I have a confession to make. I love Black Friday. I think it comes from my days in retail, when working Black Friday was an event. Now, I just enjoy getting up early and fighting to get some good deals. For years, my sister and I would get up at the crack of dawn on Black Friday and head up to the mall to get started.
Shopping on Black Friday, however, requires a little bit more than a casual trip to the mall. Today, I want to share with you my ten tips for getting ready for Black Friday.
- Research the sales – many sites now are devoted to sharing the “leaked” ads for Black Friday. One of my favorite sites to do this, along with all other deal searching, is STL Mommy.
- Make a list – not just of what you want to get, but of where to get it, how much it will be, and if you need a coupon to get it. Being organized will be your savior.
- Take the ads – I know it may seem like a drag, but there is nothing worse than waiting in line for half and hour to then have to argue with the cashier about a price. Bring the ad so you can show them the proof right away.
- Set a budget – Stores know how to work it for Black Friday, and they lace the aisles with stuff that you didn’t know you needed, but you can’t resist for such a great price. Set a budget so you don’t find yourself picking up every great deal you see.
- Make a plan – if you are aiming to get certain deals at certain stores, it’s important to make a plan of what stores you are going to visit, and in which order you’ll do so.
- Dress comfortably – I try to take a shower late the night before, and to lay out comfortable clothes that will get me through the day. It’s also important to think about layering, in case you have to wait outside at some stores, and then have to shop inside the mall.
- Get an early start – A lot of the time you’ll have to start early to get the best deals, but I try to make it so that I am done with the things I need to get done by mid morning, so I can return home and have a late breakfast with my family.
- Bring water and a snack – It’s easy to get very thirsty when you are shopping in a mall like this. Especially if you still have that “Thanksgiving Dinner Hangover.” Bringing a drink and a snack will help replenish your energy and keep you moving.
- Keep the holiday spirit – In situations like these, it’s so easy to get caught up and start letting your inner Grinch shine through. I’ve been yelled at, pushed, and had a pile of sweaters thrown on me (and I may be guilty of some of those things myself). I’ve learned that the best thing to do is to treat it as the start of the holiday season, and to share holiday cheer with everyone I come in contact with.
- Check online, when you get home – Some stores offer great deals online as well. Online stores are less likely to sell out fast, so when you get home, give you favorite sites a quick check and see what’s going on. More than once I’ve come home and checked, and got better deals on some things than I would have in the store.
If you choose to shop this Black Friday, I wish you luck and a Happy Holidays!