Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday Crazies - Some Tips

Yes, I admit that I am one of the crazies who heads out on Black Friday to face the hectic retail world. But I have never gotten stressed out, trampled, or left empty handed. Here are some tips on how I survive Black Friday:

1. Plan ahead. I always take a look at the circulars online to see what's on sale. Websites like: Black Friday Ads, Black Friday Info, and The Black Friday are great places to stalk. Another great way to find deals before Black Friday is to download a smart phone app like this one at the Apple App Store: TGI Black Friday. It sends you updates on deals as soon as they are available.

2. Map out your plan. Make a list of what you're looking for and which stores you need to go to. Staying organized helps! Last year I woke up at 5am to get to stores early and I didn't think it was that worth it, but then again, I didn't go for specific hot-ticket items. This year, I got to stores by 9am. There were still PLENTY of great sales. A lot of stores had 40-50% off your entire purchase until 11am, 12pm, or 1pm. Don't forget to add in time for waiting in line!

3. Be patient.  There are tons of people out, there's traffic, it's hard to park, long lines, and pushy people. Normally, I'm not the most patient person but I head out on Black Friday like it's a fun adventure. Calm, collected, and cool as a cucumber.

4. Dress appropriately. Wear layers. Who wants to carry around a bulky coat while searching through sales racks? Store temperatures vary and tons of bodies in small spaces = hot. And by wearing layers, you can try on clothes in front of a mirror without hitting lines for the fitting room. Wear a crossbody bag. So much easier for browsing!

5. Carry a snack. I'm not very nice if I'm hungry and a packed mall means a packed food court. I threw a granola bar in my purse and was home in time for a quiet lunch.

6. Look closely at the "deals". While at Target, I found a pair of boots that were on "sale" from $29.99 for $28. Really? Not quite a sale if you ask me. But the $189 TomTom I got for $89... worth it!

7. Shop online. Tons of stores offer the same deals online if you hate shopping crowds. This year Ebates had double the cash back for online purchases. Savings and money back? Perfection!

8. Pay it forward. Every year I buy a couple of $4 board games at Target and donate them to a toy drive. Whenever I leave a store & head to my car, I point it out to someone looking for a spot. Doing something small but nice for someone helps with the potential stress of the day. 

I had a good time shopping this Black Friday, I got some great gifts for my family members and a couple of things for myself. It'll hold me over until my favorite shopping day of the year: December 26th (so much better than Black Friday!)

What are your tips for surviving crazy shopping days? Did you find any great deals this year?

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