so one of the best possible things you can do at this point is to open up a Prime membership and take advantage of the 2-day free shipping. Not only will you save a considerable amount on postage, you also get 30 minutes early access to the deal before anyone who doesn’t have a prime account. Timing really is of the essence with Amazon’s Black Friday bonanza, but you can truly bag some bargains if you’re on the ball and quick to act.
A Few Black Friday Tips
While using these kind of apps are great ways to find the best prices on certain items, there are some other things you can do to manage your shopping better as well.
- Make a shopping list – It’s good to have an idea on the kind of things you want to buy before the chaos begins. Write down a list so you don’t have to waste any time thinking about it or trying to remember what you want/need.
- Research and review – You might have a product in mind, but if you haven’t read up about it properly it could end up being a cheap piece of crap. Check out customer reviews and research it first to avoid any disappointment.
- Check returns policies – This one’s important because many people fail to check the small print for an item they’ve just purchased. Return timeframes are becoming less and less these days, so make sure you check out the supplier’s terms, and always keep your receipts!
- Look out for doorbusters – Doorbusters were only available in stores, but now they apply to the online markets too. These can be early bird specials or midnight-madness sales, but they only last for a limited time, or until the product sells out. Be prepared to hit the refresh key a few times!
- Wake up early – Sales can begin at pre-dawn hours on Black Friday, even for online shoppers. If you want to beat the crowds and crazy site traffic, be sure to get up a bit earlier so you’re more likely to get served first. “Web Only” deals can start as early as Thanksgiving day too.
What About Black Friday Deals in Store?
We pity anyone willing to put themselves through such an ordeal, but if you truly are more inclined to shop among the stampede of ruthless Black Friday consumers, there’s plenty of stores offering deals and discounts in the lead up to the big day.
You’ll find all the major retailers like Walmart, Dell, JCPenney, Samsung, Lowe’s, and hundreds of commercial brands with their doors wide open next week. You might not be able to find exactly what you’re looking for, so it’s probably worth locating the store online first, and seeing if the item is in stock before you make the perilous journey there in person.
Am I Likely to Save Much Money?
We can’t really answer that because it depends what you’re buying. But, in theory, you probably will save money because product prices are usually the lowest all year around. The problem is, many retailers or distributors make it look like consumers are getting a great deal by putting the price up considerably a month or two before, then drastically lowering them just for Black Friday. This is a tactic that makes you think you’ve saved money when you’ve clearly not. That’s also why we always advise to research prices beforehand.
Is It Worth It?
Again, this one really depends on who’s asking. For some people, Black Friday proves to be a cost effective way of saving money on items that would usually cost you double. On the flip side, some people fall into the trap of mindlessly buying stuff they don’t need just because it’s on offer. This is the reverse psychology aspect associated with mass jumbo sales, and the stores are simply feeding off our naïveté as a result…
Saying that, if you’re anything like our friend Carlos who last year bought 4 pairs of bacon socks just because they were 15% off – Black Friday may well be up your street. Or should we say highstreet 🙂 Happy hunting!