Black Friday Shopping Tips
The day after Thanksgiving is commonly known as Black Friday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year. Stores will release enticing ads to lure the hordes of shoppers who are chomping at the bit to get the best deals.
If you're one of those brave souls who plan on setting your alarm and venturing out into the wee hours of the morning to fight the crowds, there are several things you can do to not only survive Black Friday, but have fun as well.
First of all, if you value your sanity or are somewhat frail, consider staying home and leaving the chaos to others. Many are simply content to choose less hectic days to go Christmas shopping, sales or not. Weather may play a part in the retailers' success, but just how may people will be out and about is difficult to determine. Don't count on avid shoppers staying in bed if the snow is flying and winds brisk.
Peruse the ads carefully and devise a plan of action. Be sure to read the small print because some sales may only apply to certain hours of the morning or day. You will need to set your priorities and make a schedule. Sometimes you will be forced to sacrifice one thing for another because you can't be two places at once. In that situation, consider the price and availability of the items lest you make a wrong decision and end up with neither. Furthermore, lists are crucial. The more orderly the lists, the more likely you are to get the goods.
Check It Out
All's fair when it comes to getting the next hot gadget or gift. If you want a bit of an edge, check out the stores in advance to find out where the items in the ads are located. Sometimes though, stores will keep the most wanted items in the back to prevent people from hiding them the night before, then returning to retrieve them when the Black Friday sale is on. Still, you can get a general idea if you know where similar items are located. Also, take a look at the end caps because they're prime areas for sale items. Ones that are being cleared will soon have new merchandise.
Buddy System or Solo
Taking a friend has it's benefits but sometimes it can be a hindrance. You will need to decide if it's more important to have a buddy to talk to in the lines or perhaps choose the first store. If you do go with a friend, make sure have the same agenda! Once you're out, cell phones are handy for communicating provided that you have a signal inside the store. Regardless, it's wise to have a meeting place to reconnect and prepare to move on to the next store.
Lines, lines, and more lines. Consider yourself out in the wilderness. You will need a means for survival. Take a purse or handbag that is comfortable to carry but a bit larger than average. This will allow you to take along some acetaminophen, a bottle of water and something to eat.
The bottle of water doesn't need to be full, just have enough in it to quench your thirst (you do not want to take frequent bathroom breaks.) A candy, breakfast, or granola bar will give you a burst of energy and sustain you until lunch. Getting up early enough to have breakfast before you leave the house is a wise strategy to ward off hunger and crankiness.
You can beat the crowds altogether by buying gifts online. Cyber Monday is typically a big shopping day online right after Black Friday, however, there are also great deals the weekend before. Check the home pages of your favorite Internet stores for ads and look for coupons offering savings. Shopping early gives plenty of time for the items to arrive and many stores will give you free or discounted shipping.