Thanksgiving is almost here and it’s all about food, family, football and festivity. But let’s be honest with ourselves. Thanksgiving is also a time to start gearing down hardcore for the holidays, and it’s when shopping becomes a sport. Black Friday is NO JOKE. It’s when shoppers wake up at the crack of dawn to set up camp outside big box retailers. It’s when news crews set up inside stores so they can get the perfect footage of the stampede of customers racing in to get those doorbuster deals. For many retailers, it’s the most wonderful time of the year.
But one does not just wake up and decide to go shopping on Black Friday. You can’t jump into the professional shopping game and be a novice to this thing. We’ve got your back. Consider this: The Glam Guide to Surviving Black Friday. Take these five easy steps and you’ll be back home on your couch, safe in the knowledge that your holiday shopping is done and enjoying a lovely turkey-influenced nap in no time.
Step 1 : Do Your Research. Black Friday is not the time to just wander out to the popular stores to see what’s happening. You need to approach your shopping with strategy. Know what specific items you’re looking for. Make that list and check it twice, and then add one or two things for yourself (because you deserve it). Every major retailer has their Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals out and online already, and thanks to technology it’s even easier to browse, save, and strategize. Apps like Brad’s Deals, Slickdeals, and Santa’s Little Helper can help to keep you aware of what’s available and armed with the knowledge to get you in and out with what you want. This helpful post by Moneycrashers suggests a few other Black Friday apps to enhance the experience. And don’t forget to peruse sites like Retail Me Not to see what coupons can make your receipt ring up for even less.
Step 2:Map Your Course. The usual shopping haunts will be absolutely bonkers, and if you decide to head out to the store after the sun’s already risen you will be met with lines wrapped around the corner. Real Black Friday shoppers are outside the store in a sleeping bag or pup tent from the night before. If you’re not about that life then consider off the beaten path locations where there may be fewer shoppers. Looking for a flat screen TV or computer? Avoid the typical stores and go to like, Staples or Office Depot. You will still find what you’re looking for there, and there may be less competition than at more popular electronics-focused stores.
Step 3:Be Prepared. You’re not one of the Boy Scouts but you should be savvy going into the Black Friday experience. Get your purse ready the night before - pack protein bars, mini bottles of water, a backup phone charger, whatever you need to get through the possible wait and stress.
Step 4:Dress For Success. Don’t step out for Black Friday in your Sunday best. It is smart to leave the heels and the open toed shoes at home. We recommend you wear comfortable shoes with a hard exterior, to prevent your feet from being stomped on and hurt, and a warm coat you could sleep in if you had to (just in case you did want to sleep outside your favorite big box retailer in the hopes of grabbing a doorbuster item). Also consider wearing something brightly colored to identify each other by, if you’re shopping in a group. A brightly hat with a pom pom can help you be spotted in the crowd.
Step 5:Keep Calm and Shop On. Didn’t get that big ticket doorbuster you were deadset on getting? Did you get to the store and couldn’t find a parking spot? It’s OK to give up on the in store Black Friday experience, it can be frustrating and overwhelming. And lucky for us in this modern age, many stores have now taken their Black Friday deals online, and sometimes there are even special online only deals. Also, there’s Cyber Monday. Sometimes the best kind of shopping is the kind done on your couch, while wearing a velour bathrobe and slippers. Just saying.
Happy Thanksgiving and happy shopping!
Contributing Editor, Patrice Grell Yursik is the creator of Afrobella.com, one of the first blogs to celebrate the beauty of natural hair and ladies of all skin tones and sizes. Affectionately called the Godmother of Brown Beauty Blogging, Patrice takes her readers inside unique beauty, fashion and cultural experiences.