Don’t be put off but this video shows what happened on Black Friday in the big stores in NYC last year. And of course it will happen again this year, starting on Thanksgiving Day then rolling on through Black Friday, Cyber Monday, all the sales days up to Christmas Day and then going through until the post Christmas sales have exhausted everyone.
You can of course just close yourself off and ignore it all but the reality is there will be great bargains on offer, there are gifts you need to buy and why not take advantage of what is on offer. This is New York after all and the shopping is amazing. So the trick is to pick the strategy that suits you and get down to it. Here’s a list of the decision points for the savvy shopper in the order in which you need to make them.
DECIDE WHAT YOU WANT TO BUY:
Make you wish list according to who you’re buying for or in terms of what you’re buying. Are you in the market for electronics, apparel, jewelry, toys or home goods?
THEN RESEARCH YOUR BENCHMARK PRICE FOR THE ITEMS ON YOUR LIST:
Fortunately the days of flipping from site to site to compare prices is over. There are wonderful price comparison apps around that let you put in what you want to buy and hey presto you will instantly see who is offering it and at what price. Go to this site for list of these apps and select the one you want Best Price CApps Your benchmark price is the lowest price currently available. For a Black Friday or Cyber Monday buy to be worth it, a store has to come in below this price.
RESEARCH WHICH STORES ARE OFFERING FREE DELIVERY, IN-STORE PICKUP OR BOTH PLUS PROMO CODES:
Once you have to factor in a delivery price the price goes up and you are aiming to get the lowest possible price. Go here for Online Stores With Free Shipping
DECIDE WHETHER YOU WANT TO SHOP IN PERSON OR ONLINE:
It’s a personal preference which usually comes down to how comfortable you are with crowds and the hurly burly of confrontations as people fight for the same goodies. If price is your determinant then sometimes the best bargains can only be bought in person and sometimes only online. Your decide.
Here’s a list of the days in the rest of Nov. & Dec. when NYC will be most crowded with shoppers, yes big data is a wonderful thing: Nov 27th, Nov 28th, Dec 5th, Dec12th, Dec 13th, Dec 19th (Super Sat.) Dec 20th, Dec 21st, Dec 26th, Dec 29th.
Here is the list of the least busy days to shop in person: Nov 16th, Nov 17th, Nov 18th. Most of December is going to be a madhouse. Thank you Best & Worst Days to Shop this site also has a nifty list of the level of discounts for different categories of goods such as electronics versu jewelry
If shopping online on Nov 26th, shop early, like straight after midnight to in get in early before prized items sell out.
IF YOU ARE SHOPPING IN PERSON DECIDE BETWEEN USING A CAR OR THE SUBWAY:
For many New Yorkers they have no car so it’s easy, but if you do have one think very, very carefully before using it on the following days: Nov 26th, Dec 3rd, Dec 5th, Dec 11th, Dec 12th, Dec 17th, Dec 18th and Dec 19th. These are all Gridlock Days in NYC.
TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THAT THE BUSIEST SHOPPING PRECINCTS IN THE WHOLE OF NYC DURING THE HOLIDAY SEASON ARE:
5TH Ave btw 30th St & 60th St, 6th Ave btw 14th Street & 60th Street, Times Square, Rockefeller Center. If you are shopping in person avoid them if you can.
HERE’S HOW TO GET THE BEST DEALS ONLINE:
If buying very popular items at bargain prices you have to act fast to snag a product before they sell out. Get ahead of everyone else by checking in on Wednesday, then checking on Thursday knowing some stores will sneakily start a sale before Black Friday, pounce as soon as the price matches the best sale price you’ve been able to find when doing y.
Before you are actually buying go to all the online stores where you intend buying and have your buying account already set up so when the sale is on you don’t waste time filling in these details.
IF YOUR ARE AFTER QUIRKY AND UNUSUAL GIFTS:
Most of the above information will not apply (see coming post on where to buy quirky and unusual gifts in NYC) except for the advice to to pick the least busy days to shop so you avoid crowds on the sidewalk as much as possible.
IF YOU ARE A HIGH ENERGY IMPULSE BUYER AND LOVE THE CHALLENGE OF DIVING IN A GRABBING BARGAINS FROM YOUR COMPETITORS:
Good luck to you, during the thick of the holiday season the thrill is like that of base jumping except in this setting your parachute is the limit you set yourself. You do not want to land splat in the middle of a maxed out credit card.
So good luck New Yorkers and visitors to NYC while holiday season is on, may the God of Good Bargains shine upon you.