CHARLOTTE, N.C. More than 150 million Americans plan on taking part in the after Thanksgiving (now ON Thanksgiving in some cases) ritual of Black Friday shopping. But instead of battling the crowds and waiting in line the day of a sale, coupon blogger and money-saving instructor Travise Smith, also known to her followers at Coupon Mama, is shopping at Target a good week ahead of time.
If you re shopping now, there s nobody in the store to shop with you, so there is no line and you can take your time, Travise said.
But what s fascinating about this shopping trip is that Travise will still get her Black Friday prices thanks to all of those pre-released Black Friday ads online and a policy called price adjusting.
Whatever you want, pick it up, check the numbers if they match, buy it, hold on to your receipt and bring it back and get your price adjustment, she said.
It s a policy that s been around at many retailers for years but often overlooked during the holidays.
While Travise estimates she ll save hundreds of dollars and her time and sanity, she s in the minority of holiday shoppers, according to Dr. Jared Hansesn of UNC-Charlotte.
Dr. Hansesn says while most consumers still want the excitement of the Black Friday frenzy, long gone are the days of the mob mentality because consumers are already saturated with all the cheap DVD players and flat-screened TVs they need.
You reach a point where you decrease the price, and nobody else buys it. It doesn t excite people anymore, he said.
So by opening up shop earlier, like Old Navy stores on Thanksgiving, it enhances the experience of shopping more than focusing on the deals themselves.
They give the opportunity to have them enjoy being packed in with everybody else, with the hope it never turns into something dangerous, fist fights and products knocked over and trampled, Dr/ Hansesn said.
Back at Target, if you do want to do some price adjusting, keep in mind not all retailers allow it during Black Friday. Sears won t honor it, and neither will Best Buy. Travise says you need to read the store s policy and it ll be different at each retailer.
So while Travise still plans on going out on Black Friday, she ll be price-adjusting, not shopping. Not to mention chanting her money-saving-mantra.
I ll get up and go, but I will not stay in the cold. I will not trample people. I will not fight for anything. Just sit back and watch, she said.
To learn more about the Coupon Mama's Black Friday rundown, click here.