Black Friday 2018: 6 Editor-Approved Shopping Tips for Avoiding Buyer's Remorse

Black Friday and Cyber Monday can be overwhelming for even the most experienced shoppers, but don't worry: W's editors are here to help, with the best holiday shopping tips we've learned throughout the years. Here, 6 rules to remember for Black Friday 2018:

1. Have a Mission, and Stick With It

"Going Black Friday shopping with a bunch of ideas in your head instead of with a solid list of items to purchase is like going grocery shopping on an empty stomach," says Assistant Digital Editor Brooke Marine. "It's just not a good idea."

W’s Fashion Director Rickie De Sole agrees. “I had a bad habit at sample sales or on Black Friday of buying something I don’t really love just because it’s a ‘good deal,’” she explained. “In light of that, I find it’s always best to stick to the staples--buying that classic The Row knit that I can’t justify at full price, for example.”

Market and Accessories Director Nora Milch relates. “Unfortunately, my dad hasn’t discovered the joys of online shopping yet,” she explains. “Every Black Friday he drags me with him through the crowds and traffic to help him buy a new suit at Nordstrom. There’s nothing I hate more than a crowded store, but it has turned into a bit of a tradition that I’ve grown to enjoy.” This year, she’ll be on the lookout for a navy suit to update her father’s closet. Once the suit is in hand, the mission has been accomplished.

2. Buy Something You've Always Wanted

You won't have buyer's remorse if you buy a specific item that you've been after for a while. On Senior Digital Fashion Editor Caroline Grosso's list? Earrings from Sophie Buhai. “She makes the chicest minimal jewelry, but it is never boring. This Black Friday, I'll be searching Nordstrom.com. for her earrings as they have a great online selection of her pieces."

With this past week's snowstorm, buying a warm coat has finally become a priority for her as well. "I've had my eye on this faux fur coat from Tibi, which is selling out much faster than I expected! I'll be sure the snag it from Moda Operandi this weekend. Maybe a super chic blanket coat from Loewe that I've been coveting too....Either way I'll be happy. And warm, too."

Other editors are thinking about all the upcoming holiday parties they plan to attend, and the festive outfits required. "I've been on the hunt for a fringe leather skirt ever since I could remember," said Jenny Oliver, W's social media coordinator. "Come Black Friday, this intermixonline.com leather skirt will make my holiday dreams come true."

On the prowl for Black Friday specials. 'Paper Bag Princess,' photographed by Craig McDean, styled by Alex White, W Magazine September 2009.

Photographer: Craig McDean
Stylist: Alex White

3. Know When To Call It Quits

“One year, my dad and I went to a mall on Long Island at midnight to get a TV from Best Buy. We saw a huge line outside the store,” Taylor Ford, W’s Associate Director of Social Media, remembers. “We decided to just keep driving and we got pancakes instead.”

Ford is not the only editor to opt out of the midnight madness. Not a single item on Brooke Marine's list warrants wandering out into the fray, so she plans to relax at home on Black Friday. Instead of Netflix and chilling, Marine usually turns to Filmstruck, but sadly, "the classic film streaming service is shutting down this month, [however] Barnes & Noble is a good Cyber Monday destination for classic Criterion Collection films on blu-ray. Hint: Some Criterion Collection movies are already 50% off.

Don't shop 'til you drop this Black Friday. 'Paper Bag Princess,' photographed by Craig McDean and styled by Alex White, W Magazine September 2009.

Photographer: Craig McDean
Stylist: Alex White

4. Shop Small Business Saturday

“I always avoid going to big stores on Black Friday—stores are crowded, and it’s too difficult to avoid making regrettable impulse purchases,” says Sarah Leon, W’s Executive Digital Director. “Instead, I do my shopping on Small Business Saturday! A few years ago, I bought one of my favorite pieces—a vintage Dior trench—at Duo, a boutique in the East Village. Not only did I feel great about the fact that the coat was 30% off, but it was also nice to support an independently owned business.”

Associate Accessories Editor Lizzy Wholley will be in Connecticut this year for the Thanksgiving holiday, and she also will be supporting Small Business Saturday - even though this season the store at which she plans to shop is bidding farewell. "I've purchased these jeans from Found," she says, pointing to a dark denim wide-leg pair, "they have great home, kids stuff as well." Unfortunately, Found will be closing their doors, but if you happen to be near Manchester, Connecticut this week, it is worth doing a drive-by for a discount off all remaining products.

Keeping small businesses open is part of the reason why Grosso plans to shop in the New York City's Tribeca neighborhood this Small Business Saturday, to check out the new Alejandra Alonso Rojas store, and to pop into Foundrae, one of her favorite jewelry stores. “While you can purchase most of Foundrae's popular pieces on Farfetch, they now have a very special customization program only found in store. You can start with one of their enamel medallions or rings, and add initials, birthstones, dates, and other special symbols,” she explains, "they're truly special, and make for a perfect holiday gift."

5. Cyber Monday Often Starts Early

The truth is, Cyber Monday deals that were once reserved for those digital devotees who took to their computers early Monday morning. In 2018, chances are those online discounts, even if they are advertised as Cyber Monday, will start as early as Friday. "I'm already filling up my cart on the NARS website," says Associate Editor Andrea Park. "Almost everything on the site will be 20% off all weekend long, which means no-fail eyeshadow quads, cult-favorite blushes, and un-smudge-able lipsticks for all!"

6. Be Generous

Another way to avoid buyer’s remorse on Black Friday is to focus on others – it is, after all, the season of giving. “I once found a Balenciaga.com clutch for 50% off and bought one for my sister and my mother for Christmas,” de Sole adds. “But I ended up buying one for myself, too – so much for savings!”

*Check out the rest of our gift guides for all women, the best tech, and the most outrageous, over-the-top gifts you can possible give this season.

W may earn compensation on these sales through affiliate programs.