Why I Prefer to Make My Own Black Friday Deals

Black_Friday_Bum_RushThanksgiving has got to be one of my favorite holidays.  Not only is it centered around giving thanks and spending time with family, but it’s a whole holiday that’s dedicated to food.  I plan on spending it with my mom’s side of the family, my dad’s side and my girlfriend’s family.  So that adds up to three separate dinners for those that are counting.  By the time I fall asleep around midnight with a large food baby in my stomach, the last thing I want to do is get up at 6 am and go wait in line to save $100 on a TV.

I’d much rather sit back in the comfort of my own home and shop online.  And I say this, living in 60 degree winter weather; I can’t even imagine what it’s like to wait in line at 6 am when it’s literally freezing cold outside.  But whether I find a deal on eBay or my favorite retailer Amazon, I can compare prices, use coupons and get free 2 day shipping(thank you prime!) all from the comfort of my reclining couch.

This type of shopping might not be appealing to everyone but it definitely works for me.  I’m the type of shopper who will only go somewhere with the intent of buying.  I don’t like to browse too much, that’s a waste of my time.  Instead, if I have an item in mind, I’ll figure out the cheapest price and go buy it.  Sometimes these impulsive decisions don’t work out but generally I’ve been very happy with the purchases I’ve made.

The Saga of My New Stainless Steel Oven

As longtime readers may already know, I’m gradually upgrading the appliances in my kitchen to stainless steel.  The only items that still need to be updated are my electric range oven and dishwasher.  I decided to upgrade the oven recently and I was shocked to find very low inventory on craigslist.  There were a couple items here and there but they were almost as much as a new one would be.

I needed a new plan, so I decided to cash out $500 in Home Depot gift cards from my AMEX account.  I had over 75,000 points in there from a recent credit card sign-up bonus(I’m now an Amex Gold Business cardholder btw) so this was the perfect opportunity to use them.  Gift cards can usually be redeemed at a rate of 100 points to $1 so I would need 50,000 points to get $500 in Home Depot gift cards.  However, at this time AMEX was having a 10% off sale on their Home Depot gift cards so I was able to get $500 in gift cards for only 45,000 points. Score!

The oven I wanted was priced at $649 but on sale for $550 the first time I checked a couple months ago.  I pretty much knew this was the one I wanted from the get-go but I definitely didn’t want to pay $550 plus tax.  Sometimes the in-store price will differ from the online price so I went in to Home Depot to check on the item.

The Price Went Up and Down Like the Stock Market!

Here’s where things got interesting, I began checking the price every week or two and I noticed that there was always a different promotion they were having or a sale that would reduce the price.  The lowest I saw it get to was $448.  One week it would be $498, one week it would be $448 and then back up to $548!  So I figured the lowest price I could get would be around $448 and this week when the price dropped I jumped on it.

$448 is a pretty good price for a stainless steel oven but my readers know that I wouldn’t be posting this article to tell you I got a good price on an oven that was on sale.  I shop at Home Depot a lot so I make sure to always have a few 10% off coupons lying around.  Unfortunately though, Home Depot rarely gives out these types of coupons but there’s one way around that.

When you move and fill out a change of address form with USPS, they will usually send you a mover’s packet to your new address that includes a 10% off Lowe’s coupon.  You can also check your local post office and see if they have any: sometimes they’ll have a stack or two on the counter.

Finding That Coupon The Easy Way

But if you wanna do it the easy way, go to eBay and look for them.  They’re only a couple bucks on eBay from third party sellers.  I’ve also ordered a couple items by phone and I just asked them if they could match the 10% Lowe’s coupon and they said sure.

You’re not supposed to be able to use these coupons with items that are on sale, but Home Depot has two kinds of sales.  The coupon will not work when the sale gives you say $50 off when you spend $500 on appliances but it will work when the price has simply been reduced, like in this case.

So the other day, I marched into Home Depot and went to the appliance section and one of their associates placed my order for me and gave me a receipt with a barcode that I took up to the front and scanned at self-checkout.  I was a little nervous, but I passed over my 10% coupon no questions asked and the final price of my oven was $430 with free delivery and old appliance haul-away.

Now I have no idea what the price of this oven will be come Black Friday/Cyber Monday but I can’t imagine it going much lower than this.  But even if it does, I won’t be too worried because this whole process really didn’t take me more than 20-30 minutes of online browsing over a couple month period.  And for some weird reason, I actually had fun figuring all this stuff out.  Well, a lot more fun than I would have had waiting in line to bum rush Home Depot at 6 am this Friday.

Readers, do you wait in lines on Black Friday to get all the ‘great’ deals?  Is it worth the hassle to save a few bucks or you can actually save a decent chunk of money on things that you need?

-Harry @ PF Pro

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Hi, I'm Harry, the owner and head writer for Your PF Pro. I started this site back in 2011 in order to create a place where young professionals could come and get all of their financial questions answered. On the site, you'll find articles on everything from asset allocation for retirement to saving money at Chipotle! So enjoy..

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