They say that the three best things you can do to prepare for the holiday shopping season is to plan ahead, make a budget and comparison-shop. It’s in that spirit that we offer up a pre-shopping strategy, using social networking, online and in-store tools. With a little preparation, you can take on the retailers for smart deals and save some money.
Gottadeal.com features many stores that “leaked” a list of their Black Friday deals. Go there to find out what stores are offering, and when the items will be available. There are also pre-Black Friday sales to take advantage of before the real shopping storm hits.
Many stores – Staples, for instance – are listing items on major discount on their Twitter pages. Follow your favorite stores on Twitter, and you could get an edge on which items are being discounted, and where.
Gift card coup
Decide which stores you want to shop at, then check to see if they have gift cards available for purchase undervalue on Ebay. The auction website is selling coupons and pre-paid gift cards for many of the biggest stores.
Look for incentives
Other stores like K-Mart will give you a “come back” card with a balance of $10 when you make a purchase of $50. Shopping in $50 increments could gain you several “come back” cards. This could be effective when you buy gifts in the weeks leading up to the holiday and then redeem your cards to buy food the week of the holiday.
Read the fine print!
Be sure to read all of the fine print when accepting store deals. Take extra caution when asked if you would like to open a store credit card. They often benefit the stores more than the consumers.
Image: jasleen_kaur, via Flickr.com