Tips for Surviving Black Friday!

Woman Christmas shoppingby Barb Hopkins

Black Friday shopping deals coax even the most reluctant shoppers from warm beds at the earliest of morning hours. With the aromas of Thanksgiving feasts still wafting through homes, determined bargain-hunters prepare for Black Friday shopping, armed with advertisements, coupons and holiday gift lists. It’s considered the biggest shopping day of the year, with almost 25 percent of shoppers hitting the stores as early as midnight on Thanksgiving.

To survive Black Friday, consider these five strategic tips.

Black Friday shopping preparation

Begin Black Friday preparation two to three weeks before Thanksgiving. Make a preliminary gift list, and, because Black Friday deals can be extreme, consider using the sales to purchase needed items for your home as well. Big-ticket items such as televisions, game consoles and electronics often are discounted drastically as “doorbuster” items on Black Friday. Don’t forget to:

  • Sign up for email sales alerts from favorite stores.
  • Comparison shop (know the regular price of your list items to determine if the Black Friday deals are worth rising early and fighting the crowds).

Set your Black Friday budget

Create a Black Friday budget and vow to stick to it. Tips for shopping within budgets include setting a price limit per person or per gift. Once you have a price-point for each, search the early bird advertising circulars for the best deals. You don’t have to wait until Thanksgiving to see the doorbusters and other sales. Many Black Friday ads are available online early. Check online sites such as:

Online shopping for Black Friday deals

Black Friday online shopping differs slightly from Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving, offers deals to shoppers from online retail giants after the Black Friday sales. However, stores such as Sears and Kmart offer holiday shopping deals online before, during and after Black Friday.

Shopping online at Sears and Kmart on Black Friday provides great deals on items ranging from electronics to toys, housewares, jewelry and clothing. In addition, you don’t have to leave the house, saving gas and hassles with crowds.

Plan a Black Friday shopping strategy

Often doorbuster sales on electronics or the season’s hottest toy are great deals, but the stores may have limited inventory. Having a Black Friday shopping strategy can help ensure you’re able to snag these must-have deals when they’re offered at the lowest prices.

  • Plan a driving route based upon which stores offer the doorbuster deals most important for your holiday list.
  • Black Friday waiting lines to get into stores typically are outdoors. Prepare for all types of weather — cold, rain and snow.
  • If more than one store has a deal on your prize item, consider choosing the store that also offers other good deals, allowing you to reduce the number of stores you visit on Black Friday.

Black Friday shopping partners: divide and conquer

Partnering with a family member or friend can save time, allowing you essentially to be in two places at once, taking advantage of doorbusters or early bird sales from different stores. Another option is to partner within the same store — one partner heads to the toy department, while the other goes straight to electronics to grab the deals.


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