Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is a day for all those who love a good deal to go crazy shopping for the upcoming holidays. Whether you do your Black Friday shopping in person or from the comfort of your own computer, there are hazards to be dealt with. Surviving the day is no easy feat, but it can be very rewarding if you do.
Black Friday used to begin it’s festivities at midnight on Thanksgiving, however, recently the opening hours have gotten earlier and earlier. Many stores will open at dinner time on Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday has started happening before Thanksgiving until the Monday after. Actually, I think this year might have been the earliest I have seen it start: I received a Black Friday email on November 1st, telling me that the sales are starting.
With the craziness surrounding this unofficial “holiday,” it is helpful to have some tips to guide us through it. From my experience dealing with the intensity of shopping in person and online for Black Friday, here is what I have to share:
If certain stores open at different times, make sure you know when that is. Having a conceptualization for when places open and might be the most crowded might help you plan for what stores you go in person versus order online.
2) Knowing the deals
A lot of places will advertise what the sales will be before the day of. Familiarize yourself with them so that you know exactly what you will be going for. This will also help you stay within your budget of what you are able to spend. Going in willy nilly might run up your bill or you might find something is cheaper one place than another and you already bought it for the more expensive price.
3) Make a list
If there are specific things that would want or need, write them down! It is nearly impossible to remember everything so be sure to keep track of them on a piece of paper. For the day of, also organize the list so that everything from each store you wish to buy from is in one section. Having a list with a mix of items from different stores might get confusing and you might lose track of which item is from which place. If you are ordering online, try making an account and adding things to the cart in advance. That way, the items you need will be waiting for you for when the deals start.
4) Map of stores
This one really only applies if you are doing in person shopping. Most likely, you have visited the stores you are going to before Black Friday, but if you have not, you might want to visit the store to get the layout. If there is a really spectacular deal on an item you need, you gotta know how to get right to the spot it is at for when the store opens.
5) Plan of attack
Should you go out Black Friday shopping to fight through the throngs of people, be sure to look at a map and go to places in an order that makes sense. You do not want to go to one place, drive ten miles to the second place, then backtrack five miles; it is a waste of time and energy. If you are staying in and ordering online, you should prioritize which sites are most important. The influx of users at once might crash servers so ordering the top priority things is important.
Overall, preparation is the key to getting through Black Friday (relatively) unscathed. Understanding what you are getting into if you are going shopping in person is important, as well as gathering your patience and expecting the worst online. Between physical crowds and technological congestion, the shopping experience is not easy to handle. Good luck with your shopping and may the odds be ever in your favor.