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Why Should You Care About Black Friday?

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BLACK FRIDAY 2011
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Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Mega Monday, Manic Monday. Why is there a need to amp up the shopping pressure by putting a label on a day when you (and a few million others) panic and realise that Christmas is around the corner and you've barely given thought to what you'll wear to the office Christmas party? Also why should we, well across the Atlantic, concern ourselves with a dire sounding shopping day that follows a day of stuffing yourselves with food? (although not a bad idea to have a holiday about eating).

Well, if you can take a deep breath and focus, there is definitely something in it for you. The retail industry is notorious for labeling shopping 'events' and the idea of using certain days as a barometer for economic health, is not new. It's a lot of noise though. But ultimately it's all about incentivising the public to shop. While I do personally enjoy the lights, sounds, and the bustle of the High Street at Christmas, some of the best deals can be found these days online. And if you are really savvy you can take advantage of the post-Thanksgiving deals as well.

Here are some tips on how to make the most of it! Look for retailers that ship from the US. Why get left out of the Black Friday fun? So many US retailers ship globally these days that really anyone can take part in the fun. On ShopStyle we aggregate products from a number of US retailers such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdales, and Barney's New York. What you'll find appealing about these retailer are the long lists of gift ideas that can be quite unique from what's available at home. You can also shop their sale items and, in some cases, they are offering shipping deals as well (for instance Saks is offering flat rate shipping of $9.99 to the UK) but do make sure you pay attention to the customs & duties owed. A lot of US based sites work that into the price and make it clear, but don't get too excited about the cost savings until you've figured tax in.

Scour the web for exclusive codes. Retailers have become so savvy and their online advertising so extensive that they offer a long list of codes to different partners. From blogs and coupon sites to sites like ours, you can often find exclusive deals. Start a spread sheet and pop in all of the codes, the expiry date and what gifts you'd like to use them for. You can definitely use Black Friday to your advantage and perhaps it won't be such a dark day after all! Happy shopping.

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