Black Friday Tips: Interview with Barbara Stewart

Barbara Stewart is interviewed by KHOU, local CBS affiliate

Are you ready for Black Friday? Retailing and Consumer Science professor Dr. Barbara Stewart shared her insider tips on KHOU recently.

The contents below are adapted from the interview transcript.

KHOU: How do you find the best deals to really save money?
Stewart: I think you have to prepare ahead of time. You need to know what your product is, you need to have budget. If you have multiple products, you can go online, go to stores, pre-shop, know the features you want and the retailer you're going to, have a plot planned, know which store you want to visit, and maybe even the layout of the store.

KHOU: Where can you typically find the best deals? What kind of products will give you the most bang for your buck?
Stewart: Well, they're hyping a lot of the consumer electronics, but that may not be the only place to find them.

KHOU: What else would you recommend? Did you say plotting out the layout of the store?
Stewart: Yes, even the lay out of the store; it saves time. I would also recommend shopping with a friend so you can tag team. Somebody can stand in line, and somebody can seek the merchandise.

KHOU: This is serious business!
Stewart: It is serious business. It is both economic and it's a social enterprise.

KHOU: And you've studied it for a while now. Do you have any funny stories for us?
Stewart: I do, actually. The most prepared consumer I ever saw was shopping for apparel, and she showed up at the store in athletic shoes and a bathing suit, she wore trench coat over the top of that, and she wasn't standing in any dressing room lines. She kept modesty, and she was a retail winner.

KHOU: Wow. Just peeled off the trench coat to try things on there in the aisle.
Stewart: Yes, she just peeled it off, in full view, in the aisle.

KHOU: Unbelievable.
Stewart: She was serious.

KHOU: That's body confidence, seriously.
Stewart: [Laughs]

KHOU: The door busters: if you are first in line, is it worth it?
Stewart: If it is a product that you really want, and you saved for it and compared prices, maybe it is, but there is always a trade off between time and money.

KHOU: Before we go, exactly how do you do your homework properly for Black Friday?
Stewart: Go online, know what you want, know what your budget will hold, and do a comparison. You can do it on the retailer sites and on sites that do cross-comparisons.

KHOU: So you're not going in the store unprepared.
Stewart: It's not a day for wandering around. There are too many people.