The Ultimate Guide to Black Friday

| November 20, 2012

Black Friday imageLet’s face it. Black Friday sales aren’t usually a comfortable affair. It’s like an Easter egg hunt or a capture the flag game with a store full of adrenaline junkies. Surviving Black Friday takes some planning. It takes research and a strategy, the right amount of caffeine and some sort of reward later. Along with newspaper ads and Black Friday websites, take a look through DexKnows to help you decide where to go in your community.

Get a jump on Black Friday

Surviving Black Friday starts with preparation. Retailers don’t wait any more for the traditional ads in the Thanksgiving newspaper. Many leak their sales early online.

The website TheBlackFriday.com links to popular department stores like Walmart, Best Buy and Kmart. Other sites include BlackFriday.comPricegrabber.com and Fatwallet.com/Black-Friday. Don’t forget social media sites such as @BlackFriday on Twitter. Sign up for media alerts on stores’ websites.

Getting a look at what’s on sale isn’t enough. If you can, go into the stores and familiarize yourself with the layout.

Make a list of what you want or start one on your smartphone. Prioritize what you want the most and from where.

Too anxious and don’t want to wait? Get an early start. This Thanksgiving, several stores such as Walmart, Kmart, Target, Toys R Us, Sears and Best Buy are expected to open Thanksgiving night. Some places such as Target, Sears and Sam’s Club may reward loyal shoppers with access before the holiday.

Start early on Black Friday

If you head out to the early morning sales, make sure the gas tank is full and get the coffee pot ready the night before. If you need some extra energy, scope out the nearest all-night fast food joint and get a cup of coffee and some breakfast. Surviving Black Friday takes perseverance and energy. So catch those extra zzz’s on Wednesday night, take a Thanksgiving nap after your feast and be ready.

Before you head out, remember to toss on some comfortable shoes. They will be your best friends as you wait in line. Also bring water, an energy drink and some fruit or granola bars. And be sure your phone or tablet is fully charged!

Black Friday shopping day strategy

Surviving Black Friday means making sure the trouble is worth it. Park far enough away so that you can get out easily and head to your next destination.

Think big-ticket items first if you are shopping for major electronics or something else with a bigger price tag. You will save more on those items than on something that usually costs only $20 or $30.

Check for key phrases such as “limited quantities.” Head to those first if it’s an item at the top of your list.

If you can help it, don’t go alone. This is a team sport. Bring a friend or family member so you can cover more ground. Maybe you can go after the big-ticket items and let your friend grab the others. Share lists so you can help each other out. Having someone with you also helps survive the boredom of waiting in lines.

Bring your Black Friday smile

It’s a madcap battle to the end to get the deals you want, but there’s nothing worse than a sore loser. Check your attitude and make sure to stay calm. Let’s be careful out there.

Reward yourself

Even if you manage to keep your game face on, Black Friday can be a tension-filled event. Plan to reward yourself with a treat afterward. Why not lunch out with a friend? Or stop by your favorite place to pick up some candy or some holiday treats. Check out DexKnows to see what’s available.

Black Friday isn’t the end

Black Friday is only the beginning of the shopping season, and because Thanksgiving is a week earlier this year, shoppers get an extra week.

Check out CyberMonday.com and your favorite retailers’ websites to see what they offer online on Black Friday. Also make sure to check online throughout the season and keep tabs on what’s offered in ads that run through Christmas.

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Category: Holiday Shopping

About the Author ()

Central Ohio journalist with 15 years experience at daily newspapers. Freelance writer and amateur photographer. Storytellers are my heroes, poets my idols and photographers my looking glass.