Friday, November 29, 2013

Money Savers for One-Day Shopping Trips plus 5 Black Friday Tricks to Avoid

This morning I found some tips on how you can maximize your shopping trips and maybe save a little money while you are at it during this Christmas Season.

Before you leave the house:
  • Eat a good breakfast that includes energy boosting protein, fiber, and healthy fat.  It will help you think clearly, shop sensibly and negotiate the best bargains.
  • Nix the comfort clothes if you end up feeling blah in them.  Studies show that if you dress in something stylish your confidence will get a boost and you will be less likely to give into pushy sales tactics.  Darren Dahl, a professor of applied marketing research says that when people feel insecure they buy more.
  • Listen to your power music.   The music in your favorite store may sound nostalgic and festive, but it is designed to make you feel warm, fuzzy, and linger in their store.
  • Download free apps offerend by your fav stores for web announcements, coupons, and the latest info on sales.
  • Look for online discounts and coupon codes
  • Cash in your rewards.  If you are eligible for reward programs consider using your points to buy gift cards or make online purchases through the rewards site for potential discounts or more reward points.
  • Buy toys online a lot of retailers offer the same discounts and free shipping saving you time and the frustration of visiting multiple stores for this year's hot toy.
  • Go solo.  I know it's not as much fun, but if savings are your intent leave your pal behind.  Subconsciously we mimic others shopping habits according to Martin Lindstrom, the author of Brandwashed.  This means that if your friend stocks up on a particular item you are more likely to as well.
On your way
  • Stop at the bank.  You will curb your impulse buys by leaving your credit cards at home.  According to Martin Lindstrom, shopping with cash cuts your overall spending by 23%.  Also, if you withdraw cash at the teller and request larger bills (ie. 50s or 100s), you will be less likely to break them on unnecessary purchases.
At the mall
  • Avoid the main entrance and any lavish displays designed to entice you.  Side entrances or the food court entrance will help you bypass unneccessary temptation.
  • Buy your less expensive items first.  Scott Huettel, Associate professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University, says that once you spend money on something costly your brain loses perspective on what is a good price.
  • Eat Lunch.  Don't forget to recharge with a protein-rich lunch if you are planning an all-day shopping trip.  It will keep your energetic all day.
  • Perk yourself up after a few hours by taking a music break or grabbing a cup of coffee.  Paul Herr, professor of Marketing at Virginia Tech says you are more likely to make good buying choices if you stay in a pleasant mood, because you will more carefully consider pros and cons before making your decision.
  • Skip lines.  Whenever possible, pay for purchases in less crowded areas of the store.  The less you linger in the line, the less likely it will be that you will pick up extra items on a whim while you are waiting.
  • Don't linger at sales counters.  The longer you listen to a sales pitch, the more likely you are to buy something.
Article Referenced

5 Black Friday Tricks to Avoid:
Black Friday has become known as the best day of the year to find deals, but retailers have a few tricks up their sleeves as well by either enticing you to spend more or to buy lower-quality products.  Check out these tricks to avoid this season that I found on Yahoo! Finance.  (Article Referenced)
1. Inferior products: That big screen television in the sale ad may be an inferior model.  Many retailers sell cheaper versions of TVs, laptops, tablets and other hot gift items for the holiday season. The items look like the higher-priced model, but typically have fewer features, less storage capacity, lower resolution, or even shorter warranties.  Protect yourself by: having the product specifications and model number of the product you want and make sure to ask about warranty terms.
2. Read the fine print: Some Black Friday sales ads include fine print that says the full discount requires a mail-in rebate meaning you'll have to pay a lot more upfront.  Some stores advertise "one day blowout" with storewide sales, but they are really only offering a discount on a select assortment of items.
3. Limited Supplies: Many stores carry very limited supplies of their best deals so you'll likely have to be one of the first people in the store to snag them, Cohen said.  
4. Misleading "original" prices: "Some retailers may try to make you think you're getting a deeper discount than you actually are. Oftentimes, the original price they show in ads or next to the product in stores is higher than the price the item will usually sell for, said Patricia Huddleston, a professor of retailing at Michigan State University."
5. Bait and switch: Retailers will often place a similar product near the advertised product so that when they are sold out of that one you may buy the inferior more expensive "alternative."  Protect your self by: using a price comparison app, like Shop Savvy or RedLaser.