Black Friday Deals 2020 - 13 Tips to Avoid Holiday Debt

Black Friday Deals 2020: 13 Tips to Avoid Holiday Debt

Ready or not, it’s time to start talking about Black Friday deals for 2020!

Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year, which can either be really good or really bad for your wallet.

If you shop Black Friday deals for 2020 wisely, you can get all you need without breaking the bank.

However, if you wander aimlessly through a store or scroll endlessly online, you may wind up paying for this year’s Black Friday purchases in 2021. 

The National Retail Federation explains, “In 2019, holiday retail sales grew 4.1 percent to $730.2 billion, and online and other non-store sales were up 14.6 percent compared to 2018.” 

Unfortunately, many of the people who scored these great Black Friday deals struggled to pay for their purchases well into the new year.

According to Magnify Money’s 2019 post-holiday debt survey, “Americans took on an average of $1,325 of holiday debt in 2019 [and] 78% of those with holiday debt won’t be able to pay it off come January, including 15% who are only making minimum payments.”

Scoring a bunch of Black Friday deals won’t seem like a win when you have to make hard financial cuts in the future as a result.

That’s where these 13 tips to avoid holiday debt while shopping for the Black Friday deals for 2020 come in handy. 

1. Make a List. Check It Twice.

holiday listsWhen it comes to Black Friday shopping, start by making your holiday lists. 

Make a list of every person you plan to buy a gift for.

Make a list of possible gifts for each person.

Make a list of Black Friday TV deals and Black Friday laptop deals.

Use these lists to help you strategize your plan for your holiday shopping. 

2. Do Your Research. 

research Black Friday dealsOnce you have your lists, it’s time to do some homework.

With COVID-19, experts are anticipating many people to start online first to avoid crowded stores.

A recent survey by Convey found, “Nearly 4 in 10 consumers (39%) will start holiday shopping earlier this year.”

As a result, many major retailers have already begun their Black Friday sales with deals continuing through Cyber Monday.

Therefore, it is easier than Black Fridays of the past because you can start researching Black Friday deals for 2020 now.

For example, research Black Friday Best Buy deals, Black Friday Walmart deals, and Black Friday Apple deals before the actual day after Thanksgiving to get an idea of how much things currently cost. 

Then, you can determine if the deal is a good one or not. 

Plus, researching ahead of time sure beats finding out afterward that another store offered the same product for significantly less.

3. Create a Budget and Stick to It.

holiday gift budget

Before you make your first Black Friday purchase, create a budget. 

Decide how much money you will spend on holiday gifts.

Then, allocate how much of that budget will go toward each person on your gift list. 

Note If you plan to look for Black Friday phone deals for yourself or other big-ticket items, make sure you have included these in your budget. 

Most importantly, if you create a budget, stick to it.

Black Friday deals for 2020 will be very tempting, but if it isn’t on your list or in your budget, skip it.

4. Only Buy Products on Sale.

holiday saleA good rule to follow when you are shopping is that, if you aren’t willing to buy it full price, you shouldn’t buy it just because it is on sale.

But you should never pay full price – especially with Black Friday deals.

Shopping should come down to finding the best deal – not any deal.

If you can’t find the item discounted, pass on it for now. 

For instance, toys tend to be discounted closer to Christmas rather than on Black Friday. 

One way to make sure you don’t pay full price is to take advantage of the website CamelCamelCamel

This site allows users to search for products and shows graphs indicating when the product is traditionally the cheapest. Users can also sign up to receive an alert when the product falls into their budget.

5. Use Price Comparison Tools. 

compare pricesToday’s shoppers can quickly and easily compare prices.

Whether you use a barcode scanning app on your phone while shopping in-store, such as ShopSavvy, or a browser extension when shopping online, such as RetailMeNot, shoppers can receive instant price comparisons.

Before you purchase, simply search the product to see if the deal you are receiving is the best one available. 

Make sure you factor in shipping costs, if necessary.

6. Research Price Matching.

price-match policyWhen we hear price matching, we tend to think of stores that price match other retailers.

Some retailers do offer this type of price matching, but it also has a lot of red tape. 

For example, if you attempt to price match a product you found on Amazon to a product in the Target store, it will only be matched if the product is sold by Amazon and not a third-party seller using Amazon.

However, what many consumers do not know is that retailers will price match their own sale prices.

So, if you find Black Friday TV deals cheaper within the purchase window, some retailers will honor the deal price.

According to Consumer Reports, “Almost all the major retailers have some form of price-match policy, and they’ve been expanding them almost every year. For example, Target has already announced that it is extending its price-matching guarantee on items advertised as a ‘Black Friday deal’ from Nov. 1 through Dec. 24, so it will refund the difference if you find the product listed at a cheaper price at Target or Target.com after you buy it.”

Make sure you research price matching. Don’t assume a retailer will price match. 

7. Sign Up for Store Loyalty Programs Now.

store loyalty programsBefore Black Friday 2020 officially arrives, sign up for store loyalty programs.

Many stores offer a sign-up discount, which you can then use on Black Friday.

Generally, all you need to do is sign up using your email address.

Upon signing up, you will receive bonus discounts and sales information.

8. Follow Retailers on Social Media.

Use social media for good by following your favorite retailers.

Often, retailers will post exclusive deals and promotions for their online followers.

This is a quick way to save a little extra money when you shop for Black Friday deals in 2020.

9. Be Wary of Shopping Online.

online-first shopping holidayYes, experts fully expect 2020 to be an online-first shopping holiday.

This may be dangerous for your bank account.

It’s very easy to overspend when shopping online because the products are not tangible.

Plus, online retailers have mastered the art of upgrading and bundling products to make bigger sales.

You can easily spend more money shopping online in your comfy pj’s than you would in a physical store. 

[Related Read: 12 Cyber Security Best Practices for Side Hustlers]

10. Stay Safe in Stores. 

Practice social distancingAccording to the CDC, “Going shopping in crowded stores just before, on, or after Thanksgiving” is a high-risk activity during this time.

With that being said, be safe when you are shopping in stores.

Most major retailers require masks, so keep one with you at all times. Wash your hands. Practice social distancing.

And, by all means, do not stand shoulder to shoulder attempting to rush through the doors at 5 AM.

With the safety warning out of the way, here is the good news.

Experts are anticipating the Black Friday crowds to be much smaller.

And that was before the pandemic.

Last year, store visits over Thanksgiving weekend were down 4.2%.

This year, the crowds will be down even more as people move to online shopping.

You may be able to browse more easily to find the right item at the right price compared to years past.

11. Expect Shortages.

product shortagesAccording to Consumer Reports, “The product shortages we saw earlier in the year could be repeated this holiday season, thanks to a high demand for electronics. This will be especially true for TVs.”

Additionally, high shipping demands may lead to delays.

This is why it is wise to start your Black Friday shopping sooner rather than later.

12. Plan Your Itinerary.

Plan Your ItineraryMaking Black Friday deals 2020 a success comes down to planning. 

You’ve got your lists.

You’ve researched the best deals.

You’ve signed up for deal alerts.

You’re ready to go. Well, almost.

Now, you need to plan your Black Friday shopping itinerary.

You want to go to as few stores as possible to achieve the maximum number of deals.

For example, if you know a big-box store will price match, start there. 

You also want to pay attention to the clock.

Some stores will offer certain discounts for certain periods on Black Friday only (such as early bird sales). 

If a must-have item on your list will be significantly discounted at a certain time, plan your itinerary around going to this store.

13. Pay Off Credits Cards ASAP.

Ghost of Christmas 2020Last but not least, you don’t want the Ghost of Christmas 2020 to visit you in 2021.

So, pay off your credit cards as soon as possible.

Better yet, don’t buy on credit unless you know you can pay it off on your next statement. 


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