Black Friday doesn’t celebrate a historic event. Indeed, the day after Thanksgiving marks the official start of the holiday shopping season and is now a day famous for major sales and a flood of newsletters and fliers. However, the origins of this “holiday” are up for debate. One story dates back to the year 1869 when a financier named Jay Gould and his colleague, Jim Fisk, bought as much gold as they could on the American market. They were hoping their rush on gold would cause prices to soar so they could sell it back for a profit. However, their plan backfired, and the markets collapsed. The day was remembered as a dark one and, thus, dubbed Black Friday. The first mention of Black Friday as the day after Thanksgiving wouldn’t appear until 1961 when police in Philadelphia and Rochester used it to refer to the heavy car and pedestrian traffic associated with the rush of holiday shoppers.
Below, you’ll find 10 tips to help you avoid the shopping madness that is Black Friday.
Tip 1: Every Successful Mission Requires Planning
“I love it when a plan comes together!” Colonel John “Hannibal” Smith often utters this line at the end of successful A-Team missions. A successful shopping adventure takes a lot of planning, too! For example, don’t forget to create an account before you start shopping online. While this may seem like an easy step, you still have to consider the time it will take to enter your payment information (credit card number, PayPal account, etc.) and other documentation. You don’t want to see someone else get their hands on that Rolex Submariner from your birth year because you were still searching for some documents. Take a few days or even weeks (if you can) before making a purchase to track and compare the prices of your dream watch. The Notepad and price alarm functions on Chrono24 are useful tracking tools. Likewise, saved searches make it easier to find new listings that match your search criteria. Subscribing to the newsletter also gives you a decisive advantage in terms of information.
Tip 2: Include Blogs and Social Media in Your Research
Follow your favorite brands and retailers on Instagram and Facebook to stay informed about any upcoming offers. What’s more, there’s no better inspiration than scrolling through #wristshots or photos tagged with #Chrono24. Already have your heart set on a watch? Then it’s time to head over to blogs and magazines like this one to find out more about the object of your desire. Start by reading our articles about different models.
Tip 3: Some Prices Are Too Good to Be True
Many shopaholics wait for Black Friday to find the very best deals. However, it’s best to approach sales with caution, as most bargain prices come with a reason that can leave the buyer disappointed. An experienced and professional dealer will have researched their competitors’ prices and know exactly what their product is worth. Therefore, take a closer look, ask questions, and don’t be blinded by impossibly low prices. Find out if there’s a plausible reason for the price reduction. Compare prices (paying attention to details like the box, papers, and whether the watch has been serviced) and always be skeptical if it sounds too good to be true. Chrono24’s Watch Collection tool can also provide you with a good sense of a watch’s market value.
Tip 4: Shop from Your Couch
Everyone agrees it’s worth putting a lot of time into the search for your dream watch and, if necessary, to fight for it – figuratively speaking, of course. You’re not going to find any luxury watches in a bargain bin. The number of dealers in your area is likely as limited as your time. These are great reasons to take advantage of the internet and browse and compare listings from around the world on Chrono24. Take a seat, break out your tablet or smartphone, and explore a vast array of listings. In fact, Chrono24 even has a Virtual Showroom, which allows you to try on various models virtually. The internet’s pretty great, isn’t it?
Tip 5: Not Every Price Is Final
It’s hard to avoid the topic of price! You’ll often come across prices that, upon closer inspection, are less attractive than they first appear. This is frequently a result of shipping costs, which aren’t always indicated by every dealer for every destination country. Be sure to contact the dealer and ask about the cost of shipping to your location. Ideally, the shipment will be insured for its full value. Make sure you also take possible customs duties and import fees into consideration. If you’re buying a watch from within your own country or customs union, this will likely not apply to you. However, know that savings from buying outside your customs union may disappear once shipping and customs fees are added. You can usually find all the necessary information in the FAQ section of the seller’s general terms and conditions. A small tip: Some dealers are more open to making generous deals on Black Friday and other busy retail days. Make it clear that you have a fixed budget, and express serious interest. Be sure to check market prices in advance as a guide for making a realistic offer.
Tip 6: Take the Payment Process Seriously
Avoid complications by taking the time to carefully consider which payment method is best for you. Credit cards and PayPal are easily the most popular options. That being said, paying via an escrow account is even more secure. For example, using Chrono24’s free Trusted Checkout service to process your payment means the dealer only receives your money after you have confirmed receipt of the watch. Don’t be forced into accepting a payment method that doesn’t feel right to you, and always make sure to read the terms and conditions closely in advance.
Tip 7: Set a Budget and Stick to It
It may be difficult, but it’s important to set yourself a clear budget and stick to it! It doesn’t have to be down to the last cent, but having a small price range in mind makes narrowing down your search even easier. There is nothing more exciting than finding the perfect offer within your budget.
Tip 8: Buy a Classic
Every year (well, maybe not this year), you have to go digging deep in your closet to find that one ugly Hawaiian shirt to wear to your friend’s annual bad taste party. In fact, it’s the only time that shirt sees the light of day. Then there’s your gray cashmere sweater – it’s the kind of thing you could wear every day. This same situation also plays out in the world of luxury watches. Avoid making trendy purchases, and instead, choose a timeless classic. While watches with green dials may be all the rage this year, the iconic Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional with a black dial will always be in style. This is especially important if you’re not looking to add to your existing collection but rather are searching for a watch you could wear every day.
Tip 9: Keep Your Collection in Mind
Don’t let enticing offers distract you from your collection. Keep asking yourself which holes in your collection need filling. For example, do you already own a diving watch, pilot’s watch, and sailing watch, but tend to spend your weekends in your classic car instead of a wetsuit? Then perhaps it’s time you got a sporty chronograph rather than another diving watch. Taking a close look at your current collection to see what kind of watch would make the best investment will help you avoid the dangers and disappointment of an impulse purchase.
Tip 10: Make No Exceptions
Many people are afraid of missing out on a deal, especially during peak shopping season. This fear often causes us to throw our budgets, preferences, and expectations out the window. The design, watch size, and brand image are what typically draw us to our timepieces. Remember: There will always be another major sale. For example, if you know that 38 mm is the perfect size for your wrist, but the 42-mm version of the Zenith El Primero is the only watch included in the current sale, don’t rush to make a purchase. Wait for the next opportunity – your wrist will thank you.