Shopping on Black Friday can be a fiasco. Hundreds of people pushing and shoving, trying to get the one item everyone else wants. If you are brave enough to fight the crowds on the busiest shopping day of the year, keep in mind the following tips to make your shopping trips go a little smoother.
1) Plan, plan, plan.
I cannot stress enough the impact that planning your "strategy" - as I like to call it - will have on your adventure. If you're just going to the store at midnight to see if you can grab some items, you're going to get very frustrated and may wind up not getting anything. Search for the store you want to go to or the item you're looking for in the Black Friday section of The Daily Coup and write down the name of the item, the name of the store, the price, and when the store opens. This way you can decide which store you need to go to first and exactly what you need. If, for example, you really want to go to Walmart and your store is open 24 hours, go early. You can stake out your spot in front of the item so you have a better chance of getting one. My store usually puts all the popular items on pallets wrapped in plastic in the middle of the largest aisles so they're a little more accessible.
Chances are some items will sell out faster than you can say "Christmas" or you won't be the first in line at every store. Choose which items or stores are most important.
3) Research regular prices beforehand.
Some Black Friday deals are much better than what they retail for. I've even heard of stores jacking up the price and then saying it's certain percentage off which makes it not far from what the original price would have been. If it's not worth the cold, the craziness, or the early (or late, depending on how you look at it) hour, cross it off your Black Friday list and buy it a different day.
4) Take someone with you.
(Just not the kids.) Brining another person with you will help you get those super popular deals that everyone wants. This way, if you want two different items that are doorbusters, you can wait for one of them while your friend waits for the other.
5) Have fun!
For me, Black Friday is super fun. I love staying up late and being the first in line and getting rock-bottom prices on things. It's such a rush to know that I'm saving so much money! Keep a positive attitude - even though it may be super early - and just have fun.