Black Friday Tips – Holiday Technolo-JAY
Holiday Technolo-JAY: Black Friday and Beyond
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Here are some quick tips to get some great gadgets on the cheap during black Friday and the Holiday Season:
Think outside the (Big) box
1. Other Stores: Black Friday doesn't just belong to Target and Wal-Mart anymore. There are many stores that have competitive sales without all the crazy people. Drugstores like CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens have awesome Black Friday deals on small gadgets and As Seen on TV items. And you won't have to pull Crazy Nancy's hair to get in the doors. Office Max and Staples also offer great deals without the hassle of the crowd. Go there to stock up on everything you need to backup your precious files: external hardrives, flash drives, even old fashioned CDs and DVDs. Don't forget that office stores sell printers, cameras, and MORE!
2. Cyber Monday: Avoid the stores entirely and do your shopping online! Cyber Monday offers awesome deals from the comfort of your own PJs. Quantities are limited here though, so find out when your item goes on sale and be ready to CLICK! Websites can get sluggish this day with the overload of traffic. So know what you want before you click, and click early. Remember to shop safely! See: Online Shopping Safety Tips.
3. Google search: If you know what is on your list now, do a google search every couple of days to see if any deals pop up. Lots of great deals are just hiding out there. So if you really want it, keep a lookout!
4. Green Monday: If you wait for the last minute to find good deals–GREEN MONDAY is for you. It is the second Monday of December and popular websites offer GREAT deals for your last minute purchases. (ALWAYS VERIFY THAT THEY WILL SHIP BEFORE CHRISTMAS!!)
5. USED! : Check ebay for used and refurbished goodies. Chances are your young children won't know the difference between a used and new nintendo Wii, if it works and you put it in a box with some pretty wrapping paper. You can even try local–craigslist, or your news classifieds. Just remember, cash-only, go WITH someone when you pick up your goods, and if it sounds too good to be true, it is probably a scam. If it is creepy that some stranger has handled the item, give it a good wipe-down with some alcohol and Lysol! Nerdy-kid boogers GONE!
Stay one-to-two years behind
Black Friday won't slash prices for the latest and greatest in technology. Sometimes the big stores advertise these deals just to get people in the door, but only have 3 available. So only the people who have camped outside for a week will get low-priced state-of-the-art. Wait a year or two to get the new console because it WILL be cheap, and it WILL be in stock! This year, the newest game consoles are available through pre-order and may not even be available on Black Friday.
Don't peak too early
Several kids in my Sunday school class have an x-box, Wii, play station, computer, and hand-held video game. The kids in my class are no older than 7. DELAYED GRATIFICATION IS A GOOD THING! Don't give your kid the best of everything too early! Pretty soon the only thing Johnny won't have is an (actual) rocket ship!
Many people are going digital with their movie/TV watching, so DVDs are very cheap. ADD Black Friday deals to the mix and you can score GOOD-TITLE DVDs for as low as $2, some cheaper! I know my girls love to have an actual, physical DVD to call their own. A nice stocking stuffer!
It's Obsolete, and they don't care!
Remember when those digital picture frames were really hot a few years ago (and really expensive)? Well, with iPads, iPhones, instagram and everything else, most people have their pictures WITH them all the time. So who needs a digital picture frame anymore? YOUR KID! You can get these at basement prices, and it is something that your child can put in their room and really cherish. Also think about video recorders, digital-photo key chains, and off-brand MP3 players and cameras. My kids love taking pictures, but my “camera” is also attached to the $600 dollar device with my life on it (iPad). So get them a cheap camera and don't sweat it! Your little one doesn't care that it is outdated, he is making movies around the house that are all his own!
Set a budget and KEEP YOUR RECEIPT!
Decide how much you are going to spend, and when you budge on the budget, hang on to your receipt! You have never seen more buyers' remorse than on what I will call “Sorry Saturday.” This is the day AFTER Black Friday when you realize, that however low the price tag, you cannot afford all of the deals you put in your cart and on your credit card. Do not lose your receipt in the hustle and bustle of buying and bags–it is your ONLY redemption from impulse buys!
Don’t lose your soul
I know that a 10 dollar crock pot is awesome, and a $75 dollar Wii console is even awesomer, but it is not worth shouting at store employees, pushing, shoving, or knifing. Don't let the stress and adrenaline get the best of you on Black Friday. Your gadgets will rust and be forgotten, but your character is with you ALWAYS. One year I gave someone an item from my cart that was no longer on the shelf–I don't even remember what it was, but I remember it felt really good. Kindness is contagious even in a time of grabby-selfishness.
Keep your kid well rounded
Make sure your child has access to activities that do not involve screen time. Buy a soccer ball, a net, a science kit, books, or other brain-stimulating gifts. Remember the saying “All work and no play made Jack a dull boy?” Well there's another saying like it: “All video games and no play made Jack a creepy recluse with greasy hair and a vitamin-D deficiency.” Playing outside will always be the BEST video game!