Gift Your Business: Shopping Tips for Black Friday
October 31, 2017
By: Karen J. Bannan
Are you planning on taking advantage of Black Friday sales for your business? In fact, with the right strategy in place, small business owners can potentially save big Thanksgiving weekend on plenty of must haves needed to help run companies right. All it takes is a little savvy planning. Here are five tips to help you find great deals and also keep offices stocked with everyday essentials.
1. Create a plan
You won’t save money if you’re making impulse buys, so experts suggest creating a list of what you need several weeks before ads start making the rounds. “Once ads start dropping, it's easier to see where to shop for the items on your list,” explains Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst with DealNews, a shopping comparison website. Ramhold also suggests prioritizing what's on your list, especially if there's a chance that you'll be shopping different locations or websites.
2. Don’t assume the Black Friday price is the best price
“Sometimes, the better deals are available in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving,” says George Anderson, editor-in-chief and associate publisher of Retail Wire, a leading retail industry news and discussion site. “There has never been greater price transparency than now. Two words: Google it. Go online, get a feel of what the true value is, and be willing to wait for the best deal even if that’s after Christmas.”
3. Read the fine print
Whether you’re shopping online or in-store, make sure you understand how many of each item will be available, whether or not there are purchasing limits – retailers often limit each person to one for certain deals – and whether or not you can use gift cards, store credits or additional coupons or discounts. “Many times, Black Friday purchases won't be eligible for extra discounts, and may be ineligible for returns,” says Ramhold. Ads usually detail any price-matching opportunities, which can make Black Friday shopping easier and less stressful, she says. “The ability to price match increases the chances that you could turn a single store into a one-stop shop, instead of having to visit multiple stores to get what you need.”
4. Don’t forget intangibles
There’s so much hype around big-box retailers during this time of the year that people may overlook the fact that services may be on sale, too. You can find web hosting, financial services, communications and internet access, and even office cleaning with special pricing on Black Friday and Cyber Monday as non-retail establishments look to get in on the trend.
5. Express loyalty
While the papers and online websites are filled with great sales, you might also consider signing up well ahead of time for loyalty programs and email marketing since many retailers will offer special deals or early shopping hours for those select customers. “You can also get offers based on your purchasing history,” explains Retail Wire’s Anderson.
Karen J. Bannan is a freelance writer and editor who has written for a variety of publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time and CIO.
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is” and neither the author nor Office Depot, Inc. warrant the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
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