The number one thing most people look forward to during the Thanksgiving weekend is always the highly anticipated Black Friday. I’m a frequent shopper and I’ve been attending Black Friday for about 5 years now. After every year, I always say to myself, “Man I wish I could have done that instead of…” so behold! Here is my tips on how to shop better on Black Friday.
Pick your store. This is your first assignment. Choose wisely. I understand that you can’t be in ten places at once so you have to choose the store that has either, the best deal or multiple deals. Check online for more Black Friday deals. They can only put so much into one 30 page ad. Be sure to ask employees if there are any other deals.
Be prepared. When I mean be prepared, I mean it! For the electronic and toy stores, you’re looking at a minimum 7 hours for a weight time. Last Thanksgiving, I completely skipped out on the dinner feast just so I could wait in line at 4:00 p.m. for a store that would open at 5:00 a.m. It was brutal. So what did I do to pass the time? I brought a comfy blanket and pillow so I could sleep most of the hours away. For the hours that I was actually awake, I brought my textbooks, highlighter and book light so I could study. Now when I was really bored, I even brought out the board games. Yes, I played games like Monopoly and Sorry! with fellow people who were also waiting in line. When you want time alone, bring your IPod or Zune. Anything that helps pass time faster is strongly recommended. It’s just minutes closer to the open doors!
Don’t bring excess baggage. This is more of a tip for all you ladies who lug around your huge bags. Leave the huge bags at home! The bag I usually shop with is a small messenger-style bag or a cross-body bag. You don’t have to hold on to anything, its easy, lightweight and won’t get into the way of things. I don’t advise bringing children but I’ve seen it done before. Taking around shopping carts with your children or even pushing around strollers will not only slow you down but the people without children will be grabbing onto things you’ve waited in line for! Make sure you travel light! This will help you in the long run.
Know EXACTLY what you’re going to buy. Retailers are generous enough to give you the Black Friday ads ahead of time. Scope through the ads and see what you like. A week before or the week of Black Friday, visit the store of your choice and see where that exact item is. It will help you save time when it comes to the day of. If you don’t see where the item is in the store, or at least the section then you’ll lose time by searching for it. It may be gone by the time you get to the item so search early!
Optimize your game plan. Sure, you’re just one person but can you really carry the Strawberry Shortcake play set, Hello Kitty plush bear, Blu-Ray player and that awesome entertainment center? Chances are, no. Bring people with you who would be willing to help you get the things you want. I learned about Black Friday with my mom who would give me a list of things and treat it like a “scavenger hunt.” I helped my mom out tremendously just by joining her in the Black Friday festivities.
Rush the payment method. Not everyone enjoys standing in lines when it comes to purchasing, especially after you waited hours on end to get into the store. Don’t write checks. I’ve seen it happen plenty of times. Anyone who brings out a check book will automatically get the evil eye. You’re holding up the line and causing more traffic in the aisles of the store. Use a debit card and make sure there’s money. I once stood behind a lady who kept insisting to swipe her card when it consistently kept getting denied. If you don’t have money, don’t shop! Paying cash is always optimal as long as you have the big bills, not necessarily the Benjamin’s but more than just a huge wad of $1’s.
Be courteous to the employees. This sounds easy but this should be at the top of your list. I remember when a customer was screaming and shouting at an employee to check the back for a popular Xbox gaming system that just came out. The screams from this customer could probably be heard from all the way downstairs. I wanted that same exact gaming system so when I politely and kindly asked the same employee if they possibly had it anywhere else in the store or if they could put it on hold at a different location. The same employee notified me that he had a stock of them in the back and asked me how many of them I needed. I was in shock but yes, this really happened. The nicer you are to the employees, the more willing they’ll want to help you. Doing something as simple as being nice can help you in the long run.
So there you have it! Hopefully Black Friday shoppers can benefit from my experiences and have a memorable Black Friday!
For Black Friday deals, be sure to check out: http://www.theblackfriday.com/