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How to Prepare for Black Friday

Updated on December 31, 2010

Every year comes a very special day of the year: Black Friday. This is definitely one of my favorite days of the entire year. I love getting up in the dark, early morning (okay, lets be honest, the middle of the night) and fighting the crazy crowds and the freezing cold to get the best deals of the year. If you have never been shopping on Black Friday before, you should definitely try it at least once. It is always excellent to make sure you are prepared. I have put together some suggestions that have helped me prepare for Black Friday in the past, and will hopefully help me and possibly you this year as well.

Know when each store that you want to visit is opening

Every year, it seems that the stores continue to open earlier and earlier. This year is, of course, no exception. Toys R Us happens to be the winner this year – they are opening at ten PM on Thursday, and staying open through the entire night. I suppose this way you can finish up dinner, go get in line for a couple of hours at Toys R Us, get your shopping completed inside the store, stand in line to check out for a couple more hours (Well, hopefully it won’t take that long!) and head straight to your next destination: Tanger or Premium Outlets, or Old Navy. These stores are all opening at midnight. Honestly, this makes the most since to me. If everything opened around ten PM or midnight, I could just stay up late to get all my shopping done and sleep in the next morning. But no. All of the stores have to open at vastly different times it seems. Kohls is next in line on the list. This year they are opening at the very ungodly hour of 3AM. Really? What kind of a time is that? Because it is certainly too late to be considered nighttime, yet also too early to be considered morning! If you have ever gone out shopping on Black Friday before, you know that people will be out in droves regardless of the time. It is pure insanity. But I love it just the same. At four AM, Target, Macy’s, Sears, and JC Penney are all opening their doors. You’ll have to decide which store has the best deals (for me, definitely Target) and plan on making it to that particular store first. Best Buy, Wal-Mart, and Meijer are opening at five this year, and Radio Shack is opening at 5:30. Check out to get all of the inside info on what the best deals will be in any particular store. Being informed is the most important step!

Plan Ahead

If you check out a store’s ad online ahead of time, you can determine which items you would like to get on Black Friday, and visit the store ahead of time to find out where each item is located in the store. This can save a great deal of time on Black Friday, as the stores are so crowded. It is hard to locate anything at all, especially if you don’t know where it is to begin with. If you know ahead of time where the item is, you can typically find it much faster and save lots of time by not having to wander the store looking for it.

Bring a Friend

When the big day finally arrives, it is a great idea to bring someone along with you. This is helpful for several different reasons. The best reason is that you can take turns standing in line while the other one shops! As soon as you enter the store, have someone go stand in line, and switch out as you finish. In many stores on Black Friday, you might end up standing in line for hours, so shaving even a little time off of that can help at least a little! It is also nice to have someone there to help lug around all of your purchases. Sometimes two hands are simply not enough! A friend can also be great company, (on a day when you would normally be bored standing in tedious, slow moving lines for hours on end) and help to spot great deals that you may have overlooked at first. As an added point, it is extremely helpful if everyone you are shopping with has a cell phone on them. The stores get excessively crowded, and sometimes it will seem impossible to locate the person who you swore was right behind you just ten seconds ago, but now seems to have disappeared completely.

Wear comfortable shoes

Trust me; you will be on you feet for a long time. It certainly does not make any sense to wear four inch heels (or any heels) on this particular day. Make sure to wear comfortable, warm clothing also. I recommend layers that you can wear outside in the cold, and take off if you need to once you get into the store. All of the other people you will be shopping with and around will produce lots and lots of body heat and you will get warm if you are in a store for any long period of time at all.

Do you to plan to go shopping on Black Friday?

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    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Loved the rush scenes during Black Friday. I happened to be there in Houston when our ship discharged oil cargo, three years ago. Thanks for sharing the experience here on HubPages. :D

    • KristenGrace profile image

      KristenGrace 7 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

      I love Black Friday. I love the crowds, the sales, the clothes, shopping... everything about it. I, too, look forward to it!

    • MrLynch profile image

      MrLynch 7 years ago

      The Black Fridays sales seem to start well before the actual day around here. The ads are all over the internet and some retailers have already released them. I think I'll pass on the festivities this year. There will be many more deals before Christmas.