Here are some great tips for braving Black Friday:
BE PREPARED: No I don't mean Boy Scout style. I mean get organized! Then this isn’t a time for messing around. This is a time for strategizing! Get your local Thanksgiving Day newspaper and while the bird is cooking start making your lists! Figure out where you want to go. What you need at each store. Who opens first, who offers the best deals for getting there early etc, etc.
DEAL OR DUD: Just because its on the front page of the ad and it looks like a good deal does NOT mean it actually is! Do some homework, figure out if waiting in line for 3 hours to get a $400 TV is the a) the best use of your time and b) the cheapest its actually going to be in the next few weeks. Do your research to get a sense of how much items should really cost.
DRESS APPROPRIATELY: Now is not the time to look stylish in your new 4 inch heeled boots and sparkly top. Wear comfortable tennis shoes, and layer your clothes. You may have to wait outside for a while.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT SHOPPING BUDDY: Bring someone who is perky and fun. Not your 'Debbie Downer' friend who will constantly be whining about the early hour, long lines, cold weather and the fact that Starbucks isn't 24 hours in this neighborhood. Unless you want to bicker and feel frustrated all day, think hard about who would get into the spirit of a shopping day like this. And leave the kids at home. Having a shopping buddy is handy for checking out too. One person can wait in the (never ending) checkout line that snakes the store first thing upon entering, and the other can shop for a few minutes.. then switch! That way you make progress in the line and get your shopping done too (without losing your spot!).
MAKE A LIST & BRING YOUR ADS: I like to make my list beginning with what store opens first and with the best deals. Ill post my shopping itinerary on Thursday night, but for now, it will probably include Target, Kohls, Fred Meyer and perhaps the mall. Bringing your ads with you allows you to price match (at certain stores that do that) and to get exactly what you need with minimal employee help.
DO YOUR HOMEWORK: Go online and scout out printable % off or $ off coupons. Just because its on sale doesn't mean you cannot use a 10, 20 or 30% off coupon. I will post some good coupons to use later.
BE NICE-BUT BE SMART: Everyone else is just doing the same as you. Don't push. Don't yell. Don't fight over a parking spot. You can walk the extra 20 feet- it wont kill you :) Make friends with the people in line waiting around you. But don't be a pushover either. If you rightfully had your hand on an item- don't give it up. Watch your cart / purse. Since its so busy and packed in stores, its prime time for pick pockets.
Hopefully this will give you an idea of what to expect. Happy Shopping!!