It’s that special time of the year where we gather with our loved ones, stuff ourselves with food, and say everything we are thankful for. Then that evening, or the next day, we brave the crowds at our favorite stores while on the hunt for the best deals we can get. Black Friday is a game that everyone wants to win. You want to get the most stuff for the least amount of money. You have to go into your favorite stores with a strategy. Just going in and browsing is not the best option; you will get lost in the crowds and easily overwhelmed.
Here are some tips on how to survive Black Friday:
1). Study the Deals Ahead of Time
I’m sure your mailbox has been stuffed with Black Friday ads. Study those ads to know what you want. If you want a T.V. for your dorm, compare prices in the different ads so you know where to get the lowest price for what you want. By knowing what you want, you will be able to run into the store and run out. Also, some stores offer special deals during certain times, so knowing when those deals are offered will help you plan what stores to go to and when you want to go!
2). Plan the Time Wisely
If you want to avoid crowds, DO NOT go to the store when they first open or within the first few hours of being opened. What I like to do is avoid the stores when they first open all together. Stores that open the night of Thanksgiving are often open all through the night and the next day, still offering the same deals. I like to go to the mall by me around 7am because I can get awesome parking since nobody is there at that time (you are past the night rush and are there before the day rush). By going there in the morning I am able to have some crowd-free shopping time and just browse the stores. The stores usually get more crowded the later it gets (from 10am on, forget about finding a parking spot), so get there early!
3). Know Your Budget
Credit and debit cards are magical. However, I sometimes forget that I can only spend so much on the cards and can easily overspend. We are in college and already have such a limited budget, so going over budget is a headache we don’t want. Know how much you want to spend and stick with that budget! Once you spend all of your money leave the store and go home to eat some Thanksgiving leftovers and marvel at all of the awesome stuff you bought.
4). Make a List
I use Black Friday as my holiday shopping time because with finals I don’t have time once I get back from break. By making a list of people I need to get gifts for, it makes shopping way easier. I can check off who I got a gift for so I know who I still need to buy for. Also, have an idea in mind of what each person likes. It will make it way easier to go into a store and find the world’s greatest holiday gift. If there are certain things you personally need as well such as clothes or dorm stuff, put that on another list so you make sure you get everything you need! This will help you be way organized so you don’t have to keep interrupting your shopping time by checking your bags for what you still need to buy.
5). Bring a Friend
You will not survive Black Friday by yourself. You need a support system, someone who can wait in line for you as you run for one more item, someone who will go and get you the right size, and someone who will keep you company and make fun of the crazy shoppers with you. I like to go Black Friday shopping with friends because we haven’t seen each other in awhile and it’s fun to catch up while we hunt for the best deals.
6). Look Online
A lot of stores post their Black Friday deals online. If you want to avoid the crowds and get great deals, shop online! You no longer have to wait until CyberMonday to score killer deals online. Shopping online can sometimes also guarantee you the big items that might sell out in stores. Also, there might be some deals that are online exclusive that you don’t want to miss out on. Who knows, maybe you will find everything you need online and can stay in your pajamas all day catching up on Netflix.
Black Friday is absolutely insane, but it is a fun challenge. Follow these tips so you can hopefully have a pain-free shopping experience. Good luck and may the odds be in your favor!