Christmas/Black Friday shopping tips

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Christmas/Black Friday shopping tips

Postby pittsoccer33 on Wed Nov 06, 2013 11:18 am

The Black Friday ads will be leaking soon and I’m sure a lot of you guys will be buying various tech stuff this season. I thought I would give some retail insights and tips to make sure you get what you want.

-Many Black Friday items are sold only on Black Friday. This would be your $200 40” tv, your $35 bluray player, etc. They are not going to be on display and were brought in only for this promotion. They usually lack features you would expect them to have (many tvs only have one HDMI input). There also likely won’t be a lot of info on them online because they are not “normal” models. In my opinion and Black Friday edition LED tv looks like garbage. Just because it says Samsung or LG doesn’t mean it’s their typical quality – they were probably not even manufactured by those companies. The more colorful the box is the crappier the tv inside it.

-Don’t wait for Friday. Outside of the above deals most great Black Friday prices are actually available starting the Sunday before. Wednesday night is a pretty good night to go because the end of the retail reporting month will likely be that weekend. For sales associates (and their managers) that means its their last chance to boost their personal numbers before they get destroyed on Friday (people aren’t there at 4am to buy an extended warranty and installation). You *might* have a better chance getting some sort of a deal if you go on Wednesday.

-Deals and price matching. The tvs are being sold at or below cost. The salespeople are in no position at any time of year to throw in the wall mount or SD card – selling these is the only way to stay afloat and that’s especially true at Christmas time. If you are buying an add on service – delivery, wall mounting, an extended warranty – you will have a lot more negotiating room. Salespeople usually have no ability to change the price on an item its completely up to their managers. And those managers are more likely to get screamed at by a district manager for marking the price of something down than they are for not selling anything at all. If they DO throw in an HDMI cord or something similar they won't give you it for free - they will take the price off of the cost of the television and charge you for the toss in item.

I don’t think any retailer offers price matching between Thanksgiving and the following Tuesday (Best Buy is probably stupid enough to do it now). I’m sure some do but that’s the exception. And if you are price matching something you have to have the EXACT same model number in most cases. Often a store like Best Buy will get their own model number of a particular tv. Instead of being the 6000 series model it will be the 6010. They are the same thing but not for price matching purposes.

-Know the retailer's distinction between shipping and delivery. This is mostly for large items like televisions, furniture, appliances, etc. Given that I have the most experience selling tvs I will use that as my example. Companies like Walmart, Best Buy, Sears, etc tend to sell two categories of products – those sold in stores & online and only those sold online.

Something sold online only is going to come from a national or regional warehouse and will likely be shipped via UPS/Fed Ex. The point an item like this sells out will be a bit more clear because there is only one inventory system to worry about. Some retailers will ship these items to local stores, others will only offer shipping to your home. This is different than if you were to go into the store and buy a tv for delivery. In that case their local delivery trucks will bring it either from a warehouse or a local store.

Something sold both online and in stores will be sourced locally. Once the regional supply chain is out of that item it will cease to be available to you. This is where it gets confusing. If the Pittsburgh area shows a certain tv model as being sold out, but Cleveland has them, you will likely not be able to order it (unless you drive to Cleveland to get it). This is because the “shipping” is done via their regional delivery drives and not a national shipping company. It can be hard to tell when an item is like this. But if the pickup option is “delivery only” or there is no place on the site to enter a store location it is likely not sold in stores.

This inventory management scheme also applies to smaller items, like a Nintendo 3DS bundle. If you go on a website and order something like that it is coming from a local store or warehouse, NOT a nationwide depot. Once your local store(s) are out, the item is gone. This complicates things because store inventories and web inventories do not update quickly enough and very often Black Friday video game bundles are gone from the stores before the website lists them as unavailable.

There are also items not stocked in stores but sold in stores. Some locations don’t carry every size of a particular model tv. Some really high end tvs are only carried in certain stores, though any can order them from the local warehouse. An item like this that you buy on line will either be shipped to a store for you to pick up (free) or you will have to pay the standard delivery charge as if the store carried it.

-If you are going into a store, write down the store’s inventory catalog code for the item(s) you want.
This is the store's inventory number, not the model number. If you run in somewhere and say “I want the $99 camera from the ad” the associate will likely not know exactly what you’re talking about. But if you have the exact number they need to punch in on hand you will be checked out much faster.

-Write down several numbers. If you want a cheap bluray player or a tv for the kid’s room make sure to write down several catalog numbers for your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choices. If they are sold out of the one you want that way you will have a better chance of getting a similar model before its gone too.

-Be careful with third party sellers. Every legacy retailer has followed the Amazon model and it’s a nightmare for most of them. You buy something on Best Buy’s website but it was sold by 1800 Cell Phones. In most of these cases the retailer has nothing to do with the transaction. You can’t use or earn reward points, you can’t return to a store - it’s just a mess. Trying to explain this to exasperated grandparents was one of the worst parts of selling electronics.

-Do your research beforehand. Don’t try asking a bunch of questions about an item you want. Salespeople, especially commissioned ones, have no interest in helping you pick out a camera with panoramic shooting. They aren’t making squat on it and its taking up a lot of their time.

-Common gift items are gone by December 10(ish). Camcorders, $100 cameras, 32" televisons, sound bars, certain tablets, and others are unavailable by the middle of the month.
Last edited by pittsoccer33 on Wed Nov 06, 2013 11:27 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Christmas/Black Friday shopping tips

Postby KennyTheKangaroo on Wed Nov 06, 2013 11:20 am

Pro Tip: when you tell your girlfriend "I don't want to go shopping on black friday" they will interpret as "Yes dear, I want to go shopping on black friday"
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Re: Christmas/Black Friday shopping tips

Postby Letang Is The Truth on Wed Nov 06, 2013 11:24 am

i will second the BF TV models. the LCD i bought last year or 2 years ago (samsung) has 2 HDMI inputs and thats it (literally nothing else). its not a huge deal but very frustrating nonetheless
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Re: Christmas/Black Friday shopping tips

Postby Crankshaft on Wed Nov 06, 2013 11:25 am

Is Black Friday a good time to try and find a new oven?
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Re: Christmas/Black Friday shopping tips

Postby pittsoccer33 on Wed Nov 06, 2013 11:31 am

Crankshaft wrote:Is Black Friday a good time to try and find a new oven?


My dad sold appliances for years and he HATED selling on Black Friday. Despite all the potential commissions he hated dealing with it. There is usually a few great deals in the stores and they're gone before the doors open. This would be another item I would try shopping for the Wednesday before. Find out what the price(s) will be on Friday and ask the salesperson honestly if they think you can get one if you arent there at midnight or whatever time they open.

If you want to actually get help from a salesman you don't want to go on Friday. There are also usually good prices on Saturday too.
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Re: Christmas/Black Friday shopping tips

Postby mac5155 on Wed Nov 06, 2013 11:37 am

As someone who won't be spending his first thanksgiving with his wife cause she'll be wrangling people in search of $3 DVDs, I am encouraging everyone to:

Image
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Re: Christmas/Black Friday shopping tips

Postby Troy Loney on Wed Nov 06, 2013 11:39 am

One level of Troy Loney's personal hell would be Wal Mart or Best Buy on Black Friday.
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Re: Christmas/Black Friday shopping tips

Postby GSdrums87 on Wed Nov 06, 2013 11:41 am

Troy Loney wrote:One level of Troy Loney's personal hell would be Wal Mart or Best Buy on Black Friday.

Come on down to the downtown Harrisburg Wal-Mart and people-watch with me. It'll be like going to a rodeo but with more animals.
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Re: Christmas/Black Friday shopping tips

Postby Letang Is The Truth on Wed Nov 06, 2013 11:43 am

everyone does deserve a holiday - but why does everyone's holiday have to be on the same day? this is america. we need our stuff.
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Re: Christmas/Black Friday shopping tips

Postby Crankshaft on Wed Nov 06, 2013 11:44 am

I worked at Radioshack during black Friday one year. 5 AM until 7 PM. People will buy anything on black Friday.
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Re: Christmas/Black Friday shopping tips

Postby shafnutz05 on Wed Nov 06, 2013 11:59 am

mac5155 wrote:Image


Be honest...you don't really care about the workers, you just don't feel like going out shopping :pop:
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Re: Christmas/Black Friday shopping tips

Postby PghSkins on Wed Nov 06, 2013 11:59 am

-Be careful with third party sellers. Every legacy retailer has followed the Amazon model and it’s a nightmare for most of them. You buy something on Best Buy’s website but it was sold by 1800 Cell Phones. In most of these cases the retailer has nothing to do with the transaction. You can’t use or earn reward points, you can’t return to a store - it’s just a mess. Trying to explain this to exasperated grandparents was one of the worst parts of selling electronics.


Yeah, this is one of the worst things online retailers have done. Some of them you can't use gift cards for, some you can't return to a B&M store... Best Buy in particular should never have gone down that road. I returned some headphones to the store that I knew had been bought online from real Best Buy and it still took them awhile to confirm it. I can only imagine how many people come into the store with online 3rd party purchases and can't return them.

This might be the first time ever my kids aren't asking for anything in particular. No idea what my list looks like.
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Re: Christmas/Black Friday shopping tips

Postby KennyTheKangaroo on Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:05 pm

Troy Loney wrote:One level of Troy Loney's personal hell would be Wal Mart or Best Buy on Black Friday.


how about standing in line at toys r us ? because your girlfriend's friend (who has 3 kids) wanted to go to toys r us and "we" were invited to join in on the fun even though you dont have any kids?
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Re: Christmas/Black Friday shopping tips

Postby PghSkins on Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:08 pm

Toys R Us is awful. Note to those of you with no kids but planning to have them- Toys R Us has the most onerous return policies in retail. Avoid like the plague.
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Re: Christmas/Black Friday shopping tips

Postby cheesesteakwithegg on Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:08 pm

We do all our Christmas shopping online anymore. With Amazon Prime and most retailers offering free or discounted shipping during the holidays, there is no reason to step into a brick and mortar store for anything I need to buy. Plus, a lot of the deals offered in the store are also offered online.

Back in college, me and my roommates would go to the mall and get wasted in whatever restaurant they had there and do all of our shopping at once. You are much less indecisive when you are drunk, so the whole process was pretty fast and painless.
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Re: Christmas/Black Friday shopping tips

Postby pittsoccer33 on Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:11 pm

cheesesteakwithegg wrote:Back in college, me and my roommates would go to the mall and get wasted in whatever restaurant they had there and do all of our shopping at once. You are much less indecisive when you are drunk, so the whole process was pretty fast and painless.


Of all the things I miss about my best friend getting married and moving away, it might be this. I remember walking into Macys and the two of us were totally clueless what to buy our family members. A trip to Ruby Tuesday or Houlihans or whatever solved that. Then we decided to do that before ever getting into the mall.
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Re: Christmas/Black Friday shopping tips

Postby skullman80 on Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:12 pm

cheesesteakwithegg wrote:We do all our Christmas shopping online anymore. With Amazon Prime and most retailers offering free or discounted shipping during the holidays, there is no reason to step into a brick and mortar store for anything I need to buy. Plus, a lot of the deals offered in the store are also offered online.

.


this 10000x over. Couldn't pay me to step foot in a store on black friday. Ill shop at home while eating leftover turkey in my pajamas.
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Re: Christmas/Black Friday shopping tips

Postby Troy Loney on Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:15 pm

KennyTheKangaroo wrote:
Troy Loney wrote:One level of Troy Loney's personal hell would be Wal Mart or Best Buy on Black Friday.


how about standing in line at toys r us ? because your girlfriend's friend (who has 3 kids) wanted to go to toys r us and "we" were invited to join in on the fun even though you dont have any kids?


Going forward, TL would lead GF to believe he has to go into work on black friday. Then just gtfo of the house friday morning.
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Re: Christmas/Black Friday shopping tips

Postby mac5155 on Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:17 pm

shafnutz05 wrote:Be honest...you don't really care about the workers, you just don't feel like going out shopping :pop:


I did like to do it.. on Black Friday. And that isn't what im implying is the problem. The problem is those who are at walmart at 3 in the afternoon on Thanksgiving with a cart full of stuff waiting to check out at midnight.
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Re: Christmas/Black Friday shopping tips

Postby shafnutz05 on Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:18 pm

I agree the shopping on Thanksgiving Day itself is out of hand
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Re: Christmas/Black Friday shopping tips

Postby PensHckyFan79 on Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:25 pm

My wife wants to go black friday shopping since our first kid is due in January and her baby shower is in Dec so she wants to make sure she gets good deal on stuff she wants and if we have to we will return duplicates that we get at the shower. Double whammy for me I will have to mess with black friday shopping and then may have to return half the stuff anyway. UGH!!
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Re: Christmas/Black Friday shopping tips

Postby viva la ben on Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:06 pm

Last year I was prepared to go to Walmart to save $160 on a doorbuster vs regular price, but two days before I found a matching deal online.
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Re: Christmas/Black Friday shopping tips

Postby rasbatch on Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:10 pm

I'm just in it for the pushing and shoving I never actually buy anything.
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Re: Christmas/Black Friday shopping tips

Postby newarenanow on Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:15 pm

PghSkins wrote:Toys R Us is awful. Note to those of you with no kids but planning to have them- Toys R Us has the most onerous return policies in retail. Avoid like the plague.


I hate Babies R Us too.
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Re: Christmas/Black Friday shopping tips

Postby mac5155 on Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:17 pm

rasbatch wrote:I'm just in it for the pushing and shoving I never actually buy anything.


It is fun to grab a cart and walk really slowly.
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