1. Don’t buy full price
This year, there is a shorter peak holiday season, with only 26 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas compared to 32 days in years past.
That means retailers are are clamoring for your business. They need us to shop with them — every single day counts, and that’s good news for shoppers because it means stores are willing to offer discounts and promotions.
There are lots of ways to save and you should, quite frankly, never pay full price around the holiday season. This can come in a variety of forms, from free shipping codes, promo codes, coupon codes to cashback offers.
2. Do your research
The best way to remedy that is to do your homework and look through Black Friday and Cyber Monday ads in advance and compare the advertised prices and promotions.
For example, if you have a list of items you’d like to buy, you can do some research online. You can even go shopping and scout out what you’re hoping to buy and just track the price every couple of weeks.
Some stores will even price match during Black Friday season, so it’s worth looking into the policies if you’re debating between several stores. There are lots of places that are offering incentives and promotions to get shoppers to shop with them. So find that place and then make your purchase.
There’s even a Black Friday calculator, where you can plug in the type of promotion, the original price and the discount. From there, the calculator will tell you if the deal is worth considering.
3. Strategically abandon your cart
When you’re shopping online and not finding any discounts, it may help to close out of your browser without buying anything and wait a few hours. In other words, abandon your cart.
In an hour, two hours, or sometimes 24 hours, you may get an email from the store with a subject line like: “We noticed you left a few things in your cart. Here’s a 10% off coupon on us to help you check out.” Skirboll calls this a “sneaky” trick to save money, but it works well with retailers where you frequently shop. Keep in mind that you need to be logged in for this to work.
When it comes to using the “abandon your cart” approach during Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, make sure that you keep track of when a promotion period ends. If you haven’t received any additional coupons via email and the sale is about to end, you may want to check out other stores or simply move forward with the sale price you already have.
4. Download apps and browser extensions
If you’re looking to automate your Black Friday and Cyber Monday experience a bit this year, consider downloading some apps for your smartphone and browser extensions that plug into your internet browser and alert you to cheaper prices and deals.
5. Shop after the sale days end
Only about a third of Americans plan to shop on Black Friday, according to PwC’s report. In fact, over half say they will wait until the week after Black Friday to complete their holiday shopping.
You may be able to find better deals on certain items after Black Friday and Cyber Monday end. For example, Skirboll recommends shoppers avoid buying any fitness equipment or linens until January, since that’s the time when those products tend to have bigger sales.