Depending on your perspective, Black Friday has become a veritable holiday unto itself: a paean to American capitalism and the joy of deal hunting. Or, you know, a cultural dark spot that calls into question our country's materialism and conscience. As avid bargain hunters ourselves, we're split, and we figure if you absolutely, positively, have to brave the cold and chaos come this Friday, then you'd better make sure you come home with some bonafide deals. We consulted retail maven Tyler Thoreson, Gilt Groupe's VP of men's editorial and creative, who reminded us that, as a whole, the bargain-hunting process "is supposed to be fun. There are amazing deals to be had – you just need to know what you're doing." Here are his insider's tips on how to prep ahead of time, how to suss out deals on the fly, and how to prevent buyer's remorse on the big day.
Look for seasonal deals.
If you're out to get a deal on something for yourself, it pays to think in product cycles. Since fashion works a season ahead, for instance, it's already getting late for a lot of winter items. That means it's an opportunity to look for items that would be costly otherwise. Thoreson says in particular to keep an eye out for a solid pair of boots. "Whether technical and hiking-inspired, or a version of a dress shoe, like a brogue or wingtip pattern in a boot form, more and more guys are wearing boots with suits now," he says. As the season to buy winter-weather footwear is quickly coming to an end, that also means sellers will be looking to clear out inventory. "[Boots] can run you several hundred dollars at full price," Thoreson says, "so this is exactly the moment to be looking for a deal."
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