A Guide to Surviving Black Friday
Some fearless shoppers venture to Black Friday sales simply to watch the madness unfold in the aisles that lie before them. Others go with the intention of snagging brag-worthy deals in spite of it all. Whether you're a spectator or a determined shopper, you may want to prep in advance. Think warrior-level training for some serious bargain shopping.
Make a List, Check it Twice
Pro tip: Never walk out the door without a shopping game plan. Create a gift list and a budget ahead of time and make sure it’s accessible whether you’re at the store with your smartphone or at home on your laptop. Also research the specials at your favorite stores, and make a list of what you plan to buy at each location. Finally, think about smart shopping versus impulse shopping. For example, that 65” TV may come with a smaller price tag than the 55”, but will it fit comfortably in your space? And does it come with the features you need—high resolution, Wi-Fi®-enabled, more inputs, etc.?
Study Up on the Store Layout
From the moment those store doors open on Black Friday, every second counts. The better prepared you are ahead of time, the more likely you are to nab the items on your list. The week or two before Black Friday, walk around the stores to familiarize yourself with the layout. You can even call the store ahead of time and ask where certain displays will be located the day of. Hit the displays that are most important to you first.
Step-By-Step: How to Pack and Dress to Maximize Your Mojo
Lists aren't the only things you need to prepare yourself for the Black Friday frenzy. Here's how to pack and dress to ensure success:
1) Dress comfortably from head to toe. Skip heels or conforming attire and opt for supportive shoes and casual clothing. If you plan to try on garments, wear clothing that's easy to get in and out of.
2) Carry a bottle of water and drink up. Rushing around, even when it's cold, can leave you dehydrated. Fuel up and you'll be up for a few more rounds of shopping.
3) Pack a healthy snack that provides you sustenance, especially if you're going to be out for a while. Trail mixes and snack bars that fit easily into your purse or pocket are ideal.
4) Bring a buddy who's just as excited as you are. Two bodies can divide and conquer that list of yours. Just make sure whomever you bring actually wants to be there, otherwise your mojo could take a nosedive.
Timing is Everything
In addition to knowing what you're buying and where you're going, keep an eye on the clock, which is another key to Black Friday shopping success. Many stores don't have clocks, and pulling your phone out every three minutes isn't ideal. Your best bet is the Gear™ 2, which allows you to answer phone calls, emails and texts right from your wrist. You may think the time isn’t a big deal, but many Black Friday specials are time-sensitive. Your clock-watching vigilance may mean the difference between snagging doorbuster deals at the store down the street and going home empty handed.
Save Even More Money
Take your Black Friday savings to the next level by using a credit card that offers cash back, miles or other rewards. Depending on how much you spend on Black Friday, you can really rack up the rewards this way. Just make sure you pay off the full amount by the end of the month to prevent paying interest charges. If using a credit card isn't your thing, clip coupons or bring other stores' advertisements to retailers that price match. You can also use apps on your smartphone that provide digital coupons.
Black Friday in Your PJs
Does the thought of facing a hoard of shoppers make you sweat? Do you experience heightened anxiety at the mere thought, “doorbuster” and “Black Friday special?” Then you may be a candidate for skipping store lines to shop from the comfort of your computer. Seriously, plenty of deals can be had online. Cyber Monday has morphed into a several-day bonanza, providing you ample time to peruse online merchandise. You may also find items that were out-of-stock on Black Friday readily available at retailer and manufacturer sites.
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