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Crisp morning air, huddling with strangers, tryptophan hangover? Must be Black Friday! Whether you live for it or sleep through it, we've got tips for you! Did you know that 138 million consumers shopped on Black Friday in 2010? That’s nearly half of all consumers!!
Tips for Shopping Black Friday
Buy any Size. Is the sweater you wanted out of stock in your size? Buy it anyway! Hopefully in another week, the store will be restocked with sizes and you can exchange it! Worst case, you return the sweater and are no worse off!
Reconnaissance. On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, visit the stores where you wish to shop on Black Friday. Find the items you wish to purchase and map their location. That way, in the rush, you'll be able to walk right to the items you want, beat the lines and be home in time for breakfast.
Watch start dates. Some sales start the week before Black Friday. While doing recon, you may be surprised to find the product already marked down to Black Friday price.
Prioritize your shopping. Take the most expensive item on your list and make it the first stop on Friday morning. The more expensive the item, the more likely it will sell out quickly.
Get a voucher and go! Stores give out vouchers for most big ticket items (televisions, computers, etc) to the first qualifying individuals in line. Most of the time those vouchers say “redeem by 5PM today”. This means that once you have your voucher for the item you want, get the heck out of there!! Don’t bother fighting the crowds, because you have already secured your item. Then move on to your next choice.
Shop with buddies. Friends don't let friends shop Black Friday alone. Shop with a buddy, and each of you dash for your most prized item. Then, one of you should immediately get in line while the other shops. Trade off, so you can both get your shopping done and avoid waiting in line for an hour. If you want to cover more ground, split up. Most sale items have a limit of 2 or 3. If you go to Walmart, buy two of that bed sheet set, and send your friend to Target; she can buy two of those crockpots. Teamwork is key.
RedLaser App. Comparison shop at the store with the amazing Red Laser II. Scan the product barcode and compare prices at nearby retailers and even amazon to make sure you're getting a good deal! Go HERE to check out this app.
Plan Ahead. Check flyers, circulars and online ads in advance to find out which stores have the items you want and how much you can expect to pay for them. Black Friday sales are almost always advertised in advance.
Stick to the List. Make a shopping list so you'll know exactly what you are looking for. Don't get sidetracked by sales displays of things that look interesting but that won't work as presents for anyone on your list.