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Black Friday Findings

by Shawanda Greene

I woke up around 9:45 this morning. By 10:30 AM, I was dressed and ready to brave the holiday crowds. Normally, I’d be out well before sunrise.

With the exception of clothes, everything I wanted could be purchased over the internet. So there was no need to cut my beauty rest short.  I’m glad I didn’t.

The mall wasn’t nearly as crowded as I thought it’d be. Some retailers open at midnight the day after Thanksgiving. So, perhaps eager Black Friday shoppers were gone home by the time I arrived.

Maybe it’s just me, but I wasn’t blown away by the discounts available in the brick and mortar stores. They weren’t terrible, but they also weren’t that great either. Every year, there’s that handful of retailers who won’t even bother marking down their merchandise. They just show up on Black Friday wearing the same old dirty drawers they had on the day before. They disgust me.

With that said, I still managed to find some decent bargains. Even though I’m afraid a hard core deal finder will point out massive amounts of savings I overlooked, I’ve posted the spoils of my Black Friday labor.

Overall I spent $352.45 (excluding taxes and rebates).

Abercrombie & Fitch

Abercrombie & Fitch - Regular Price $38.00, Sale Price $29.80, Discount 21%

Abercrombie & Fitch - Regular Price $38.00, Sale Price $29.80, Discount 21%

Abercrombie & Fitch - Regular Price $38.00, Sale Price $29.80, Discount 21%

Abercrombie & Fitch - Regular Price $38.00, Sale Price $29.80, Discount 21%

Abercrobie & Fitch - Regular Price $44.00, Sale Price $29.90, Discount 32%

Abercrobie & Fitch - Regular Price $44.00, Sale Price $29.90, Discount 32%

Abercrombie & Fitch - Regular Price $79.50, Sale Price $47.70, Discount 40%

Abercrombie & Fitch - Regular Price $79.50, Sale Price $47.70, Discount 40%

I received a $25 gift card for buying over $100 worth of merchandise. It’s a given I’ll have to supplement that gift card with cash in order to buy something worthwhile from Abercrombie & Fitch.

Or maybe I can just sell it on GiftCards.com or Plastic Jungle.

The Limited

The Limited - Regular Price $217.50, Sale Price $130.50, Discount 40%

The Limited - Regular Price $217.50, Sale Price $130.50, Discount 40%, Free Scarf. Awaiting 5% cash back rebate from Ebates.com

Everything in the entire store was 40% off. Not bad. But I felt I could do better online. Using my iPhone, I visited The Limited’s website to see if the same deal was available online.

Once I verified they offered free shipping, I headed over to RetailMeNot and found that additional coupon codes could be applied towards my internet purchase. What else was there to do but snap photos of the cute tops I’d just tried on for future reference, return them to the fitting room girl, and move on to the next retailer.

But wait. There’s more.

Before placing my order, I checked for rebate opportunities on Fat Wallet and Ebates. Both offered 5% cash back. 

SmartBargains

SmartBargains.com - Regular Price $59.99, Sale Price $37.79, Discount 37%

Hampton Forge Contempo Cutlery - Regular Price $59.99, Sale Price $37.79, Discount 37%. Awaiting 10% cash back from Ebates.

Although I think I could’ve bought these knives for about the same price on a non-busiest shopping day of the year, I still feel like I got a pretty good deal.

Amazon

Amazon - Regular Price $59.99, Sale Price $49.99, Discount 17%

Hamilton Beach Set 'N Forget Slow Cooker - Regular Price $59.99, Sale Price $49.99, Discount 17%

I searched high and low for some kind of discount or coupon code that could be used to reduce the price of this slow cooker. In a moment of desperation, I hunted down a 20% off Bed Bath & Beyond coupon to use towards an in-store purchase of the item. Then I realized I’d only save $10 plus I’d have to pay sales tax (that I shouldn’t avoid but would avoid by buying from Amazon) plus I’d have to leave my apartment again. That’s too much effort for too little benefit, so I went with Amazon.

Target

Target - Regular Price $14.99 Sale Price $8.99, Discount 40%

Sex and the City - Regular Price $44.97 Sale Price $26.97, Discount 40%

There was a time these DVDs retailed for $30 – $40 a season. Which explains why I was missing seasons one and two and the second half of season three. This was a total impulse purchase. I’m sure I won’t regret it.

All in all, Black Friday wasn’t a total bust.

Did you do any offline Black Friday shopping this year? Do you have any tips or strategies on maximizing savings between now and the holidays?

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

FB @ FabulouslyBroke.com November 28, 2009 at 8:26 AM

I like those striped tops, and I am missing seasons 3-5 of SATC because I cannot bear to spend $40 a season

I think I saw them around $20/season recently, I ought to snap them up

Reply

TheyCallMeCheap November 29, 2009 at 1:52 AM

They're on Amazon for $9 a season – the same price I paid at Target. Here in the states, buying 3 seasons would qualify you for free shipping. Not sure how it works in Canada.

Reply

Carla November 29, 2009 at 6:27 AM

Cute tops!

I didn't do any offline shopping this year – I don't think I have ever shopped on a Black Friday before except online in recent years. We found a few good deals via Deal Mac for Steve: two pairs of shoes in a hard to find size and two sweaters. I used a Sephora.com free shipping coupon code and that's it.

Cyber Monday is only a few hours away and I'm on the lookout for shoes…

Reply

TheyCallMeCheap November 29, 2009 at 6:17 PM

Thanks. Those tops look a lot better on. They photograph kinda frumpy and shapeless. I got a bigger size so I can dry them on extra high heat when I'm feeling impatient.

I just checked out Dealmac.com. There tag line is hilarious: "How to go broke saving money." I'm gonna have to use that one.

Unfortunately, I exceeded my Black Friday/Cyber Monday budget on Black Friday. BUT if I come across some really good deals tomorrow, I'll have to make an exception.

Reply

Money Funk November 29, 2009 at 2:19 AM

I love the tops!

I saved $19 on my daughter’s retail value gift of $55. And saved $5 on an $18 purchase at Michael’s on Thanksgiving night (crazy the stores are open that day)

I think I did good and stuck to my list & budget.

Online I bought two shirts for my son and saved 10% thru retailmenot.com and got free shipping. That was nice. Love getting free shipping on great prices. :)

Reply

TheyCallMeCheap November 29, 2009 at 6:27 PM

On Black Friday 2007, I went to the St. Augustine Premium Outlets at about 1:00 in the morning. After catching a late movie with my sister-in-law on Thanksgiving, we decided to get our shopping done early. Well, that was actually the plan all along.

It is interesting stores are open on Thanksgiving day. I never would've thought.

An easy way to put me off a purchase is to charge for shipping. It's a pretty hefty premium to pay for something you have to wait for. No thanks! RetailMeNot and Freeshipping.org seem to be the best sites for finding free shipping. I think I'll give Zappos and Endless.com a try, just because I'm a sucker for free shipping.

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