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Black Friday Shopping Tips and Tricks

Updated on October 19, 2011

1. Scour those ads

Black friday is the perfect time to get the best deals for your christmas shopping. Ask your friends and family in advance what they want for christmas this year so you can scour the sunday newspaper with purpose! Some stores may be having bigger sales than others, so pay attention to where you can go to get the most for you money. Note what times the stores are opening on Black Friday, and what they're offering.

2.  Know what you want to buy - Knowing what you want to buy before you leave your house oh so early the morning of Black Friday is where we separate the winners from the losers. This is not the time to meander around. We're talking getting in, and then getting the heck out, and back in bed before 10:00 am. How does that sound? Marvelous? I think so. Also, the rest of your household (in my experience) might not share your enthusiasm and devotion for holiday shopping, so they will be sound asleep when you leave. If all goes according to plan, you will be back before they ever wake up. *Cue mission impossible theme*

3.  Make a list - And check it twice... (Sorry, I had to say it. You know you were thinking it...). I keep an ongoing list on my phone all year around of potential christmas presents for my friends and family. Anytime someone expresses interest in any one particular item, I add it to my list. Make sure you write down everything you want to get the morning of Black Friday. The list will help you stay focused and in the zone. You are also less likely to forget to purchase any important items.

4. Walking shoes - The morning of Black Friday is not the time to showcase your trendy new pair of heels. You need to wear shoes that allow you to make time. Be prepared for a lot of walking, not running because that's just silly. The last thing you want is to have to return home for better shoes, and then head back out again.

5. Don't take a coat - You will want to. But try to resist. I say this because a coat will only get in your way because as soon as you enter a store, you're going to take it off, and have to carry it with you as you shop. Wouldn't you rather be carrying future christmas presents instead? If you are prone to feeling cold (as am I), bring a coat with you, but try to leave it in the car. Wear a warm sweater or layer up your clothing so you won't need to wear a big bulky coat when you're running around trying to get shopping done.

6.  Get a good dose of caffeine - My advice is the earlier you get up the more success you will have. So plan on being at the stores you want to visit as soon as they open, or even a little before they open. And if you need to be up that early, you might need a little extra dose of energy. Grab a cup of coffee on your way out the door, and hit the road!

7.  Fly solo - If you plan on taking others with you, remember that less is more. The more people you have with you, the less ground you can cover. It is best to go alone. Plus, you can't shop for your friends and family if they are with you! Best to let them sleep in.

8.  Prioritize - Head for the stores with your big ticket or most important items first. Know ahead of time what items you need to come home with, and go after those first. That way, you don't end up with a bunch of stuff that you could have bought later for a similar price. 

9.  Now is not the time for browsing - Don't plan on browsing around too much. There will be tons of people in the store with you running about all willy-nilly, and browsing will take time away from getting the stuff you really need. Now, if you see an item along your way that's not on your list, don't be afraid to divert from the plan a wee bit. Spontaneous items are sometimes the best. But don't spend the majority of your time browsing.

10.  Slap a smile on your face and keep it there, it will make you happy - Heading out into the fray with a good attitude will make your Black Friday shopping experience entirely more fun for you. Remember that you will be in the midst of lots and lots and lots of fellow shoppers, who might not share your positive attitude. Be patient when facing long lines, traffic, or the occasional rude shopper. Don't let the numbers get you down! 

11.  Arrive early, and be back in bed by 10:30 - The early bird gets the worm, right? Get to bed at a respectable hour the night before, so you can wake up refreshed and ready to hit the stores! Make it a goal to be done in the least amount of time you think it will take you. Choose shopping areas that have a lot of stores in close proximity to each other. That way, you're not zipping around town from store to store, wasting valuable shop time. 


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    • charm_baker profile image

      Charm Baker 5 years ago from Los Angeles, California

      Awesome tip list full of practical advice. I especially like the part about being back in bed by 10:30 am!. It just goes to show how writers can cover the same topic from a variety of angles. Feel free to view my related topic (though I won't title or link drop :-)

    • Kelsa Marie profile image

      Kelsa Johnson 5 years ago from Bloomington, Indiana

      Oh how I love it! The majority of this has been my plan every year. When it comes to the coat my mom opts out each year. Instead she wear a sweater or a jacket something that will still keep you warm but won't get you sick. I have been my mom's right hand man for black friday since I was about six. It's easy havving all girls and one boy for her to have us write out a list of what we want, then have us look at a particular store's ad and compare prices to maximize time. I agree with the no browsing. I think browsing is only okay IF AND ONLY IF you already got EVERYTHING you needed and you still have time before whatever you got goes off sale. Then HURRY in line or have someone save your spot. My mom would give us the cart tell us to find a spot and would browse through the girls clearance section when my sisters and I were younger.

    • gulnazahmad profile image

      gulnazahmad 6 years ago from Pakistan

      Nice hub and informative for Christmas shopping.

    • schoolmarm profile image

      schoolmarm 7 years ago from Florida

      Great tips! I LOVE Black Friday. Where I live we started last year @ 3AM - I am hoping for 2AM this year!