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Tips for Surviving Black Friday

Updated on November 29, 2011

Are You Prepared For Black Friday?

Black Friday; the busiest shopping day of the year. This takes place the day after Thanksgiving when stores like Macey's and Target have the best sales and deals of the year. For budget shoppers this is a day to enjoy and bond with like-minded people. For others this is a day of madness and distasteful displays of inconsideration for others. Here in New York City this is the most merciless and brutal day to shop. People trample each other just to get these deals. The aisles and floors of stores become mine fields of merchandise (some items broken and some not). People fighting over the last items on shelves.

You have to be crazy to shop on this day, in my opinion. But many people brave the insanity and go forth to get the incredible bargains Black Friday offers. Despite all the reasons to not partake in the craziness of Black Friday, there are lots of reasons people do. For one thing you'll find the best deals of the year at big name stores. You can get all your Christmas shopping done in one day, if you start early enough. Whether you prefer to stay in or brave the shopping frenzy, these tips will help you survive Black Friday.

By Salvatore Vuono on
By Salvatore Vuono on | Source

Black Friday Survival Guide

First consider another route for your holiday shopping

Stay Home
This one's obvious. If you prefer to not partake in the frenzy, stay home. Don't feel obligated to brave the insanity because your friends and family might be doing it. Don't be afraid to turn down anyone who asks you to be their Black Friday shopping buddy. Just stay home. There's other opportunities for great holiday deals.

Consider Shopping Online
The Monday following Black Friday is another day for great bargains. Very often websites like Ebay and Amazon have tons of Black Friday deals during the week that leads to Cyber Monday, that are just as amazing as any physical store. You can find discounts from 20% to 80% off on Amazon during their annual Black Friday week that leads up to Cyber Monday. Consider this your way to partake in the tradition of Black Friday without leaving the comfort of your home. This is my favorite way to bargain shop for the holidays.

Try Small Business Saturday Instead
The day after Black Friday is another day to hunt for great bargains. Small business Saturday is a promotional tool used by smaller, less known businesses. You'll find deals similar to that of Black Friday, but there will be a lot less people trying to trample you, as this shopping day is not as popular.

If your heart's set on getting your shopping done on Black Friday

Be Prepared - Make a Plan
It's important to have a plan of action. Make a list of what you intend to buy. Also have a list ready of where you plan to shop. Think about your budget, how much time you're willing to invest in shopping, how you plan to get around and what stores will have the best deals. Some research might be needed during the plan making process. Also consider some self defense as you might get trampled.
How to Prepare:
- Get a good night's sleep.
- Do some research
- Make a list of stores you intend to shop at.
- Make a list of items you are looking to buy.
- Decide how much time you're willing to invest in shopping (as a whole or at each store).
- Decide how you will be getting around.
- Plan out your travel route.
- Figure out exactly what you'll need to have on your person (what is essential).

Pick a Black Friday Shopping Buddy
Do you have any other friends willing to brave Black Friday? Ask one of them to be your shopping buddy. It's good to go out in pairs on this day especially in New York. You can accomplish a lot more with two pairs of hands, rather than just one. It's also good to have someone their to have your back when those crazed fashionistas begin to storm the stores.

Dress Comfortable
You're definitely going to be doing some heavy exercise and strenuous activity on Black Friday. It's important to dress comfortably. Sneakers are ideal for the running, standing in long lines and stomping on others to get to the shelves/racks. Warm outwear is ideal for the cold weather which is more than likely in New York at the end of November. Small bags/purses only if you MUST have one. You're probably going to be carrying a lot of bags by the end of the day, why have one more to weigh you down?

Be Prepared for the Crowds!
Seriously, if you're new to the Black Friday thing in New York City, be prepared for the crowds. We're talking millions of merciless people willing to trample you just to get what they want at the best price. Be prepared for them. I hate to say it, but if you're not one to push and shove than this really isn't the day to go shopping.

Use a Credit/Debit Card
Carrying around a lot of cash on Black Friday is dangerous in and of itself, as pick-pockets are usually out in full force. Cash also slows down the checkout process. Now I could care less about agitating the other shoppers, but I'd rather be in and out of the store fast myself. Credit Cards are the quickest form of payment. However, if you're typically an irresponsible person who can never pay off purchases made on your credit card, then this tip probably is a bad idea for you.

Don't Go Crazy Spending!
Do not empty your entire bank account in one go. This is a serious temptation on Black Friday when you're browsing all those great deals! Do not overspend. This is where your shopping list that you should make the night before will come in handy.

Forget the Electronics and/or Other Large Purchases
Chances are you won't be driving a truck around on Black Friday to carry the stuff home. And more than likely the deals on things like electronics, appliances and other large purchases will not be highly discounted. You may find the best deals for these sorts of purchases online or in wholesaler warehouses like Costco.

Combine Your Purchases Into as Few Bags as Possible
Chances are you're going to be purchasing a lot. You might want to consider combining some of your shopping bags into as few as possible, to make it easier to carry. This is especially a good idea if you're using public transportation to get around. This will also decrease any chances of pick-pocketing.

Above all else Stay Safe!

Skylar Spring © copyright 2011


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    • Skylar Spring profile image

      Skylar Spring 5 years ago from New York

      @Shawn... I prefer to shop online. It's cheap and comfortable lol. Thanks for reading :)

    • Shawn Scarborough profile image

      Shawn Scarborough 5 years ago from The Lone Star State

      Nice hub with some really great tips. I am staying home and doing all my shopping online this year.

    • Skylar Spring profile image

      Skylar Spring 5 years ago from New York

      @chanroth... It's about the same up here. My cousin camped out last night and is still shopping today lol. I prefer to stay home too. Thank you for reading and voting! Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving.

    • chanroth profile image

      chanroth 5 years ago from California, USA

      By the time I get to enter the store, everything is gone! LOL. It's crazy down where I live. People are camping in the tent by the store. This year, I'm just gonna drink hot chocolate, by the fireplace and shop online. LOL. Happy thanksgiving! And have a safe Holiday. I vote up!