Tag Archives: sales

8 Essential Black Friday Shopping Tips

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Shopping on Black Friday is clearly not for the faint at heart.  You’ve undoubtedly seen hideous videos of the masses literally trampling each other at various ‘Marts’ around the country, but the unfathomably succulent savings still call out to you, siren-like.  So, if you truly are ready to face the hordes of rapacious sale-mongers, please abide by these money, time (and possibly, life) saving tips.  

Know why you’re there.

Under no circumstances should you just saunter into the mall to “browse”; you’ll be shoved to the gleaming floor like a sack of leftover sweet potatoes.  Read up on the internet (and whatever promotional materials were mailed to you) about what sales are happening where.  Like a thrifty Santa, make a list and check it thrice; compare and contrast what certain stores are offering, online and off.  Here are some sites that actually compile the best Ebony Day After Thanksgiving options for you: bfads.net, DealNews.com, gottadeal.com, theblackfriday.com.

Get an early jump on it. 

Since the whole idea behind this day is for the stores to do stellar business (they’re obviously thinking quantity over quality), many businesses try to get a leg up by offering supreme deals before Friday even hits.  At this very moment, there are tons of shops that are offering beyond competitive deals in an effort to pre-beat out their competitors.  Do a quick search right now and possibly do some pre-emptive consuming; you may get the same low prices as on Friday and you won’t need to wear full contact football equipment to remain unscathed.   

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Even if a price looks good, it can be beat.

Don’t just fall prey to the first low marked item you see; just Google that guy and check if there are any better prices in the near vicinity.  You may be shocked to see that a competing retailer across the street is offering a way better deal – and even more surprised to learn that the store you’re currently in has a ‘match-price’ policy.  That means that if a warring chain offers an identical piece of merchandise at a lower price, they will meet that price right there on the spot, so you don’t have to burn precious gas and/or calories chasing it down.  Score! 

Loyalty pays.

If you have any shops that you frequent, there’s a good chance you can rack up points (aka ‘discounts’) by enrolling in whatever sort of rewards program they have.  If you’re the type of person who, understandably, doesn’t like filling out boring forms and receiving annoying promo emails, perhaps you should temporarily reconsider your position on the matter when dealing in this particular Black Friday milieu.  Rewards Members typically are given first dibs on B.F. deals, via discount codes and the like. 

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“Like” ‘Em.

Aside from mailing lists you may be on, you can also bolster your B.F. amalgamation of sale options by following and ‘liking’ certain brands on social media.  There’s a host of companies that offer extra special savings codes when you like, heart, retweet, tag, pin, hashtag, hashmark or hashbrown them.  

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Stick to it. 

Just as mentioned in our Holiday Savings Tips post, create a budget with strict limitations and do not deviate from it.  This is not the time to ‘see what’s out there’ and, heaven forfend, make impulse purchases.  

Don’t Accessorize. 

One of the ways that stores recover the money ‘lost’ during the feeding frenzy of low-priced B.F. items is by the inevitable ‘additional’ purchases that people make while in the store.  You’ve just saved 200 hundred smackers on a TV – but then, high on the adrenaline of having ‘saved so much,’ you turn around and buy a superfluous rotating wall mount that costs 300 dollars.  Be smart.  Know when you’re victorious and leave on a high note (like after winning a big hand in Vegas).  No extra items!

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Cheapest is sometimes just that…

Just because a particular piece is at a jaw-droopingly low rate doesn’t mean it’s going to be an intelligent purchase.  The manufacturers are acutely aware of what goes down on B.F., so they sometimes create products specifically for the day that resemble their fully functioning brothers, but are blatantly inferior in quality.  You’ll notice these can take the shape of electronics that do not come with all the features that their regularly priced counterparts offer, or dolls that are missing limbs.

So, prepare yourself for a whirlwind shopping experience for the ages.  Registers clamorously clanking along to the merry holiday tunes inundating your eardrums, elderly shoppers elbowing your ribcage and tryptophan infused lethargy will be no match for you if you stick to these tips.  Happy deal-sealing; let’s make this the blackest friday yet!  

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-Joe Leone

How to Haggle

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If a price tag says an item is “$80,” then that’s how much you have to pay for it, right?

WRONG.

From cars to dental appointments to Tickle Me Elmos, you can always get a deal.  Here are some extremely useful tips on how to get the best price for just about anything.

1 – Don’t appear too eager 

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Whether you’re in a high end clothing store on 5th Avenue in New York City, or a street market in Nepal, you have to give off the impression that you are ready to “walk away” at any time.  Not to say that you should come off as rude or arrogant, by any means; just appear that you are not too committed to the wares that are being sold.

2 – Do your research

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If one store is offering a plasma television for one price, and you have a print out from their website confirming this, then you can leverage this info for a better price another store (pending their price is higher).  Often businesses will be able to match their competitors’ rates.  If you’re at a local shop, who is competing with a larger name chain, explain that you would rather give them the business, especially if they can give you a slightly better deal.

3 – Timing is everything 

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The beginning of day (or the end), the end of month and the end of a quarter: all great times to seek a stellar price.  At the end of certain periods, stores are looking to unload any unsold inventory.  Just forget the holiday season; this is clearly the worst time to try to cop a deal (as demand is at its highest).  However, right after the holidays is a gold mine of sales/flexibility on the part of vendors.

4  – First ask the salesperson, and then the manager 

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Some salespeople only have so much wiggle room when it comes to negotiating prices.  Ask to speak with the manager; they often know exactly what is in stock, and what they would like to move.  Asking the right person a simple ‘can you give me a sales price on this item’ can save you oodles of dough.

5 – “I can pay in cash…”

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A quick trip to the ATM can lighten the burden on many a purchase.  If you approach practically any business with a cash offer, it obviously is more appealing to the owners as they will not have to pay the high fees involved with credit card transactions.  Most customers like to pay with credit cards, so they can accrue points; this costs the business every time.  The more expensive the item or service, the more a cash sale ends up saving the seller.  Bring cash; ask for a deal.

6 – Go for the floor models / flawed items 

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Retailers are often more than happy to offer discounts on floor models/slightly scuffed up or damaged items.  Just ask!  A 10-20% discount is the norm, but the sky is the limit if they haven’t been able to/do not foresee being able to sell the merchandise in question.

7 – This is not a contest

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The goal here is to get the best price for yourself – not to just “win” the sale “argument” for the sake of winning.  Check your ego at the door.  Keep the conversation light.  The best negotiators interject a little humor even, to get the seller on their good side.  If the talk is going on and on, back and forth, exercise something referred to as the “psychology of silence.”  If you just clam up, and the salesperson keeps talking and talking, pitching and pitching, they will eventually feel uncomfortable with your silence.  They will often lower their price just to end the awkwardness.

8 – Buy in bulk

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The more items you purchase, the greater a discount you should receive on each.  This is sales math 101, and you should always employ this technique.

9 – Be willing to compromise

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Sometimes stores simply can not lower their prices on select items.  If you find yourself in this situation, just ask what else they can hook you up with.  Many businesses have things that they can easily part with (which cost them virtually nothing), but can really sweeten the sale for you.

10 – Leave your card

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It never hurts to leave your information behind.  A salesperson or manager may not be in the right mindset to give you a deal on the spot, but come closing time…and they have not met their quotas…they may be singing a different tune (then the odds are forever in your favor).  This is especially true when dealing with roadshows or outdoor sales, where vendors may be reluctant to want to pack everything away and cart it back with them to another locale.  Just leave your number behind with a smile – you may be surprised how friendly a call you’ll receive later that day.

Just as there are various techniques which you should employ in order to garner the best deal when purchasing something, there are instrumental practices you need to use when selling as well.  The most essential thing is to be fully educated on the value of what you have.  If you are selling a particularly expensive item, such as a house, you may contact a real estate broker (who knows the ins and outs of the industry) to help find you the best price for it.  The same applies to jewelry, specifically, diamond jewelry.  Diamond Lighthouse is comprised of a team of thoroughly experienced diamond experts; we can help you uncover the true value of your diamond jewelry.  Next, we take on the responsibility of getting your diamond sold.  We receive a commission from the sale of your jewelry, so it’s in our best interests to get you the most cash we can.  We do all the necessary negotiating to get you the best price possible, allowing you to sit back at home, with your feet up and a smile on your face.

Find out more!

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-Joe Leone