Sales expert, Kendrick Shope, shared with us her checklist to make sure you are truly getting a deal during this busy shopping season.
- Be cautious of those “doorbuster” items: There’s always that one doorbuster item that seems like the price is too good to be true. The truth is, there’s a reason for that. It’s usually an item that either isn’t selling well, is plagued with problems or doesn’t live up to its hype. The allure of snatching up an unbelievable deal might be more of a headache than it’s worth in the long run.
- Read the fine print: When that flat screen TV is advertised for $500 off, read the fine print. Is it limited to the first 20 customers through the door? Is it only a special offer from 4am to 5am? There are big savings on Black Friday and throughout the holiday season, but the really deep discounts usually are more limited than people realize.
- Get a barcode scanner on your Smart Phone and use price-comparison websites: Let’s say you’re in Walmart and see a blender you want to gift someone. How do you know if you’re getting the best price of all the major retailers? Install an app that scans the barcode and tells you the price at all other retailers. There are many apps you can download such as RedLaser, ShopSavvy and Flipp. Also, don’t forget about price-comparison Internet shopping sites like PriceGrabber.com.
- Know the return policy: Many holiday season special priced items don’t come with the same return policy as items bought the rest of the year. In fact, some of the bigger sale items might be an “all sales final” or have a very limited window for returns. Make sure you know what you’re getting into. Nonetheless, always give a gift receipt when the purchase is for someone else.
- Get social and connected on email: Make sure you are following your favorite retailers on social media and that you’ve signed up for email alerts. These stores are always looking to grow their following and increase their fan base. In exchange, some of them will let you in on secret sales taking place or they might extend special coupon codes that nobody else will know except their social media followers and those who opt into receive emails. This year, Facebook and Twitter are still popular, and don’t forget about Instagram.
- It’s much more than just Black Friday: It used to be if you wanted the best deal you had to fight it out with other shoppers the day after Thanksgiving. But it’s a different game now. While Black Friday is still big for deals, don’t forget about Cyber Monday. Also, many retailers run big week-long sales after Thanksgiving, while others start them a week or two before. Consumers have to do their research to find the best deals.