Black Friday: Tips for Surviving & Saving

by Beth Montgomery on November 8, 2010

in Holidays, Tips & Basics

Black Friday

Those wonderful Black Friday Deals I told you about are on their way.   Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year!   If you’ve never been before, it can be overwhelming and it’s even stressful for us old pros.   But, is it worth it?   It can be.   Like with all sales, Black Friday has it’s ups and downs.

Packed stores, slashed prices, mass chaos, crazy shoppers, full parking lots, insane hours.   It’s all part of Black Friday.   Here are my tips for surviving and saving on Black Friday!

Note: Black Friday is Friday, November 25, 2010, followed by Cyber Monday on Monday, November 28, 2010.

Make a List. Black Friday can be a rush.   You’re flying from store to store, the aisles are littered with enticing products, and everyone is grabbing stuff off the shelf.   It can be hard to even think in these conditions, so make sure you don’t have to!   Sit down before Black Friday (like now) and start making a list of everyone you have to buy for, along with ideas of what you’d like to buy them.   Also, research regular prices for these items and jot them down on your list, so you know what is really on sale.

Devise a Plan of Attack. To make the most out of Black Friday, be organized!   Read those circulars cover to cover to know when doors open, any special sales notes (for example, some stores offer and extra 10% off for shopping before a certain time), and what you’d like to buy at each store.   Try to buy as much as you can in as few stores as possible, so save yourself from running all over town.   Now, map out a route, taking into consideration when stores open and what is most important on your list.

Bust the Doors. If you are really going to shop Black Friday, then you are REALLY going to have to get up early.   Lines form outside some stores before it’s light outside, so if there is something big that you really want inside that store, you’d better be there too.

The Look. Here’s an embarrassing secret.   The night before Black Friday, I take a shower, pick out comfortable clothes, set shoes on my dresser, and go to bed.   Then my alarm clock goes off at a time that shouldn’t even exist, I put those shoes on, brush my teeth, put my hair in a ponytail and go.   No one is looking at you.   They are looking at the sales, so be comfortable.   Dress light, so you don’t over heat.   Wear comfortable shoes.   Carry the circular, a calculator, your plan of attack, and a that all important list I had you make.

Shop Alone. Many will tell you that the buddy system is the way to go, but I don’t believe it.   In my opinion, the buddy system will slow you down, since you’ll have to wait for someone else.   To get in and out of stores with everything on your list, leave the family and friends at home to brag to later and head out alone.   If you have to bring a friend, tag team your list and make sure you’re really helping each other.   Yes, it’s less fun, but it is more efficient.

Be Patient. You are going to wait in line.   You’re going to wait in lines to get into stores, you’re going to wait in line to get down aisles, you’re going to wait in line to check out, and you’re going to wait in line in the parking lot.   So, take a deep breath and accept it.   Then, take a page from my book, and talk to everyone in line with you.     It makes time go faster and you may make a new friend.

Hide Inside & Shop Online. Want another great secret?   98% of Black Friday sales are happening online too!   So, if you don’t want to wade through crowds of shoppers and get up so early that even coffee won’t help, don’t.   Just hit your computer and check out the same or similar sales online.   And, don’t forget.   After Black Friday comes Cyber Monday, which is like the equivalent of Black Friday online.

Keep Proof! When you get home, sit down and wade through what you bought.   Hopefully, you were smart, buying from your list and didn’t get so caught up, you ended up with more than you know what to do with.   However, keep your receipts and gift receipts just in case you have buyers remorse or someone you bought for needs to make a return.

Will you be hitting the stores this Black Friday or hiding in bed?

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