Margaret Verow Goldstein
Hometown: East Setauket
How long have you been shopping on Black Friday? I have been shopping on Black Friday since I was a teenager. I grew up behind Roosevelt Field Mall and came from a family of 10 children. We Verows always had to stretch a buck.
What is your Black Friday mantra? "Never pay full price!"
Describe your Black Friday 2013 plans. Believe it or not, due to all of the early sales by the major retailers, I am almost finished with my shopping, but I will still venture out for a bargain. I tentatively plan on hitting the big box stores-- Best Buy, Target, Walmart, and, of course, a shopping mall. I will be shopping with my cohort in crime, my dear friend and fellow widow, Yaffa Steggman.
What is the best Black Friday deal you've ever scored? The best deal I ever got was purchasing multiple iPads for my large family with $50 knocked off the base price of each, free engraving and zero percent financing for two years, all compliments of Apple.
What is your budget this year? Approximately $2,000
Who and what are you shopping for? I will be shopping for my two daughters, ages 21 and 19, various relatives, friends and also "adopted families" from St. James Church Daily Bread. I will definitely be purchasing a new iPad, possibly a cell phone, jewelry, clothing and maybe household appliances.
What is your shopping strategy, and how do you prepare for Black Friday? My shopping strategy has been to download the mobile apps for all of the stores I plan on shopping in. I also subscribe to the websites gottadeal.com, retailmenot.com, zulily.com, woot.com, thegrommet.com, thatdailydeal.com and American Express' new insider deals, vente-privee.com. I have also been asking my favorite retailers if they are offering any special savings on Thanksgiving night or on Black Friday.
What tips do you have for others trying to score deals on Black Friday? Do your research. If you are looking for one particular expensive item, know that stores like Target will match the price from a competitor. Also know that active military personnel, teachers, students and members of unions can get additional discounts on top of Black Friday sales. Google your favorite stores to see if they offer specific discounts to your profession or status. In addition, as I learned from my late husband David, when purchasing luxurious items such as fine jewelry or watches, you can always negotiate additional discounts on top of the sales price, no matter if it is a major department store or a small jewelry store. Luxury items are mostly sold by the staff on a commission basis and there is usually a little more wiggle room in the final sale. Remember it never hurts to ask, "Is that your lowest price?"
What are some common mistakes to avoid on Black Friday? A big mistake people make is to not spend the time studying the ads prior to shopping. For example, if Best Buy is offering a $600 TV at $300 and they only have 25 per store, then that TV has to be your No. 1 goal and you will have to stake out the store to score that product. Other common mistakes are not shopping with store coupons like Macy's and Bed Bath & Beyond, who offer 20 percent off coupons.