(BPT) - For many, Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping days of the year. But the holiday shopping season seems to start earlier and earlier each year. Retailers are no longer waiting for traditional dates to offer their best deals and sales on must-have gifts. In fact, sales are already happening early in the fall for many major retailers.
Whether there’s a big-ticket item you have your eye on or you have a list of gifts to check off, here are some ways you can shop and spend smarter this year.
1. Plan ahead and start early
Make a list of the items you’re searching for or the gifts you need ahead of time and search for the best deals. Remember to start shopping early, as some deals might already be gone by the time Black Friday or Cyber Monday rolls around.
2. Use a buy-now-pay-later service
Many retailers offer services where you can pay a small amount down and pay off your items over time. For example, Zip, a buy-now-pay-later service, is hosting a four-day sale event starting October 21 to kick off the holiday season called Zip Fest. Zip Fest shoppers can benefit from flexible payments in the Zip App, online and in-store, getting all their holiday shopping done early, while splitting up purchases into four smaller payments over time. You can shop these deals in the Zip app or directly on retailer websites. Here are some Zip Fest sales to watch:
* Newegg: Spend $500, get 10% off exclusively with code ZPFEST from October 21–28, 2021
* Mercari: Spend $50, get $10 off when you check out with Zip from October 21–24, 2021
* TickPick: Get $10 off your first purchase of $50 or more with code ZIPFEST from October 21–24, 2021
* Alternative Airlines: Spend $200, get $50 off exclusively with code ZIPFEST from October 21–28, 2021
* Fanatics: Spend $150+, get $10 OFF exclusively with the code ZIPFEST10 from October 21–24, 2021
* Lids: Spend $100 or more and get $10 off exclusively with the code ZIPFEST2021 from October 21–24, 2021
3. Create a strategy
Instead of going store to store, use websites and apps to compare deals and get the best prices leading up to Black Friday. And even if you are shopping in a store, you can find apps that allow you to scan a barcode and compare prices, get discounts and find coupons.
4. Shop deals on essential items
Holiday sales aren’t only for gifts. Take advantage of price drops and stock up on items you use every day, such as your favorite shampoo and other household staples. This can help save you money on everyday expenses leading up to the holidays and throughout the year.
5. Take advantage of loyalty programs
Retailer loyalty programs often offer their members early access to discounts and promotions. Sign up for Black Friday shopping alerts from your favorite retailers to stay in the know.
6. Shop online and pick up in store
Holiday shipping times can be long and unreliable. Save money and time on shipping by ordering online ahead of time and picking up your purchases in store.
Creating a happy holiday for you and your gift recipients is all about being strategic and smart, making the most of technology, ferreting out the best deals before you buy, and tempering your upfront expense by using a buy-now-pay-later service, which offers sales and discounts as well as the ability to pay over time. Win-win! Follow these tips to get the most out of pre-Black Friday sales and score the best gifts for everyone on your list this year.