The season of giving has arrived and the mad dash of holiday shopping will commence this coming Friday. If you’re planning on braving the late night shopping on Black Friday, here are a few survival tips to consider:
If at all possible, don’t leave the safe, warm embrace of your house. Enjoy your turkey coma and don’t get trampled upon by mindless shoppers frantically searching for the last $50 flat screen television. Cyber Monday is a great alternative for those who seek not to be bombarded by humanity, but shop alone while snuggled in pajamas. Amazon and many department stores have plenty of online deals to satisfy savvy shoppers. If participating in Black Friday shopping is a must for you, proceed through the following rules.
2. Don’t Buy Into the Hype
Remember that stores carry a small quantity of sweet-deal items to get consumers through the door, so the chances of making a once-in-a-lifetime purchase are slim. Don’t worry though, because most of the regularly advertised deals are available frequently throughout the year.
3. Scout the Stores and Make a Plan
Make a list of stores most important to you and outline the items and/or sales that you’d like to take advantage of in each store. Plot a shopping route for easy access and efficiency. Understand parking limitations and plan an alternate route.
4. Research the Products
Sometimes a deal really is too good to be true. Research the most tantalizing sales advertisements, especially those for electronics. Is there a reason why a store would want to give away that particular brand or model of laptop? To make your trip worthwhile, make sure you’re really getting what you want and are getting the most for your money.
5. Skip Starbucks
An almost blasphemous suggestion, but skipping Starbucks will prove to be most beneficial when executing the shopping route established in Rule #3. Brew some coffee in a travel mug before leaving the house, or better yet, have two cups with your pumpkin pie. This will not only save you money on that $5 grande latte, but will save time and hassle. Remember, everyone and their mother will be pre-gaming at Starbucks. Avoid drive-through coffee shops like the Plague.
6. Get the App and Clip the Coupon
See if there are any apps for the stores you’re going to be shopping at. Think Target’s Cartwheel app. Remember to bring any coupons and membership cards, as well as install any coupon apps that will help you to save money or earn incentive while shopping. Have these items ready before getting to the checkout stand. Don’t be that guy.
7. Pack Light and Dress Tight
For the ladies, take a small purse packed with only the essentials. This will lighten the load while running through crowded store aisles and hurdling small children lying exhausted on the floor. Also, if you’re clothes shopping for yourself, wear leggings and a tank-top, with the idea of throwing clothes on for a quick fit-check, and skipping the dressing room all together.
If you must shop on Black Friday, remember these rules and don’t forget to complete your pre-shopping calisthenics in the parking lot to avoid straining a hamstring.
Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private SchoolsImage by 3DPrint.com