Black Friday Buying Guide
Thinking about braving the madness and getting in on the best deals of the year this holiday season? Black Friday is just around the corner, so it’s time to start making your shopping list!
What is Black Friday?
The day after Thanksgiving (November 23, 2018) is known as Black Friday, the first holiday shopping day of the year. Most major retailers open their doors very early and offer doorbusters and early bird specials for the eager holiday shoppers. Though, in recent years, stores have been starting to open even earlier, some even on Thanksgiving night.
All in all, Black Friday is all about the deals and discounts. It’s been a great way for retailers to bring in shoppers, and a great way for shoppers to get bargains on their holiday shopping.
Are Black Friday Deals Actually Worth it?
Before you get out and brave the lines, you’re probably wondering if shopping on Black Friday is actually worth it. With such a wide variety of baby products of the market and new ones popping up all the time, it can be difficult to know which ones are worth buying on holiday bargain days.
There is one known fact though, and that’s that babies are expensive! Diapers, clothes, a crib, bottles, formula, breastfeeding accessories; The basics alone can cost you a fortune.
Luckily, Black Friday is actually a great time to stock up if you are currently expecting, have a new baby, or just looking for gifts. With some preparation and research, you can find some insane deals on big ticket items this year and even some great deals on smaller accessories as well.
But baby items move fast, so you’ll want to be ready once those deals hit.
What are the Best Types of Products to Buy on Black Friday?
Black Friday offers some serious savings on items, such as furniture, TVs, Blu Rays, movies, and other electronics. But there’s also many deals geared towards new moms and babies. Most years you’ll be able to save big on:
- Kitchenware and appliances
- Car Seats.
- Rock ‘n Plays.
- Nursery items.
- Baby carriers.
Where are the Best Places to Find Deals for Baby and Mom?
Where you shop will depend on what you’re looking to buy and if you want to deal with the large crowds.
Online Vs. Offline
Stores and websites both offer amazing Black Friday deals now, even with the addition of Cyber Monday. But is it better to hit the stores or stay glued to your computer?
Shopping online makes it much easier to compare prices, and you’ll typically be able to find more items than you would in-stores. Plus, you don’t have to deal with the crowds. A major plus if you are sporting a belly bump.
However, you may not be getting what you thought when purchasing online. Whereas in stores, you’ll be able to see and feel exactly what you are buying; No guessing involved.
Some stores are open on Thanksgiving night now, which can cut into family time. But for some people, Black Friday shopping is a family tradition. I remember growing up, my mom, my sister and I used to head out early each year to hit the sales. While it was crazy at times, I sure enjoyed that time with my mom and sis.
The earlier you start shopping, the lower the prices and the less likely limited quantity items will be sold out. There are also some super-low Black Friday sales that are exclusively offered in-stores only. Plus, there’s never any shipping charges when buying in person.
Going to brave the crowds? Here’s some stores you won’t want to miss:
- Target: Target is one store that opens early on Thanksgiving night. While it may draw time away from your family, you may save big on expensive baby items, such as car seats and video monitors, both of which were doorbusters last year. They also had playmats on sale for 50% off. Target also happens to be the only store which is actually worth buying Christmas decorations from on Black Friday weekend.
- WalMart: WalMart also opens on Thursday night. It can definitely be a nut house with all the people, but it sure is fun finding deals, deals, deals. They typically have movies that are normally $10-$20 on sale for $1-2. Plus, tons of bargain busters on kitchenware.
- Toys “R” Us: Toys “R” Us typically has loads of deals for mom and baby. Select baby monitors were over $100 off last year, and they had great sales on crib mattresses, Pack ‘n Plays, and cribs. They will also price match other Black Friday ads.
- Babies “R” Us: This store often gets overlooked, but they almost always have huge sales on big boxes of their diapers and wipes. You know you’ll be needing a lot of diapers mama, so now is the time to stock up!
Most of the stores mentioned above also have online deals on Black Friday. However, they aren’t always the same deals that are offered in stores, so be sure to pay close attention to the ads. Some other great websites to shop this Black Friday include:
- Kohls.com: A great site to stock up on baby clothes. Last year carters baby clothes were 60% off.
- Albeebaby.com: Albee Baby is known to have deals on reputable brands of car seats, strollers, playards, bassinets, and other nursery items all weekend long.
- Fridababy.com: If you don’t have a NoseFrida for your baby, it’s time to stock up on this snot sucker. Fridababy also carries tools for gassy tummies, brushing battles, and more. Last year on Black Friday, they had everything on their site at 25% off, plus free shipping with a promo code. Great site to hit if you’re a new mom.
- Amazon.com: Amazon is known for having awesome sales on all sorts of gear for baby and mom, including portable sound machines, quality diaper bags, play mats, car seats, strollers, Pack ‘n Plays, Rock ‘n Plays, breastfeeding accessories, and even cribs. It seems like they have deals for almost all your baby needs doesn’t it?
6 Items You Should NOT Buy on Black Friday
Black Friday is loaded with bargains, but be forewarned, not everything has the best discount this day.
- Toys: Toys may seem insanely cheap on Black Friday, but they are even cheaper once December hits. “Toys in general are almost always cheaper in the first two weeks of December,” says Dan de Grandpre, CEO of DealNews.com.
- Fitness equipment: Hoping to get a good deal on some exercise equipment, so you can burn off that baby weight or reach that New Year’s Resolution? You’re going to have to keep waiting if you truly want a good deal. December and January have been shown to have the lowest prices on fitness equipment, such as ellipticals, ab machines, yoga equipment, and heart rate monitors.
- Winter clothes/gear: Winter clothes and gear may be tempting to buy right now, but they are priced lowest in January, so if you can hold out until then, do so.
- Linens: “White sales” happen in January and February, when retailers are trying to get rid of the heavier fall/winter bedding to start stocking spring/summer bedding. It’s best to hold off on buying new linens until then.
- Holiday decorations: Christmas decor is almost always much cheaper after the holidays are over when retailers are trying to clear it out. Target has been the exception however, as you can find super low prices on artifical trees, lights, ornaments, and other decorations on Black Friday. Plus, for the last two years, they’ve offered $50 off holiday decoration purchases of $100 or more (in addition to other discounts) on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
- Final Sale Items: This is just never a good idea when you’re purchasing any kind of gift (source).
Top 10 Tips for Making the Most out of Black Friday
- Sign up for email alerts: A lot of companies offer an email opt-in, so you can be alerted once the Black Friday deals are announced.
- Check the ads: With crazy crowds and quick deals, Black Friday isn’t the time to shop aimlessly. It’s best to know what you’re looking for and planning on purchasing ahead of time. Generally, Black Friday ads start leaking and showing up early to mid November. The ads will give you a preview of the deals and plenty of time to plan ahead.
- Make a timeline and a list: Once you have checked all the ads, make a list according to when stores open. Have each store listed, along with the item(s) you plan to purchase there and who it’s for.
- Start early: Black Friday used to be a one day event, but those days are long gone, as Black Friday has morphed into a more of a month long event. Keep an eye out on the specials happening in the weeks leading up to Black Friday, so you can judge how good of a deal the sales really are when Black Friday is finally here.
- Check online: Before you head out to the stores, be sure to compare your in-store deals to online deals. You may find the same deal online, or possibly even at a better price, and not have to fight the crowds after all (source).
- Price check: Be sure to price check your wanted items before purchasing to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible, or if you’re even getting a deal at all. A lot of stores will price match their competitors’ prices. Use comparison sites, like shopping.com, pricewatch.com, and pricegrabber.com to make sure you can’t get a better deal elsewhere. You can also download apps, like ShopSavvy, on your smartphone, so you can easily scan barcodes to compare prices and get store discounts and coupons at local retailers.
- Stick to budget: Easier said than done, but sticking to a budget will ensure maximum savings and keep your wallet happy. If you’re not one who handles credit card payments well, then it’s best to stick to cash for this major shopping event.
- Check retailers’ social media pages: Be sure to check retailer’s Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook pages to see if they are offering any additional sales or codes to followers.
- Check store policies in advance: It’s always good to know a store’s price match and and return policy ahead of time. Almost all major retailers have some sort of price-match policy now, but some stores might not follow this policy on certain items, so be sure to read the fine print. It’s also good to know if a store will charge a restocking fee if you happen to return or exchange an item.
- Always get a gift receipt: Be sure to ask for a gift receipt at checkout, as it will make returns or exchanges much easier for the gift recipient.
6 Black Friday Mistakes to Avoid
- Not making a list: With deals everywhere, it can be easy to get distracted and purchase a lot of impulse buys, or not even end up with what you had planned on buying in the first place. Stick to a list to make sure you are getting all the deals you wanted without blowing your money.
- Not using a price comparison app: You can lose out on tons of savings by not using a price comparison app. Many retailers price match, so be sure to download an app ahead of time.
- Not sticking to a budget: “Bargains,” “deals,” “limited quantities,” “limited time only;” All of these marketing strategies can make it easy to spend, spend, spend. Ditch the credit cards this Black Friday, and stick to cash, so you don’t go over budget.
- Buying without doing research: Some items can look like great deals, when in actuality, they’re not. They may be priced low, but they may also be low quality. Or they may be priced down quite frequently and not just on Black Friday weekend.
- Going shopping with friends: If you’re wanting to get all the best deals before they run out, then now’s not the time to be shopping with your girlfriends. Stick to your timeline to hit every store you planned on to get the best deals of the year.
- Forgetting about Cyber Monday: Don’t forget that Black Friday isn’t the best day to buy everything in sight that’s on sale. Cyber Monday actually has better deals on many items, such as clothes, shoes, and travel.
How to Get the Best Black Friday Deals on Amazon
If you want to get all (or even most) of your holiday shopping done in one place, then Amazon.com is the place to do it. Amazon not only has the widest range of deals, including many Editor’s Choice ones, but also has many other ways that you can save big this Black Friday.
Invest in Amazon Prime
An Amazon Prime membership is a must-have to make sure you’re getting the absolute deals this Black Friday. Members have major perks, such as FREE two-day shipping, exclusive deals for Prime members only, and 30 minute early access to lightning deals.
Membership also comes with other daily perks, including unlimited cloud storage for photos, Prime Music, Prime Video, and the ability to borrow books from the Kindle library.
What’s the Deal with Lightning Deals?
Every year on Black Friday, Amazon has a ton of “lightning deals.” These deals involve highly discounted items that are only available for a very limited amount of time, often just minutes or hours. Lightning deals usually involve low stock items, so if you don’t jump on it, it can be easy to miss out. As mentioned above, Prime members get early access to lightning deals, essentially moving them to the front of the line.
How to Make Sure You’re Getting the Best Deals on Amazon
- Bookmark Amazon’s “Today’s Deals” page: Amazon’s Today’s Deals page is the central hub for all deals that Amazon has to offer, including deals of the day, savings and sales, and lightning deals. Bookmark this page and leave it open in your browser until you’re done shopping on Black Friday.
- Price check using Camel Camel Camel: camelcamelcamel.com is a free price tracker exclusively for Amazon. You can instantly see if the deal is truly the lowest price of 2017 or if it’s just a small sale that occurs quite frequently.
- Price check other retailers’ Black Friday ads: Amazon is known to price match competitors’ Black Friday ads, so if you’re eyeballing a particular item, be sure to bookmark that page and then find it on Amazon and bookmark it on there. Chances are Amazon will match the price and possibly even beat it.
- Bookmark and keep checking MomsLovesBest.com: We will be keeping this page updated with all of the latest Black Friday deals for mom and baby, so be sure to bookmark this page and check back often.
We hope you find the perfect gift for the little one or mom-to-be in your life this holiday season.