Sometimes getting the best things in life is more about big information than big money. Knowing when to shop and how to shop is more important than knowing what to shop for. The basics of smart shopping timing are well-known. You always shoot for the end-of-season clearances, you avoid gimmicky retailers, and you always comparison shop.
Perhaps the best-known strategy of all regarding when to shop, though, is being prepared to cash in on Black Friday….
What's So Black About Black Friday?
There's often confusion about that big sale day, with the common refrain, ‘why is it called Black Friday?' The answer is more than just trivia — it's a tip that many consumers miss.
It actually has nothing to do with the black market or with anything dark and sinister, at least not anymore. Originally, it was about the traffic accidents and violence that took place in the maddened crowds at the sales.
Nowadays, it comes from the exciting world of accounting, where black ink is money coming in–good news–and red ink is money going out–bad news.
The relevance of business accounting to your bank account is this: Stores are making good profits with these sales, so they want to spur you on for more shopping to finish strong and have a good overall year.
That means more good deals like coupons, sales, two-for-one buys, and so forth. So when you are finding Ulta coupons six months ahead of Black Friday, there's a good reason for it. Companies want to get you in for their best deals of the year.
If you don't get what you're looking for on Black Friday, enjoy some turkey and look ahead to Cyber Monday.
Don't Cyber Shop Alone
Also, remember to shop when others are shopping. When retailers expect crowds, they plan to make it worthwhile. That goes for actual stores as well as for online retailers.
In the last few years, the term Cyber Monday has come to refer to the Monday just after Black Friday. That's when everybody catches some time to shop online to fill in the gaps of what they couldn't snag over the Thanksgiving weekend.
This trend has created its own world of sales as well. Free shipping is easy to get on Cyber Monday, and many items are marked down from what you'd pay any other day of the year.
The important thing to remember is that Cyber Monday provides savings that aren't valid before or after that day, so just because you are shopping online doesn't mean you're getting the very best online deals.
Both Black Friday and Cyber Monday provide unique opportunities to save. Black Friday is best for those looking for incredible deals on limited quantities, and the shopper who loves the hustle and bustle will find no shortage of either.
Cyber Monday is better for items that don't need to be seen or tried on. It's also better for more specialized items that may prove hard to find at a physical store location. Timing is everything in shopping, both online and in person. Learn the system and know how to make the calendar your friend.
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