If you are planning on venturing out into the rat race that is Black Friday, it’s best to have a pre-game plan in motion before you attempt such a feat. As a survivor of many a Black Friday, I have thrown together some of my best tips to help you get through it in one piece.
Drink coffee! Caffeine of some sort is a requirement. Waking up at 4am is not easy and even with coffee you will still be a zombie. I don’t recommend this if you are preggers though, just have someone else drive you that has had some coffee.
Wear layers. Depending on where you are planning to shop, you may be waiting outside for a while in the blasted cold. You will need to wear something warm. When the doors finally open and all the zombies are waiting in the ginormous line, you will get hot! This is where layers will come in handy.
Be prepared to wait. You will have to wait for the doors of the store to open. You will most likely wait in a line that wraps around the building or shoots out into the parking lot. You will need to wait in line to checkout. You will need to wait in the parking lot to escape said store madness. There is alot of waiting involved. (My last Best Buy Black Friday trip, I waited 4 hours in total!)
Bring something to do. If you are going alone, bring your ipod, bring a book or something to keep yourself occupied. Contrary to popular belief, people are not full of Holiday cheer on Black Friday. Do not make eye contact. Just kidding. But really, they won’t be cheery.
Know EXACTLY what you are going for. Now is not the time to browse. Only venture out on Black Friday if you already know what you are going to buy. You should also know roughly what area of the store the items are located in to save yourself some frustration. Remember, it will be early and you will be a zombie. You can easily prepare for the sales online on sites like AFullCup or Blackfriday.info.
(On a side note, if you will be going to the mall on Black Friday, you should also know how to route around the “Mall Carnies”. These are the folks who jump out at you while you’re on your way to get to your chosen store and they try to sell you cell phones, make up, etc. They also usually try to touch you. Avoid at all costs! I have found my route through the food court and cutting through Nordstrom to take their elevator avoids all Mall Carnies. Do what works best for you.)
Using a cart may not be an option. If you plan on buying alot of items, just know in advance that using a cart might not be an option. Sure, there may be carts available to use, but is there room to push one? I have had to ditch more than one cart on Black Friday and carry my items. If your items are big then bring a friend to help you.
Qualify for credit in advance. If you are making a major purchase such as a TV or appliance and will need to qualify for credit, do yourself a favor and do that Today! Black Friday is not the time to do this. It will just add to your wait time.
Shop online if possible. If the store that you want to buy from has their Black Friday specials online, consider this an option. You may still be a zombie, but at least you won’t be out in the cold, possibly wet line. Some stores offer free shipping with a certain purchase amount. Do some research on this. For some, the cost of shipping beats waiting in line….
Good luck on your adventure!