How To Prepare For Black Friday

3 Comments 20 November 2010

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Family, friends, delicious food, holiday music, parties, and…

…oh yeah. Shopping. How could I forget? ;) Ok, busted. Of course I didn’t forget. I am “the Chic Shopper Chick” after all.

See, the thing is that we’re not just talking any kind of shopping – we’re talking Black Friday shopping – and that’s an entirely different animal. So how do you prepare for the single biggest shopping day of the entire year? Here are my tips:

Do Your Homework

Don’t head into the stores blindly thinking that you’ll just browse for whatever catches your eye. This is not the time for inspiration, it’s the time for determination. If you know that you are looking for the Xbox 360 with Kinect, then scour the web for the best prices and decide if what you see in that Black Friday Ad is a good deal or not. Also, realize that stores like Walmart will price-match any competitors printed ad, so if you find a deal somewhere else, be prepared to bring that ad with you when you go to do your shopping so that you can be sure you get the best price. Make a list, check it twice. (See what I did there, with the Christmas joke? Nice.)

Have A Plan Of Attack

Ok, “plan of attack might” be aggressive wording, but Black Friday shoppers are a breed unto themselves and you simply have to be prepared. You’ve done your homework and have a list of what you want – so now it’s time to decide what store will be your main focus. Prioritize your list and see what “deals” are most important, and also at what store you can scoop up the majority of your items (Christmas pajamas, electronics, appliances) and make that store your primary. I hate to disappoint you, but unless you are a literal superhero, there is no way you can really take advantage of the deals at more than one store on the morning of Black Friday. Once you know what store you are going to, either visit the store ahead of time to get a feel for what items are placed in what areas, or if you are shopping at Walmart, you can grab one of their store maps that will tell you exactly what deals can be found where.

Wake Up Early

Please, don’t roll your eyes at me. I know that this seems very obvious, but don’t think that you can roll out of bed at 5 am and stroll into a store around 5:45 or 6 and still get the deals that you want. As En Vogue would say “you’re never gonna get it” — the deal, that is. If waiting in line OUTSIDE isn’t your thing, Walmart will be starting their Open House at midnight, so you’ll be able to go inside and grab deals from 12-5 on pajamas, apparel, appliances, and toys before the big deals start at 5 am. They will also be handing out snacks in select stores – but the important part is that you can stalk that HDTV from inside of the store where it’s nice and warm. Otherwise, you’ll have to show up a few hours before they even open the doors, and probably wait in line outside instead of in the warmth of your car, which brings me to my next point…

Dress the Part

If you will have to be outside in the night air you’ll likely be at least a bit chilly, even if you live in Louisiana like me (or freezing if you live on the East Coast or up North!) so you might want to consider a jacket. You might even want to consider a jacket a bit heavier than you originally anticipated, because there is not much moving going on when you are sitting or standing in a line, and you don’t want to be the one weirdo jumping up and down like a jumping bean to stay warm. Consider layering your clothing because once you’re in the store and your adrenaline is pumping, you’re gonna warm up a bit and you’ll be cursing that heavy jacket if all you have underneath is your pajama top. Lastly, you’ll want to wear comfortable shoes – you’ll be doing a lot of walking, standing, and maneuvering, you’ll need some support below!

Pack Some Snacks

Maybe this is the mom in me, but I promise at some point you’ll need some nourishment to help you feeling balanced and healthy during your mega-shopping trip. Consider bringing some hot chocolate in a thermos for your time standing in line outside (bonus points if you bring extra cups to share) which will warm you up and help to put you in the Holiday spirit (remember, the Holidays? Yeah, that’s why we’re doing all of this!). Some whole grain breakfast or granola bars and a few bottles of water wouldn’t be a bad idea either, and a few pieces of Holiday candy stashed away in your pocket can give you an instant sugar boost and leave you feeling 10 times better.

Bring a Friend

While I’m sure the die-hard Black Friday Strategists have a recommendation on why this is smart, I simply think shopping is only fun (ok, MOSTLY only fun) if you do it with a friend. Plus, you’ll have years of laughter when you reminisce about that 70 year old woman who draped herself over the very last 50″ HDTV and refused to move.

Have Fun!

My biggest and most important tip is to have FUN! Yes, the deals on Black Friday are pretty good, but if you HATE to shop, well, you’re not going to love Black Friday, so maybe you should consider staying home and waiting for the deals on Cyber Monday. If you are going to venture out, relax, smile, and be friendly – and remember that last Zhu Zhu Pet is not worth the fight! Good luck!

Disclosure: I am a part of the Walmart Moms program. Walmart has provided me with compensation to share their current Black Friday Deals. My participation is voluntary and opinions are my own.

Your Comments

3 Comments so far

  1. feefifoto says:

    Plan B: shop online ;)


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