Before we begin, I want you to know that I know the controversy around Black Friday. Whether you agree with the practices of it or not, know that I’m not on either side of the argument.
Shop if you want, don’t shop if you want. It’s your life. I know the pros and cons to it all. I know the reasons behind being for it and against it.
For the sake of this post; however, I’m talking to the ones who go shopping . . . whether it’s Thursday or Friday.
Does that mean I’m encouraging it? That I’m telling people to forego their families while causing others to have to do it to because they have to work? Before you grab the pitchforks, know that I don’t mean to do that at all. All I’m trying to do is to give some helpful tips to ones that do go of their own free will.
Now, back to my point . . .
You’ve saved for months. You’ve crossed your fingers for certain deals. You’ve left your family Thanksgiving meal hours after cutting the turkey or you’ve spent your Thanksgiving holiday sitting in a folding chair, wrapped in a blanket, in front of a store building.
Will your efforts actually be enough to pay off?
Black Friday has become its own holiday in itself. People packed earmuff to earmuff line the store fronts as early as twenty-four hours, spending their Thanksgiving holiday in a sleeping bag and tent, and passing on a traditional turkey, stuffing, and mashed potato meal with family in order to secure the door-busting deals waiting inside the closed doors.
Certainly, the deals are amazing, especially for families on tight holiday budgets looking to stretch their dollars while purchasing the years’ hottest must-haves. But whether you are going for multiple items at multiple stores or have your eyes set on one particular sale, surviving Black Friday can seem like a daunting task.
How do you even survive?
Make Your List ~ Whether you create a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet with columns for name, gift, store, and price or write everything down on a piece of paper, organization is the first key in surviving Black Friday. Not only will your list help you scour the ad books, but it will help you map a route through town, cutting driving time and gas costs on that dreaded day. An extra tip: have a back-up gift idea for every person on your list in case of sell-outs.
Enroll Friends ~ Never in your life is the need for the ability to be in two places at once as high as it is on Black Friday. With mind-blowing deals at two stores on opposite sides of town, any person would trade their right arm to be given the Hermione’s magical time turner in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Enlisting a friend, or several, to help with your quest for savings will ease the burden of waiting in lines and stress over whether or not you will end up with your sought-after gift.
Plan of Attack ~ Your list is printed. Your friends are on board. And in t-minus a week your next step would be to plan out your attack. Use your list to not only map out a driving route from store to store, but also use it to map out your route in each store. Knowing the layout of each store and where your sought-after item will be on display will help avoid time-wasting searches.
Check your Computer ~ More and more stores are starting to offer the same Black Friday Deals online. Before you zip up that coat and wrap the scarf around your neck, girding your loins in the process, sit down in the comfort of your home and make sure you can’t just get your items with a few clicks. An extra tip: Don’t ever forget about Cyber Monday, you might find that you can score the same deals or find better ones just a few days later.