Black Friday Shopping Tips
As the annual day of Retail Gluttony aka Black Friday, descends upon us, I’d like to offer a few Black Friday shopping tips, hints and strategies:
• Check the Coupons, Deals and More Black Friday 2014 page for best Black Friday deals, store times, tips and hint!
• Research, research, research. Not only search the Black Friday store ads to see who has the best deals on what you seek, but research the normal selling price. You want to make sure that Black Friday “deal” really is a worth rolling out of bed for.
• Interested in a doorbuster? See if the ad states the minimum per store. If you want a fantastic doorbuster at Macy’s and they only have 3-5 per store, plan on getting in-line somewhere around 9 pm on Thanksgiving. Seriously. And count when you get in-line. If you are #20 and there are only 3 of the doorbuster you want available per store – well you can ask your fellow deal-hunters if they are there for the same item, or you can assume they are and leave for another store to make better use of your time.
• Plan for the elements. Rain? Have an umbrella. A lawn chair makes for a more comfortable wait than the cement. Cold? A stadium blanket will help. I know it is essential to have hot beverages and maybe a snack bar or turkey sandwich, but know where the nearest restroom is as you’ll definitely have to use it after drinking coffee in the cold for 10 hours.
• Shop with a buddy. When waiting in line for 8 hours it is nice to have a lawn chair. Well someone has to return said lawn chair to the car before the store opens, and someone has to be the line placeholder. You do one, the buddy does the other. You (or your buddy) can also stand in line as some stores wrap around the store *cough*kohl’s*cough* so the second person serves as a placeholder while the first person gathers goods.
• Be safe. Bring your buddy, and leave the cash at home. It is much better to use plastic on Black Friday than to carry around a wad of bills. You can pay your credit card immediately if it makes you feel better, but a simple call to the credit card company cancels a stolen card. If your cash is stolen, it is gone.
• Make a list. Write down which stores have which sales and make a route. And most importantly, stick to the items on your list. Sure there are pretty sparkly things hanging at every store, but unless those sparkly things are price slashed 99%, walk on by. List deviation can quickly break the bank! And have the ad on-hand. Just because there is a sign-up doesn’t mean it will scan correctly.
• Have a Plan B. The line at WalMart three thousand people deep? Adjust and make your way to Kohl’s instead (hubby and I are great Plan B Black Friday people – I’m never willing to wait in line 8 hours, we’ll actually cruise by the stores, look at the lines and at that point make a decision as to whether or not we have any chance of getting what we came for).
• Bring your coupons, both retail and manufacturer.
• Watch the registers. As mentioned above items do not always scan correctly. Having the ad in-hand, and watching the register as it rings up with help to make certain you are not overpaying.
• Check your bag and CRT before you leave the store. Make certain all of your purchases are in your shopping bag, and even though you closely watched the register, double checking your CRT for correct prices cannot hurt.
• If you get tired or stressed, leave. I can’t emphasize this enough. When people get tired they make mistakes, and high stress makes the shopping experience no fun at all.
• If you can stand the insanity of WalMart (I could not) you may want to price match all in one place. Just confirm the rules – exact item, no “shopper’s card deals”, etc and check your WalMart on Wednesday to be certain they actually carry what you plan on price matching.
• Have fun! I know this one is easier said than done, but get chatty with the folks in line, smile at the cashier who is wondering wth is so special that couldn’t wait for 8am to be purchased, and make a game of the sales – in other words, just like any other time you shop the deals, but this day you have more company – and competition.
• And my personal Black Friday tip!? Shop online!
So what are your Black Friday Shopping Tips and Hints?
Disclosure: the links in this post may be affiliate links