Most years, I work on Thanksgiving and the day after, so I’ve never faced the Black Friday decision. Last year I contemplated joining in before work, but decided against it.
This year, I’ll be spending the holiday weekend with my sister, and we find ourselves torn – to shop or not to shop?
While I haven’t found any sales worth braving the early hours, extreme cold, and complete chaos, I’m still preparing just in case I change my mind.
Most years, I browse the ads just to see what’s out there. I’m the type of person that I enjoy the real paper ads. I can circle and clip and combine and organize.
But the beauty of the online version is that you can prep earlier, create your shopping list and sign up for e-mail reminders. But I’ve written about that for the past two years on this blog, so I’m not going to cover the same ground again. Here’s a link to the 2009 edition.
This year – it’s all about mobile.
On the App front there are several Black Friday apps that scan in ads, let you create shopping lists, and browse by store or product. I tested a few of the free ones and TGI Black Friday is my favorite so far. It’s available for iPhone and Android.
But a deal is only a deal if it’s the best one around. I’ve mentioned ShopSavvy before, the app where you scan a barcode and see instant price comparisons. New this year is the Amazon app that let’s you scan the barcode or take a picture of the item to compare Amazon listings.
And the apps aren’t just about price. The mall where my sister lives has its own app. I can see a mall map, mall hours, check my gift card balance and even get a reminder about where I parked my car. That might come in handy considering I have difficulty remembering where I park my car on a normal day.
And for those of you in the geolocation game, don’t forget to check in on Friday. Several stores including Sports Authority and Toys R Us are rumored to be offering deals through Foursquare and Facebook Places.
For those who choose to join in – happy shopping! Feel free to share your Black Friday tips in the comments!