From 3 a.m. lineups to $50 TVs, it’s almost impossible to resist the temptation of Black Friday fever. However, much like the sales manager at Gimbels who helped solidify the term Black Friday for its current day use over 30 years ago because crowding caused such traffic headaches, modern day shoppers can also feel pain if they do not apply the right credit tips.
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Here are seven ways to guarantee yourself a successful Black Friday:
Build your list of items now
Impulse shopping is one of the reasons most consumers are in debt. Nothing says a deal better than 50 percent off and this Black Friday you may even see 70 to 90 percent off. Understand what you need and go directly for those items but always compare prices online. Every year more and more retailers are offering the same or better discounts online and you will never be subject to anyone pushing you around (except those pesky pop-up ads).
Say no to instant credit
Do you really need more credit? Think about this well ahead of attending Black Friday sales since every salesperson is going to tell you how to save money with a store credit card. Opening any new credit card may possibly save you 10 percent or more but it could also possibly hurt your credit score temporarily and may even have cancellation fees should you wish to close the card in a couple weeks. Try to shop with what you have or at least read the terms and conditions before saying yes. (I know I know, an impossible task)
If you plan on taking advantage of Black Friday sales then try to use a credit or debit card which rewards you with miles. Banks charge enough fees so at least try to accumulate some kind of reward point system with your Black Friday purchases.
The largest growing company in history is Groupon and with the power of social media you can create a little group buying project of your own. Put a message out to everyone for items you want specials on and ask them to tweet, poke or smiley face you when they see a deal.
Stay up late
Black Friday officially starts at 12:01 am so on the night of Thanksgiving many stores will begin opening their doors at Midnight. Buy a Black Friday Latte and stay up late to get the early deals.
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Watch out for credit card fraud
Tis the season of joy for you and credit card thieves. Always protect your credit card number and only provide it when placing an order. Double check your receipt and if your credit card number shows then keep and shred it when you get home. Being a victim of credit card fraud will surely take any joy out of your holidays. Always try to use a credit card vs. a debit card since if you do become a victim of credit card theft then at least any money in your bank account will not suddenly disappear.
Stay off the serious juice
Is it really worth running over another human being for a deal on Elmo? No. Be respectful and find the joy in hunting for deals but at the same time respect one another. Black Friday does not mean bullfighting in any language. The holiday season officially starts next week so enjoy Thanksgiving and try not to overspend on Black Friday.
Your bank account will thank you in January—which ironically is the time of the year when most people apply for credit ... since they need to pay for holiday bills!
Alan Dunn is a Serial Entrepreneur, Licensed Mortgage Broker and publisher of various consumer education websites, including a site with tips onhow to save money and a destination for consumers to compare cheap car insurance quotes.