Black Friday: Don't wait, get deals early at outlets

Mall shoppersOutlet malls may not be able to compete with traditional department stores once Black Friday hits, but a smart outlet shopper can get a head start on savings if they know how to spot a bargain in those stores.

If you are savvy about how outlet store prices work, then you know that the longer an item stays on the floor, the less it costs. IMore buyers at holiday time means items at outlet stores are selling faster and at higher prices.. In addition, outlet stores stock up on special items for the holiday season in time for Black Friday. And outlet stores have loss leaders too. You can get items that stores are willing to take a loss on, if you are willing to participate in a frenzied, pre-dawn stampede to get them (while supplies last). Beyond that, when you get into the outlet mall stores, you will find fewer deals than were there a month ago.
According to The Economist, some stores actually raise prices before Black Friday, discounting only 10% of the items in the store by about 30%. Outlet malls are no exception. This price adjustment is enough to satisfy the needs of the price sensitive shoppers, as they typically have the will-power to purchase only the sale items and move on to another store. But for others, in an effort to get the Christmas items crossed off the list, they find themselves filling their carts with goods priced higher than they were a few weeks before.

These next few weeks, before Black Friday hits, is when shoppers should be hitting the outlet malls, purchasing those ties for your uncle and that perfume for your aunt. Grandma will love the handbag, and your nephew could use a new pair of jeans that you can find at a discount on any given day in your local outlet mall. Don't wait for Black Friday to buy these generic items. If you get the bulk of your shopping done now, you will have more will-power on Black Friday and will only need to buy those electronics and toys that will be sold at deep discounts at that time.

A typical trip to an outlet mall this time of year, after back-to-school season, could net you a jacket, dress, sweater, two pair of pajama pants and some lingerie for $50.00. I defy anyone to do that on Black Friday or during the Christmas shopping season. If you don't live near an outlet store, don't worry. Sears Outlet, which sells these very items mentioned from $3.00 to $10.00 each, has a great online presence with awesome deals every day. Plus, there are plenty of other pre-Black Friday shopping opportunities:

Sears stores (not the outlet) are offering deals on toys and games, dolls and accessories, men's jeans and men's outerwear until the end of October. Also Sears Days promises the lowest prices of the season through Oct 23. Shoppers should be able to find deals on clothing, tools and electronics.

Half Price Books, among the first stores to announce their Black Friday deals this season though the retailer's Facebook page, is offering early-bird shoppers numerous coupons and discounts for the bookworms on their lists.

Kmart has $100 or more off TVs and Electronics, 30% off furniture, 30%-40% off on coats and jackets, and 40% off on bed and bath items. This lets shoppers to take advantage of the store's layaway program.

Hobby Lobby and Micheal's craft stores and Joanne Fabrics compete with each other through 30%-50% off coupons that you can use on any one item per visit. If you have a hobbyist, craft enthusiast or scrapbooker on your Christmas list, keep an eye on their weekly ads, which you can print and use daily.

The Bargainist is a virtual tickertape of online deals of the moment. Check on it regularly to find those items on your Christmas list. lists new online deals every day for anyone who doesn't want to wait until Black Friday on electronic items ranging from camera lenses to big screen TVs. This website does not sell items, but leads you to many online retailers with fabulous discounts.

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