Black Friday Survival Guide

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Shopper holding a bag labeled "Black Friday"

Once the Thanksgiving plates are cleared and the dishes are done, the holiday shopping season kicks into overdrive. While more and more younger consumers are doing most of their holiday shopping online, others gear up to take advantage of big savings in stores. We’ve put together some tips to help keep your shopping experience merry and bright.

°Make a plan before you shop. Plan out your travel and think about traffic and parking congestion. Compare deals ahead of time, and you might be able to eliminate multiple stops on your shopping trip.

°Read the fine print. Big sales that sound too good to be true may have conditions you should be aware of. There might be quantity limits or short windows in which sale prices apply. Keep an eye out for misleading ads and report them to your state consumer protection office.

°Compare before you buy. A hot item might be sold in multiple stores. When retailers undercut each other in a price war, you could stand to save big.

°Have a plan B. As the old saying goes, you can’t always get what you want. Take some of the stress out of the holidays by having a fallback option for gift ideas for your loved ones.

°Watch out for identity theft. Report any lost or stolen cards to the card issuer immediately. To reduce the risk of getting scammed by a card skimmer, take advantage of BancorpSouth’s mobile wallet. Paying with your phone where available reduces how often you need to pull out plastic. Learn more about keeping your information secure.

°Don’t advertise you’re not home. Home robberies rise in the holiday season. Would-be burglars utilize social media check-ins as a way to figure out who’s at home and who’s not. Don’t advertise that your house may be left unattended by checking in on social media to places you visit.

°Consider staying home. There’s nothing wrong with skipping the frenzy to spend more time with the ones you love. What is your time worth? Sometimes it’s worth paying a premium for the convenience of avoiding the holiday madness.

Whether you live for the excitement or loathe the crush of holiday shopping, you’ll have a better Friday by following these tips.