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Black Friday is here! Work Smarter at Shopping Better

Posted by Henry Cheang | November 28, 2014 4:30 PM

Today, November 28, is Black Friday. It’s a holiday that falls on the day after American Thanksgiving and is (basically) the official start of the holiday shopping season. Black Friday offers customers massive discounts and sales throughout the day (and often throughout the following weekend). Deals used to be announced on Thanksgiving itself, but lately, deals have been advertised much earlier. Shopping modes are changing too: Many people now shop online to avoid the hectic in-store experience.

Although Black Friday began as an American event, it has since become a fairly global phenomenon; it certainly extends to Canada. To not be disappointed, it’s important to head out early and/or expect a long wait for service because stores will be packed and will only carry so much inventory. As a shopper, you should focus on the items that you want most and head to stores that carry them first. Then go for the items you want less afterwards.

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Where should I be shop?

Most stores participate in Black Friday. It’s the biggest players who have the best deals though:

  • Amazon – Amazon is your best bet for electronics, books, and games, and it has numerous flash sales going on right this very minute!
  • Newegg – Is another online retailer that offers high-tech electronics, computers and their components, and various toys.
  • Best Buy – Company with online presence and brick-and-mortar locations who carry the full range of electronics.
  • Walmart – the one-stop shop for almost everything.
  • Special mention – RedFlagDeals: Not a store, but an online forum/deals aggregator where there’s actual full-time staff who seek and sift through every deal available online and expose them to a broader public!

These will be some of your best bets for finding good sales. Of course, just knowing about these venues is only half the battle (and half the fun). You also need some strategy to get you through the day!

Work smarter! How to get the best deals on Black Friday:

  • If you can, go to stores early to get the door-crasher specials
  • If you know that the item on special isn’t too likely to be sold out (because you have unique tastes), go later to avoid crowds (counter-intuitive, I know)
  • Price match whenever you can to save money
  • Get email/social media alerts to see the most up-to-date, late-breaking specials
  • Use cash whenever possible to protect against card fraud
  • Remember to check the return policies on the items that you are purchasing
  • Ask for your receipt
  • Remember that even if something is labeled as a deal, it doesn’t mean that it actually is one!

Sadly, there are many stores who pretend to have massive deals and markdowns just to lure customers in. In reality the prices haven’t really budged from its normal value. Because of this, bring your smartphone to the store (or just do it before even leaving home) and compare prices. It’s also a good idea to examine the products on sale.

Although prices may be genuinely low, the product itself may be of poor quality. An example of this is tablets. Some of them will have significant markdowns, however they may be of extremely poor quality and will be very disappointing to the consumers who purchase them. Alternately, if it’s open-box, make sure that the warranty offered isn’t too drastically-reduced, or that you can still actually return the item!

In the end, you should remember to buy only what’s truly useful. Don’t be lured in by prices if you don`t need the item in question. Finally, note that many Black Friday sales now extend well beyond the 28th; there are now Black Friday weekends and even Black Friday weeks.  

Bringing it back to a work level, shoppers will most likely be purchasing smartphones and tablets, and they’re going to want to have these devices for both personal use and work related tasks so that they can work smarter. Because of this, it is important to ensure that your company has a good BYOD policy in place come Monday! You’re going to have a massive influx of new devices that aren’t secured; you’ll have to step up your efforts at protecting proprietary information. If you would like to learn more about Canada's leader in IT and telecom expense management, Cimpl, check out our website and contact us.

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Topics: Events, Work Smarter, Tips

Written by Henry Cheang

Henry has a lifelong passion for science and technology. This enthusiasm is put to good use in a cutting-edge software company like Cimpl. As product marketer, Henry researches market and user needs to develop user and buyer personas, contributes to product design, and helps coordinate product messaging. Henry also writes nearly the entirety of all documentation for Cimpl’s many successful platforms. In his spare time, Henry devotes much energy to family, friends, and martial arts. Henry recently completed his Master’s in Business and Administration from Concordia University, where he specialized in the study of marketing, organizational behavior, and corporate governance. He has authored academic papers on the latter two subjects; these papers form part of his bibliography of over 20 professional research publications.

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