Holiday shopping can leave you winded, stressed, and broke… but not this year! Black Friday is a day of bargains, crazed shoppers, and long lines. It's definitely not the time for browsing and window-shopping. With that said, you need to keep in mind some great rules of thumb for your post-Thanksgiving mall trip this year. There are tons of tricks and shopping tips to get you through the Black Friday chaos that is sure to ensue. Read on for "good buy" hot spots and advice on how to side-step some of the hassle!
Know What You're Looking For
Organization is key, so do some planning ahead of time. Check out the sale inserts in the newspaper and the online ads for deals that will be going on that day. This can also help you in finding your wishlist items at the cheapest price. You can also try websites like blackfriday2011.com to get a good idea. Knowledge of what you want and where to get it will save you a lot of time, which is what you'll need to get through some of the more crowded stores.
With all the sales going on, there are tons of other shoppers that come with them. That coat you might have your eye on may sell out in your size before you get there and those boots you wanted may walk out of the store with someone else. Be prepared for this. Have alternate choices and know your options. They may be out of the quilted tote bag you wanted in black, but they may still have it in green or burgundy.
Keep It Simple
There are a few time-saving tips that will get you through the day a little easier and quicker. First of which is your schedule. Try to make your shopping trip either very early or very late. Some stores are opening at midnight this year, rather than the usual 5 AM. Another great idea is to pay in cash. Checks and credit cards take longer and leave little room for negotiating prices, where applicable. Try to go to stores and malls that aren't necessarily the main attraction if you can. For example, maybe avoid the brand new strip mall or the recently renovated department store at the mall. Save it for another day.
Read the Fine Print
Be sure you fully read the sale descriptions on ALL deals so you're sure they apply to your Black Friday needs. Some coupons may give certain deals before or after specific times that day. You can always bring the ads with you in case you need reminding. Also, know the store policies of where you're shopping. Keep re-stocking fees and shorter deadlines for returns in mind.
Where To Shop
I'm sure you're starting to map out your shopping course already. Nonetheless, here's a few places that you should keep on your radar for this year's holiday sale. H&M is opening its doors at 5 AM and offering scratch-off tickets for up to $300 to the first 100 customers in addition to its other great deals that day. A great online reference is theblackfriday.com. The website features tons of sales for the big day ranging from H&M to Lowe's to Burlington Coat Factory.
Or…. You could avoid this altogether and just shop online for the big sale day!