Who loves a great deal? …I think we all do, the real question is whether we want to brave the storms of people during Black Friday to get the best of deals. Other options besides Black Friday deals are dotting the map earlier and earlier each year. In fact, I was at a store just yesterday and the salesman coined the phenomenon, “Black November”, a term I hadn’t yet heard, but it’s really true. November starts into good deal days, and retailers are starting their sales earlier and earlier each year.
Take for instance, Target. This year they have announced that everyday in November, Cartwheel Target app users will be offered 50% off a new toy each day. Many other stores are sending out their Black November coupon and sale ads to lure people to shop before Black Friday. Another option for those of you who dread the crowds at Black Friday is Cyber Monday, which really has become Cyber week, allowing for us procrastinators and homebodies to purchase products from the privacy of our homes–which is awesome!
If you can’t seem to swallow joining the crowds on Black Friday, there are plenty other options available, but to those of you who want a steal of a deal, here are my top 10 veteran tips for weathering the Black Friday madness!
1. Leave kids at home: Find someone to take care of your little ones while you shop, you’ll be able to focus on getting your treasures and your child won’t be exhausted from all the walking around and the large groups of people. With all the people out and about, it’s easier for you to get separated or your child get lost.
2. Ditch the cart : Manuvering around in a body to body packed store with a cart can be cumbersome. If you can, eliminate the cart. Last year I was by myself for part of the trip and needed to get a stroller, so a cart was necessary. A basket can work wonders if you have a lot of small items, but things like clothes can be draped over you arm easier than even carring a basket.
3. Recruit friends and family: Ask friends and family to come with you to help scout out good deals you want or need. Some sales may overlap and you can’t be in two places at once. Offer them some brunch on you in exchange for their help.
4. Look at the Ads in Advance: This is probably the most important tip of all. Having a plan will make all the difference and will hopefully help you to complete your wishlist. Thanksgiving day brings the official ad circulars, but you can usually find all the ads online which have been leaked early. In fact, several ads are now online and you can usually find them by googling it.
5. Pick your top 3 items: Chances are if you don’t have a posse of friends or family going with you, you may not be able to get everything on your list. Pick your top must-have items and get them first then go for the next best things.
6. Always be nice, but assertive: You don’t want to end up on Santa’s naughty list so be nice to the people you’re around–and don’t forget the store associates too. They can be resourceful in helping you get what you want–just be nice. Black Friday can be stressful and competitive because of the large amounts of people and limited quantities of items. Don’t be afraid to get in and get your stuff, but please don’t shove or push your cart into others, it’s just not nice and you wouldn’t want to be pushed would you?
7. Be decisive (Get in, Get out): The faster you can get in and out, the more likely you can get to your other Black Friday treasures. If you’re torn between getting something or not, don’t waste time. If you can afford it, get it and then decide if you want to take it back, but be sure
8. Plan out your strategy: Yet another important tip. After browsing all the ads for stores in your area, make a list of what you want from each store. From there, you can plan out what stores have what sale, the price and the time the sale begins. Plan out your night or day of shopping based off of the sales and sale times.
9. Divide and conquer: This goes hand in hand with recruiting your friends and family to help. If you split up you can cover more ground and get things for them too!
10. Bring some water and snacks and plenty of room for packages: You’ll probably get hungry or thirsty in between all your walking around stores and waiting in lines so bring some snacks and water for in between. One other common sense tip is to bring a car that will fit all your Black Friday loot!