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5/9/19 Ed. Note: This post was originally published in Nov. 2018, so some links below may be expired. Come back and check us out in early November 2019!
It's that time of year again, where online sellers grab great deals to flip during the holiday season. Black Friday falls on Friday, November 29, 2019, the day after Thanksgiving, as always. Although it's traditionally the biggest shopping day of the year, retailers have stretched out Black Friday to really encompass at least a week or more.
Check out the following strategies to help you prepare for Black Friday online sourcing and in stores, stretch your sourcing dollars, and grab the right produxcts to flip.
1.) Make your list, check it twice. Sit down and think about everything you'd like to purchase on Black Friday. Compare the Black Friday store item to the equivalent item on Amazon and/or eBay (whichever marketplace you're selling on). Have your shopping list handy when those Black Friday teasers start filling up your e-mail box. Then you'll ready to take advantage of the best deals at the best prices. Don't have the local circulars yet? Use this free app to view your local fliers on your computer or mobile device: snip.ly/bhk2v. Also, bfads.net will have the actual Black Friday ads as they are "leaked" out.
2.) Then check your bank account. Before the big day, it's a good idea to put together a budget. It's easy to get swept away by all the great deals, until you get your credit card bill in January. Set your sourcing expenditures limits first, and then enjoy your shopping. I'm a big fan of 'invest with only what you receive.' Meaning most of the time, I don't use credit or loans to by inventory. I only use the profits I receive from my eBay Amazon sales.
3.) Keep sourcing a top priority. To find the best deals, you have to stay on top of the advertisements and marketing propaganda. Many times, deals last for several hours or one day. Now, stores are releasing or "leaking" some Black Friday deals several days in advance! Be sure you check out those items on your list regularly and often between now and Christmas to snag them whenever there is an opportunity.
4.) Get cash back from your purchases. For online sourcing, I use TopCashBack to earn cash back on my buying (it adds up!) Also, some credit cards will track your purchases for free, and automatically credit you the difference if/when the price drops (Check your credit card company's policies or this article for more.) For cash back in stores, I use the popular iBotta app (Android/iPhone)
5.) Get cash automatically when prices drop on your purchases. Earny (Free) can track your online purchases and automatically contact the retailer if there's a price drop, and ask them to credit you the price difference Example: Earny automatically refunded me $3.40 for Walmart bubble wrap, when its price dropped to below what I paid for it:
5.) Watch those buyers reviews. Both Amazon and eBay offers display buyer ratings for many of their products, and it's worth the time to read up on those before you buy. The last thing you want is grabbing qty: 25 toasters and realizing that customers loathe the product. By reselling that item, you'll be bound to get poor seller ratings and returns. By relying on the posted experiences of others (e.g., Amazon's 'star reviews' for products), you can avoid that trap.
6.) Watch that sales history. If you're an Amazon seller, find the item(s) you're sourcing on CamelCamelCamel.com and/or Keepa.com to see what their selling history was recently (and/or last holiday). If you're an eBay seller, check the 'completed' listings to see if the same item is selling well. Also remember whether you sell on eBay or Amazon, note that generally speaking, many items' selling prices can increase from 50-to-200% during the Holiday season (versus the rest of the year).
7.) Restricted from selling in various categories or brands? This is common among newer sellers, but thankfully there are some free ungating techniques from my trusted partners MySilentTeam here (you may be prompted to first join their free Facebook group before you can view their ungating instructional video); and The Selling Family here and here)
Easy tip: For a quick way to see if you're restricted from selling a specific product (in stores or online), see "2.) What you should do from now on - Part II:" on my blog article page.
8.) Join the clubs. Most retailers offer some sort of frequent shopper program that gives them critical marketing information and gives you additional savings. For instance, last Black Friday Kohl's offered $15 in Kohl's Cash for every $50 spent, on Black Friday! (No signup is required to earn Kohl's Cash, they'll give it to you at checkout in the stores, or via email for your online Khols.com purchases). The Target App (formerly 'Cartwheel') gives you discounts in-store.
For other retailers (like Macy's, REI, Nordstrom's, Macy's, etc.) sign up for their rewards program, and don't forget to redeem your points or discounts if you're already a member. More info on the best rewards programs is here.
9.) Dress comfy. Even if you love shopping, Black Friday in-store shopping can be stressful, and in some cases, brutal. Prepare for your own comfort by being prepared for warm stores or cold parking lots (dress in layers!). Wear comfortable shoes, charge up your mobile phone and test your price scanning apps, bring coupons or ad information, and don't forget your list and budget.
10.) Eat a big meal before you go in the stores. This one is critcial for me. If you go in on an empty stomach, you'll be cranky and hungry and (thus) distracted. If you can't eat, tuck a bottled water and some granola bars in your coat/handbag.
11.) Get help. Bring a friend or family member, or (better yet), assign them to store(s) to buy your stuff for you, and meet up later. (You'll get 2x-3x more done in less time, verus hopping from store to store yourself).
12.) Prepare a strategy. Figure out when sales begin online, when stores open on Black Friday, and what time special deals end. Then map out your day and prioritize your shopping based on the items you are looking for, where they are most likely to be found, and which retailers you are most likely to frequent. A little planning will make you much more
efficient and less stressed. Some retailers provide 'aisle maps' to the inside of your local store, so you can find stuff faster. Example: Use the free Target and Walmart mobile apps to find the physical location of an item in the store.
13.) Finally, have fun. Getting great deals on things you want to resell is one thing, but remember to stock up on give gifts to bring loved ones (or a charity) a little extra joy this holiday season.
Good luck. I'll see you in the aisles!