It’s one of the biggest shopping days of the year – in Wilmington and around the country. So many retailers large and small are offering discounts and sales on Nov. 24. Really, some sales have already started and the moniker Black Friday, named for businesses being “in the black” for the holiday season, has really transformed into a month or more of savings for consumers.
Here are a few tips for how to make the most of your shopping adventures.
Scan the sales
Do a little homework before Black Friday. Gather the data and coupons so you can compare prices and look for good deals that might work perfectly as holiday gifts. Also pay attention to the social media sites for your favorite shops, and for places like Lumina Station and Wilmington Downtown, iNC. that will feature unique local businesses in those areas.
Make a list, and a budget
It should be more than a list of the people you need to buy gifts for, but also a list of specific items and stores. Using that list, compile a budget for both gifts and overall holiday spending. Making note of this beforehand will help you avoid the temptation of impulse shopping (and buying) on Nov. 24.
Plan your route
This will help make your day more efficient. One of Consumer Reports’ top tips for Black Friday is to start early. Plan to make your first stops to buy those items at the top of your wish list. Depending on that starting point, map out your other must-visits, perhaps stopping by Mayfaire and then Leland and downtown Wilmington before circling around to Monkey Junction. Make sure to plan stops for breakfast, lunch and snacks.
At the store
No matter how your Black Friday shopping day goes, it likely won’t be the end of your holiday spending. You may want to support local on Small Business Saturday or shop online for Cyber Monday. You might come across a better deal or another great gift idea. If you haven’t already, make sure you ask about return options for your purchases. This is especially important for those size-based gifts, like bedding, clothing or shoes. And then make sure you save your receipts.
Allison Ballard is the food and dining reporter at the StarNews. You can reach her at email@example.com