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Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016

Tips for Black Friday diehards

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A picture can be worth a thousand words -- as this one is to anyone who has fought the crowds to get the bargains on the biggest shopping day of the year. Some call it fun, some just call it crazy, but businesses hope shoppers will come out and give a big boost to the local economy.
As the much anticipated Thanksgiving Day quickly approaches, many can be found scurrying to pick up fixings for their holiday meals to avoid the chaotic rush that is always present at the last minute. The year seems to have virtually flown by and the holiday season is already upon us.

For many, Thanksgiving Day flies by faster than one can eat the elaborate meal and numerous desserts. After taking a seratonin induced nap or catching some college football, the anticipation of the early Friday morning shopping event called Black Friday begins.

Black Friday is something that requires planning or creating a shopping strategy. Strategy, yes, that is what I said, a strategy, a way to come out ahead of everyone else on the only day of the year when standing in line for hours to claim the biggest bargain is totally acceptable.

For some diehard, Black Friday shoppers begin their preparations weeks before the big day. Why is it called Black Friday many ask, and the answer is probably one of the most debatable around. To me, it is because it is still black outside when we head to the sales, to others it is the probability of receiving a black eye over a top selling toy. Year after year, we go back, vowing each year, not to do it again. But a strategy does help.

Most stores don't mail their advertisements out until days before the big event, sometimes as late as the Wednesday before Thanksgiving ... which brings me to rule one -- don't settle for that. Just because they aren't mailed until the Tuesday before, doesn't mean they aren't online. Search online for sales at your favorite stores, and most of all compare prices, there are some that are nearly half as much as others. This takes time, but it is worth it.

Others suggest going after the sales and searching the store in inconspicuous places for the smaller items on the list. Because some shoppers can't stand the wait, they put things away and opt out of the experience and never are the items replaced where they were initially taken from. Other yearly shoppers stress the importance of comfortable shoes, caffeine and kindness to other shoppers.

My second strategy can only be utilized after you decide which stores you plan to shop at during the early morning events. Many start at 5 a.m., and specials only last until 11 a.m. Others are all day. Opt to shop early. Most stores, especially Walmart, will provide shoppers with a map of the items on their sale. Arrive early, get a map, and enlist others to help you get all the items on your list. My husband goes with me, we pick the things we want and by arriving early, we have time to plan our route, with him on one side of the store and me on the other. The store employees cannot open the boxes with the sale items until 5 a.m., so this gives you an opportunity to seek out the items in advance.

A few minutes prior to the big Black Friday kickoff, get near the boxes of your number one item and be ready to get your item fast and move to the next. The one thing about these sales is that quantities are limited, but it is not impossible to get everything to start your shopping off right. Another big tip is no carts if at all possible. As many know, the larger items are usually available in larger quantities. If you must have a shopping cart, don't leave it unattended -- EVER.

Best of luck and have a wonderful Thanksgiving and if you decide to forego the early morning hooplah, there is always online shopping.

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