During Thanksgiving Week we are typically visiting my in-laws and we can roll out of bed while the kids are still sleeping and get some great deals. My husband and I have shopped on Black Fridays for years. If you are in the West Palm area, you may have seen us! There are some serious black friday shoppers out there and I don’t claim to be one of them! This year I plan on avoiding it altogether, maybe hopefully. I’m doing a lot of online shopping deals and I hope to be done by then!
Tips to surviving Black Friday shopping:
- Do your research before you go. Check the ads and have pricing information. Is the ad price really a good deal? If it’s only a $5 savings, is it really worth it?
- Be mentally prepared for the crowds. I cannot stress this enough! If a store opens at 5am, lines will start to form earlier than that, sometimes the night before. If you arrive at 5am, you’ll be surprised to see a line wrapped around the corner.
- Dress appropriately. You don’t want to be standing in line freezing your bootie off! Layers are good so you can strip them off once inside the heated store.
- Do not get a shopping cart. Once inside the store, you’ll observe people pushing and trying to maneuver their way down the aisles. If you have a cart, it will make it all the more difficult. A cart free person can move faster and between people.
- Know what you’re looking for before you get there. If you can head straight for the item you want, you’ll have a better chance of getting it before it’s sold out. If it’s a store you’re not familiar with or in a different city, you can even visit it before Black Friday to get the lay out.
- Shop with a partner. My husband and I know what we want and we split up to try to maximize our chances of getting the items. We usually have a list of what is most important to us and what to look for 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Some people say to NEVER go with your “lover”. I say they’re wrong…..I wouldn’t choose anyone else. We make a great team!
- Think outside the box. If you’re looking for a particular item, most people will head directly to that aisle. My husband usually does this b/c he’s better at getting through crowds. I on the other hand have had lots of luck scanning the end caps or main aisle displays. When we meet up and he has a sad look on his face and then he sees me holding all 5 items we went in for. Nothing says love like that!
- Be aware of Doorbuster deals. A lot of stores offer deep discounts for shopping early on that day. If you wait till after lunch, prices may have changed or the item is gone altogether.
- Know what times your stores open and what deals are most important to you. Hit them in order of opening times. Unless you have one that is offering the deal you want and you can focus primarily on that one store.
- Remember the stores that price match. Say you’d prefer to shop at Walmart and get it all done in one stop, then take the ads with you of other stores so you can price match. Call ahead to verify they will price match on Black Friday.
- If you are waiting in a long line for the store to open, make friends with the people around you. It’ll be good if you have to make a bathroom trip and need someone to hold your spot. Plus you never know what you’ll learn from other shoppers.
Saving your family money is great but keeping your family safe is the most important. Be prepared and stay safe.
Alternatives to shopping on Black Friday:
- Shop online retailers. Most of them start their online Black Friday deals at midnight the night before black friday. Have a cup of coffee with your Thanksgiving dessert and sit in your PJ’s and shop away! You might want to read my previous post on free or cheap shipping.
- Price Adjustments – If you know you want a laptop from Best Buy but you’re worried about it being available on Black Friday, or fighting the crowds. Ask what their policy is for price adjustments. If you buy it ahead of time and they reduce it within a certain number of days, will they give you a price adjustment? Be sure to ask specifically about Black Friday prices in case they exclude them.
- Boycott it all together and avoid any and all stores! Have a staycation at home and make it a family game day!
- Make it a Green Friday. Volunteer somewhere, visit a local park or take a hike. Pick up trash and litter in your area.
- Buy Gift cards and let the recipient get exactly what they want.
As always you want to check your local paper to verify the ads. You’ll also want to verify the opening time as some areas have laws that restrict opening times.