When to Skip Black Friday: 6 Things to Buy on Small Business Saturday Instead
Black Friday is obviously an awesome time to score fantastic deals on lots of products. But that doesn’t mean it’s the best day to buy everything on your list.
Some items just aren’t discounted that well on Black Friday. While you probably want to get your new TV or computer on Friday, smaller gift items like clothing, accessories and crafts are typically excluded from newsworthy sales.
If you’re not getting a doorbuster deal at a big box retailer on Black Friday, why not wait until Small Business Saturday and support your local stores?
Small Business Saturday is the day after Black Friday. It celebrates locally-owned small businesses, giving you an opportunity to grab something unique at a better price than you might see during the year.
These businesses ride the coattails of Black Friday shopping excitement. Smaller stores usually can’t compete with the mega-discounts at major retailers, so they have their own “holiday” for special deals.
If these items are on your holiday shopping list, skip buying them on Black Friday. Instead, check your local stores for deals on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
Big items may be too cumbersome to haul in your car on Black Friday. They could also be too expensive to ship if you buy them online on Cyber Monday.
Visit a local retailer Saturday, take the delivery option, and save the hassle and expense of getting it home. Keep this in mind for appliances and other large items, too.
Discounts on clothing and accessories are historically underwhelming on Black Friday. Because the price of clothing seems cheap relative to the TV you’re picking up, you might be tempted to add it to your cart.
Resist the urge!
Small businesses are perfect for finding unique artisan clothing, jewelry and other accessories. Take advantage of Small Business Saturday to get these at affordable prices.
3. Crafts and Decorations
Saturday morning is the perfect time to stop by a local arts market or craft fair! These are scattered with booths and tables from local businesses, individual artists and crafters.
Whether shopping for the holidays or general home decor, unusual hand-made items are way more interesting than mass-produced goods.
Local artisans begin holiday sales this weekend alongside other retailers. Check them out before settling for something mediocre from a chain store.
4. Baked Goods and Treats
Doesn’t reading this get you excited for a holiday dinner? (Maybe I’m just hungry.) Thanksgiving weekend kicks off the holiday season, and your local bakery is also getting ready for winter holiday celebrations.
Apples Bakery in Peoria, Illinois used to have minimal traffic the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Why visit a bakery when your refrigerator’s still stuffed with leftovers?
The bakery now offers a pre-holiday sale with 20% off certain treats so customers can stock their pantries for the holidays.
The discount allows the bakery to join the small business celebration and gives customers a practical reason to shop local.
Don’t overlook your local bakeries. Small Business Saturday discounts and promotions make this a perfect day to stock up on holiday candies, cookies and other treats!
5. Location-Specific Gifts
I relocated to Florida for work in 2015, leaving family in Wisconsin and friends scattered around the country. I’m always keeping an eye out for special gifts to celebrate my new home and help everyone remember me after the holidays!
Some things you just can’t get from chain stores. Look for Small Business Saturday deals on items you can only find where you live. These make awesome gifts for faraway family and friends.
6. Thrift Store Finds
Local thrift store deals vary by location, even for national chains. But I've found several Salvation Army and St. Vincent de Paul stores participating in SBS in recent years.
Look into local chapters of chain stores and your town’s locally-owned second-hand shops. They’re in the retail business, so they’ll likely be jumping on the sales bandwagon this weekend!
Bonus Tip: Be a Picky Shopper
If you really want to get the best deals, don’t get swept up in the excitement of Black Friday. Create your budget and shopping list ahead of time, and choose your stores wisely.
Avoid buying something just because it’s on sale. Do your research before you shop and you’ll know whether a deal is really what it seems.
If it’s not, look into the above alternatives to ensure you’re always getting the best bang for your buck.
Your Turn: What are your local businesses offering on Small Business Saturday? Will you Shop Local that day?
Dana Sitar (@danasitar) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s written for Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, Writer’s Digest and more. She’ll probably spend Black Friday working on an elusive essay and eating ALL the leftover green bean casserole.