How to Get the Most out of Black Friday Shopping

by Sara Seeger 24. November 2014

Black Friday

Black Friday has been known as the official “kick-off” for the holiday shopping season. It is a good time to shop for gifts for people for the holidays, or to get a great deal on that big ticket item you’ve been wanting all year. Even though retailers have begun airing holiday deals earlier and earlier each year (this year they started in September!), consumers can still receive plenty of savings on items they want during Black Friday.

If you are someone who is planning to venture out into the crowds during Black Friday, follow our tips to get the most out of your Black Friday shopping experience.

Spend Some Time Researching

It is important to check consumer reports and read customer reviews of items before you purchase. The product may have a low price tag, but if the product has poor customer reviews, it may not be such a good deal. Be sure to research different brands and models for a quality product before standing in line.

Browse the Deals Ahead of Time

It's a good idea to browse deals before you head off to shop. Many deals are advertised on TV and also online to give consumers an idea of what items will be on sale and where to find those items. Browsing the deals ahead of time will help determine where you should go, assist with budgeting, and aid in allowing you to see who you have to shop for.

Tip: Create a plan of action before you head off to shop on Black Friday. As you are browsing for deals, it is a good idea to create a list of people to shop for. Next to each name, write the product you want to purchase for them, the price of that product, the store/location where you can find the product, and also include any special hours for the sale.

Compare Prices

After you investigate which retailers sell the items you wish to purchase, compare their prices to ensure you are getting the best deal. Many stores will offer the same product, but it is prudent to examine what each store is offering. Some stores will offer “add-ons” when certain products are purchased, such as extra accessories or a store gift card. “Bundle” packages are also a favorite offering on Black Friday. Take the time to see what is included with each product to determine if the deal is really worth it or not.

Are You an Early Bird?

Many stores will advertise early bird specials and door busters, usually before 10 a.m., to help draw in the crowd that likes getting up early. Many early bird specials will begin at 4 a.m. and there is a limited quantity, so if you are interested in an early bird special, ensure you get to the store early. Many times, once these deals are gone, they’re really gone.

Don’t Forget Cyber Monday

If you aren’t into getting up early, limited parking, and crowds, don’t worry! You can enjoy deals right in the comfort of your own home. Some retailers offer deals on Black Friday online, but the majority of stores partake in “Cyber Monday” which is the Monday after Thanksgiving.

Whether you are preparing to hit the stores on Black Friday, or are more comfortable shopping online, there are bound to be many great deals this holiday season. Happy shopping!

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Happy Thanksgiving from the 1st Mariner Team

by Stacy Tharp 20. November 2014

It's here. The moment you have been waiting for for the past 365 days. The 2014 1st Mariner Thanksgiving Video message. What could be better? Click below for 4 minutes of some good entertaining footage of your favorite local banking team. Enjoy the video, and enjoy your Turkey Day!

The Importance of Reviewing Your Beneficiaries

by Marylove Moy 19. November 2014


September was Life Insurance Awareness Month but in my mind every month is an awareness month! My time spent in the Financial Services world has taught me many things; one lesson that I learned from clients is the importance of reviewing one’s beneficiary designations on personal documents, investments, retirement plans and insurance.

I know of one individual who was married and divorced at a young age. She was a teacher in a local high school who remarried in her early thirties. Fast forward 30 years when she tragically passed away in an automobile accident. It was determined that her ex-husband of her brief early marriage was the recipient of her retirement plan (over $1,000,000) because she never updated her beneficiary forms!

I encourage everyone to commit to review their designations. These decisions can be complicated because of many factors such as estate tax laws, Social Security and Medicaid eligibility to name a few. It is always wise in an important financial decision to consult with a trusted attorney, accountant, knowledgeable family member or friend or a financial advisor.

The LPL Financial Advisors at 1st Mariner Financial Services would be happy to review your beneficiary papers with you. We work very closely with knowledgeable outside estate attorneys to help you access the advice you need. Please take the time to go over your designations; your loved ones are too important to leave their future to chance.

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