Black Friday is now less than two weeks away, and the most die-hard bargain shoppers are already compiling their lists and mapping their strategies! Some stores open at 10:00 pm on Thanksgiving itself, other at midnight on November 23, and still others between 3:00 and 6:00 am. Different merchandise is available in different places, and depending on where you live, you might have to contend with lines. Here are some tips on making the most of your Black Friday shopping:
- Start a list. As the ads come in, flip through them to find items that you want, and begin writing must-haves on a master list. Along with the item, write down what time the store opens. You will want to be waiting for the doors to open if you’re looking for very popular items, such as electronics.
- Check the websites of your favorite stores each day. Some already have their ads out, and others are waiting a bit longer. You can also “like” the store pages on Facebook; that way, their updates will appear in your news feed.
- Make a timeline. The first stores may be putting out merchandise at or before midnight on Black Friday. Determine whether you’ll go shopping during all of the wee hours, or if you’d rather sleep and begin at 5:00 or 6:00 am, and make a schedule for yourself. Remember that you may need to stand in line for quite some time before the store opens; find out by asking those in your area who have shopped the Black Friday sales before.
- Prepare the night before. Put out comfortable clothes and comfortable shoes for shopping. Make sure you have gas in the car. Have your coffee maker set and a travel mug ready to be filled, or put a bottle of water in the fridge so you’ll have it.
- Once you get into the first store, stick to your list! The stores will be arranged so that you will make impulse purchases. While you’re hemming and hawing over a deal that you hadn’t even considered, someone else will be getting the items that you came in for in the first place. Try not to allow yourself to get distracted.
- Divide and conquer. If you find that you’d need to be in two places at once in order to get some of the important items on your list, join forces with a friend. You grab the items she needs from store A, and she’ll grab what you need from store B.
- Be nice. There’s no need for pushing or shoving, or for taking someone’s item out of her cart. Also, be friendly to the cashiers; they have a long day of ringing people out ahead of them!
If you don’t get the items that you wanted, don’t panic. Cyber Monday is just a few days after Black Friday, and chances are that you will be able to get some really great deals that day, too. Even better, you won’t even have to get out of your pajamas to shop.
What Black Friday deal are you the most excited about?