Black Friday toy shopping is a rush. Kids and parents are eager to score deals on the year’s most popular toys like Hatchimals, Fingerlings and limited-edition L.O.L Surprise balls.
However, it’s important to remember that a bargain is only truly bona fide if it’s something you need or want. Buying things you don’t need is the fastest way to erase your savings.
Plan Your Route
Unless you plan to shop online (which is always a good option, especially for toys), Black Friday is typically the day to hit stores for great discounts and deals. It’s worth your time to study ads online and in circulars that come in the mail ahead of time to get a sense of what stores are offering and when. Signing up for loyalty programs and email lists from retailers is also a good idea so you’re among the first to know when special promotions are going live.
Black Friday toy sales are underway at online and in-store retailers. Expect big savings on popular toys like L.O.L. Surprise dolls, Barbies, Nerf guns, and Lego sets. You can score some limited-supply items that sell out quickly after the holidays.
Ahead of Black Friday Kohls, it’s a good idea to take some time to look up product prices and compare them using a price history website. This can help you weed out impressive-sounding discounts that may be nothing more than smoke and mirrors. It’s also a good way to see if the toy you want has been marked down before and to know if you are getting a deal.
Make a Back-Up List
Aside from a few truly limited-supply toys, it’s likely that many of the items on Black Friday are available at other times of the year. You’ll often find deals on stocking stuffers, board games and drones in stores throughout December.
Many retailers release their ad circulars up to a month in advance. Major players typically put out their lists in early September or mid-October. Sign up for email newsletters from these companies to be among the first to know about upcoming toy offerings. You can also use a price tracker to understand what a particular toy normally goes for and ensure you get a good discount.
The 2022 holiday shopping season saw widespread supply-chain snags that led to inventory shortages and price spikes, but experts believe this year’s sales will be more typical. Still, popular products may fly off shelves before the end of November, so it’s a good idea to shop early if you want the best discounts.
Shop With a Friend
Whether you’re shopping for a new baby or that difficult-to-shop-for tween, there’s bound to be something on your wish list that’ll be slashed this time of year. Snag toys like this Fisher-Price Perfect Sense Deluxe Gym or VTech Sort and Discover Interactive Baby Drum for less, thanks to discounts this Black Friday through Cyber Monday.
Some stores started rolling out their Black Friday sales earlier this month. However, if you’re shopping for hotly in-demand items, you may want to stick with Black Friday for the best deals. This is especially true for toys, which tend to sell out quickly this time of year.
Keep tabs on your favorite retailers’ Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages for Black Friday promotions, giveaways, and exclusive discounts. Signing up for retailer newsletters is another good way to stay in the loop. You can also use a tool like Flipp to create a personalized Black Friday shopping page for each retailer you visit.
Remember to stash your purchases out of sight once you’ve landed all those great toy deals. It’s easy to lose track of your assets in a sea of shoppers, and it’s not worth the stress of coming home to a smashed back window or a stuffed car trunk full of stolen goods. Stick with your credit cards for larger purchases, as they’re safer than cash and offer stronger fraud protections.
Be Prepared to Make Unplanned Purchases
A certain dread slowly builds up in your stomach as stores break out their Christmas decorations mere days after Halloween, the temperature drops and the clocks turn back. Before you know it, Thanksgiving is here, and Black Friday, the day of shopping armageddon, is upon us.
Retailers will entice shoppers with a host of deals, and it’s easy to get distracted by the wide, glossy eyes of children who want every toy they see. But if you’re prepared to stick to your list, use the tips above and shop with a friend, you can avoid overspending on toys this holiday season.
Thrifter suggests comparing prices online before you head to the store. You can find some of the best discounts on Nerf guns, Lego sets and other popular toys by searching before the holiday rush.
Another advantage of shopping early is that you’ll be able to find more specifics on products, like whether they’re actually in stock. The hottest toys sell out fast and aren’t always available later in the season.
Some retailers have extended returns and refund policies during the holidays, allowing you to score a discount on items that may go on sale again later in the year.