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Black Friday: Strategy on How to Pull Off the All-Nighter

Updated on March 23, 2013

So, you’ve decided that the only real way to get the greatest deals on Black Friday is to stand in line for hours, braving the weather, to receive the bargains rewarded only to those who persevere???

Well, before you grab a jacket and rush out the door to hurry up and get in line, you better have a strategy in place that will give you the best chance to succeed against the odds you will face.

Take off your jacket, pour yourself some coffee, and consider this strategy for your Black Friday All-Nighter.

A Strategy for your Black Friday: All-Nighter

● Draft Your Team (BFANG)

At first, you can be picky, . . . asking only those who understand the mission and the importance of this moment. However, when that technique does not fill all the slots (i.e., it’s still just you), broaden the invite to anyone open for adventure and the right to become one of the BFANG (Black Friday All-Nighter Gang). And keep in mind, that the ideal number is four.

Special Advice: This is often best done spontaneously in a group of family and friends during a lull on Thanksgiving Day. Also, Studies have shown that given enough intake of turkey and pumpkin pie, multiple and meaningless football games, hours sitting and trying to converse with relatives you wouldn’t even accept as a cyberspace friend on Face Book, . . . many people are open to anything to escape the feeling of prison and just get out of the house.

Black Friday @ Best Buy
Black Friday @ Best Buy | Source

● Be Lean and Mean (Streamline Supplies)

There are two schools of thought here.

One school of thought is to bring whatever one needs during these hours in the elements and darkness to feel perfectly comfortable and at home. This would include such supplies as: a tent, sleeping bags, fold-up chairs, portable heater, portable TV, cooler filled with drinks and food to endure the winter, and on, and on, and on, . . .

If you have a well-trained BFANG, such a strategy might be warranted. But BEWARE!

This strategy necessitates the timely packing up and loading up in the ‘get-a-way’ vehicle when the window of opportunity in upon you This is the window of time when tickets and/or certificates are handed out by store employees to those first in line for hot items which have limited quantities. These are items for which you have endured the night and the weather. This window is usually somewhere between 30 minutes to two hours before the store opens.

The second school of thought is simply: Stay Lean and Mean!

Bring only the necessities for this mission. Dress in the necessary amount of layers needed to be comfortable in the weather for hours, but easy enough to shed when the shopping begins inside. Wear a hat and comfortable shoes. Carry a backpack. Bring only water and snacks that you can carry in your backpack. Stay Lean! Stay Mean! Stay Focused!

● Game On!

When the store employee(s) comes outside to hand out tickets and/or certificates on the items which are limited in quantity (the ones that you and your gang are there for), it’s official, . . . GAME ON!

They give one item ticket/certificate per person. No exceptions. If people in your group are buying hot items to resale on places like Craig’s list, have that and purchasing arrangements already agreed upon. Now is not the time for the impulsive, unplanned capitalistic aspirations of those in your group.

Now, with special item ticket/certificate, store ad, and gift list in hand, . . . when they open the doors, it is now time for your group to hit the doors running, and then . . .

Game On & Check Out Lines!
Game On & Check Out Lines!

● Divide and Conquer

First, the one who doesn’t have a dog in this fight (i.e., has neither the need nor the special item certificate in hand) --- goes to get in the checkout line. This may sound premature, but with the rush of people flooding into the store and with your group trying to get out as fast as possible after the items have been secured, you don’t want to waste precious time standing in another line of a crowded and clogged checkout line.

Second, the rest of your group are designated as the “runners.” These are your folks who have the special item ticket/certificate in hand or have their own mission and item(s) to purchase. “Runners” go straight to the item, secure it (Don’t use carts if you can help it, they only slow you up!), and then proceed on as straight of a path as possible to meet up with the rest of your Black Friday All-Nighter Gant at the checkout line.

Then, when your group is next-up to make the final purchase at check out, release another “Runner” out into the night to have the get-a-way vehicle running and ready to load at the front door. With purchases made, gifts safely loaded, . . . it’s GAME ON to the next store!!! :D

Strategy of this Black Friday All-Night Gang

Closing Perspective & The POINT of It All

When all is said and done, standing with a group of people for hours, braving the elements even in the name of substantial savings on an item(s) that in 3-5 years will either be in a garage sale or a Gag Gift at some company Christmas Party, . . . makes little sense and misses the real point.

The real point is not just getting a great deal on stuff. The DEAL and the STUFF are not the POINT!

The POINT is really what strangely happens in the midst of the hunt, e.g., meeting new people while standing in line for hours, hearing their stories, sharing stories with your own Black Friday All-Nighter Gang Members, making restroom runs on foot to the Convenient Store across the major thoroughfare, drinking more coffee in one night than you drink in a whole year, making more restroom runs on foot to the Convenient Store across the major thoroughfare, strategizing and re-strategizing because there is nothing else to do, and hooking up again with people in line who were there last year. (Even tonight, the night before Thanksgiving, I heard a news story on the radio of two people from different states that were already in line at a Best Buy in Georgia. They had met four years ago, and wanted to make this a yearly tradition of meeting up and catching up while standing in line through the night outside of Best Buy.)

Enjoy the Hunt! BUT, never forget The POINT → People and Making Memories!

Happy Hunting!!!

Further Reading

Black Friday: History, Strategies, and Tips

Having a shopping strategy for Black Friday is crucial to get the best deals. You must do your homework in knowing: your product, your price, store ads, store hours, store policies of Price Matching and Return, when you will start, what you will wear, who you will shop with, and the order of the stores you will visit. Keep it simple. Stay focused. Work the plan. And make a memory!


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