How to Conquer Black Friday

How to Conquer Black Friday - Photo by Benson Kua (flickr.com)

Are you planning to brave the long-line, bargain-filled madness that is Black Friday? If so, you have nothing to fear! We’ve got seven tips that will help you conquer the chaos and bring home the best deals!

1. Do Some Research

Research Team - Photo by itupictures (flickr.com)

Alright team, find me the best deals on Big Hugs Elmo and Furbies

If you want the most from your Black Friday experience, you better do your homework and research! You need to know what you want, where the best deals are, what times stores open and everything else in between. Scour the internet (BlackFriday.com is a good start), newspapers and magazines to find the best deals. Read all ads carefully so you don’t miss any of the fine print details (limited quantities, only valid until a certain time, etc.).

2. Know Your Stores

Department Store - Photo by Ralphralph01 (wikimedia)

Let’s see… I know it’s a capricorn and likes long walks on the beach

After you know which stores you’ll be visiting, learn everything about them. Knowing the layout of the store will help you tremendously. If you’ve never been to a store, go prior to Black Friday to get a feel for the layout. You also need to know the store’s policies, most importantly – the return policy. Know what time they open, when lines will start forming and if they offer online deals.

3. Make a List

Christmas List - Photo by Doug Butchy (flickr.com)

Simple, elegant and to the point

You’ve got to prioritize! Decide which deals are the best, which items are most important to you and which products have the highest demand. Your list will help you determine which store to visit first, as well as the order you should target items within the store. Once you’ve made your list, stick to it. You don’t want to find yourself buying a ton of unnecessary items. Creating a budget can also help make sure you don’t go overboard.

4. Form a Team

Swimming - Photo by Eric Harrison (flickr.com)

If there’s any swimming involved then we got this on lock

If you want to grab as many deals as possible, the best strategy is to divide and conquer. Shopping with a team allows you to cover more ground, save time and of course get more products. If there are products you need at different stores (which may open at the same time) having a team can save the day!

5. Prepare the Essentials

Packed Car - Photo by Martin Thomas (flickr.com)

I’ve packed the essentials but now have no room for the purchases

Don’t forget to bring along your shopping essentials! First, there’s the obvious – wallet (duh), ads, coupons and a fully charged cell phone. Almost as important as those items are snacks. If you’re going to spend hours waiting in lines and shopping, you’re going to need a pick-me-up. Water is great for keeping you hydrated, while coffee and hot chocolate can keep you warm and awake. It’s also smart to wear layers and bring blankets to stay warm while waiting in line outside.

6. Mind Your Manners

Crowd - Photo by Doug Kline (flickr.com)

Sadly, shoving and pushing while screaming “Pardon me!” does not count

Ladies and gentleman, let’s stay classy on Black Friday. Don’t cut in line or steal products from other people. That’s just not nice. You’re going to deal with anxious shoppers and exhausted employees so don’t let your frustration get the best of you. Even as others seem to be losing their minds, remain polite and courteous.

7. Shop Online

Shop Online - Photo by Jaysin Trevino (flickr.com)

Ohhhhh, you mean shop online from home… That makes way more sense.

If long lines and crazed customers aren’t your thing, you can always stalk out the online deals! You can even shop online during the wee hours of the morning and still hit the stores afterwards. You may find some great discounts that are online only. Some stores even offer options to buy online and pickup in the store.

Visit the Frank Erwin Center website to see who's coming, and subscribe to Be the First to Know to get a jump on upcoming pre-sales and ticket giveaways.

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