2013 Black Friday (In-Store) Survival Guide
Black Friday is less than two weeks away. Are you ready? I know, I know – you are busy planning the Thanksgiving feast, so you haven’t had a chance to even think about it yet – but I’m here to tell you that you need to start planning. Like right now.
To help you navigate the endless supply of deals at countless stores, you need a guide.
Your 2013 Black Friday (in-store) Survival Guide:
1. Prepare now. Did you know that most stores release their Black Friday ads early? Some stores like Walmart and Target already have the official ad posted online. Otherwise, you can find ad previews for many of your favorite retail stores now, which allows you to start comparing prices on the products you want. Decide on the stores that you know you want to go to and what you want to try to get.
2. Devise your plan of attack. What stores do you plan to go to? What items are you getting? You may want to map out the stores in advice as well so you can get in and out as quickly as possible. Also, check the times that the stores are opening. Some will open at midnight and others are open all day on Thanksgiving. Those early bird (and night owl) specials can be exactly what you are looking for, so don’t miss the timing of your favorite sale.
3. Don’t forget to eat before you go. And I highly recommend staying caffeinated with your favorite holiday coffee beverage.
4. Take a shopping buddy. Shopping with a friend is fun, but this shopping is not for the meek, make sure you take someone who has the same patience and stamina as you. And split up once you hit a certain store. You’ll be able to cover more ground, grab twice as many bargains, and hopefully cut down on the time out in the crowds. Make sure that you take phones so you can text or call each other to coordinate your plan of attack once in the store.
5. Dress in layers. If you are heading out at 2am, it will be cold, but the stores will be hot, so wear enough clothes to keep you warm outside, but also have plenty of layers to take off once you are inside. I also recommend comfortable walking shoes to keep your feet happy throughout the day.
6. Stay hydrated. You’ll want to take water and snacks with you on your marathon shopping day. This will help you stay hydrated and keep you energized as you hunt down bargains and race to the checkout lanes. Don’t want any passing out, now do we? Plus, it will help you stop impulse buying the soda and chips while in line.
7. Don’t forget to take the ads and your shopping lists with you to ensure that you get exactly what you want. Some items will not be marked, so this will help you determine the item and price promptly. This will also help you avoid impulse buys, which only costs you more than you bargained for.
8. Know store policies. Many stores will extend their return deadlines into the New Year, but others are starting to impose restocking fees on certain items.
9. Ask for a gift receipt. I know we all plan to buy the perfect gifts for our loved ones, but in the event of a return or exchange, a gift receipt will allow for your recipient to make that return without revealing how much you spent on the product.
10. Stick to your budget. Don’t get so wrapped up in the deals that you make yourself go broke. Stick to your original plan and forget about impulse buying. You may be disappointed passing a certain deal, but I guarantee you’ll be happy that you aren’t in debt when the New Year arrives.
Not sure you want to brave the stores on Black Friday, don’t worry – I have the Online Black Friday Survival Guide coming up for you – stay tuned!
Do you have more shopping tips for navigating Black Friday deals?