Black Friday starts in 4 days. It was traditionally the start of the holiday shopping period, and even though stores started advertising (and discounting) for the holidays months ago, it’s still being touted as likely to be the “busiest shopping day of the year.” It is, after all, the first day after the last major holiday before Christmas and Chanukah. And people generally have the day off for the long weekend to recuperate from over-indulging and, well, shop. Well, not salespeople perhaps, but consumers.
Anyway as a public service we have some suggestions for consumers looking to maximize their Black Friday shopping efforts:
1) Do your homework. Price checking and promotional aggregators are readily available on the Internet.
2) Check store circulars.
3) Check availability and quantities of “door-buster” items ahead of time.
4) Consider downloading a bar code scanner app for faster price comparisons on location.
5) Dress properly. It can get cold standing around parking lots at 4AM at the end of November.
6) Or 12:01AM at certain eager and/or desperate retailers, so wear comfortable footwear.
7) Sequence your shopping initiatives so that you’ve calculated the shortest routes between stores.
8) Make a list. Brand names and model numbers. Don’t get distracted by non-essential sale items. Keep to the list.
9) Bring snacks to sustain you. No need to have to waste precious shopping time standing in line to pay.
10) At the store see if there are additional discounts for using a store credit card.
11) Before checking out do a last minute look for online discount codes.
12) Don’t do this alone. If you can, get yourself a shopping buddy. It doubles your ability to pluck products from the shelves. Or hold a place on those long checkout lines. Or lines for the bathroom.
One final piece of advice: Don’t Panic! If you can’t find the precise item, or can’t deal with the crazed crowds, just remember that the 28th is Cyber Monday, and with the exception of #5 and #6 on the list, everything else pretty much applies when you’re sitting at your computer.
Good luck and good hunting!